Baba says, ‘you would definitely surrender yourselves to Him in advance. It isn’t that Baba will first make you beautiful and that you will then sacrifice yourselves to Him. There has to be total sacrifice.’
In the world, it is said: ‘seeing is believing’. Before making an investment, people say: ‘show me the return’. But on this walk with God, I don’t get to see a return before I invest, I have to invest first and then I will receive the return. If I want to work with God, if I am interested in striking a deal with Him, I have to walk by faith, and not by sight.
In fact, that is what faith is. If I could see something before committing to it, then it wouldn’t take faith at all- I already see it. Faith, by its very definition implies that I don’t see what’s on the other side yet but that I am still willing to walk the path. This is very unlike a GPS, for example. With a GPS, when I have to get to a destination that I am not familiar with, I simply punch in the address and the GPS gives me the whole map, with directions on how to get there…even before I start the journey. It even shows me options of different routes I can take. Then, even along the way, it lets me know beforehand that I will need to turn left or right in 2 miles. It also constantly shows me how much longer the journey will take, how many more miles I need to travel, at any given time.
With God, I get none of the above information – not before, not during – the journey. I simply have to start walking the path! When it’s time to turn- not a moment sooner or a moment later- He will let me know. And then, I will have the choice whether to make the turn or not. Maybe I’ve been living in this city, working this job for the last 2 years, I know a lot of people there, am on path to a promotion and suddenly, God says- leave that job and move to this other, smaller town, to take a lower paying job and help out at the center. Do I make that turn? It’s up to me. Sometimes, the opposite will happen- I have been doing this job for a few years now, it’s a behind the scenes kind of job, but I like it and I’m comfortable with it, and all of a sudden, God asks me to step up and do this other job that requires me to be on stage, front and center, doing something I have neither the training or the experience for! Do I make the turn? Its’s up to me. Sometimes, I have been serving in a certain way for a while and I’m longing to serve in a much bigger way, I feel I have so much more to give but my circumstances don’t seem to be changing. Do I still continue to stay the course? It’s up to me.
What choice I make – whether I make the turn, whether I choose to stay the course- depends on my faith– in Who is telling me, and in my aim and objective, that is, in my destination. If I don’t have faith yet, then when that turn comes, I will panic, have questions, doubts: ‘Surely, this could not be God asking me to do this! this makes no sense…’, ‘why is this happening to me? why aren’t things changing? Has God forgotten about me? maybe I’m not worth it…’ etc. But here’s the thing, God doesn’t find it necessary to answer my questions or provide me with an explanation for why He is asking me to do something. He simply expects me to trust Him completely, to only rely on Him, to make Him and only Him my one Strength and one Support. There has to be complete surrender. “You sing: I surrender myself to You. Therefore, you would definitely surrender yourselves to Him in advance. It isn’t that Baba will first make you beautiful and then you will sacrifice yourselves to Him. No, there has to be total sacrifice.”, says Baba.
God also doesn’t change His mind- not because He enjoys giving me a hard time but rather because His choice is the only choice that is right for me. So if He says, let go of that promotion and take a different job, He expects me to do just that because it’s what’s right for me to get me to my destination. Maybe this is a necessary step to build my character, my confidence, my integrity…whatever. Even though I might not understand all the reasons yet, when I follow His direction, I will transform, I will become beautiful in ways I didn’t expect. If, on the other hand, I decide not to take that turn and choose to stay where I am, then soon enough I will find out why mine was a bad choice- things will change, people will change and I will not get the results that I had hoped to get. Then, inevitably I will come back to Baba and say: ‘Baba, I’m sorry, I didn’t see this back then. Can you help me?’ and He will ask me to make the same turn that He told me to before. So I might as well do something right when I’m asked to so I don’t waste time taking wrong turns! Baba says, ‘I don’t ask you to leave your homes and come and live at the center. No, you simply have to follow shrimat while living at home.‘
Sannyasis leave their homes and move to the forest. They distance themselves from the world because they believe it to be vicious. And so while they do have the power of purity, they don’t have the power of yoga, that is, they don’t have a relationship with God. Here, God is my Father, Teacher and Satguru. He sustains me while living at home, He teaches me and guides me in the world. I simply have to trust and follow, that is, I have to become the child. To be the child is complete surrender. When I surrender in this way, then God takes me to heights that I have never even dreamt of, I find myself becoming the person that He always told me I am but that I hadn’t quite seen yet. He is not the Creator of I, the soul. Souls always exist but He does come and transform me, He transforms souls and helps them attain their true destiny.
And so, it takes faith to walk with God. But to even have faith, I first have to have courage. And where there is faith, there is also determination built into it. Where there is courage, faith and determination, I cannot lose; victory is but a garland around my neck!