Do you think it is the teachers who make converts and change human hearts? No, surely not. They are only pure souls who take the first step, and then let the spirit of Bahá’u’lláh move them and make use of them. If any one of them should even for a second consider his achievements as due to his own capacities, his work is ended, and his fall starts. This is in fact the reason why so many competent souls have after wonderful services suddenly found themselves absolutely impotent and perhaps thrown aside by the Spirit of the Cause as useless souls. The criterion is the extent to which we are ready to have the Will of God operate through us. Stop being conscious of your frailties, therefore; have a perfect reliance upon God; let your heart burn with the desire to serve His mission and proclaim His call; and you will observe how eloquence and the power to change human hearts will come as a matter of course. (Shoghi Effendi, Principles of Bahai Administration, p. 26)
I absolutely have a love/hate relationship to this quote. On the one hand it reminds me to”stop being conscious of my frailties and have perfect reliance on God” (about which I need frequent reminders) and on the other, it makes me despair that in my burnout and adrenal exhaustion, this might mean I’m one of those “many competent souls have after wonderful services suddenly found themselves absolutely impotent and perhaps thrown aside by the Spirit of the Cause as useless souls.” I know that these kinds of thoughts are just another way to beat myself up with the Writings and cause me to fail to recognize my nobility. In that moment, I need to “have perfect reliance on God” that what I’m doing is enough. This is one of my most frequent tests these days.
Once I can set aside this consciousness of my frailties, there are certain things I need to do, according to this quote. I need to:
- let go of any belief that my achievements are due to my own capacity
- be ready to have the Will of God operate through me
- have a perfect reliance upon God
- let my heart burn with the desire to serve His mission and proclaim His call
- take the first step, and then let the spirit of Bahá’u’lláh move me and make use of me
Finally, I love when promises are embedded in quotes. In this case we’re promised that if we let go of all consciousness of our frailties and do these things, we will observe how eloquence and the power to change human hearts will come as a matter of course. Don’t we all want it to be that easy?
Knowing that God keeps His promises when do what’s asked of me, 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