The river of time waits for nobodyA little boy was playing with his toys. Near him, there was a huge clock. The boy was playing and playing quite happily. All of a sudden he heard the clock striking —- 1,2,3 and so on. Although it was only ten o'clock, the little boy counted up to fifteen times that the clock struck.
So he went rushing to his mother and said, "It is too late, too late for my lunch! Give me my food, give me my food!"
His mother assured him, "No, it is not yet time."
"But I heard the clock go 1,2,3,4,5…then 11,12,13,14,15," said the little boy. So that means it is already three o'clock! What are you doing? You have to give me food!"
"What is this?" said the mother.
Meanwhile, the father also happened to be present. Something was happening inside the father while his son was speaking. He said, "God is speaking through my child. He is warning me that it is too late for me to pray to God. I must start praying to God."
Then the father looked at his wife. She was also getting the same feeling that it was too late to pray to God. So they gave their son a most delicious meal and said to him, "You have awakened us. It is too late, too late."
One theory is that whenever we start praying to God is the right time. The other theory is that it is already too late, too late for us to realise God. We have to pray and meditate as soon as possible.
In this story, a little child awakens his parents. There is a very similar Indian story. It concerns an old man who was very, very rich. He had spent his entire life engaged in earthly activities. One evening he heard some children playing in the street. Then one mother came and called for her child to come home. She used the words, "bela chale jai" —- time is passing by. As soon as he heard those words, something within the man said, "O my God! That message is for me. My time is passing by. I have wasted so much time."
All those years, he did not pay any attention to the words "bela chale jai". Everybody uses that phrase. But on that particular day, when the mother called her child to come home, it struck a chord within the rich man. He renounced his earthly possessions and entered into the forest to pray to God and meditate on God.
So we have to feel at every moment that time is passing by. The river of time waits for nobody. We have to throw ourselves into that river and swim across it to arrive at the Destination.
There are those who follow the theory that it is always the right time. Any time you get up is the right time for you to meditate. That theory is excellent in its own way. The other theory is to have the feeling, "I am getting up at six o'clock, but even six o'clock is too late. I should have woken up at five o'clock. Then I could have done a longer, more beautiful and more fruitful meditation." That theory is also excellent. If you get up at six o'clock on a regular basis, then you may feel that you have the capacity to get up at five o'clock to pray and meditate.
You feel that God will be more pleased with you because you will be able to meditate for a longer time, provided you do it with utmost sincerity. Whichever theory you follow, the most important thing is always to give importance to time. Never think, "Oh, there is plenty of time, plenty of time." No, you have to feel there is no time, no time! If you can truly feel that the river of time waits for nobody, then that very feeling will keep you more alert, more eager, more dynamic and more energetic to do the right thing.