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Near and Dear
What benefit will you derive by being near and dear? If you sit close to a lamp you get light, and with the help of its illumination you are able to do some useful activities at night. If you sit under a fan you get a cool breeze and the heat that was causing you discomfort will be dispelled. During the cold season of the year, if you sit near a fire you will be protected from the cold which may be bothering you then. In each case, one quality is removed and another takes its place.
Similarly, if you are close to the Lord, if you become dear to him, then you will get his love, and soon all the bad qualities in you will vanish away and be replaced by the good qualities that God embodies. Develop your love so that you may get ever nearer and nearer and dearer and dearer to God. The easiest way to get closer to God is to remember him in whatever you see, whatever you say and whatever you do. Think only of God and how to get nearer and dearer to him.
On the path of devotion it is not enough for you to love God but you must also engage in activities which are pleasing to the Lord, so that you can evoke God's love and feel his love for you. There are a number of characteristics that a devotee should possess which will endear him to the Lord. Treat censure or praise, heat or cold, profit or loss, joy or sorrow, honor or dishonor, or any of the other pairs of opposites, with an equal mind. Do not get dejected when you are criticized or elated when you are praised. Do not be overjoyed by profit or come to grief when there is loss. Treat heat and cold with an equal attitude, they can both be a source of joy to you.
During the winter warm clothing will be desirable and being near a source of heat will give you comfort from the cold. But, during the summer you will want thin clothes and you will welcome the cold. Heat gives joy sometimes, cold gives joy at other times; the way you use them determines whether you experience this joy or not. Heat and cold, profit and loss, and, in fact, all the various pairs of opposites and everything else in the world have their usefulness. Everything has been created for a purpose; but you need to use them in a way which is appropriate to your life and your stage of development.