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Renungan
“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I’m about to do today?”


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

God’s Grace – Part 1

A woman was once given a beautiful lantern as first prize in an art competition. The lantern was made of glass with beautiful decorations. She hung it in her drawing room. While enjoying its beauty, she observed that some of the paint on the wall had begun to crumble. She decided to paint the whole wall.

When she had finished painting, she looked at the room and noticed that a window curtain was dirty. She immediately washed it. Then she noticed that the carpet was worn out and the threads were coming loose. So she removed the carpet and replaced it with a new one. Finally, the room looked fresh and new.

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It all began with her hanging the lantern in the room, and led to the room becoming clean and beautiful. Similarly, if you begin to do one good thing in life, many good things will follow in its wake — it will be like a rebirth. God is the repository of all good qualities. If you imbibe just one good quality, you will get closer to God, and soon all other good qualities will follow. This is the only way in which this transformation is possible.

Mediocre students are often given grace marks to help them pass their examinations. Though everyone is eligible, only those who have secured a minimum level can receive them. It calls for effort on the part of the students. Those who don’t bother to study won’t receive that sort of help.

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Similarly, God is constantly showering His grace on us. But if we are to benefit from it, there has to be some effort on our part as well. If our minds don’t have the receptivity needed, then even if God pours His grace upon us, it won’t do us any good. What is the use of complaining about the lack of sunlight, when we ourselves have shut all the doors and windows of our room? The light of the sun is everywhere; we need only open the doors and we will experience it.

Similarly, God is constantly bestowing His grace upon us, but we have to open the doors of our hearts to receive that grace. This means that before we can receive God’s grace, we first need to receive the grace of our own minds. God is infinitely compassionate; it is our own mind that lacks compassion towards us. This is why we do not experience God’s grace.

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If a person extends his hand towards us with a gift, and we adopt an egoistic pose, he will think, “That person has such a big ego; I don’t think I’ll give this to him after all. I’d rather give it to someone else.” And with that the giver withdraws his hand.

The person who didn’t get the gift simply wasn’t receiving the grace of his own self. His egoism cost him that gift. And so it is that the grace, which we already should have received, continues to elude us because our mind is not willing to be humble enough to receive it.

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On certain occasions, our intellect tells us to do something. But our feeling doesn’t agree. The intellect says, “Be humble,” while the feeling says, “No! If I’m humble, it won’t work. I’m not going to be humble towards these people,” The result is that we lose much of what we could have gained; something positive that could have happened, doesn’t take place.

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