There is a story about two shoe salesmen who are sent by their companies to explore the possibilities for sales in a Third-World country. They arrive at the same time, check out the scene, and then both head for the telegraph office to report back.
The first one wires: “Everyone barefoot here. No market. Returning immediately.”
The second one writes, “No one has shoes here. Tremendous opportunities. Send large shipment immediately.” He saw the possibilities.
When Paramhansa Yogananda arrived in America in 1920, he hadn’t a friend in the world and only five hundred dollars to his name. Yet he began his mission to spiritualize the West with courage and confidence. While living in a small room in the Boston YMCA, he told his first disciple, Dr. Lewis, “It’s going to be big, Doctor. BIG, I tell you.” And big it did become. Master saw the possibilities, and put out the energy to make it happen.
When Swami Kriyananda started Ananda Village in 1969, he had a handful of loyal students and only the little amount of money he earned from teaching hatha yoga and meditation classes. Yet nearly fifty years later, Ananda has reached millions of people with a model of a new way of life rooted in God. Swamiji saw the possibilities, and put out the energy to make it happen.
When we look at the challenges we face in our life or in the world at large, it’s easy to feel discouraged, or perhaps even hopeless. The secret to navigating rough water, however, is to be aware of the rocks in your path, but look for where the currents are flowing freely. Where others see only obstacles, train yourself to see opportunities.
Be conscious of what doors are opening for you, who is appearing to show you a new direction, and what effort it will take on your part to break through any obstacles. As our spiritual leaders have demonstrated for us, look for possibilities, and believe in the power of the divine to help you through.
Most important of all, meditate regularly to feel the flow of endless possibilities guiding you forward. In 1933 in the midst of the Great Depression in America, Paramhansa Yogananda gave his followers this daily meditation: “I am the mighty flood of peace which sweeps away all embankments of human worries.”
So whatever tests come your way, ask God to show you how to use your own potential to overcome all obstacles. See the possibilities in every situation, until you know from your own experience that behind every cloud of gloom, God’s light is always shining to show us new opportunities.
With blessings of light,