If you forget everything else and not this, there's nothing to
worry about; but if you remember everything else and forget this, then
you will have done nothing in your life.
It's as if a king has sent you to some country to do a task, and you
perform a hundred other services, but not the one he sent you to do.
So human beings come to this world to do particular work. That work
is the purpose, and each is specific to the person. If you don't do
it, it's as though a priceless Indian sword were used to slice rotten
meat. It's a golden bowl being used to cook turnips, when one filing
from the bowl could buy a hundred suitable pots. It's a knife of the
finest tempering nailed into a wall to hang things on.
You say, "But look, I'm using the dagger. It's not lying idle." Do
you hear how ludicrous that sounds? For a penny, an iron nail could be
bought to serve the purpose. You say, "But I spend my energies on
lofty enterprises. I study jurisprudence and philosophy and logic and
astronomy and medicine and all the rest."
But consider why you do those things. They are all branches of
Remember the deep root of your being, the presence of your lord.
Give your life to the one who already owns your breath and your
moments. If you don't, you will be exactly like the man who takes a
precious dagger and hammers it into his kitchen wall for a peg to hold
his dipper gourd. You'll be wasting valuable keenness and foolishly
ignoring your dignity and your purpose.
From The Teachings of Rumi edited by Andrew Harvey