Baba says, ‘Maya causes you a lot of worry. The only worry you should have is to remember just the One.‘
As I go through life, there are so many things I can worry about and if I don’t pay attention, pretty soon, worry is all I have. Many times, I think: ‘I can’t help it!’. That’s true if I don’t know God because then, there is indeed a lot to worry about. But if I do know God, then it’s just the opposite. He says, ‘give me all your burdens and become light‘. But I need to do this the right way.
Often times I think of God when the going gets tough and then go to Him and say: ‘Baba, I need Your help with this problem’ and then proceed to give Him instructions on what I think needs to happen. If that wasn’t enough I also remind Him: ‘Baba, You said that You will take all my burdens, so I am giving you this burden’. Well, it doesn’t quite work that way and chances are that I feel heavier than I did before I went to God. If I want Baba to take my burden, it is a three step process that Brahma Baba demonstrated through his practical life.
The first step is surrender. God wants me to surrender my will to Him. I can’t just go to God and say, ‘take these problems from me’. God is not a dump for my problems! To surrender means to offer myself to God, to become His instrument. It means that I begin to walk in concert with Him, do things the way He does, look at things from His perspective, come into relationship with Him. When I offer myself to Him in this way, I become His responsibility. Then, I have the right to go to Him with anything I need. In fact, then I won’t need to ask, He’s already taking care of me. He is already removing obstacles from my path and if a situation has come, it’s only because He has allowed it. The situation has something I need and He is going to help me find it, learn it and move forward. So yes, there will still be burdens- situations I have to pass through, but because He is with me, I am no longer carrying the weight of it. He is.
He says, ‘Remember Me alone, this is the only worry you should have‘. Let me seek Him, not the resolution to my problems. If I focus on building my relationship, my closeness with God, I will experience His companionship, I will experience Him lifting off all the weight of the problems and responsibilities. A crucifix will feel like a thorn, mountains will feel like cotton wool, this is His promise.
And surrender is not a one time thing, it is something I do daily. The second step after surrender is to learn about Him. While surrender is an act, learning is a life-long process. Let me learn Who He is by spending time with Him, let me learn of His love, His forgiveness, how He disciplines me lovingly. Let me learn first hand that He never condemns me, in fact, He has come to liberate me. God doesn’t take my burden without taking me first – He is in the business of remaking me, molding me, transforming my life. In thus taking me, He automatically takes away worry and problems which are simply creations of a weak mind.
Thirdly, I must also trust Him. Many times, even though I think I have surrendered to Baba, I call Him my Father and Friend and I know intellectually that He is working in my life, I still worry anyway. I wonder: ‘I hope He heard me this morning in Amritvela, I hope He’ll do something for me!’. If I say I trust God but I’m worried all the time, then the truth is that I want to trust God, I’m trying to trust God but not actually trusting Him. Trusting God is a decision, not a feeling I wait to have. I’m going to trust someone at any given time – if not God, it will be myself, my employer, the government, a bank account, a friend…someone. I offer my problem to God and then also go to someone else to ask their help because deep inside, I’m not sure if God will come through for me. I try to have a back-up plan! When I learn to place my trust in Him, I relax and enter into His rest and comfort. I feel confident that He will use the right people at the right time and take care of things. If He needs me to do something, He will let me know but I won’t catch it if I am constantly worrying. I am the Comforter of Hearts, He tells me, I come to remove all your tiredness.
Just as when a physical heart is unhealthy, it affects every part of my body, similarly, when my spiritual heart is unhealthy, it affects every other area of my life. Worry does not help me in any way at all, it only causes me immense harm by shutting down all my mental resources and making it hard to think straight, or even to hear God. As a child of God, I have a right to calm down, and not have to figure out everything in my life. And when I reflect back upon my life, I see all the times that God took care of things much better than I could ever have. He did it for me then, He will do it for me again.
Let me offer myself, humble myself to God, that is, let me not even begin to think that I can solve my problems all on my own because I can’t. Either I or God will take care of the problems, but not both at the same time. It’s my choice. If I decide to allow God to take the reins, I don’t need to make suggestions or give God advice on how He should do it or when He should do it. He is Trikaldarshi, the Knower of my past, present and my future and therefore is best positioned to take care of things and at just the right time. ‘When you belong to Me, I will sustain you‘, this is His guarantee. He will never allow me to slip, fall or fail.
‘What if the burden is the guilt of something terrible I did in the past?’ I can still take it to Him! In fact, He longs for me to come to Him with my burden. I simply have to surrender my heart to Him and trust Him. He loves me dearly, no matter what my past holds. Let me dare to trust Him with all my heart. He will then take the burden away – the weight is gone, the guilt is gone, past is gone, it’s a brand new beginning! I am not meant to live a life of worry and stress at any time, especially not at this auspicious confluence age when my Father is here and is offering to take away all the burdens. Do I dare to surrender and trust? or will I continue bearing the weight? The choice is mine.