Once upon a time there was a very religious community. The members gathered everyday to worship God under the guidance of their wise spiritual teacher. The people were truly God fearing and followed all of Gods’ Laws. But their leader had a son whose actions troubled the group.
One day the boy, who was four years old, lost his dog. After searching all day, he sat down in a field crying and as he cried, he noticed a leaf on the ground near his feet. He happened to be staring at the leaf while he was crying and for the safe return of his dog. Two days later the dog was returned healthy and happy. The boy attributed this miracle to the leaf and ran out to the field to find it. Once he found the leaf he began praying to the leaf every day and carrying it with him wherever he went – he even brought the leaf to bed.
The congregation became concerned by the actions of this child and spoke to his father. The father simply replied, “It is his path”. And the congregation went away disappointed.
Soon, the leaf became worn and dry and it crumbled. The boy was devastated and cried to his father. His father simply took him back to the field where he found the leaf and said, “Son, look there, that is the tree from which your leaf came, see the thousands of other leaves it also bears, if not for the tree, you would not have had your leaf. The boy was overcome with awe at the sight of the tree full of leaves and began to worship the tree, going to it and praying everyday with love and thanksgiving for the life of his dog.
Again, the congregation became concerned by the actions of this child and spoke to his father. The father simply replied, “It is his path”. And the congregation went away disappointed.
A few months later the tree became diseased and had to be cut down. And once again the child was distraught beyond consolation. His father again led the boy to the field and said, “You see this field, this is the field from which your tree and all of these others have come, and it is the field from which your tree grew, from which your leaf grew that saved your dog. So the boy, once again in awe of the expanse of trees and leaves produced by this field began to lie in the field on the dirt and the grass and pray every day in love and thanksgiving to the field.
Once again, the congregation became concerned by the actions of this child and spoke to his father. Once again, father simply replied, “It is his path”. And the congregation went away disappointed.
Shortly after this, the field was sold to a developer who dug up all the trees and covered the field with concrete and buildings. Now the boy was beyond himself with loss and desperation, there was no more field, so there would be no more trees, no more leaves and no more miracles. His father calmly took him out into the road and said, “Son, look around you, the earth is covered with fields of trees, with leaves – all come from the earth and the earth comes from God, the Bible says, in Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and earth”. God is the Source from which all things are born. It is God who created the earth upon which your field grew, from which your tree grew, from which your leaf grew. All things come from God and all things contain God in the form of His messengers. You prayed to the angel in the leaf, who sent your message to the angel in the tree, who sent your message to the angel in the field, who sent your message to the angel in the earth – who whispered your prayer to God – and because God heard your prayer from the leaf, your dog was returned. So the boy said, “From now on I will honor God and His Angels by giving thanks to everything and everyone on earth, but I will send my deepest prayers to God who is the eternal Source of all.”
The boy grew up to assume his father’s role as teacher, but his congregation expanded greatly because his journey taught him to understand and therefore teach, that all paths were created by God to lead us Home.
God created the world with enough diversity that every being on it could find something or someone to believe in. God knew that there is nothing on earth, whether it is a blade of grass, a human being, a mosquito, or a brick of gold that does not contain God. That there is nothing that man can worship in, in which he does not worship in God. Knowing all, God knows that all things on earth will pass, all form will give way, and everything with a beginning will also have an end. But what has no beginning and no end is our search for union with our Source, and no end to our need to know ourselves and from where we have come. In the same way that God created us to know and experience Himself. So God places before us a leaf – in which He is, and then a tree – in which He is, or a statue or a book – in which He is, knowing, that so long as we seeking signs and forms of Him in the world that is wholly of Him, we will continue to seek until we find Him – who is in every atom of the Universe and within whom, the entire universe is but a tiny atom. So when you criticize the beliefs of others as not the right belief, remember that there is no belief that is not created by God and so there is no belief, except a belief in God. Just remember the leaf.