"My nation, what have I done to you and how have I wearied you? Speak up against Me! For I took you out of Egypt, and from the house of slavery I redeemed you, and I sent before you Moses, and Aaron, and Miriam ... " (Michah 6:3-4)
Rabbi Yaakov Kranz, the famed Maggid of Dubno, remarked that we see people who actively and energetically immerse themselves in their business occupations for hours on end, without becoming fatigued. Yet these same people, when they enter the synagague afterwards to pray their evening prayers, suddenly become drained of all their stamina and can hardly keep their eyes open. Why is this?
The difference, answered the Dubno Maggid, is this. When someone feels that the activity he is involved in will bring him palpable reward, then he has no trouble finding the stamina to keep himself going. It is when he sees no reward in sight that he can't find it in himself to keep on going.
And this is the meaning of our verse. Hashem looks down on us from the heavens and He sees that we perform the mitzvos, to be sure; but with what lack of energy! It is as though the act of performing Hashem's mitzvos is so difficult and wearying that it pushes us to the limit, sapping us of all our strength.
Says Hashem: You must have forgotten who it is that is truly providing for you! Look back into your history: "For I took you out of Egypt ... and I sent before you Moses ..."
If you remembered that, then you would surely find it possible to perform the mitzvos with energy and exuberance!
Copyright (c) 1997 by Rabbi Levi Langer
Courtesy of www.JewishAmerica.com