Story #1: Potential Happiness
A student once approached Reb Zusha and asked, "How is it that you are happy all the time, when deep in your heart you know you will never reach the level of greatness that Abraham and Moses reached?"
Rabbi Zusha smiled and replied, "When it is time for my soul to depart and come before God, He will not ask me, 'Why were you not as righteous as Abraham or Moses?' He will ask me, 'Why didn't you become as righteous and holy as Rabbi Zusha?' "
All God asks of us is that we do our best according to our own potential. What makes me happy is knowing that we are striving to achieve my utmost.
Story #2: Wings
It was the first week of Creation. All of the newly formed animals were busy testing out their abilities, flipping and hopping, running and whirling. However, there was one animal that was limping along watching in envy as his friends sped past him.
Frustrated, he turned to God and cried, "God! Why did you make me the most pitiful of all your creatures?!"
God comforted the pained animal. "My creature, I will help you rise above all the other creatures."
All of the sudden two heavy appendages appeared on both sides of the animal. At first the creature was pleased, but when he tried to walk and run, he found that these appendages only weighed him down.
He returned to God and complained, "These only make things worse!"
God replied, "Silly bird, those are wings. Use them to fly!"
Sometimes our greatest obstacles can become our greatest sources of growth. It all depends on our perspective.