Gifts To God

My friend Tom’s Sufi teacher commends a story about Aladdin of Thousand and One Nights fame. It seems Aladdin went searching for a lantern. That lantern was the divine light within, which is no mean trick to find. And once found what are we to do with it? The answer is to shine its light once discovered outward. Imagine for a minute a man who is filled with divine spirit holding it selfishly to himself. Doesn’t sound quite right does it. No once the lantern is discovered we must turn its light toward the world, so we can find God not only within but without.

Think of it this way. God gives us many gifts. What gift can we give God in the gift exchange? We ponder this question often during Christmas and birthdays — what do we give to someone who seems to have it all and is perfect. We can pray, but how long can we pray in a day? What about the other 23 hours plus? Perhaps the best way to please God is to help his other creatures, our fellow inhabitants of this planet. Can there be a better prayer to God than to be please, forgive, and tolerate God’s children? If I simply realize when I do wrong, I’m doing wrong to God, and when I do right, I’m doing right to God, I carry an attitude that pleases God.

It all boils down to a simple premise — our spiritual path, our call, must include being a better servant to humanity. If I travel a spiritual path without that intention, then I will reach a dead end having accomplished nothing. I then must retrace my steps and start again until I find another path lit by the lantern of divine light.

About the author

Webb Hubbell, former Associate Attorney General of The United States, is an author and speaker. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, A Game of Inches, The Eighteenth Green, and The East End are published by Beaufort Books and are available online or at your local bookstore. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps and The Eighteenth Green won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller.

1 Comment +

  1. Webb,
    I meant to respond to this one when I first read it. Our Sufi teachers say that all we have to give to God is our limitations – to bring them forward for purification. The teachers emphasize that we are perfectly designed to be imperfect. We are supposed to be imperfect. It is through our imperfections that we have the capacity to learn and grow.

    As a beginning golfer, I find myself getting frustrated at times. My ego tells me I should be able to hit the ball further, straighter, more consistently…. yada yada yada. The imperfections in my golf game are really of little importance. However, how I handle my ego for this and other parts of my life (does anyone else out there feel they aren’t good enough in a whole lot of things?) is very important, and is an example of what I can surrender to God. Another way to think of it is that releasing my perception that I’m not good enough is a gift to God in that He created me to be imperfect!

    As just a post script to these thoughts, our teachers say when we do our “inner work”, taking on our fixations with our imperfections and wrestling our egos to the mat, our inner change that results will help change the outer world. And the world needs help right now! Good incentive, eh?

    Your friend,
    Tom

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