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Let Us Remember the Reason We Celebrate the Season of the Lights



The “Season of the Lights” is upon us. Let us not forget the reason for the season by going beyond the materialism that shouts so loudly at us during this time of the year. The season helps us stay connected with the current of life that is more powerful, and more real, than anything else. That current is the light that lights up every man and woman that comes into the world.


In the Hanukkah story there was only one day's worth of oil to keep the Menorah burning, but it stayed lit for a total of eight days. There is a light within us that can never be hurt, harmed, or endangered. It is an eternal gift from the presence of God. Our mission is to wake up to this truth. The following story illustrates this.


There was once a middle-aged businessman who had achieved great prosperity. It wasn't prosperity of the heart, but strictly material prosperity. The more he got the more ruthless he became in his business dealings, and the less joy he experienced. The man saw people around him who were happy and joyous, even though they did not have as much as he had. He was puzzled by these people who were in such happiness. They enjoyed their families, their work, and giving to the community. This gnawed at him.


So he approached a monk and said to him, "I want to catch the joy these people have. I want you to teach me your yoga so I can connect with joy as these people do." The Monk said, "It's too late for you." The businessman, stunned, replied, "What do you mean it's too late for me?" The Monk went on to explain, "It's too late for you because I can see by your aura you're going to be dead in ten days, so go and do what you have been doing to be happy. I can't teach you in ten days."


Not wanting to accept this, the businessman said, “But aren’t you the guy that says, ‘With God all things are possible?’”. And the Monk said to him, "Yeah, but you're going to be gone in 10 days, so I can't waste my time with you. But I will make a deal with you, and if you are alive after ten days, which I doubt you will be, I will give you the teachings.”


The businessman went back home, sad and downtrodden. As he was sitting at his desk, his accountant came in and asked, "Do you want me to collect on these outstanding loans? There is one man who owes you a lot of money. Do you want me to get the money?” He said, "No." After all, he knew he wasn't going to be alive in 10 days. So, he told his accountant to tell the man who owed him money to pay him back whenever he could. The accountant was shocked because this man had never acted like this before.


Then the man with only ten days to live said to his accountant, "As a matter of fact, get my brother on the phone. We haven't spoken in 10 years. I've been upset with him and cut myself off from him. Tell him I want to see him." The accountant made the call, and the businessman's brother immediately came over, and they hugged and embraced. He then said to his brother, "I apologize that we separated that way. I love you and forgive everything that happened in the past. Let's be friends." His brother was shocked because he had never witnessed him act this way at any time in his life.


The businessman then started setting up special accounts for children to go to school. He gave away money to charities and good causes in the community. The people in the community were shocked by the businessman’s generosity. They were stunned when he began to stop and talk to the people, expressing loving-kindness toward them, and being present with them. Soon word got out that since this man had gone to see the Monk, something had happened to him.


Finally the 10th day came, and the businessman nervously started looking at his watch. He was sure the grim reaper was coming any moment to take his life, because the Monk had never been wrong. But he eventually fell asleep from nervous exhaustion. The next day he awoke, and he was still alive.


The businessman then ran up the hill to the Monk and said to him, "You told me that if I were alive after ten days, you would teach me your yoga and how to connect with the Spirit of the Living God." To which the Monk replied, "I already have. I have given you the essence of my teaching. Live deliberately for the Spirit, and your life will be the expression of God's presence and true abundance."


Peace and Blessings,

James


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