This evening I made arrangements to meet a former professor from a former college to pick up a letter of recommendation. He is one of my favorite people, a microbiologist and one of the most amazing teachers I've ever encountered. He worked you hard, but you walked away from that class knowing your stuff.
And if you're me, you walked away with a small box of microscope slides as well. So I was extremely excited at the thought of finally doing the great mitzvah* of returning a lost item. Okay,the slides weren't exactly lost, but I didn't take them on purpose or for profit. They just turned up when I was cleaning out my backpack, long after class had ended.
Wouldn't you know it - as I prepared to meet my former professor, the slides, which I saw nearly every day for the past year, were no where to be found. Running out of time, I stopped rummaging around and started a conversation with G-d. It wasn't exactly friendly.
I told the Holy One, "Listen, I want to do the right thing and return a lost article, and You are standing in my way. I need those slides right now." I went back to rummaging. Found them shortly thereafter.
But when I got to the school, my former professor wasn't there (although the letter was). What to do with the slides? I combed the building looking for his office, an open door, anything. Once again, I turned to G-d, this time all alone in the elevator. Picked up where I left off during the last conversation.
Walked out of the elevator right into the janitor, who kindly escorted me to the micro lab and allowed me to put the slides inside.
So who's the boss? Jewish tradition says the world belongs to man. We decide how things go down here. It's called free will. But when free will isn't enough, then it's up to the one and only Boss to get you what you need.