I recently joined a marvelous online course at the Wilmette Institute, on “The Three Covenants of the Bab, Baha’u’llah, and Abdu’l-Baha”.
As part of the course, we have assignments and I will share some of my thoughts based on them.
The first one is:
How can I become one of those “heavenly souls” who “tender their services” to the Covenant; one of those “heavenly angels” who “promulgate and spread it broadcast”?
Here is my response. Hope it might be of assistance to a searching soul:
When finally I could not ignore the call of my soul which had silenced my mind’s fears of inadequacy, and decided to sign my Baha’i card, my Baha’i teacher told me that the main thing from now on is the Covenant. It took me 12 years to start getting it. I am sure it will take the rest of infinity to continue getting it 🙂 Thus, it is very difficult to coherently express my thoughts on this important subject but I will try:
For me, the Covenant is the relationship between God — my Creator — and me. God has given me the priceless bounty of opening my soul and eyes and discovering His manifestation for today. In return, God has prescribed certain duties. In my Baha’i path over the years, my ability and desire to perform these duties has evolved tremendously. From intellectual burden they have been transformed into spiritual nourishment. Before I was able to see their spiritual value, I had to detach myself from all illusions of understanding.
To this day, one thought at a time, I need to remind myself what is my reality (spiritual, temporarily bound within physical body), and what is my responsibility (for follow God’s will).
To become a “heavenly soul”, I needed to understand that every action — physical act or a thought — has its reverberations throughout the universe. The only safe way to go through life, make the right choices all the time, and gradually draw closer to God is by closely following God’s prescriptions for life, one a daily basis, one step at a time, one thought at a time. The source of the prescription for living is the full continuum of guidance — from the Holy Writings to the messages from the Universal House of Justice.
A friend once shared a story at a Feast that touched me a lot. She had expressed a wish that God would just give her personalized instructions so that rather than dealing with free will choices, she would just follow what these instructions are. Someone replied to her — yes, God does send you each year a letter, the Ridvan message from the Universal House of Justice!
Isn’t this marvelous — each one of us has (or will sooner or later) come to realize that God deeply cares for us, He has sent us instructions on how to live our lives, He has established the means for updating those instructions constantly (through the Administrative Order of Baha’u’llah) and He has poured His love and mercy upon all of us so we don’t get discouraged even when we might not be perfect in our attempts for follow His will!
This to me is the Covenant — the finely tuned, personally prescribed nourishing and healing medicine for my soul, body and mind. Following this heavenly prescription is the way to become a heavenly soul.