27 September to 22 November 2015 (172 B.E.)
Mashíyyat* | ‘Ilm** | Qudrat ***
Objective: Little by little; Day by day
Select Lines of Action:
- Recite marriage prayer & memorize quote on overlooking faults [Bahá’u’lláh] each morning
- Read Mindful Matrimony daily
- Incorporate one “mindful principle” each month
If any differences arise amongst you, behold Me standing before your face, and overlook the faults of one another for My name’s sake and as a token of your love for My manifest and resplendent Cause.
~Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings, #146 p315
One must see in every human being only that which is worthy of praise. When this is done, one can be a friend to the whole human race. If, however, we look at people from the standpoint of their faults, then being a friend to them is a formidable task…. Thus is it incumbent upon us, when we direct our gaze toward other people, to see where they excel, not where they fail.
~Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, #144 p169
Perhaps the greatest test Bahá’ís are ever subjected to is from each other; but for the sake of the Master they should be ever ready to overlook each other’s mistakes, apologize for harsh words they have uttered, forgive and forget. He strongly recommends to you this course of action.
~LG#2037 (18 Feb. 1945 on behalf of Shoghi Effendi)
As the cycle began we were nervous, fearful, apprehensive, scattered, etc. In short, we were overwhelmed. We were about to depart the Bahá’í World Centre, in Haifa, Israel, a place of unity, purpose, growth, support, consecration, and transformation; a place we called “home” for 30 months. Further, we were in the midst of relocating to a new place, with a new purpose, leaving behind friends who had become family. Last, we knew that health problems were plaguing our closest relatives, that we were about to travel for an extended period of time visiting familiar and unfamiliar faces, and that we were soon to encounter a myriad of tests and difficulties lurking in a country where gross materialism and individualism runt rampant. So, given the aforementioned, we asked ourselves where do we turn? To whom do we turn? To what do we turn? It was at that point that we chose to rely upon God, prayer, and meditation, one another and the institution that we are building and serving, family and friends, and those we know “see us” for who we are. In prayer we were asking for courage, strength, patience, support, encouragement, grace, and love. Therefore, for three months (57 days), we intended to learn how to remain connected to our Lord, explore new places with curiosity, meet new people with open hearts, support one another’s life’s work, overcome any feelings of fear and failure, and move from a place of merely surviving, to a place of confidence, trust, calm, a place of purely thriving, reminding ourselves that within our marriage lies power, and that the framework we are building supports this power, little by little, day by day.
The result, steady and firm. On the one hand, this cycle could be seen as a dud; we did not accomplish much of what we set out to accomplish as we were constantly pulled in a multitude of directions by people, places, and priorities. On the other hand, we were able to spend time with our families and we managed to keep service at the center of our lives. Service opportunities presented themselves in various and unique contexts in ways that were different than what we were accustomed to in the Holy Land. Furthermore, we often found ourselves drawing on the guidance we set out to memorize throughout the cycle, and we felt very supported by each other. It was a blessing to have the time to just “be” with one another, serving in various capacities as a couple. While we aren’t quite ready to settle into our next phase of life, we believe that some of the lines of action we initiated and maintained in this cycle will be wonderful additions to our life as we look to the future.
*Will **Knowledge ***Power