“I shall not pray to God for you
for what I think you would
like to have, or ought to have,
of gain or grace or good;
or even for your current dream,
lest time should prove we both had begged
for you a bitter fruit …
only remember you with love
without the least request;
and God, who loves you more than I,
will do for you what’s best.
Ruth Van Gorder”
“The Real Work
There is one thing in this world that you must never forget to do. If you forget everything else and not this, there’s nothing to
worry about; but if you remember everything else and forget this, then you will have done nothing in your life.
It’s as if a king has sent you to some country to do a task, and you perform a hundred other services, but not the one he sent you to do. So human beings come to this world to do particular work. That work is the purpose, and each is specific to the person. If you don’t do it, it’s as though a priceless Indian sword were used to slice rotten meat. It’s a golden bowl being used to cook turnips, when one filing from the bowl could buy a hundred suitable pots. It’s a knife of the finest tempering nailed into a wall to hang things on.
You say, “But look, I’m using the dagger. It’s not lying idle.” Do you hear how ludicrous that sounds? For a penny, an iron nail could be bought to serve the purpose. You say, “But I spend my energies on lofty enterprises. I study jurisprudence and philosophy and logic and astronomy and medicine and all the rest.”
But consider why you do those things. They are all branches of yourself.
Remember the deep root of your being, the presence of your lord. Give your life to the one who already owns your breath and your moments. If you don’t, you will be exactly like the man who takes a precious dagger and hammers it into his kitchen wall for a peg to hold his dipper gourd. You’ll be wasting valuable keenness and foolishly ignoring your dignity and your purpose.”
“We pray to obey God, not to “play God”. We pray, not to change God’s mind, but to change our own; not to command God, but to let God command us. We pray to “let God be God”. Prayer is our obedience to God even when it asks God for things, for God has commanded us to ask.”
“When we pray, we are not trying to reach God with our prayers. What are
we trying to achieve? We are trying to realize that we are emanating from
God and therefore we are partaking in all the qualities of God…If a wave
were praying, it wouldn’t try to reach the ocean; the wave would try to
realize that it is inseparable from the ocean. That is a tremendous difference
which helps us gain a more perfect understanding of the principle of God
and man. We don’t really have a relationship to God or with God, we have an at-one-ment with God.”
“This is the first, and wildest thing I know, that the soul exists, and that it is built entirely out of attentiveness.”
“May you have the commitment to know what has hurt you, to allow it to come close to you, and in the end, to become one with you.”