by Rabbi Max Anteby
I work just down the block from the branch of a major bank. Sometimes, when I get to my office early, I see the Brinks truck unload what I guess is millions of dollars for the tellers to disburse throughout the day. This is no small event.
First the truck pulls up. One guard gets out and surveys the street. Then two armed guards remove the sealed cases of moolah from the truck. The doors of the truck are closed and the guy with the light artillery watches as the other two men move their treasure from the sidewalk to the building. With each step, their eyes dart back and forth searching the crowded street for would-be villains. Once inside, they stand guard to make sure no one enters until the money is safely locked in the vault.
If they’ve done it once, they’ve done it a thousand times. And these guys are serious – they don’t carry pistols, they’ve got rifles. After all, if you’re not going to guard your money, what are you going to guard?
With each step, their eyes dart back and forth searching the crowded street for would-be villains.
The Bible gives us a hint.
In Deuteronomy, it says, “But most of all, guard your mind.” The Bible is explaining that what goes into your mind is as important as life itself. For the last 3,300 years, the Bible has filled the minds of countless men bringing morals, values and meaning to the world.
And if you think about it, what could be more important than our minds? Think of all the things we use our minds for. (That’s the first thing – thinking)
We use it for deciding what to eat, deciding what to buy, deciding what to wear (not always an easy task), deciding who to marry and how to raise a family, deciding what values to adopt in life and how to make this world a little bit better than the way we found it.
In order to make those important decisions, first you have to survey the street and recognize all of those outside influences that are trying to steal your mind for their own purposes. Then you have to place guards at your eyes, your ears and your heart to make sure you never lose sight of what you want to accomplish in life. Then you’ve go to lock those values inside your mind and live your life with them.
It’s a question of priorities. As even the would-be villains know, the question is “Your money or your life?”