When we grow up a lot our teachers tell us that if we fail to follow their teaching, we would suffer consequences as a result. According to Eastern traditions, the concept of cause and effect or karma can be used to explain bad things that happen to people as being the result of something we did wrong in the past or even in a previous life. We all try to be good people because we carry this type of fear with us and don’t want to experience the bad consequence that come from disobedience. But in life there are always so many challenges we encounter that do not seem to be the result of something we did wrong. We even see people who did all the wrong things and they still live happily in contrast to the person who tries to do the right things. We know very little about God and don’t know what is God’s plan or the reason for things that happen around us. This lack of understanding and fear can pass on from generation to generation and stay with us throughout our life.
Did you know that God requires man to be entangled with the affairs of this world and by these test He challenges the depth of our faith?
Let not this life and its deceits deceive you, for the world and all that is therein is held firmly in the grasp of His Will. He bestoweth His favor on whom He willeth, and from whom He willeth He taketh it away. He doth whatsoever He chooseth. Had the world been of any worth in His sight, He surely would never have allowed His enemies to possess it, even to the extent of a grain of mustard seed. He hath, however, caused you to be entangled with its affairs, in return for what your hands have wrought in His Cause. This, indeed, is a chastisement which ye, of your own will, have inflicted upon yourselves, could ye but perceive it. Are ye rejoicing in the things which, according to the estimate of God, are contemptible and worthless, things wherewith He proveth the hearts of the doubtful? ( Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah)
God allows things to happen to us in order to grow our spirit. If we don’t understand or acknowledge this our reaction can make things even harder on us. When we start to learn about God, we tend to ask God’s help each time we have a challenge. We don’t know why it happen or what God want us to learn from it. Try to observe this, if something is not in our control, such as our job, economic breakdown, natural or man made disaster…what does God want His children learn from it? It is deeper faith in Him and deeper reliance on Him, knowing His power above us and to be humble and summit ourselves to Him. If we have a challenge related to relationships with people around us, the lesson He wants us to learn is to be humble and accept different opinions, forgiveness and learning be patient through serving others and patient about things that are not in our control. Of course there are other things too, but let’s focused on these first, because these happen most frequently to everyone.
Learning about God is a big subject, everyday we can look at one particular thing and think about it. I hope we all learn to look at things in spiritual way. For the things that already happened or the things that are ongoing, let’s think this way, “what does God want me to learn,” instead of reacting to our feelings with emotion. Just like when we were little a lot of time our parents arranged things for us with good reasons. Good parents never give up on their child even if they fail to learn. God has plan for each individual. Even if we fail to learn He still keeps trying. The difficulty is not the consequence or the punishment. This is His love. I hope this recognition will make things easier for you in the future with more courage too.
Let’s continue tomorrow.