Getting unstuck, with a little help from strangers and friends

Sometimes you get stuck and try as you might, nothing comes out of it — it might be the wrong time for a solution or just the wrong approach to a solution. Stepping back and seeing things in perspective helps but sometimes all you can do is persevere… and ask for help — from friends, strangers, and God.

These days the world seems stuck. And badly needs unstucking…

In Iran, the 7 Baha’i leaders are stuck in a jail, falsely accused of crimes they never committed and we all fear for their lives. Please pray for them!

I will not even comment on the insanity of the battle in which I am stuck in my attempts to be a father…

All of this while Washington, DC, is stuck under record amounts of snow.

This morning on my way to pick my baby sitter, my car got stuck on her street as I was driving back towards the cleared road. It took me an hour and a half trying so many different ways to get unstuck. I pushed, I pulled, I tried forward, I tried backward. A nice lady let me borrow her shovel on three occasions, each attempt getting me closer to the goal but never actually enabling me to be free. What a metaphor for my life these past years! The harder I was trying, the deeper I was getting into the snow. At some point I asked for help from some Pakistani men. They came and tried to help to no avail. Then I decided to walk to the store to buy some sand (the idea of buying sand sounds insane to me but on a snowy day you do not have much choice). They did not carry sand but they had cat litter crystals so I tried that — again, to no avail. Finally I asked a group of young men from Nicaragua to help me and after a good wait during which they uncovered somebody else’s car, they came to my rescue and off I went…

So, I’ve been thinking to myself about the connection between stuckness and unstuckness, freedom and detachment.

Like water on a lotus leaf, like a mustard seed on the point of a pin, he who is not stuck to the senses – that is what I
call a brahmin.
(Dhammapada – Sayings of the Buddha)

The Virtues cards I peruse each day give good insights and suggestions. The one on peacefulness suggests giving up the love of power for the power of love. A beautiful friend send me today this quote to reflect on as I was sharing about my difficulties:

The more difficulties one sees in the world the more perfect one becomes. The more you plough and dig the ground the more fertile it becomes. The more you cut the branches of a tree the higher and stronger it grows. The more you put the gold in the fire, the purer it becomes. The more you sharpen the steel by grinding …the better it cuts. Therefore, the more sorrows one sees the more perfect one becomes. That is why, in all times, the Prophets of God have had tribulations and difficulties to withstand. The more often the captain of a ship is in the tempest and difficult sailing the more greater his knowledge becomes. Therefore I am happy that you have had great tribulations and difficulties . . .

‘Abdu’l-Bahá

So, all these tests and tribulations are a good sign that God indeed loves me! Much to be grateful for! So, I decided to be grateful and I baked two banana breads this afternoon to take to the people who helped me in my attempts to unstuck my car from the snow. The Pakistani men were not at home but two shy yet kind ladies opened the door and while giving them the freshly baked banana bread, I told them of my gratitude for the help I received from strangers. The American lady who gave me a shovel was very kind as well and I gave her also a Baha’i prayer for peace — we both agreed that the world needs more helping strangers, shovels, banana bread and prayers 🙂

So, for every one who is stuck in this world, let’s give them a spiritual push. And a prayer:

Thou knowest full well, O my God, that tribulations have showered upon me from all directions and that no one can dispel or transmute them except Thee.  I know of a certainty, by virtue of my love for Thee, that Thou wilt never cause tribulations to befall any soul unless Thou desirest to exalt his station in Thy celestial Paradise and to buttress his heart in this earthly life with the bulwark of Thine all-compelling power, that it may not become inclined toward the vanities of this world.  Indeed Thou art well aware that under all conditions I would cherish the remembrance of Thee far more than the ownership of all that is in the heavens and on the earth.

Strengthen my heart, O my God, in Thine obedience and in Thy love, and grant that I may be clear of the entire company of Thine adversaries.  Verily, I swear by Thy glory that I yearn for naught besides Thyself, nor do I desire anything except Thy mercy, nor am I apprehensive of aught save Thy justice.  I beg Thee to forgive me as well as those whom Thou lovest, howsoever Thou pleasest.  Verily, Thou art the Almighty, the Bountiful.

Immensely exalted art Thou, O Lord of the heavens and earth, above the praise of all men, and may peace be upon Thy faithful servants and glory be unto God, the Lord of all the worlds.

The Báb

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