Whenever we embark on a journey, we recite Tefilat HaDerech, or the Wayfarer's Prayer. In this prayer, we ask God to deliver us safely to our destination, to protect us from all danger we might encounter on the way, and to return us to our homes in peace. For many, simply saying words which invoke God's steady, protective presence while on a journey, the outcome of which is uncertain, gives us comfort and confidence. However, we need not wait to invoke God's reassuring, calming, protective presence just when we embark on perilous travels. Rather, we should mention God and recognize His providence whenever we engage in any activity, no matter how great or small. We learn this principle from this week's parsha, Parshat Beha'alotcha, which teaches us, "According to the word of the Lord [the people] made camp and according to the word of the Lord they journeyed" (Bamidbar 9:20).
According to the Shelah HaKadosh (Rabbi Isaiah Horowitz, 17th century, Prague), this pasuk instructs us, "We should not make a move in life without prefacing it with a remark that indicates that we hope what we are about to do meets with God's approval. Whenever we arrive at our destination or complete an undertaking, we are to mention that we hope that what we have accomplished meets with God's approval, and to thank Him for having enabled us to carry out what we set out to do. By doing this, our awareness of God will be constant, both when we set out to do something, while we are involved in it, and when we have completed it" (Shnei Luchot HaBrit, Beha'alotcha, Derech Chaim, Tochachot Mussar). Thus, by mentioning God in all of our undertakings, saying phrases like, "be'ezrat Hashem," "with God's help," or "im yirtzeh Hashem," "God willing," or even just "please God," we elevate even the most mundane activity to a holy level, recognizing our constant dependence on God on the one hand, and God's constant, benevolent protection on the other.
There is never a moment when we are not reliant on God's protection. Yet, more often than not, we only become aware of our vulnerability when placed in perilous situations. However, by mentioning God in everything we do, recognizing God's oversight and involvement in every aspect of our lives, we can cultivate a religious personality which shows gratitude to God every day, demonstrating that God is with us in all that we do, believing and feeling that "at the word of the Lord [we] encamp, and according to the word of the Lord [we] journey" (Bamidbar 9:23).