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.

A Personal Homage

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  •  (Reposted from Xanga)

    I stopped for about an hour on 12/29/11, at Inglewood Community Cemetery, just west of Los Angeles, to pay respects to the first American member of the Baha’i Faith.  He was  Thornton Chase (1847-1912).  After an upbringing in the Baptist Church, and some dabbling in the teachings of the mystic Emanuel Swedenborg, Mr. Chase encountered the Baha’i Faith, while living in Chicago in the 1890’s.  He became the first American Baha’i, in 1895, and confirmed his faith further, by visiting ‘Abdu’l-Baha in the Holy Land, in 1899.

    Mr. Chase moved to Los Angeles in 1909, a move orchestrated by his employer, so as to diminish his involvement in Baha’i.  It only resulted in his being more involved, as he traveled the West Coast for business, and spent time with Baha’is in the Bay Area and in Seattle, in the course of his professional duties.  His funeral in early October, 1912 was attended by ‘Abdu’l-Baha and nearly a hundred other Baha’is.

    His grave site is elegantly marked:

                       

    The inscription at the top of his tombstone is in Arabic, and translates in English as “God is the Most Glorious”.