What we ask of God, and what God asks of us

Baha'i House of WorshipI am in Chicago for a professional conference and in anticipation of participating at the 2nd Baha’i Choral Music Festival next weekend. Last night a dear Bulgarian Baha’i friend met me at the airport and took me directly to the Baha’i House of Worship, near Lake Michigan. It is such a magnificent building! Approaching it reminded me only of a return home after a long trip, and approaching the Shrine of the Bab on Mount Carmel in the Holy Land. The physical assumes the qualities of the spiritual — the building calls for the heart to sing! And sing there we will! I had the pleasure of embracing again Van Gilmer for the first time since he moved to Chicago. And I had the pleasant surprise of seeing an old friend, a Baha’i not just from Bulgaria, but from my hometown! So many blessings in one evening alone. Of course, I should not forget that the reason we showed up at the House of Worship was to hear a concert of piano and chamber music showcasing the qualities of the very rare grand piano hosted at the Foundation Hall. It was fascinating to observe the love which emanated from the piano professor who takes care of this gorgeous musical instrument. He talked with passion about the work that goes in maintaining this klaviert and then let us appreciate the beauty of its sounds through the music of Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, and Brahms. And that all for free 🙂

But the reason I titled this post was not my trip, nor the concert. It is just to capture a fascinating thought which I heard on my MP3 player when listening to talks given by Adib Taherzadeh at a summer school in Alaska in 1984. He talks about the importance of nurturing the soul by feeding it the Holy Writings. And that reading the writings is very different from saying prayers. Now that I am going again through the Ruhi 1 book on Life of the Spirit, I am reminded yet again of how crucial the saying of prayers is.

Yet, Adib Taherzadeh explains that a prayer is what we ask of God; the Writings are what God asks of us!

This is indeed profound — just think of the multiple applications to one’s daily life. I am so grateful for having heard this important concept at such a crucial point of my spiritual path! Thank you dear Mr. Adib (and sorry for missing a chance to hear you speak in person many years ago in Bulgaria). And thank you, Baha’u’llah, for inspiring so many wonderful Baha’is to impart their insights in guiding feeble souls like mine to stay on the right path!

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