Once upon a time, there was a man, a woman, and a snake… and oh, let’s not forget about the fruit…
We do not necessarily need another version of the Adam and Eve story. However, the account of the first couple can teach us a great deal about ourselves. Their story can serve as a guide to teach us about what often happens when we come face to face with our self-doubts and begin to lose confidence in our purpose in life.
I believe with all my heart that everyone has a purpose to fulfill in life. We all have something to contribute. In my Faith, the goal or purpose is to repair the world. In the Holy Tongue we call it Tikkun Olam.
The first job ever was to “till and tend.” The second was to be a helper – an assistant to help complete the first. Tilling and tending meant nothing without the helper’s contribution. Together, tilling becomes cultivation and tending becomes the nurturing that leads to the production of beautiful fruit. In other words, together – and only working together could they achieve the goal to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28).
In the beginning, the first man and woman were fully aware of their purpose, unlike today, when so many of us live our entire lives without direction. We live purposeless lives. We work ourselves to death merely to survive, and we die with regrets for having accomplished next to nothing in lasting influence in the world.
What about those who are not among the 90% of the confused masses? What about those who know from “Day One” what they were supposed to do and how they should go about doing it? How is it that there is a tiny minority that seems to have received the manual while so many others are left to drift on the high seas of life trying to figure it out on their own? The answer is that it does not matter whether one is born “knowing” or discovers it along the way. One must still be ready to step into the third occupational role to “guard and keep.”
Why is guarding and keeping ( protecting) our purpose necessary? The simple truth is that different circumstances are continuously working to derail us from fulfilling our purpose. The greatest negative force we will encounter is doubt, and that is what Eve faced that fateful day when the snake said to her: “Did G-d really say: You shall not eat of any tree of the garden?”(Genesis 3:1). The evidence of her own eyes along with the selfish desires of her heart and her subsequent actions significantly skewed her away from her purpose. It took a long time for her to find her way home, and even then things were never the same as before.
Doubt is something that each of us will face at some point; nevertheless, we must hold doggedly on to our convictions. We must be steadfast in our beliefs and find some way to tune out the voices of doubt that causes us to question our conviction an worth. Once we are truly convinced of our reason for being, we must trust wholeheartedly in our higher calling as long as it is for the benefit of our fellow humankind and the rectification of our corner of the world.
So, the next time, doubt whispers mockingly, “Did G-d really say that you were meant for greater things?” go ahead and shut that conversation down immediately, and declare with full conviction, “Yes, He most certainly has!