The Koznitzer Maggid
The Maggid of Koznitz / Poland (Rabbi Israel Hopsztajn (1737 – 1814) used to be extremely sick as a child. In fact, no one expected him to live until he was an adult and most of his life he spent in bed. However, he lived to an advanced age despite all medical predictions.
The Maggid once revealed the secret of him staying alive despite his severe illness:
"I never allow myself to be without a task to perform, he said. People are taken from this world only when their missions here are completed. Whenever I was just about to finish one task, I would start another one; hence, I could not be removed from this world if my task was not completed".
Some people think that we need relaxation and rest but the opposite seems to be the case. In reality we need to use our muscles in order to strengthen them. The same applies to a person: We constantly need to achieve goals; if not we may fall into depression and apathy.
"Growing Each Day" by Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski