A friend of mine recently told me about an all–you-can-eat restaurant that charges customers a fixed price no matter how much food they pack on their plates -- but then ALSO charges them by weight for the food they leave on their plates. How genius, I thought, to minimize waste. And of course with my mind always steeped in the Torah, I could not help but make the quick leap to our relationship with and duty to the Almighty.
How many gifts and blessings God has put on our figurative plates: food to eat, clothes to wear, good health, family and friends, beauty, strength, talents, business and personal connections, cars, cell phones, social networking, etc. So many things on our golden plates, much more than we can digest in a lifetime and enough to give the less lucky acid reflux. And yet how much of what we have do we really use to better the world we live in, to serve God, to help others and to help ourselves? Most of us turn to God and pray for what we feel we are missing, but what if He would answer us by asking for an accounting of what we’ve done with all He gave us so far? How much of your talents and strengths which He gifted you have you used for selfish purposes only? How much of your money have you used to give charity? Have you used your God-given charms to brighten life and spread God’s word or to cause mischief and to be skillfully deceitful? In addition, instead of always asking for more and nurturing your perspective from a famished-filled suckling cup, look at your current plate with appreciation and wisdom and you will find it much fuller than your gratitude. God gave every species and animal what it needs to survive—just look at nature. Does God love us less than the ant or bird?
We live in times where we are all spoiled, where everything is instant, where knock-offs and originals are indistinguishable. We are in an all-you-can-eat restaurant all year long but know that as we are busy stuffing our own selfish faces, we are really here to be serving God. And so as Judgment Day, Rosh Hashanah approaches, know that God will weigh our plates. How much of what He gave have we wasted and misused? Waste not, want not! There is no free lunch and with Godly precision our deeds will be weighed before Him and He will extract His price. And we will pay!