“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen,since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
2 Corinthian 4: 17-18
"And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
― Haruki Murakami
One day Solomon decided to humble Benaiah ben Yehoyada, his most trusted minister. He said to him, "Benaiah, there is a certain ring that I want you to bring to me. I wish to wear it for the Sukkot festival, which gives you six months to find it."
"If it exists anywhere on earth, your majesty," replied Benaiah, "I will find it and bring it to you, but what makes the ring so special?"
"It has special powers," answered the king. "If a happy man looks at it, he becomes sad, and if a sad man looks at it, he becomes happy." Solomon knew that no such ring existed in the world, but he wished to give his minister some added humility.
Spring passed and then summer, and still Benaiah had no idea where he could find the ring. On the day before Sukkot, he decided to take a walk in one of the poorest quarters of Jerusalem. He passed by a merchant who had begun to set out the day's wares on a shabby carpet. "Have you by any chance heard of a special ring that makes the happy wearer forget his joy and the broken-hearted wearer forget his sorrows?" asked Benaiah.
He watched the elderly man take a plain gold ring from his carpet and engrave something on it. When Benaiah read the words on the ring, his face broke out in a wide smile.
That night the entire city welcomed in the holiday of Sukkot with great festivity. "Well, my friend," said King Solomon, "have you found what I sent you after?" All the ministers laughed and Solomon himself smiled.
To everyone's surprise, Benaiah held up a small gold ring and declared, "Here it is, your majesty!" As soon as Solomon read the inscription, the smile vanished from his face. The jeweler had written three Hebrew letters on the gold band: Gimel, Zayin, Yud, which begin the words "Gam zeh ya'avor - This too shall pass."
At that moment Solomon realized that all his wisdom and fabulous wealth and tremendous power were but fleeting things, for one day he would be nothing but dust.
One early reference comes from the Old English poem, Deor (c. AD 10th century). In the poem, the ex-minstrel Deor, laments recently losing his position of poet to the king. In his lament, he compares himself to a number of heroes from Anglo-Saxon folklore who experiences some trouble or other, always ending with the saying “Þæs ofereode, þisses swa mæg!”—which means something like “that was overcome, this may also be” or “that passed, so too may this.”
My soul searching lead me to this ancient parable. The Persians spoke of this king, so wise was Solomon. But even he, like us, is stopped in our tracks by something so profound. I continue my journey, as I seek out the giver of all Truths. I ponder recent events in my life. We want the trouble times to pass and the good days also pass. But I feel the words of reassurance spoken hold true to us now as then. And the shadows will pass in time. But until then, I continue on with the soul searching of my life......
"The most important of life's battles is the one we fight daily in the silent chambers of the soul."
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