Sunday, May 3, 2015

Becoming Divinely Inspired

Becoming Divinely Inspired

I don’t have to see someone building a house to know that the house had a builder. I don’t have to know anything about a cell phone to know that it was designed and manufactured by someone or a company employing many. I therefore did not need to see this magnificent universe set up with infinite numbers of atoms, each one its own solar system with electrons circling a nucleus in perfect balance just as the planets circle around an infinite number of stars, to know that a very Wise and All-Powerful Force must have been responsible for creating such a wonderful piece of machinery. The intricate parts from the tiniest electrons to the largest galaxies all set in perfect balance prove the existence of a Superior Intelligence. We learn in school how the kinetic energy of a moving object must be in perfect balance with the gravitational force of a larger object to stay in orbit around it. Scientist have been able to keep satellites in orbit for years by making exacting calculations, but God puts larger satellites into orbit with such exacting standards that they remain for eternity. No one knows how long the Earth has completed its annual orbit around the Sun. Evidence has shown that there has been life on Earth for millions of years before mankind inhabited this planet. Gradually we have become aware of other stars and other planets, but this tiny electron circling the nucleus of the Sun is the only home we have known. This little speck of dust is where every great civilization has developed and grown. The evolution of politics and the advancement of humanity has all taken place on this negligible planet as it whirls and spins around a medium sized star. Thus creation becomes the ultimate proof of a Creator.

Many refer to this Creator as God. The God of creation goes by many names and cannot be confined to one. Among all of creation, we, the microscopic insects crawling around on a minuscular electron, have been endowed with a peculiar ability to know and worship God. Yet how much can we know? We are like little dots of paint on the canvas of creation trying to understand the painter who put us there. The Artist, knowing our dilemma, made a way for us to know him. He sent humans that looked just like us to represent Himself to us. These special Manifestations of Himself were endowed with proofs and signs so that none could mistaken them.

Yet, our Heavenly Father also had a desire to be loved. He could have made us to be adoring creatures that would be programmed to bow down and worship Him, but what kind of love would that be? To truly love we must have free will and choices. So God created us with the ability to choose between good and evil and He created a whole universe of distractions to give us other things that we can choose to love.

This much seems clear to me, although as a fallible human I may be wrong. Going beyond this, my understanding of God can only be made by illusions to things that are known. The Manifestations of God become the only source that can make sense of God’s purpose for us. If God is All-Powerful, why does He allow such suffering to happen among his creation? Although it is true that this suffering is the result of disobedience to Him, still His faithful servants and even His Manifestations suffer greatly because of this disobedience. Yet this suffering has become one of the greatest proofs of the true lover. It is easy to say we love when everything is going our way, but what do we do when we face adversity? When we examine the lives of the Personages that God sent to enlighten us we can easily see that there only motivation was the Love of God. No one with ulterior motives would have endured what they did if not for the compelling force of fulfilling the mission God had sent them to accomplish. Moses spent forty years wandering in the desert with a tribe of ungrateful adherents. Jesus was crucified by the religious leaders He had come to enlighten. Mohammad was persecuted for spreading new teachings that went against the status quo of an idolatrous people. The Báb was martyred before a regiment of 750 soldiers after being sentenced as a enemy of Islam. Bahá'u'lláh was born into an influential and wealthy family, but spent His live in prison and without possessions so that He could spread the Message that He was compelled to deliver to Mankind.

3500 years after a stuttering Man went to Pharaoh and asked him to let God’s people go, He is still revered by His followers today. 2000 years after Christ was crucified, kings and leaders in the world bear allegiance to him. 1300 years after Mohammad united the wandering tribes of Arabia, great nations base their laws on His teachings. One hundred and fifty years after God sent the Twin Manifestations we are beginning to see the building of a world system unprecedented in previous dispensations. None of these Prophets that were destined to make such profound changes to the future of their societies were recognized by the masses in their days. They managed to equip a handful of followers with such knowledge that would gradually spread until it changed the society it was planted in. In this way the messages of God were spread throughout the world. At first only the purest of heart could see the evident glory of the Teachings of God, but gradually the world was forced to bow down and recognize the authority of the Creator. Prideful and powerful leaders were brought down as humble servants armed with Truth conquered the world. What Power but the Power of God could cause such occurrences? Yet the believers believe and the deniers will deny the authority of the God who holds their lives in His grasp.

The pure religion of God is the most Powerful influence in the world. Even when watered down it can become a very powerful weapon. The greedy and the warlords have recognized this and have used this powerful tool to accomplish selfish acts. Religion is used as a tool for salesmen, religious and political leaders, and nations to accomplish their personal goals, and as a result, the pure religion on God becomes corrupted. That which was designed to gather and unify is used as an instrument to disperse and alienate. As a result religion gradually loses its hold and evil prevails. Then, when the Earth enters the coldest time of unbelief, God sends a New Messenger with a New Springtime Message that will renew our spiritual lives. All that was dead will live again. New buds will appear in trees that have appeared to be dead through the winter months. Bulbs that were frozen in a snow covered earth suddenly spring forth and bring beauty as they blossom in the Spring. During the religious springtime, the wrath of winter is still evident, but the early flowers often bloom before the last evidence of snow is vanquished.

With Spring hope is renewed as new life abounds. At first it is subtle and only the most observant see its evidence, but it is not long before the birds are singing praises in the trees of knowledge and wisdom.

In this Spiritual Springtime I have become as this little bird that is proclaiming the glad tidings. I may be an irritant to the materialist who made profits during the winter and want to deny the coming of spring, yet I am teaching about the warmness to come and the lack of a need to bury ourselves in material wealth. We can shed those winter garments that weighed us down so heavily and enjoy a new spirituality that goes beyond material need. This becomes a time of plenty and the generosity of the wealthy will make sure that the poor do not do without. The tiny plants are nurtured so they will grow and blossom. Fields are cultivated to bring us the new food for this new year. The freshness of the fruit is a thing that was forgotten over the winter months, but we taste the deliciousness of all that is new.

The Fruit of the spiritual springtime is the renewed Word of God. It is sweet, delicious and free to all. It won’t be long before capitalist will package it and try to sell it, but always know that the undistorted version will always be free. God does not deny any of His servants the blessings of this fruit. Rich or poor, we enjoy equally in this heavenly bounty. It is up to us how much we take and what advantage it gives us. The supply is endless and it grows each time it is given away. In fact it is made to give away. The more we give the more we have. Yet humility is required. If we try to hang on to this wonderful Word of God and deny it to others thinking we will have an advantage over our neighbor, we soon lose it all. The only way we can keep this wonderful blessing is to give it freely to all we meet. Although it may seem at first that we don’t have much to give, we will find each time we give it we will have more than we did before.

Materialistic and Spiritual values become as opposites. When we give away material things they are gone and we must earn more or depend on the generosity of others if we want them replenished. If we try to hang on to them they will only give us temporary benefits. Material things are destined to be lost. They are misplaced or stolen. They deteriorate with time and become useless. The hoarder becomes buried in material things and materialism restricts his freedom. In this way the material world becomes a lesson for the spiritual and we find it is a blessing to be able to give.

With the spiritual it does not matter how little or how much we have. It cannot be lost or stolen. When we give it away we end up with more. It is only when we refuse to give it that it ceases to be a benefit to us. Spiritual hoarders will lose everything. The True Religion of God, even if we just have a glimmering of it, must be given away. Otherwise these Gems of Knowledge will become useless to us.

If they arise to teach My Cause, they must let the breath of Him Who is the Unconstrained, stir them and must spread it abroad on the earth with high resolve, with minds that are wholly centered in Him, and with hearts that are completely detached from and independent of all things, and with souls that are sanctified from the world and its vanities. It behoveth them to choose as the best provision for their journey reliance upon God, and to clothe themselves with the love of their Lord, the Most Exalted, the All-Glorious. If they do so, their words shall influence their hearers.                        (Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 200)


In order to share we must teach that which we know. Unfortunately the word, “teach,” has taken on negative connotations. The teacher is regarded as superior and the student as one of lesser knowledge. Yet the humble and ignorant are often the first to believe. This becomes a problem for the learned who must now gain knowledge from a person less erudite. Pride often gets in the way and the teacher must take precaution not to offend the student. Often the teacher will approach the learned man with a humble attitude of inquiry and in effect say, “Teach me oh wise master.” Then, as the learned man speaks, the teacher will reply with his new found knowledge and ask if that may be a possibility. If what I said previously is true, this may be a good approach to take as I feel everyone has some knowledge of the Word of God. If, when we share this knowledge we gain more, would it not be good to encourage those with a little knowledge to teach us what they know? In this way we avoid the stereotypes of teacher and student and both parties assume dual roles. We learn together and teach each other. As a result all involved come away with greater understanding.

I, as an unlearned man, have stumbled upon some Gems of Divine knowledge and I am anxious to share them with the world. I feel what I know is relatively insignificant and I would not bother to act on this anxiety except that the Divine Messenger of Today bids us to teach His cause.

It is known and clear that today the unseen divine assistance encompassed those who deliver the Message. And if the work of delivering the Message be neglected, the assistance shall be entirely cut off, for it is impossible that the friends of God could receive assistance unless they be engaged in delivering the Message. Under all conditions the Message must be delivered, but with wisdom. If it be not possible openly, it must be done quietly. The friends should be engaged in educating the souls and should become instruments in aiding the world of humanity to acquire spiritual joy and fragrance. For example: If every one of the friends (believers) were to establish relations of friendship and right dealings with one of the negligent souls, associate and live with him with perfect kindliness, and meanwhile through good conduct and moral behavior lead him to divine instruction, to heavenly advice and teachings, surely he would gradually arouse that negligent person and would change his ignorance into knowledge. (Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Bahá  v2, p. 390, 391)

I am in need of divine assistance. I cannot get this assistance unless I deliver the message. So I will do that to the best of my ability. I am not entirely selfish and what I want for myself, I also want for you. So I will also listen as you deliver the Divine message as you see it. Let us come together in openness, free from prejudiced learning, and share what we know. Perhaps we can be of mutual benefit and help each other to become divinely inspired.

George McNeish




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