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Drivin’ home from a three hour session with my banker, after tryin’ to eliminate fees from my simple business accounts, my mind was very much still in a questioning mood, looking for solutions. As usual, in my inner mental sanctum closed off from the world, except for my driving persona, I began reciting my noonday prayer.
That Baha’i prayer goes like this:
I bear witness, O my God, that Thou hast created me to know Thee and to worship Thee. I testify, at this moment, to my powerlessness and to Thy might, to my poverty and to Thy wealth. There is none other God but Thee, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting. – Baha’u’llah, Baha’i Prayers, p. 3.
Here’s my inner conversation:
“I bear witness,” I mean, I would tell anyone I believe, “O my God,” my God, Rodney Richards’ God if you will, “that Thou,” meanin’ you, my God, “hast created me,” well, You’re the Creator, and I am those strands of DNA and genes and body and everything else that You started, “to know Thee,” and how do I know Thee? through Thy prophets and their words and actions, at least what I’ve seen, heard and read, “and to worship Thee.”
Ah, how do I worship Thee?
I’ve read, God, that you are in no need of your servants, but as I just said, You desire that I “worship Thee.” How can I do that?
The simplest way to worship, from my perspective, involves being a good Baha’i, or as my wife reminds me, “Be nice.”
“I testify,” or swear again, “at this moment,” on Wednesday February 11th at (quick glance), 1:06 pm, “to my powerlessness,” meanin’, I guess that means that although I’ve got free will, I am only ever in total control of a little, and even then it’s mostly circumstances I find myself in, “and to Thy might,” and yes, just from my Bible studies I know you are the Almighty and All-Powerful, “to my poverty,” and here I think that means impoverished of Thy grace unless you give me some, for I count us very lucky as far as prosperity goes. Wish it were the same for everyone. “…and to thy wealth.” And what wealth is greater than all conceivable wealth and then some? I mean You do as You Will, and what greater wealth is there? And I know You share it, God, like in June of 2009 when I asked for a nice day so my son and his fiancée could get married outside in our back yard, and sunny it was, and even the squall passed with its dark clouds off to the west.
“There is,” again, meanin’ now and every moment right? “none other God but Thee,” which is to say, from Day One you and the Prophets and seers have always been telling us this, “the Help in Peril,” like the time You saved my good-paying job when I should’ve been fired, or saved me from bein’ run over by a movin’ bus when my motorcycle crashed in that oil slick. I didn’t even have time to ask for Your help, and you know me, I ask all the time, “the Self-Subsisting.” Yeah, I wonder why You put up with us most times, when You don’t need us, no matter how many, nor this planet, nor even this solar system!
Except that I know you love us. You love your creation, like I love Janet and the kids and especially grandbaby Sienna Rose now, and all thanks to You.
Thank you so much…
And then I drove through Dunkin Donuts with my gift card and got my medium coffee with cream and two Sweet-n-Low’s.
O Son of Spirit! My claim on thee is great, it cannot be forgotten. My grace to thee is plenteous, it cannot be veiled. My love has made in thee its home, it cannot be concealed. My light is manifest to thee, it cannot be obscured. – Baha’u’llah, The Hidden Words, pp. 8-9.