Several years ago I began to pray sincerely about the issue of tithing.
To give a tenth of my montly income would mean I could not meet my basic bills, so I came up with a solution.
I began with a percentage I could sensibly manage, and every year I joyfully increase that percentage by a sustainable increment.
My “Day of Increase” has become a special occasion which I celebrate with Divine Mother.
I offer flowers, sing, and give thanks to Her strength and the wisdom of making small, sustainable steps.
Blessings to you,
June 24, 2009
We have so much to be thankful for. We are living in a golden time, rich with Master’s grace and blessings—a time when we can really make great gains in our quest for God.
We all know the state of the economy. It’s not always easy to give with the obligation of our current financial responsibilities. Give anyway. God knows your heart. When you open your heart and give when life is hard, God will come and fill your heart. I know this is true.
Some years ago, someone asked Swami Kriyananda the question, “When life starts getting very hard in the world, even to the point that all that we know and love starts crumbling, what should we do?” “We need to learn to love heroically,” he replied.
When we are being tested it is often difficult to see a clear path to a solution. A good guideline to follow is to find some way to act expansively when facing difficulties. This is not easy to do. It takes courage, faith and a real sense of adventure. If we contract or close our hearts, we will only hurt more because we have cut off the source of grace into our lives.
As I have heard Swami Kriyananda say, “When you close your heart, you hurt twice. You have the initial pain, and then the reaction to that pain.” The pain from our reaction can turn to anger and resentment and can last as long or short a time as we wish. God has given us free will to choose.
So what to do when finances are difficult? Act expansively: serve and tithe. Give of yourself so you can forget yourself. When you act expansively during a crisis, God will be able to change you through your open heart. You will come to know that God is with you and you will gradually begin to lose the fear associated with any crisis. Remember the words of Lord Krishna, “Even a little practice of this inward religion will free one from dire fears and colossal sufferings.”
“The reason most people don’t make progress as they want to,” Paramhansa Yogananda said, “is because they lack a sense of spiritual adventuresomeness.” As humans, we crave entertainment and adventure. God wants us to enjoy ourselves.
No outward directed adventurous activity can bring anyone lasting happiness or real security. Certainly, none of them are a “sure thing.” Two of the “sure things” in this world are God and the fact that this life will end. Then you will carry forth the tendencies you have developed in this life into the next. If you think primarily of others, the joy of giving and serving will follow you into another life. It’s better to try to be free in this lifetime. Swami has charged us all with the goal of becoming jivan muktas in the lifetime, meaning freed while living.
We have been drawn into a golden lifetime. We have the free will to support what is important to us. Time is short. Let’s turn our spirit of adventure to supporting this work in any way we can so that it flourishes and serves mankind into the next millennium.