I am most often hard pressed for time. There are many things to be done and it seems I don’t have much time to accomplish them. The paucity of time is especially felt when I am busy doing things that ought to be done but I seem to have no time for doing things that I’d love to do. Most often I am busy with many pressing things related to the institutional and management needs of the ashram but wonder when I’ll be able to blissfully study the scriptures and prayers of great souls. There seems to be no time for these pursuits. One day as I sat despondent with this worry plaguing my mind, a friend in the ashram shared an important realization that has helped me ever since to deal with the scarcity of time.
God, Krishna, is the Supreme controller of all things of this world, including the element of Time. When we are busy engaged in various duties which are ultimately a service to the Lord, we are pleasing Him by our endeavours. Whatever we do in spiritual life is an offering of love for the pleasure of our beloved God. When God sees that we are busy and have hardly any time to pursue our hobbies, He sees with interest what we do when we get some free time. If we can use that available free time to pursue those activities that really inspires us in our spiritual lives, then the Lord arranges us to get more time to do those activities.
Srila Prabhupada calls it as the ‘best use of the bad bargain’. I may have no free time but whatever little time is available if I can use it to study the scriptures which I profess fascinates me, then the Lord will personally arrange for me to get more time in future to seek this pursuit. When God sees that I am making the best use of a bad bargain, He becomes pleased and considers that I am sincere and may deserve more time, for I am likely to not misuse this time. By my rendering sincere services in the areas allotted to me, and not wasting the other available time, I attract God’s grace upon me.
This reasoning has helped me in two ways. Firstly I have personally seen how this is true; on many occasions just because I was sincere and didn’t waste time, the lord arranged for me at a later date to get ample time to study what I wished to read. What I thought I’d never be able to do because of lack of time, God wonderfully arranged enough time for me to study and write on those subjects. As I consciously worked on not wasting time, I also began to realize that up until now, time is what I had been wanting the most but unfortunately using the worst. Now with the understanding of God’s intervention I was inspired to make the best use of the available time.
Secondly I realized this awareness of the sacred aspect of time- it being controlled by God-has taken the steam off the work deadlines I face. When I am stressed due to pressing work, I am now able to see God’s benevolent hand in my life. This makes me realize I am not the controller of my life. This also soothes my heart and helps me offer more than hundred percent on the task at hand.