Sunday, May 13, 2007

Life is Like a Final Exam

I was thinking this morning about the fact that there are so many things I want to do in life. I want to learn more Gemara, I want to learn Nefesh Hachaim. I want to have a full hour a day to devote to hisbonenus/hisbodedus. I want to have time to exercise each day. I also need to work full time and have enough money to afford all our expenses, tuition, tzedakah, etc. I want to spend dinner time and homework time with my wife and kids... There's no time for everything. So I have to prioritize and choose what I will do, and how well. This got me to thinking about my final exams.

Whenever I'm not working right now, I'm in the heat of preparations for my third and last final exam for my first year of law school. One experience I've had in law school exams is that I only have 3 hours to answer 2-3 questions, depending on the exam. There is never enough time to write everything I want to write and get credit for writing. The professor designs the exam this way so that we will not only be tested on our analysis and knowledge of the subject, but also on our ability to prioritize what to cover in our answer and in what depth.

It made me realize that my life is the same way. Hashem only gives me a limited time. There are only 24 hours in a day and only 7 days in a week. Yet I have far more options and requirements about how I spend that time than I can actually accomplish. So in the "final exam of life," Hashem knows that He has given me a limited time and doesn't expect me to do it all, and is waiting to "grade" me on how I chose and prioritized the activities in my life. I will have to not do certain things, that I really would like to/should do. Hashem understands that. But he expects me to make the right decisions by getting my priorities right.

May Hashem help me always have the presence of mind to have the right priorities and make the right choices.

-Dixie Yid

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