Extract from The Four O’Clock Talks - Discussions with John Martin Sahajananda (Brother Martin)

Thirsting for God

‘As I listen to you I am aware that the last year or two, it is as though I have lost God. I am craving for God. Where is this living water?’

                The story of the Samaritan woman and Christ is a very beautiful story. This story is an invitation to move from the external relationship with God to the inner relationship with God. The Samaritan woman would go to the well of Jacob to get her water. This well is a symbol of our external relationship with God; we need to go back again and again to get this water. Christ said, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring or water welling up to eternal life’ (John 4:13-14). Christ presents an invitation.

                Interestingly, the Samaritan woman had five husbands. Even the man she was with at the time she met Christ, appears to be someone she had not fully accepted. She is the symbol of the human soul that has tried different things. She has not found her man, if you like. It can also be like this in our own life: we try in different ways, maybe through different spiritual practices to gain fulfilment from outside, but we cannot find fulfilment. Christ was saying, ‘As long as you are trying to get fulfilment from outside you will not find it, you will never have fulfilment in your life. The only thing is you have to find the living water within you.’

                To find this living water, the first thing is that we have to be 100% sure that the external water is not going to quench our thirst. We have to be clear about it, and then we need to start digging within ourselves. Of course, when we are digging, we don’t immediately strike water. Sometimes there is sand, mud, or stone, sometimes you come across rocks that you feel you can’t get over; sometimes you even doubt that there is any water. ‘Am I wasting my energy and my time? “It is a very difficult path, but Christ tells us that there is water; there is this living source within. Trust and start digging.

                Focusing on ourselves in prayer and meditation is not a waste of time. It is like digging the well. The kingdom of God is within us. At the beginning, we have to go through this process of self-emptying, of purification, but once we discover the water is within then all our actions can come from that source. Don’t be discouraged if at the first strike there is no water. We have to go through that type of pain and suffering in our spiritual journey. We need to trust in that process of digging for the living water, and the second thing we need to do is surrender. Surrender, not in the sense of forcing ourselves, but like a farmer. The farmer prepares the ground, removes the weeds, does all she can but she cannot make the rain come. She has to wait, and that waiting is very important. ‘I have done whatever I can, I have this deep longing for God, but now I leave it to God’. Let it happen when God chooses, at God’s time, not my time. It is painful but it is the only thing we can do, to relax all our efforts completely, that is to surrender ourselves.

Taken from:

The Four O’Clock Talks

 – Discussions with John Martin Sahajananda  - Page 192 -  Compiled by Carrie Lock


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