No one should expect, upon becoming a Bahá’í, that faith will not be tested, and to our finite understanding of such matters these tests may occasionally seem unbearable. (Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 341)
This Plan will test their stamina, their willpower, and the strength of their love for those who dwell alongside them. (Universal House of Justice, to the Bahá’ís of the World, 4 January 2022)
I’ve just been reading 19 pages from the last 3 letters arising from the meeting between the Counsellors and the Universal House of Justice, outlining the upcoming 9-year Plan, including the most recent letter which came out today. Needless to say, it’s overwhelming!
Several things stand out in my mind – the focus seems to have gone from community building to society building, which is really exciting! And there will be more focus on developing LSA’s again, when so many have been lost. International pioneering will again be a focus. Ruhi will be revising but not creating new branch courses – that will be the responsibility of the institute boards. And more than any plan I’ve thought I’ve understood before, the focus seems more than ever, on the working in groups of people.
So where do I fit in? This seems to be answered on page 6 of the 30 December 2021 letter to the Conference of the Continental Board of Counsellors:
The challenge facing the friends serving at the grassroots is essentially the same in every place. They must be able to read their own reality and ask: what, in light of the possibilities and requirements at hand, would be fitting objectives to pursue in the coming cycle or series of cycles?
As an isolated believer in an inactive cluster, serving an online community and loving to serve the Faith from behind my computer screen in my pajamas, where does that leave me? Don’t expect not to be tested! I may have to give up my comfort zone and detach from the things I hold most sacred, in order to enable the Faith to grow according to God’s will and not my own.
Seeing the end in the beginning, through the vision of the House of Justice, I am grateful!
What jumped out for you when you read this passage? Please share your thoughts below.
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