Anxiety Keeps us Away from God
The Lord resides in sattwaguna, so we should strive to acquire it. If we want that He may come to us, we should not only do our duty diligently, but perform every act in a spirit of dedication. Be practical, and put in proper effort in worldly matters, but simultaneously see that you pay due attention to God, as much, at least, as you pay to worldly matters. We realize the degree of our dependence on others when we are ill, and it brings home to us the narrow limits of our personal capacities and efficiency.
We would find no cause for worrying about our affairs and condition if we only looked at those whose circumstances are worse than those of our own. One person worries about the recovery of his lendings and deposits, while another is worried about his owings to others, and yet another feels troubled in respect of his children. And the fun is that in all this maelstrom of anxiety, no one worries in the least about the betterment of his real self, his inner self! It is our thoughts of the past and the fear of the future that keep God away from us. Apprehensive about tomorrow, we deprive ourselves of the pleasure that we have today; isn't this really strange? The one unfailing remedy for this is instantly to give up worrying, and to devote the time saved to nama-smarana.
One person once came to me, complaining that his son was a happy-go-lucky chap, absolutely oblivious of all worry or thought about the future. 'How will he fare when he grows older?' he asked. I said, "Your worry is apparently justified; but, if I may ask you, you have yourself worried about things all your life; what have you gained by it beyond physical and mental trouble, and beyond forgetting God? Why do you now ask your son to do the same? I would certainly urge him to do his duty diligently but live happily; but I for one would also urge him not to worry."
How can one say that you are a true believer in God, so long as you worry about your prapancha? He alone can really be free of anxiety who lives in the faith that whatever is, is good and sufficient. He alone can get free from worry who surrenders himself to God's will.
* * * * *