Off the Pulpit

When Nothing Goes Right

Every age brings its difficulties. It is true that with all the advantages of our age, it can still seem as if everything is going wrong. It may or may not help to know that this is not a new sentiment. From the beginning of time people sat themselves by the fireside and said, “Absolutely nothing worked for me today.”

If nothing is going your way, the least others can do is offer sympathy and company. You aren’t alone: Abraham Ibn Ezra, famed biblical commentator and poet from 12th century Spain, lamented:

If I made shrouds
No one would ever die.
If I sold lamps
The sun would shine all night long.

We all have those times when the world seems magically arrayed against us. Don’t despair. Keep at it. After all, Ibn Ezra didn’t make shrouds or lamps, but poems – and they’ve lasted for centuries.