Saturday, June 16, 2007

Why It's Worth It

This is the author of Baha'i Thought trying to look thoughtful. Don't laugh (well, you can laugh if you want just don't tell me you did!)

People often ask me how much time I spend on my blogging and I say that I work on it everyday. On average I spend about 5-7 hours a week on it. I recently received an email from one of the folks who reads Baha'i Thought that really reminded me why it's worth the effort. I hope that this touches others in the way that it touched me and encourages them to pour their own passion into this spiritual discipline with the weird name (blogging I mean). The person who wrote this will remain anonymous at their request. Enjoy.

"I've been going through some pretty intense tests of my Faith of late, really questioning my spiritual identity and how being a Baha'i fits in with my pre-Baha'i life. (I declared in 2005, so I still consider myself a relative newborn). I'd started to feel alienated from the Institutions, the Laws and, saddest of all, the Holy Writings that had previously drenched my heart with such bliss.

Anyway, late last night I discovered your blog via a friend's and although I was doooog tired, I found myself transfixed for almost two hours. I so enjoyed your posts, photos and links as well as your good humour, tolerance, compassion, vision and humility. I very recently purchased my first computer in about six years so the whole blogosphere is totally novel to me and I felt giddy-excited, not just by the Message of Baha'i Thought, but also by the infinite possibilities latent in its very medium.

When I finally dragged myself to bed with thoughts of 'Now I remember why I'm a Baha'i!' I reached automatically for the copy of the Hidden Words that sits on my nightstand. Short doses of scripture have been pretty much all I can will myself to partake of lately and honestly, it's felt like more of a chore than a pleasure. However, last night something compelled me to my bookshelf where I observed my hand spontaneously reach out and pluck a dusty Kitab-i-Aqdas from amongst the other texts. And there, in the early hours of the morning, I sat and for the first time in months reconnected with the love Baha'u'llah has for me and I for Him.

I've woken today exhausted but hopeful. There's going to be a way for me to reconcile everything I need to. I'm going to learn to teach the Faith in ways that are meaningful and authentic to me. I'm going to learn how to balance the service I do with my needs and my dreams. I'm going to be kept safe while I grow and stumble and shine. I'm going to because I have a Guide. I just need to start trusting Him.

Well, that was a kind of long-winded expression of my gratitude! I hope I haven't overdisclosed. I'm aware of the potential pitfalls of the 'instant-imacy' engendered by online communication and find it a tad odd you now know more about my deepest inner struggles than you do about, say, my eye colour. Nonetheless, I'm still going to hit send, because I imagine it would be oh-so-validating to know that the time and energy you invest in Baha'i Thought touches people. In really crucial ways. Thank you, Phillipe.
Mission accomplished : )"

I'll close with the Words of Baha'u'llah that may serve as inspiration for those of us who have consecrated our pens (or in my case, my keyboard) to the service of the Cause of God:

Say: O men! This is a matchless Day. Matchless must, likewise, be the tongue that celebrateth the praise of the Desire of all nations, and matchless the deed that aspireth to be acceptable in His sight. The whole human race hath longed for this Day, that perchance it may fulfil that which well beseemeth its station, and is worthy of its destiny. Blessed is the man whom the affairs of the world have failed to deter from recognizing Him Who is the Lord of all things.
("Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh" (Wilmette: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1983), sec XVI, p. 39) 408