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Courage and Teaching the Bahá’í Faith







This is me, skydiving for my 50th birthday!


I’ve been meaning to write a blog for quite awhile, and the task seemed too daunting, so I’ve been putting it off, finding other things to do. Lying awake for several hours the other night, what came to me was the degree of terror it’s causing me – to put myself and my ideas out there for people to see and judge; afraid I’ll come across as sanctimonious, or “know-it-all”, or “holier than thou”, or even worse, perfect!

As I prepare the content of my new website, advertising my skills as a Bahá’í-inspired life coach, I realize just how much courage it will take for me to “go live”, and the following quote came to mind.

The source of courage and power is the promotion of the Word of God, and steadfastness in His Love. (Bahá’u’lláh, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 141.)

It’s always struck me as curious – not at all what you would expect for the source of courage . . .So many of us (in Canada, at least) hold back on teaching, especially in the currently popular door-to-door campaigns, thinking we don’t have the courage it takes, forgetting about the courage shown by our brothers and sisters in Iran, and yet, this quote seems to suggest that courage comes from teaching.A few years ago, I pioneered to Labrador, a remote part of Canada, a virgin territory where the closest Bahá’í was 8 hours away. I’ll never forget the day I got on the plane with a desire to serve, a love for Bahá’u’lláh, a longing to teach and all my remaining earthly possessions: my cats and their food, bowls and kitty litter, my laptop, clothes, a pot, frying pan, 2 sets of cutlery, plates, bowls and mugs, (so I could invite someone for a meal) – everything I needed to get started in a new location. I looked at my keychain, void of keys. I’d sold my furniture, my car and didn’t have a place to live when I arrived or any contacts to help me find housing. Now that took courage!

When I turned 50, I wanted to do something really big, to symbolize leaving fear behind and walking confidently into the future, so I decided to go skydiving! During the half hour flight to the drop zone, my smile was as wide as it’s ever been – until they opened the door! And then, I experienced a degree of terror such as I’ve never known! Fortunately I’d planned for this eventuality, deciding on a tandem jump, so the jumpmaster’s job was to peel my hands off the back of the pilot’s seat and push me out of the plane! (you can see the pictures on the website, once it’s up).

As soon as we were in free-fall, all the fear had gone, and my smile was back. Even though we were hurtling down to the ground for 6000 feet of freefall before pulling the cord of the parachute, there was no sense of falling. Instead, it felt as if I was suspended in mid-air, held safely in the hands of God, and I wanted to stay that way forever.

The “source of all courage is the promotion of Word of God, and steadfastness in His Love” – would I have been able to make that jump if I hadn’t been actively teaching? Something for me to ponder and be grateful!

What gives you courage? Post your comments here.