Sunday, March 21, 2010


Early Sunday morning, the sun peeking over the horizon, a cat purring on my right. The scent of fresh coffee wafting through the air, an uncommon scent this Naw Ruz day after having abstained from caffeine during the fast.

Naw Ruz is a morning of reflection for me, a time when I reflect a bit more than most mornings, casting my thoughts over the past year and watching them leap forward for another one. It is also a time of small indulgences, a time to appreciate the gifts of God within this world.

Although most mornings I make myself some sort of a hot drink to clear away the dryness from my throat, today I make an especially good cup of coffee, and add in some cinnamon (the best I can find), along with a tinge of the best vanilla available. We are, after all, to enjoy the gifts of this world; neither to scorn them nor allow them to become a barrier between us and our Creator.

I partake of some homemade muffins, made with fine ingredients, and soon to be shared with dear friends as the rest of the house slowly wakens.

This is a good day.

I am reminded, as I pause to think over the past 19 months, since last Naw Ruz, of the strange twists and turns this last year has taken. My dear son, who is now 5, has grown healthier and more rambunctious, filled with a sweet spirit of faith, and a wisdom that defies my belief.

My wife has had a difficult year, what with being out of town most of last summer, and then suffering a mis-carriage. It has been trying for her, but she is coming through stronger and more beautiful than ever.

My dear step-father passed away late in 2009, and he will be sorely missed, dear friend that he was since I was my own son's age. I am truly grateful that we were able to see him one last time, and say our farewells, before he passed. That was a gift beyond compare. Shoghi still breaks out in tears every now and then, months later, saying he misses his "Papoum". I can only smile with tears my own eyes as we say a prayer for Harold's soul. Again, I am grateful for Shoghi's wisdom and love.

The paw on my lap reminds me to not forget George, my God-touched cat, and his role in this blog. If it was not for this cat, this blog would never have begun.

But all of this is, in the end, the superficial stuff. It is what gives flavour, to be sure, to my life, but the true gifts lie below it all. It is the true gifts that allow me to appreciate these other ones.  After all, throughout this recent fast, I have asked God to supply me "with the Hidden Gift Thou didst ordain for the choicest among Thy creatures." What, I must ask myself, are some of these hidden gifts? I have already easily recognized just a few of the obvious ones, the ones that are not really hidden, even though I left out many, such as dear family members and friends.
I have prayed, time and again, to "Number me not with them who read Thy words and fail to find Thy hidden gift which, as decreed by Thee, is contained therein, and which quickeneth the souls of Thy creatures and the hearts of Thy servants." And I read, over and over, to be allowed to turn in the direction of these gifts, to acknowledge them, and to not let them out of my sight.

"What are they?" I find myself asking on this morning of gift acknowledgement.

These true gifts, to which all these other ones bow, include "First and foremost... the gift of understanding... Next in rank, is the power of vision, the chief instrument whereby his understanding can function. The senses of hearing, of the heart, and the like, are similarly to be reckoned among the gifts with which the human body is endowed."

When I think of those who have passed away this past year, I recall that Baha'u'llah says that death "conferreth the gift of everlasting life".

As I filter through the Writings, looking for more of these gifts, I find "the gift of Thy presence", "every ordeal suffered in Thy path", "justice", "wisdom", God's "majesty", "the gift of unity", "peace and tranquility": these are just a few of the ones mentioned.

Without any one of these gifts, these precious treasures found within the storehouse of the Divine, all the other gifts I mentioned would wither. These are what allow me to appreciate what I have.

But "That which is preeminent above all other gifts, is incorruptible in nature, and pertaineth to God Himself, is the gift of Divine Revelation."

And that, dear Reader, is what makes it all valuable.

1 comment:

  1. Hi
    Discovered your blog today and found it really intersting, engaging and useful. I've put myself down as a follower, so I'm looking foward to keeping up to date with your entries.
    Want to come have a look at mine? I'm a Scottish Baha'i of 30 years standing, working for the past three years as Equality and Diversity Officer with Leicester Council of Faiths. I've just posted my own Naw Ruz entry on my blog today.
    Good luck to you and yours in all the things in your life.
    George M Ballentyne