Rav Avigdor Miller enthused about how 5 minutes of a self-accounting becomes a game-changer, and also how thinking of Hashem for the amount of time it takes to walk from one streetlight to the next makes you one in a million and changes everything.
Or what about how 60 seconds can win you Olam Haba? (HERE.)
Or how Rav Itamar Schwartz recommends starting off talking to Hashem for only 30 seconds a day? (HERE.)
Or with Rav Bender's story of the crude butcher (HERE) who did teshuvah to the point that he died with "a good name" in his community.
But the butcher never became a tzaddik.
And Rav Bender, who was a tzaddik & knew tzaddikim up close & personal, still seemed so content with the man's final outcome.
Yes, the butcher made tremendous spiritual progress in his life, but he never reached the elevated levels of Rav Bender and other tzaddikim.
Yet Rav Bender recalls the butcher's final outcome ("a good name") with such relish & satisfaction.
How does all that fit into the ultimate scrutiny?
How can those minutes add up, especially with all the other distractions & tumah tugging at & influencing us?
Can we really achieve a good position in Olam Haba with such small steps & limited progress?
The answer lies in Rav Dessler's Strive for Truth.
Creating Powerful Roots of Pulsating Beautiful Light
Gratitude plays a massive part in this.
Whatever gratitude a person cultivated in This World, it continues to multiply in the Next World...forever.
Rather than a stagnant world of pleasure, Olam Haba pulsates with continuously renewed pleasure as the soul experiences higher & higher revelations of Hashem's Glory, which increase the soul's gratitude, which thus opens up even higher revelations...all in a never-ending ascent of delightful self-abandonment.
(In This World, wild self-abandonment leads to animalistic behavior, which leads to terrible sins. But in Olam Haba, the goal is self-abandonment from the side of holiness, which means the nullification of the ego, which then enables you to experience maximum pleasure.)
In other words, Rav Dessler says that Olam Haba is an ever-ascending spiral of spiritual progress.
And that progress started down here.
This icky, polluted, stressful, exhausting world.
Basically, every single time you do anything to overcome your yetzer hara (especially with the awareness you're doing it because Hashem said so), you create a whole new root from which your spiritual progress can grow.
Every. Single. Time.
Because a Jew's entire purpose in This World is to reveal Hashem's Glory (something with which non-Jews can also assist the Nation of Israel), a single instance of choosing the right act over the wrong act reveals Hashem's Glory.
No one here generally notices this revelation, but it is certainly noted in Shamayim!
It happens whether you perceive it...or not.
This is very special, especially in our times when so much of morality is considered repugnant or on object of mockery & derision.
Have you ever been derided because you have a filter or image-blocker on your Internet—including by an old-fashioned middle-age aunt who should know better because she grew up with better values? (It happened to me.)
Why do you filter your Internet? After all, it only inconveniences you.
Your filter means you care about your soul.
Hashem doesn't want us encountering certain venues of tumah (spiritual impurity), so you place a filter or an image-blocker.
In other words, you're doing it for Hashem.
And how many times have you restrained your tongue from anger or lashon hara?
Especially lashon hara to someone with whom you're genuinely close and would never betray you—that's lashon hara with no perceivable consequences. So why did you resist?
Only because Hashem forbade it.
Maybe a burst of temper would make things go better for you. Maybe you enjoy the cathartic release it brings (some don't experience guilt after their tantrum). Maybe your family or employees will get their act together out of intimidation. (Unfortunately, it works—at least for the short term...)
But you refrain. You overcome that particular yetzer hara.
Only because Hashem said losing your temper is like worshiping idols. It's a denial of Hashem's intimate supervision; it's the opposite of emunah.
And each time you do this, you create an invisible root.
That root definitely exists...only no one can see it.
But it's THERE.
And in the World to Come, all these roots you created will combine together to form an unimaginably vibrant field of light—light that carries you on the journey of spiritual progress you started all the way down here.
Tzaddikim spend every moment making roots of light. So they experience amazing delight in the Next World.
But we can also do this.
Those roots exist.
And that's why these baby steps, these 10 minutes here, and the 30 seconds, and the amount of time it takes to walk from one utility pole to the next—they all mean so much.
They all end up combining together to take you higher & further than you ever dreamed.
- Rav Eliyahu Dessler's Visualization to Free You from the Trap of This Upside-Down World: Are You a Lowly Slave to Random Feet or...a Fabulously Successful Shoe Magnate?
- 3 Inspiring Stories of Utilizing the "Instruments" Hashem Gives Us for Better...or for Worse
- Looking to the He'der Aspect of Gehinnom for Inspiration