Miracles Happen But So What?
When Baha’u’llah, the prophet founder of the Baha’i Faith, was teaching His Faith and revealing scriptures in the 19th century, the local Muslim clergy often became jealous of His might and power, which caused them to conjure up ways to discredit Him. One of the ways that the thought of was to challenge Him to produce a miracle so that it would prove His prophethood. He gave the clergy and very interesting response. He told them that miracles were not proof of a religion’s authenticity and that they did not have very much meaning. Nonetheless, He acquiesced and told the clergy to tell Him what miracle that they would like Him to perform and that if He did, that they would them have to believe in Him. Fearing that the miracle would happen, the clergy backed down and went to other ways of causing mischief.
The problem, as Baha’u’llah saw it, is that people tend to put their Faith in processes that are outside of their own control. The real power of Muhammad’s or Jesus’ or Buddha’s Faith is in the power of the teachings to transform one’s life and then one’s community. The main Christian teaching is that of loving your neighbor. It is a hugely challenging principle that requires lots of spiritual transformation, but what you see on a lot of televised Christianity is a pastor laying his hands on someone so that he can get healed or develop some new abilities. This is all fine; every religion has its miracle practitioners, but somewhere in the process of making miracles people become exclusive and then they lose the fundamentals of the teachings themselves. The magic in all religion is the power to transform one’s lives by turning to the spiritual principles and then putting them into practice. No religion has done a very good job at it.
To me a miracle is like winning the lottery. When you win the lottery, you are the same person you were before the lottery only now you have more money. People are constantly going to temples and making offerings so that they will get a new house or a car, but they spend very little time actually reflecting and meditating on how to transform themselves so that they can have the teachings living inside of them. When you search after a miracle or put your hope in a process of chance, then you are giving over the control of your own transformation to someone or something else.
If a miracle comes, then we can, of course, be thankful because miracles do happen, but God has given us our own free will as a well as our own minds so that we can create our own miracles in the world. This is the great power of religion. It takes a lot of effort and learning and commitment to study the religious principles and then transform your own character so that your life reflects them, but it seems to me that this is what God loves best. I don’t think that miracles mean very much to our Creator because He is fully capable of producing them whenever He wills. The real religion is the religion of daily struggle to make your life better.