Dear Friend,

This past August we had a very uplifting Spiritual Renewal Week. Nayaswami Jyotish and Nayaswami Devi spoke on the subject, “How to be Happy All the Time.” Devi started her talk with a quote from Master: “Life is a struggle for joy every step of the way. May I fight to win that battle on the very spot where I now stand.”

I’ve been struggling with a challenge for a few years now. It’s interesting that I have come to a similar conclusion on how to fight this battle. I’ve been looking at any challenging feeling I might have and trying to find the bliss at the center of these feelings. I can’t do it all the time yet, but I feel it is a good start. Instead of getting too caught up in the emotions of the moment, I try to give my life more completely to Master, and give to others in any way that I can.

Later on in her talk Devi stated: “Think about others, no matter what’s going on. I remember a story that Mother Teresa of Calcutta told. There was a terrible famine in the state of Bengal, and hundreds of thousands of people were starving. Mother Teresa’s nuns were able to bring food, and people would come and receive a little packet of rice. They gave a packet to one woman who had many children who were starving, and she immediately divided it in half. She gave half to her neighbor whose children were also starving.

“What is the power of that act? Even when it seems you yourself don’t have enough to give——be it hope, strength, or courage——there is great power when you can say there is a place in me that is not touched by any of this. You can stand in that peace and happiness. In that we find that joy that nothing can touch——nothing can take away.”

Giving the “first fruits” of our labors to God gives one a special feeling of joy and freedom. If our tithe comes first, we are putting God first in one more aspect of our life. Eventually we will all know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God takes care of our every need, even on a monetary level. But we have to give God the opportunity. Try tithing regularly, experiment with it, find the freedom from worry and level of joy it brings in your own life.

Joy to you!
Dave Bingham
For Ananda’s “Thank You, God” Tithing

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