The Businessman, the Pebbles, and the Path to God: A True Story

He explains the situation to security officials. At first, nobody gives him the time of day, but eventually there is someone who hears him out as he explains the entire story of how he took a loan on the black market and got locked on the roof; how he threw money down but the people didn't trace it back to him; and how it was only when he threw down a few pebbles that he was saved.

After verifying a number of details of the man's story, the security official believes him and lets him go.

He finally walks out of the mall and makes his way back home more in debt than when he had left home that morning.

He arrives at his house, walks inside, sits down and thinks to himself, "Man, what a day . . ."

He starts to contemplate deeper all that had happened to him that day . . .

He was sent to the exact spot he was "supposed to" own at a large profit for the purpose of taking out a shady loan. When he got locked out on the roof and threw the money down, the people took it for granted that the money was coming from him. And it was only after God put into his mind to throw down a few pebbles that anyone cared enough about his existence to trace the money back to its source.

At that moment, it dawned on him that everything that he had experienced that day was a God-sent parable to his life. For years, he had been financially successful and assumed it to be because of his own wisdom, skill, talent, and luck. Never did he acknowledge God in his life or in his success. Never did he turn to God and say thank you when money was falling from the heavens. Only when he hit a rough patch, the door locked behind him, and he was left out of options and ideas did he look upward; only when a few pebbles landed on his head, did he acknowledge God and the active role God was playing in his life.

Immediately, this man burst out crying, regretting his arrogance and his perspective of entitlement, and committing himself to inner journey to God.

At that moment, he took upon himself to thank God for all the success that had been sent his way and for the difficulties in which he presently found himself. He now recognized that if the difficulties were coming from God they were ultimately for his best and that it was through these difficulties that he was now coming closer to God.

Not long after this episode, the man got a phone call informing him that his land in Romania had suddenly become rezoned for building.

Instantly, he went from being in debt to being a billionaire.

My friends, isn't this something we all do? When things are going right and when we are comfortable, we assume it to be the way it should be, as if that is the natural state of the way things are and the way things ought to be. And, only when there is a difficulty do we turn to God as the source of our situation.

How many of us thank God regularly for our food and health, let alone electricity and running water? But if we would lose those things, I think we all know Who we'd be pointing the finger at.

Let us be honest, real, and not hypocritical. Let's recognize and thank God for the little things and the big things in life and resolve not to take them for granted—whether they be the people in our lives, the opportunities in our lives, the technology in our lives, etc.

If you're going to blame God when you don't have it, then thank God when you do have it.

9/7/2011 4:00:00 AM
Eliyahu Yaakov
About Eliyahu Yaakov
Rabbi Eliyahu Yaakov is a sought after international speaker on Kabbalah, relationships, parenting, and life. His newly released book, Jewish By Choice: A Kabbalistic Take on Life & Judaism, recently hit #1 on Amazon's Best Seller list.