Lessons from a Man Who Thought He Had Enough Time
Excerpt from Just Love: A Journey into the Heart of God
In life one is always planning, but it is due to greed to satisfy the needs of the outside, not knowing that at any moment everything can change in life. At the click of a finger everything can change.
Like it is said, just like a snake jumps upon a mouse and swallows the mouse, death can come at any time, changes can come at any time, nature can change everything at any time, and yet, human beings constantly plan. And with which attitude do they plan everything? They plan with an attitude of greed and an attitude of, ‘Yes, I am doing that.’ It’s not an attitude of humbleness, it’s not an attitude of, ‘What can I contribute towards changing things?’, ‘What can I give to this world?’ There is not an attitude of that. Most of the time is about ‘I, my and mine’.
You plan and plan and plan, and then from one moment to the next death is knocking at your door. Finished!
Death Doesn’t Send an Invitation
There is this story about a man, who worked throughout his life, and at the end, when he took his pension, he started to count his money. As he was counting, he was so happy that he had one hundred million dollars. But then, he noticed there was somebody behind him. When he looked he saw Death standing there.
He said, ‘Who are you?’ ‘I am Death. I have come for you.’ ‘But I didn’t invite you!’ Death was standing there and said, ‘Well, I’ve come uninvited.’
‘Why have you come for me?’
‘Well, it’s time for you to go.’
The man said,‘How come it’s time for me to go? I was just counting my money and I have a hundred million dollars! I need to enjoy this hundred million now.’
Death said, ‘Well, that’s not my business.’
The man said, ‘Okay, fine. I’ll give you 50 million, just give me one day so that I can enjoy the other 50 million.’
Death said, ‘No, it’s not possible.’
Then he said, ‘Okay, I will give you 75 million. Give me half a day.’
Death said, ‘No, it’s not possible. Time is time.’
Then he said, ‘But, please, there must be something! I’ll give you the whole hundred million, give me one hour.’
Death said, ‘No, it’s not possible.’ Then the man said, ‘Okay.’
Seeing the sincerity of this person, Death said, ‘Okay, fine. I’ll give you a few seconds only.’
So, the man ran quickly to a table, grabbed a pen and wrote on a piece of paper, ‘Don’t wait for the last moment to enjoy life. As long as life is there, make the best out of it. Get to know who you really are. Don’t waste your time on petty things: those things that you think you need in life and then you realise you don’t need them at all.’
Embracing Death as Friend
When it is time to celebrate, celebrate. When it is time to work and make a living, do so. When it is time to play, play. But keep your focus on your goal. The ultimate journey is from the mind to the heart. It is only 30 centimetres but can take lifetimes to achieve.
Whatever you are doing, doing in a mindset of prayer and service. It makes take effort. In fact, it will absolutely take effort. But it’s in the effort that change happens. It’s in the effort that you find meaning and purpose and joy in life.
How do you find meaning and purpose in your life then?
- Find your purpose - when you know your purpose and you live your purpose, death comes much easier at the end. You can go knowing you've lived your best and full life.
- Cultivate your relationship with the Divine - one of the many promises the Lord makes us is that when we focus our lives on our relationship with Him, we have nothing to fear because He will take care of us. Cultivating your relationship with Him could be as simple as a daily japa practice.
- Live your own path and live it with love - no two people will walk the same path to the Divine. But we can all strive to walk that path with more compassion and focus. You can always check our post on 'A Different Way of Living' for guidance on this.
We don’t get to decide when our time is up. We do get to decide what we think about once we get there. Death may arrive unannounced and uninvited.
When he does come, how will you greet him?
The stories and teachings shared in this post and many more are available now with Paramahamsa Vishwananda’s newest book, Just Love: A Journey into the Heart of God.