There is one thing in this world you must never forget to do.
If you forget everything else and not this, there is nothing to worry about,
but if you remember everything else and forget this,
then you will have done nothing in your life.
It is as if a king has sent you to some country to do a task, and you perform a hundred
other services, but not the one he sent you to do. So human beings come to this world
to do particular work. That work is the purpose, and each is specific to the person.
If you don't do it, it's as though a knife of the finest tempering were nailed into a wall to
hang things on. For a penny an iron nail could be bought to serve for that.
Rememember the deep root of your being, the presence of your lord.
Give your life to the one who already owns your breath and your moments. If you don't,
you will be like the one who takes a precious dagger and hammers it into his kitchen wall
for a peg to hold his dipper goard. You will be wasting keeness and foolishly ignoring your
dignity and your purpose. From A YEAR WITH RUMI:Daily Readings by Coleman Barks
When I read this I immediately thought of the unique gifts and talents within each one of us. These are the gifts and talents that are so often overlooked, ignored by ourselves and others for various reasons. Perhaps the busyness of life or practical day-to-day living divert us from looking deep within ourselves and listening to our lives for clues as to what our true purposes might be.
For myself, I have missed out on nurturing important gifts because I listened to the voices of others instead of my own inner voice. Respecting the advice and wishes of others over my own has robbed me for years of pursuing the things that brought me the most joy and made me feel most alive.
As I reflect on this writing, I am reminded too, of the fact that LOVE is the key to living out these purposes. Without LOVE for ourselves and others we will not discover these gifts. Thomas Merton says, “To say that I am made in the image of God is to say that love is the reason for my existence, for God is love. Love is my true identity. Selflessness is my true self. Love is my true character. Love is my name.”
May our eyes be opened to seek this love and discover what gifts and talents have been placed within us. May we nurture and tend them as a beautiful garden with a fragrance all its own. May we share freely what has been given to us with generous and gracious spirits. May this be our quest to fulfill the true purposes of our lives as best we can for I believe this truly is a sacred act.