Letting Go; Not Giving Up

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November 26, 2018, Prescott-

This day is to honour  ‘Abdu’l-Baha, Who guided the Baha’i Faith, from the Ascension of Baha’u’llah, on May 29, 1892 to His own  passing, on November 28, 1921. It is called the Day of the Covenant, as ‘Abdu’l-Baha symbolized the agreement between Baha’u’llah and His followers.  He explained much of His Father’s Revelation to us.

‘Abdu’l-Baha suffered, physically, for much of His life on Earth.  He came to North America and Europe, from 1911-13, visiting many major cities, and maintained a schedule that would have been daunting for someone half His age.

He made this journey when He was between the ages of 67-69. As I will turn 68, in a few days, I have to admire His fortitude.  The example set was a strong one, and was derived from both detachment and commitment, in equal balance.

An example came when He was in San Francisco, and it was requested by some Baha’is in Los Angeles, that He visit their city. Bear in mind that this was in 1912, and there were costs involved that seemed insurmountable.  ‘Abdu’l-Baha did not impinge on anyone, in meeting His expenses.  He at first told the Los Angeles friends that He would not be able to make the journey, though it caused Him great sorrow.  A short time afterward, though, money was found. ‘Abdu’l-Baha and His entourage made the train trip south to Los Angeles and spent a day or so there, specifically visiting the grave of the first American to declare his faith in Baha’u’llah.  That man’s name was Thornton Chase.  ‘Abdu’l-Baha showed that, by letting go, a person gives the Divine, the Universe, room to muster its energy and bring things to fruition.

I have been in many situations, including this year, where it has been prudent to let go of plans and expectations, and to move with the flow of energy.  These situations have, in the long run, not hampered my well-being and have actually helped to purify my life.  There will be others, I’m certain, as this year winds down and subsequent years unfold.  I can rely on the example set by ‘Abdu’l-Baha, in pondering my reaction to the changes that are in store.

The Road to 65, Mile 363: Thankfulness and Grace

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November 26, 2015, San Diego-  Every so often, the American Thanksgiving conflates with other occasions of import.  In 2013, for example, Thanksgiving and my 63rd birthday occurred on the same day. 😀

On other years, such as this one, we Baha’is observe the Day of the Covenant, along with Thanksgiving.  The former is a celebration of the life of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, eldest son of Baha’u’llah, and His immediate successor as Head of the Baha’i Faith.  It is so named because ‘Abdu’l-Baha stressed loyalty and obedience to the written Will and Testament of His Father, a document entitled Kitab-i-Ahd, or Book of the Covenant, over loyalty and obedience to a given human being.  This aspect of our Faith has proven its worth, time and again.

Mirza Abbas Effendi-e- Nuri was born on May 23, 1844.  As he was coming into the world, His Father’s Herald, al-Bab, was proclaiming His own Message to humanity:  It was coming time for all mankind to unite, and He was to prepare the human race for One Who would show the way that this could be done.  Abbas Effendi was given the title, ‘Abdu’l-Baha (Servant of Light), when He was nine years old, and was the first to recognize His Father’s station, as the Messenger of God for this day and age.

‘Abdu’l-Baha forbade celebrations of His birthday on May 23, but reluctantly agreed to observances that celebrated His life, while focusing on the Covenant of Baha’u’llah, the promulgation of which was ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s prmary focus, during His twenty-nine years as Head of the Baha’i Faith.  Thus, each November 26 has been dedicated to that purpose.

So, on this Thanksgiving, I am grateful for having been guided to this spiritual path, and to the perfect example set by ‘Abdu’l-Baha.  His are larger shoes than any of us can hope to fill, but it is worth the effort, for the sake of developing and strengthening our virtues.  They guided me to my marriage, to the birth and raising of our son, in whose company I celebrated another marvelous Day of Thanks and to the various friends and places of joy which I have been fortunate to meet and see, over the past thirty-four years.