Effort is the Only Work Required

June 24, 2009

3 min read


V'etchanan (Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11 )

In this week's Torah portion, Moses reiterates to the Jewish people the Ten Commandments they heard on Mount Sinai. Moses tells that Jewish people that:

"Six days shall you labor and accomplish all your work; but he seventh day is Sabbath to the Lord, your God..." (Deuteronomy, 5:13-14)


God commanded that in addition to the Jews resting on the seventh day, they should also have all of their work accomplished at the conclusion of the six preceding days. Resting on the seventh day is a concept we can certainly grasp, but there isn't a person amongst us who feels that he's truly completed all of their work come Friday afternoon. We all leave the office with our in-boxes over flowing, having countless emails that still need to be answered, and several projects that are all behind schedule. We even have a mental to-do list to tackle immediately after our commanded day of rest. God wired us to be doers, so how is it possible to understand the commandment to have all of our work completed at the end of the week?

The answer - if you let it - might just be one of the most liberating concepts to which you've ever been exposed. When God commands us to have all of out work accomplished, we have to understand what "work" God means. Our work is our effort - which is the only thing we can control. And it's God - and only God - who controls the outcome of this effort. So it's only our effort that God says we will have completed.

And therein lies the powerful life-changing message. On one hand, the amount of things we have to do will NEVER end. But that's okay, because the only thing God demands of us is the effort we put forth in these endeavors. Therefore, God tells us that for six days we need to put in the necessary effort to make a difference and then our "work" is completely accomplished. On the seventh day, God wants us to take a breather and stop putting forth any more effort.

When you understand this life-changing concept, you will no longer feel over-whelmed, over-burdened, or stressed. You will no longer be shackled by the mountain of work that's constantly before you. By the way, if you do feel out of control it only means that you're simply spending too much time being consumed with the outcome - of which you cannot control or dictate. When you focus only on your effort and not the outcome, you're certain to be on the track of a balanced and happy life.

Just do your part for six days by putting in the proper effort, then sit back and remember who's really in control. Understanding and living with this reality will free you from the illusion most of us call living, and allow you to break into what the enlightened call paradise.

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