Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Fast Bloggin' Day 9

I had a moment near the end of today where I suddenly felt a burst of energy. I felt like I was on fire, like I could do anything. It reminded me of the testimony of Mulla Husayn as to how he felt after the memorable evening when he received news of the Advent of the Day of God:

"How feeble and impotent, how dejected and timid, I had felt previously! Then I could neither write nor walk, so tremulous were my hands and feet. Now, however, the knowledge of His Revelation had galvanised my being. I felt possessed of such courage and power that were the world, all its peoples and its potentates, to rise against me, I would, alone and undaunted, withstand their onslaught. The universe seemed but a handful of dust in my grasp. I seemed to be the Voice of Gabriel personified, calling unto all mankind: "Awake, for lo! the morning Light has broken. Arise, for His Cause is made manifest. The portal of His grace is open wide; enter therein, O peoples of the world! For He who is your promised One is come!" (Shoghi Effendi, The Dawn-Breakers, p. 63)

Not sure what came over me. Must be the power of the Fast. When I think about it, ever since the Fast began for me with much trouble and tribulation, I've sustained a near super-human level of endurance. Is this what Divine Assistance feels like.

"Remember not your own limitations; the help of God will come to you. Forget yourself. God's help will surely come! When you call on the Mercy of God waiting to reinforce you, your strength will be tenfold...The thought of our own weakness could only bring despair. We must look higher than all earthly thoughts; detach ourselves from every material idea, crave for the things of the spirit; fix our eyes on the everlasting bountiful Mercy of the Almighty, who will fill our souls with the gladness of joyful service to His command 'Love One Another'." (Abdu'l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 38)

How quickly and how frequently I forget that these are not simply poetic words but statements of reality. Maybe this is how the Fast works, its wonders simmering at a low boil that heats up as the days progress? How will these next ten days unfold? Who will I be at the end of this Baha'i year and the beginning of the next?

"Praised be Thou, O my God, that Thou hast ordained Naw-Ruz [the Baha'i New Year] as a festival unto those who have observed the fast for love of Thee and abstained from all that is abhorrent unto Thee. Grant, O my Lord, that the fire of Thy love and the heat produced by the fast enjoined by Thee may inflame them in Thy Cause, and make them to be occupied with Thy praise and with remembrance of Thee."
(Baha'u'llah, Prayers and Meditations by Baha'u'llah, p. 67)