In this letter I am going to tell you about one of my own tithing stories.
I have been privileged to know Dr. Peter Van Houten for about 30 years. For those of you who don’t live here at Ananda Village, he began a rural clinic about 30 years ago down the road from Ananda. His practice began in a large trailer with a smaller trailer attached. He did this because Swami Kriyananda asked him to. Little did he know then that he would become a truly great rural medical doctor.
Dr. Peter, as he is known to his patients, has met us at the clinic in the middle of the night once when my stepdaughter Bailey had a really bad rash. We met him at the clinic again one night when my wife Barb had kidney stones. As well as my monthly tithe to Ananda Sangha, I also started tithing to the clinic shortly thereafter.
I’ve been involved video projects here at Ananda for about 18 years and have done several training videos for the clinic. They pioneered the “warm hand off,” for which I made a number of videos.
The warm hand off goes something like this: If one of the practitioners feels you would benefit from some guidance of a special type, before you know it you are shaking hands with the in-house therapist. No way to escape or put off making that appointment. The net result though is that more people get the kind of help they need than in a traditional doctors office setting.
Recently, Dr. Peter asked me to do another series of videos presented by a well-known psychiatrist from the University California at Davis Medical Center. I have never charged the clinic for any video production. I had mentioned to a member of the board and a personal friend that I needed to upgrade my video computer some time ago. The magnitude of the new High Definition editing I was doing was really slowing down my computer. I’ve always purchased the cheapest model in the past but I really needed the full blown 8-processor Mac Pro that costs about $3,500.
Dr. Peter had received a grant from our county to sponsor these to enable the local mental health experts to learn the latest news from the experts at UC Davis. Dr. Peter took me aside one day and told me they had built into the budget enough money to by me the new computer. I almost cried.
This kind of thing happens all the time to those who live for God. We live in challenging times. Many have lost their jobs, homes or their entire family. When things get really hard, I am deeply grateful for the training of Swami Kriyananda. All circumstances are neutral. All we can control is our reaction and use our mind to become more centered in God.
Swami has taught us not to identify with our tests. Sometimes this is difficult, and we might get upset or mad for a time due to how “unfair” the test is. This does not matter because every day we have the choice to begin anew as children of God. If you lose your job, you will feel hurt and afraid. How long that lasts is your choice. Why not take any opportunity like this and use the energy released by the test to deepen our relationship with God?
If we get absorbed in self-preoccupation over our troubles for a long period of time, we will loose our magnetism, our ability to attract what we need when we need it.
No matter how hard things get, remember — God first. When you receive your paycheck, remember — God first, and tithe. He will then take charge of your life and you will be protected.
Joy to you!
For Ananda’s Thank You, God Tithing