Monday, September 27, 2010

Four-Leaf Clovers

I've been asked why it is that I spend so much time looking at the Baha'i Writings and examing minutae within them.

You know, that's such a great question and one that I have thought about a lot today. And, as usual, the answer came in an unexpected manner.

I was standing at the bus stop waiting for my son's schoolbus, when I noticed that there was a field of three-leaf clovers behind me. I just stood and looked at them, wondering if any of them had that lucky fourth leaf. Was there, amidst those thousands of little green plants, a single one that had that extra piece? I didn't know.

Yet I kept looking.

Then I began to wonder why.

Would I have spent so much time looking if I had anything else to do? Come to think of it, would I have spent any more time if someone told me that there was one there? If someone had said, "Can you find a four-leaf clover in this field", I would be a bit reticent in spending a lot of time on it. But if they said, "Can you find THE four-leaf clover in this field," then I would be more likely to look for a bit longer. After all, I would know that there is one to find.

Or would I?

I figure there are only 3 reasons that someone would claim that there is one in a field like that: either they are lying (for whatever reason), they are deluded, or they are telling the truth.

In other words, for me to spend the inordinate amount of time looking for this elusive plant, I would need to know that they are trustworthy.

Now, with this in mind, I began to think about Baha'u'llah and His Writings. The claim is that there are "pearls of wisdom" contained within His Writings. This is a little bit better than just a bit of supposed luck from an extra leaf on a tiny plant. (By the way, did I ever mention that I think it is bad luck to be superstitious? No? Good.)

To make this claim, He is either lying, deluded or correct.

Without going into it too much, the fact is that I believe, based on my own experience of looking at His Words, that He is telling the truth. That is why I am a Baha'i.

And so I want to find as many of these priceless pearls as I can.

To find those pearls, as every pearl diver knows, you need to dive deep and often into the ocean. This is what I try to do. I could just dip a toe into that Ocean, reading those Words quickly and without much thought, or I could examine the various details and see what else I can discover.

So far I haven't been disappointed.

The more I dive into those Writings, the more I look at the various details and ask why these pieces are written the way they are, the more truths I discover hidden within them.

It is almost like walking through a field of only four-leaf clovers. How lucky is that?

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