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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Dry, Hypocritical, Agnostic Prayer

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My favorite poet of all time is Rumi, otherwise known as Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī.  He was introduced to me by my dear friend Kati, and I have loved him ever since.  Rumi was a Persian who lived in the 13th century and was a Sufi mystic.  Although he was Muslim, he was known in his time as person familiar and comfortable with other belief systems; he had a keen interest in Jesus Christ, toward whom he seemed to have affectionate feelings.  I am a Christian, but I have found some writings of Rumi which I gravitate towards; you can tell this is a man who devoted his life to searching for God and asking questions.  This is one of my favorite writings of his:
"If you haven't any knowledge and only opinions, have good opinions about God. This is the way. If you can only crawl, crawl to Him. If you cannot pray sincerely, offer your dry, hypocritical, agnostic prayer; for God in His mercy accepts bad coin. If you have a hundred doubts of God, make them into ninety doubts. This is the way. O, Seeker! Though you have broken your vows a hundred times, come again! Come again! For God has said, 'Though you are on high or in the pit consider me, for I am the Way.'"
 "If you cannot pray sincerely, offer your dry, hypocritical, agnostic prayer; for God in His mercy accepts bad coin."  I know that I have offered many of these prayers in my life; prayers that didn't come from a place of love and compassion and devotion, but a place of anger, confusion, and selfishness.  But God accepts these prayers, just as he accepts me.  And for that, I am incredibly grateful.

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