Yesterday was an interesting day. The morning at work began fine, outwardly, but my heart and mind were not in the right place. This showed up in a lack of kindness to some of my co-workers.

In the afternoon, this lack of harmony, as if reflecting itself in the world around me, began to express itself: we found out that a key component of the Clarity Magazine site had broken.

While I was trying to fix this, I accidentally took down our network-wide backup, which supports perhaps 60 people or more and is one of the most important things that our IT department works on. (Peter’s classic comment: “Well, I was looking for something to do!”)

Later, another bug came up, this time on Fixing it was like something between talking to a blank wall and banging my head on my desk.

Okay, all that sounds… unfortunate. Parts of it I found funny at the time, and other parts I didn’t. Poetically, I imagined above my head, floating just under the ceiling, a light grey cloud.

After spending over an hour on this last problem, continually making small changes, testing, tweaking, and checking, it went away.

In the website troubleshooting world, you want to know why something was fixed, and I frantically tried different things, attempting to backtrack. It wasn’t possible. It was all okay, and the bug was gone, I just clearly had no control over it.

Okay. Finally, it was time to breathe — something I should have been doing more of all along!

In that moment of relaxation (the calm after the storm), I decided that my Guru and God had fixed the problem. I imagined God looking at me and saying, “You do not decide the outcome of what you do; I haven’t given humanity that choice.”

A nice idea, I reflected. We don’t choose the result of our actions.

This is surely true in finance — can we prevent an unexpected disease, fire, or relative needing money? — in relationships, where people can and do act whatever way they wish; and even in ourselves. It’s common for people (including myself) to have difficulty controlling even their emotions.

All we can really control, the famous Indian saint, Anandamoyee Ma said, is whether we think of God or not. (!!) And Swami Kriyananda, who has quoted this often, has also pointed out that when we think of God, everything goes well, and when we don’t, things fall apart.

Yesterday was humbling. But, well, Lord, You are the Doer. Maybe the best we can hope for, when tests come, is to be awake and ready enough to change. So the question is…

Are we ready to change?

A Place Called Ananda

A blog by disciples of Paramhansa Yogananda