And shouldst thou recognize thy powerlessness, do thou rein in thy passions, and return unto thy Lord, that perchance He may forgive thee thy sins . . . (Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 83)
I love the reminder to recognize my powerlessness at the beginning of this quote. In the Short Obligatory Prayer, I admit to my powerlessness everyday, but for years, I didn’t stop to think about what that meant. What exactly am I powerless over? Now that I focus on that question, I realize that it changes from day to day. When I’m conscious of exactly what it is, I can surrender, admit defeat, detach and give it to God to solve. This strengthens my relationship with Him and helps strengthen whatever virtue I need in the moment, which fulfills my purpose in life.
Here’s an example from my life – today I’m feeling powerless over correcting a mess left by someone I hired to do a job I can’t do. I’m totally powerless over whether or not he’ll come back to fix it, when he’ll do it, whether he’ll include it in his original invoice, or whether he’ll charge me more to do something that should have been done right the first time. To “rein in my passions”, I need to first recognize and admit I’m feeling resentful, suspicious and full of self-pity, and then remember that I can’t turn these into patience, trust and forgiveness without asking God for help. Whenever someone does something to me and I’m pointing a finger, there are always 3 fingers pointing back at me, so I’m learning to be grateful for the mirror held up in front of me. When I remember the times I’ve been inconsiderate, imperfect and dishonest and am able to ask God to forgive me, He always does, because He is the All-Merciful, the All-Loving, the Ever Forgiving.
Knowing God forgives me helps me to forgive others, and I am grateful!
What jumped out for you as you read today’s meditation? I’d love it if you would share so we can all expand our knowledge of the Writings!
If you liked this meditation, you might also like my book Learning How to Forgive