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Even in misery a wise man sees the smile of heaven

Even in misery a wise man sees the smile of heaven; he receives it as a blessing; while the shortsighted, pleasure seeking man imagines he is going to be deprived of all happiness and wants to run away from it. But it runs after him.

We can never run away from things. Whenever misfortune comes, if we try to turn our back on it, we shall find that it will follow us. There is no escape from it in that way. If, however, we face it, it will disappear; especially if we face it with understanding.

We need a certain amount of courage and firmness to meet the problems of life. The weakling can do nothing. But real strength comes to us, not when we depend on our own brain and muscles or on anything material, but when we depend on God and feel that He is standing by us. That is the vital thing. We may call this Supreme Power God, Truth, or by any name which pleases us, but we must start with that as the foundation of all our effort.

Let us try not to run away from anything. God will give us strength. He never fails us, if we can only remember to call upon Him. The trouble is that when difficulties arise, we forget our spiritual nature, our faith is shaken, our mind becomes clouded and we grow fearful. Therefore we must make it the habit of our life to keep close to the Ideal. That is religion.

From article titled ‘Law of our destiny’ by Swami Paramananda

Source – Vedanta Monthly, The Message of the East – Vol IX – published in 1920