Glorified be Thou, then, O my God! I beseech Thee by Thy Most Great Name to assemble them that love Thee around the Law that streameth from the good-pleasure of Thy will, and to send down upon them what will assure their hearts.
(Baha'u'llah, Prayers and Meditations by Baha'u'llah, p. 14)
Just recently I was clicking and pointing at random things in Ocean ( a really cool compilation and search engine for probably every major religious text ). This is a pastime I occasionally find had interesting results in the information returned. In any case, I came across the quote above and it reminded me of another recent post I made in the Abstract Thought forum. You can find it here. I was recounting my thoughts about what actually constitutes proof, but as usual, my ADD ways have caused me to find really strange correlations, and I got to talking about religious laws.
What I seemed to begin to recognize was just how important the laws given to us by the manifestations are. I mean, I think I would tend to shy away from laws I didn't understand, more than others. On top of this, there are many laws I still have a difficult time following in the Baha'i faith right now, but I think that a major part of this is that until recently, I hadn't really considered just how important that they are to follow. I think I had this idea that if I followed them most of the time, I would be getting most of the benefits from them, but now I have been coming to the realization that perhaps some (maybe all) Baha'i laws have to be completely followed to truly benefit from them.
Perhaps this is why some laws don't seem to work. When we only partially follow them, we are likely to get even less than partial results. When we don't see obvious, immediate, positive results, we tend to feel that the law is bogus, or not reasonable yet.
In any case, I am beginning to understand their importance, and I am beginning to see them as a shield against the difficulties of the current times. No, they don't prevent difficulties from happening, but they do help us to cope with them, and in many cases, mitigate them.
One of the laws I have been paying particularly close attention to was to read the writings everyday and read and memorize the hidden words (can't remember for certain if this was a law or exhortation, but I've been doing it anyway). In any case, I have been doing this diligently for the last 3 years, and over the last 2, I have been gaining much more insight into life and living. I have solved numerous problems, and developed many new understandings and strategies. I have a feeling that I will be having less and less excuses not to obey all of the laws, as I have begun to get a bit irritated by the fact that I have all these new understandings, but I find that I have been lacking in the ability to act on many of them.
At the moment, all I can do is have patience with God and myself until I am able to conform my life to the Baha'i teachings.
If anyone else has had any other similar insights, or understandings, I would be interested to hear (read???) them.