40. Driving on the US Highways

If you’re not certain that by nature we trust, I’ll share with you an interesting observation. How many US soldiers died in Iraq? The United States was in that region from 2003 until 2014, and really longer. The number of US servicemen who lost their life in that time period was over 4,000. Four thousand four hundred US soldiers died in those years in Iraq. A very dangerous situation. A situation you certainly wouldn’t want your son to be in and certainly you would not be willing to volunteer to be in that region.

Yet, let’s look at the following fact. How many people die on the US highway system every year? The answer is well over 40,000. Not 4,000 in 11 years, but every single year over 40,000 people die on the US highway system. Oh my goodness, I’m not driving on a highway again, I’ll stay on local streets! Well, sorry to tell you, there’s a greater incident of accidents on local streets than there are on highways. Oh my goodness, I’m not driving again!

So here’s the question: Why aren’t we filled with dread, with trepidation when we get behind the wheel of the car? The answer is because those things won’t happen to me. I can pass accident along accident along the highway and I feel secure and well. But the reason is very important to understand. The reason is because I’m secure that these things won’t happen to me.

Explains the Chovos Halevavos, by nature we trust. And once we understand that by nature we trust, then it’s imperative for us to burst the bubble of the things we trust in, because eventually they will leave us, and to recognize that the only thing that’s worthy of trusting in is Hashem. Once I understand that by nature I need to trust, because if I didn’t trust I’d be filled with fear and trepidation, then it’s very simple for me to transfer that trust from things that can’t possibly really be supportive of me to that which is. It’s simple then to transfer my trust from things that really can’t help me, to Hashem, Who ultimately does.

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