Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God
How much do we really need? Truth to tell, our basic needs are quite small: some kind of shelter, a few clothes to wear, and enough to eat and drink to keep our bodies going. But how much do we want? – Ah, that’s a different matter altogether! Our wants are virtually endless.
In the Gospel according to St Matthew we read that our first priority should be to seek the Lord – we should not become absorbed in concerns such as what we are going to eat or drink or wear. In fact, we should be unconcerned with all these external things. If we are absorbed in the spiritual world, our other needs will be met.
The Masters assure us that our Father knows what we need and makes provision for it. They remind us that if the Lord has the power to give, then he also has the power to know what to give, and we do not have to remind him. If the Lord is who we think he is, then it follows that he must know everything. And if he can supply all our needs, then our priority should be to “seek the kingdom of God.”
In Light on St Matthew Maharaj Charan Singh says that the human form was not given to us to worry about our petty little worldly wants. He says it has a far better purpose, and that is God-realization. This does not mean that we do not have to pay any attention to our external life. It does not mean, for example, that we should not try to find a job if we need one. It just means that it should not become our main focus.
In this world we have to make a living. We cannot escape the duties of the world. We cannot be fatalists and decide to make no effort at all. We must act, but then we also have to use our intellect to judge just how much effort we are going to put into this external life and how much into the inner life.
Seek ye first the kingdom of God, the Bible tells us. And in all spiritual scripture we are advised to turn away from the world and towards God. What does this mean for us in this day and age? If we examine our lives we will immediately see that most of our waking hours and energy are spent on the external world. So it becomes essential for us to be constantly reminded that we are expending most of our energy on a fairly useless endeavour, because all of what we achieve here in the outer world will crumble into dust.
Just how much of our time do we spend, for example, on eating and dressing? And ultimately we have to work to earn money to satisfy these needs. We have been endowed with intelligence so that we may take care of these needs, but all too often it seems that we have made this the primary reason for our existence. Where will this get us? And if we do manage to accumulate a great deal of worldly wealth, we may become arrogant enough to believe that we can actually own something forever.
We take pride in wealth that we will ultimately leave in our wills to the next custodian. While it is essential to have some money and to earn it honestly, even after all that labour it never really becomes ours. Once again we are reminded in the Gospel according to St Matthew:
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and
rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth
nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Matthew 6: 19–21
We are advised then to seek and build the kind of treasure that can be ours eternally, and this treasure is the kingdom of God. This is our privilege and our reason for taking the human form. This is the only treasure worthy of the soul. Is it worth worrying about anything else at all? Great Master tells us:
Your worries and cares are Master’s worries and cares. Leave them to him to deal with. Having become carefree, your business is to cultivate his love.
If we can hand over all our concerns to the Master, we can become carefree. The only thing left is to nurture our love for him. Mirdad tells us that “we live that we may learn to love, and love that we may learn to live – this is the only lesson required of man”.
Once we have been accepted by a Master and are under his care, we have no reason to worry about anything. He will help us get through life and he will see that we fulfil our divine destiny of returning to our soul’s real home. All that we need to do is love him and serve him and do our meditation. In a letter to Babu Sawan Singh (who would become the Great Master) Baba Jaimal Singh gave this assurance:
You need not worry. One day you will be taken to Sach Khand, after merging in the Dhun. Believe this firmly in your mind. He himself is assisting you in all worldly duties. Everything will be all right. You will get whatever you want. Everything follows Bhajan. Where there is Bhajan everything else will come automatically.