God Willing

In “Portals to Freedom” Howard Colby Ives describes how Abdu’l Bahá would make plans wholly trusting in God 

“We should count time by heart throbs.” When I recall that all so far recounted occurred within the first three weeks after my meeting with Abdu’l-Bahá it seems incredible. In those few days life had taken on an entirely new meaning. I felt like a spiritual Columbus exploring the uncharted oceans of God. New lands had been discovered upon which I hardly had courage to set foot. Heights and depths of inner experience had been touched of which heretofore I had never dreamed. Truly, many times I had “packed eternity into an hour, or stretched an hour to eternity.”

One day about the first of May of that momentous year I asked Abdu’l-Bahá if He could arrange to speak to my congregation at the Brotherhood Church. He considered a moment, then said smilingly: God willing. This was to me a new way of responding to such a request. A ripple of wonderment crossed my mind as to how many engagements for public speakers would be made in our modem world if both parties referred the decision to the will of God before its ratification. How could I arrange the necessary preliminaries on such an uncertainty? How was I to know whether God was willing or not? Abdu’l-Bahá noticed my hesitation and waited courteously for me to speak. Rather haltingly I said: “It will be necessary for me to know the date a few days in advance in order to be able to make the necessary public announcements.”

He asked me how long before I would need to know?

“A week or ten days would be sufficient, I think.”

He said I should ask Him then.

And so a week later I asked Him if Sunday evening, May 19th, would be convenient for Him. He said: Very good, and so it was arranged.

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