My spirituality is foundational to me and thus I am always looking to nourish it. I am always reading a spiritual text, and right now I’m reading the bible (once I’m done I’m reading the Bhagavad Gita, as I’ve only read pieces of it…and soon I’ll be done with A Course in Miracles (anyone who has read it knows how LONG it is)). I love connecting the dots among the many religions existing in our world today and finding the one common theme among all of them. That common theme is pretty much my guiding principle.
A few days ago during my morning ritual, I was reading the gospel of Matthew when I came across the Parable of the Talents. Wow. Stopped me in my tracks. Here it is so you can read it yourself, Matthew 25:14-30.
14 “‘For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. 16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. 18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.
20 “‘So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, “Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.” 21 His lord said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” 22 He also who had received two talents came and said, “Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.” 23 His lord said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.”
24 “‘Then he who had received the one talent came and said, “Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.”
26 “‘But his lord answered and said to him, “You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.
29 “‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.”
Hold on. The servant who “played it safe” and returned his bosses money intact got punished? For “playing it safe”? For “playing small”? For acting from a place of fear!? I almost jumped up and down. See, I constantly struggle with this. Among other things, it is part of my own spiritual “work” to do. I tend to feel guilty when I choose not to play safe or not to play small. I start thinking “I shouldn’t go after my dreams…I should just be happy with everything I’ve achieved now…What if I fail and I waste what I have? God will be angry that I was unappreciative of what he gave me and that I lost it. The people around me will judge me, believing that I am greedy and a dreamer”. I finally had something, written in one of the oldest spiritual texts, showing me that The Universe, God, that energy greater than us, wants us to play big. It wants us to take what was given to us and multiply it, create more abundance, and not behave from a place of fear. Every time I think that this parable was not about someone who squandered what was given to them, but about someone who played it safe and saved what was given to him so he could return it intact, I am amazed. And hence that question that many believe we will get: “What did you do with what I gave you?”
I hope the above finally liberates you to do something great with whatever has been given to you (it has for me!). It is our responsibility to create more in our lives (wealth, happiness, learning, education, joy, success, achievement). Like the parable, maybe the person to your right was given more than you…and maybe the person to your left was given even more. Yet you were given something. Something to be taken and multiplied, so that you can create more abundance for yourself and those around you. What will you do with what was given to you?
Lots of love,