Hold On! Never Get Old!
Meshivat Nefesh #53
King Solomon called the evil inclination, “The Old, Foolish King.” He’s foolish because he gives me bad advice; he’s king because it’s all too easy to obey him. And Reb Nosson teaches that he’s old…because he makes me feel old.
My lower self tries to tell me, “It hasn’t worked until now…it never will. You haven’t changed until now…you never will. You’ve failed in this so many times before…you always will.” My yetzer hara drags my flawed past into my present, and uses it to obliterate my future.
What’s the solution? Never get old. Rebbe Nachman said, “I don’t like an old chassid; I don’t like an old tzaddik. Never get old!” Old is the equivalent of giving up. Fresh is what will change my life.
How do I keep fresh, then? When I feel myself bogged down by the past, I’m going to remind myself, “I’ve just been born, this is my first moment in my life!” This moment has never existed, and it’s true—this is my first moment of this moment, which is entirely new.
You fill the universe
at every moment
with fresh vitality
straight from Yourself.
Please help me to feel its flow,
newly born from moment to moment
so that I never get old.
(Hilchot Tefillin 5:6)