How to give to God what belongs to God

The retreat at the Dargah continues, and the following is part of the work for today.

As man comes from the unmanifested, it is evident that he comes alone, no one with him and with nothing. After coming here he begins to own objects, possessions, properties, even living beings. And the very fact that he came alone, without anything, necessitates his being alone again in the end to enter his destination. But once man has owned things of the earth he does not wish to part with them, and wishes to carry the weight of all he possesses on this journey; these things weigh him down, and naturally make his journey uncomfortable. As nothing and no one really belongs to him, it must all fall away in time and he is [thereby] made lonely against his desire. It is only willing renunciation which can save man from this burden on the path.

It is not necessary that this renunciation should be practiced by indifference to one’s friends. No, one can love one’s friends and serve them, and yet be detached. It is this lesson which Christ taught when he said, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.” He has renounced who gets the things of the world, but gives them to the world; but the one who does not know renunciation gets the things of the world, and holds them for himself. Love is a blessing, but it turns into a curse in attachment; admiration is a blessing, but it turns into a curse when one tries to hold the beauty for oneself.

—Hazrat Inayat Khan

Consider carefully the passage above, paying particular attention to the second paragraph. How do you ‘render unto God the things that are God’s’? Thinking about the theme of our retreat, ‘Regarding the Pleasure and Displeasure of God,’  perhaps this act of giving to God what belongs to Him is the same as regarding his pleasure–but how can you do that in your daily life? With this in mind, look carefully at the patterns of your life, and then through the day consider your thoughts, words and actions to see in what way you might attune yourself to ‘the pleasure’ of God.’

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