Picture yourself behind the wheel of the fancy convertible sports car of your dreams. You are driving at high speed down the highway, heading home. You are eager to get home and pack your bags so you can take off for your new beach house. You have taken a week off from work to take your family on their dream vacation. Speeding down the open road with the top down, memories of your past come to mind and you reflect upon the journey that brought you to where you are today. You are feeling good about achieving all this success and you get lost in your thoughts, making plans for the future, and so forth.
All of a sudden, you realize you missed the exit you needed to take to get back home. You are now headed in the wrong direction and travelling away from your destination. You understand that the only way to get back on course is to make a U-turn. So, you immediately slow down, pull over to the side of the road, and then cautiously make the turn. Now, you are heading towards home again and to avoid any further delay you tell yourself to stay focused on your goal, so that this time you do not miss the exit.
It would be safe to say that all of us at some point in our lives may have drifted off in the wrong direction. As human beings, we have the tendency to lose focus of our goal. Our mind gets carried away easily, and we become oblivious to the path our life is taking. It is during these times when we need to make a change, to make that U-turn in our life. For some of us this could be a very small change and for others it could be life-altering.
If our direction of travel is not towards Him, but is reversed towards the senses, we are wasting our human form.
Maharaj Charan Singh, Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. I
We assume that worldly success is going to bring us happiness, and in pursuit of that happiness we sometimes go through life blindly, running from day to day as fast as we can, not taking into account of where we have come from, where we are or where we are going. Some may even think that since we have nothing to complain about, that we are, by default, living a happy life. But are we really happy with where we are in life? Are we on the right path and really doing everything we can to reach our destination? The only ones who can answer these questions affirmatively are those who live every day in the will of the Lord with their goal clearly in sight; those whose ambition to please their Master is expressed through their every action.
In many ways, the life we make for ourselves can be compared to building a house. Every day is another building block; every hour is a layer of bricks; and every action is a nail in the life we choose to build. At the end of the day we might want to ask ourselves, has the life we have been building turned out to be what we envisioned?
If change needs to happen then it must begin with us and us alone. God does not change, we do. His love for us has always been the same; it is our love for Him that wavers. The Masters tell us that the Lord’s love and grace is always there, but it is our own weaknesses that prevent us from experiencing it.
It is a source of great comfort to know that with the Lord constantly watching over us, we cannot get sidetracked for long. Our connection to Him is too powerful. The time will come when we will instinctively feel that we are off-track and when we are ready to sum up the courage; to take all the necessary measures to get back on the right path, we can rest assured the Master’s grace and help will be there. All that is needed is a little effort and determination on our part.
We are fortunate to have a perfect living Master in our lives, who is always there as a source of great inspiration. The Saints give us the example of a mother and her child. When a child in distress cries for help and tries to take even a single step towards its mother, the mother drops everything and takes a hundred steps towards her child.
When that day comes for us, when we cry out for help and surrender to Him, when we want to make that U-turn so we can be closer to Him, He will take those one hundred steps towards us, lift us up in his arms and carry us home.