The Road Never Traveled

Have you been on a road never traveled before? Where you have to trust the directions or you risk getting overwhelmed by the fear of the unknown and turning back too soon, before reaching the goal. Now imagine that 4000 others are on the same road. Or to be more precise, imagine that 6 million others are heading in the same direction, following paths as unique as each one of us is.

That to me was the essence of the Regional Baha’i Conference I attended last weekend, in Atlanta, Georgia; one of 41 announced in a fashion illustrating the world embracing vision of the Baha’i Faith, for in the letter of the Universal House of Justice calling for these conferences, the 41 host cities were listed with no country indicated. We do live in one world, after all, and if you don’t know where Yaounde or Antofagasta is, too bad; go check your friendly Google 🙂

There was an exciting anticipation in preparing for the trip to the conference. Nobody knew exactly what it was going to be, although we all sensed it would be important. There was a sense of gratitude in being able to trust the wisdom of this call by the governing institution of the worldwide Baha’i community to gather together and celebrate the achievements in a plan which as contemporary and ambitious as it is, is still a humble response to the Tablets of the Divine Plan which Abdu’l-Baha, the Son of the Prophet-Founder of the Baha’i Faith, revealed some 90 years ago to exhort the American Baha’is to share with their compatriots and the whole world the healing message of Baha’u’llah.

Going by bus to Atlanta was an adventure on its own. 50 people intoxicated by the spirit of love (with no alcohol involved, thank you very much) shared stories and songs in anticipation of a family reunion with 4000 others from the Southeastern States and the Bahamas. The few hours of sleep were of no consequence; we were too elated to notice.

The vision of us all arriving at the Georgia World Convention Center was that of rivers of people merging into an ocean of love. Then the African drums started the call to togetherness.

That one of the two counselors delegated by the Universal House of Justice to speak and inspire us, American Baha’is, was from Kenya was, personally to me, very poignant and appropriate for a global religion in learning mode whose followers are doing their best to trust the call to unity — we all learn from each other.

We all studied two messages from the Universal House of Justice, some of the whose inspiring words follow:

Undeflected by the turmoil and distractions of the world around you, direct your energies to the task at hand with expanded vision and renewed consecration.  New achievements invariably bring new challenges.  Every steadfast believer is called to a faith and determination, a commitment to unity and sacrifice that will lift the Cause to a new stage in its development.  May all find a part to play.  May all appreciate the contribution of others.  May all pour forth time and resources to support the advancement of your clusters, to foster the capacity of your co-workers, and to quicken the spirit of love and devotion that propels you forward.
~ The Universal House of Justice, 6 December 2008

We then discussed how to practically help communities throughout the Southeast achieve a sustainable growth in activities that nurture the spirituality of every human being by aligning us all to the noble goal of our Creator to build an ever advancing human civilization. And we were encouraged to not be discouraged if along this road we occasionally fail:

If, however, for a few days, in compliance with God’s all-encompassing wisdom, outward affairs should run their course contrary to one’s cherished desire, this is of no consequence and should not matter.
(Baha’u’llah, Fire and Light, p. 10)

Wouldn’t you want to join us on the road never traveled?

Trackbacks & Pings

  • Baha’i Conference in Atlanta - Part 2 | The Baha'i Community of Arlington, Virginia :

    […] “Have you been on a road never traveled before? Where you have to trust the directions or you risk getting overwhelmed by the fear of the unknown and turning back too soon, before reaching the goal. Now imagine that 4000 others are on the same road. Or to be more precise, imagine that 6 million others are heading in the same direction, following paths as unique as each one of us is.” This is how Mitko described the Atlanta conference. To read his full post please visit his blog. […]

    10 years ago

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