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Accepting Invitations

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

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Patience 

We must not only be patient with others, infinitely patient, but also with our own poor selves, remembering that even the Prophets of God sometimes got tired and cried out in despair!  (Shoghi Effendi, Unfolding Destiny, p. 456)

I love this quote!  As someone who realizes that the standards of the Faith with regards to my behavior towards others is very high, this quote tells me that it’s equally important to be patient with myself.  Change takes time.  I want what I want and I want it now and when I can’t have it, I use my mind to find a solution or a way around the obstacle in my path, trying to push things forward that can’t be pushed.  I’ve driven myself to exhaustion with my impatience.

Now I need to meditate on the times when the Prophets of God got tired and cried out in despair and two times come immediately to my mind.  When Jesus Christ had been on the cross for nine hours, He said:  “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  We see Bahá’u’lláh pouring His heart out to God in absolute despair when we read the Fire Tablet.

Knowing that I don’t have to be perfect, I can relax and be 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

Help Keep This Site Alive