Whensoever ye be invited to a banquet or festive occasion, respond with joy and gladness, and whoever fulfilleth his promise will be safe from reproof. (Bahá’u’lláh, Kitáb-i-Aqdas 156, p. 75)
I used to think that this quote meant that I needed to accept and attend every invitation that came my way, which, on top of my extensive “to do” list with work and service, only led to exhaustion, burnout, and resentment. Over time, I’ve come to appreciate the reasons for it.
First of all, we bond when we take bread together, and bonding is necessary to building unity. At the end of our lives, it’s the relationships that matter, not what we accomplished when we were busy. Also, community building needs social time as well as the more formal prayer, service and study time.
However, it’s still not possible to attend every invitation that comes our way, and this quote doesn’t say we have to. We only need to respond with joy and gladness. We can make the host feel appreciated for the efforts she’s making, grateful to be included in the invitation, and gracious in the way we say “please ask another time”.
I can be gracious when I’m not able to attend and grateful when I can, and I am grateful!
What jumped out for you as you read today’s meditation? I’d love it if you would share so we can all expand our knowledge of the Writings!
If you liked this meditation, you might also like my book Letting Go of Criticizing Others