Backpack on the Bus

October 4, 2021 by Lazer Brody

Here’s an insight into why we suffer stress.

The Parable

There was a young man with a big backpack on his back. He boarded an intercity bus and showed his prepaid ticket to the driver. The driver asked him to put the backpack in the outside luggage compartment with the other backpacks and suitcases. The young man refused and insisted on holding the backpack on his lap. The driver saw how stubborn the young man was and didn’t bother to argue with him.

Every time the driver made a sharp turn, the backpack would smack the young man on the side of head. When the young man was drinking a bottle of coke, the bus hit a bump in the road and the backpack knocked the bottle out of his hand and the sticky sugary liquid spilled all over his shirt and trousers. So by the time he reached his destination, the young man was bruised, disheveled and visibly upset. He yelled at the bus driver, “I’m gonna drag you and the whole stupid bus company into court. Look what you did to me! I deserve damages.”

“Sorry, young man,” the patient bus driver said. “You don’t deserve anything but a reprimand. Look at this sign…”

The driver pointed to the sign at the front of the bus. Please place all luggage in the outside luggage compartment. “This is a company regulation. Anyone who chooses to disregard it loses any right to claim damages from the company.”

The Moral

People suffer stress when they forget the first of the Ten Commandments, “I Am the Lord your God.” We have a Father in Heaven that we can lean on. He is the Divine luggage compartment that carries our heavy loads. We don’t have to go through life with our load on our laps. Yet, most people insist on carrying their own loads then complain how hard and unfair life is. Many complain that Hashem doesn’t help them. I therefore ask them one question: did you ever ask for help?

Hashem doesn’t come to dinner without an invitation. He’ll be more than happy to be a part of your life and to carry your heavy loads for you, but you have to ask Him. You can do that with daily personal prayer – the more the better. Once you put your emotional loads of fears and worries in Hashem’s loving hands, life will be a pleasure. Wait and see.

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