As a registered Bahá’í in the United States, I am automatically subscribed to The American Bahá’í, a magazine that talks about continuing developments regarding the growth of the Bahá’í Faith in the U.S.
In any case, my latest issue of The American Bahá’í came in a plastic bag with a label affixed to it from the U.S. Postal Service. The label acknowledged and apologized for the damage done to the magazine.
When I took it out of the plastic bag, I could see that it was a bit beat up.
But what surprised me the most was when I opened the magazine.
On the left side you can see the inside cover which references the election of the Universal House of Justice. On the right side, we see–um, stock racing cars and the word “Automania?”
A few pages in, I see something that surprises me more–monster trucks in the mud!
Apparently, somebody at the USPS must have made a mistake and put a bunch of magazines through a mail sorter not designed for magazines. As a result, the cover of The American Bahá’í got ripped from the rest of the magazine, and somebody tried to put it back together–but instead slipped in a copy of Automania Gazette & Review.
I have a sense of humor, so I found the whole thing to be quite hilarious.
I have to confess that I don’t read The American Bahá’í very often. The focus of it is on the growth of the Faith in the U.S., and at this point in my life I’m not sure I really see that as my role within the Faith. Kudos to those who do, but at this stage in my spiritual development I feel like I need to focus more on other tenets of the Faith. As such, I do read the Bahá’í Writings twice a day just about every day, and that has made a huge difference for me. As I wrote in a previous post reading Bahá’u’lláh is not easy reading, but a careful read of it (accompanied by pen and notebook to jot down things that stand out–something which I need to do more of) has exposed me to some amazing things.
The Bahá’í Faith feels to me like a complete religion in many ways. While never intended as a religion to “combine” or “cherry-pick” from other religions, it nevertheless distills the wisdom from the other Abrahamic religions that preceded it, coupled with wisdom from Eastern religions, particularly Buddhism (and the notion of detachment–something that has been very helpful to me in recent years), and combined with precepts that address many issues and challenges the modern age. This is significant given that the world was going through major changes between 1844 and 1892–the periods between when the Báb made his great declaration and the year Bahá’u’lláh passed into the spiritual world after forty years of his mission.
I have a 1,200 page volume of Bahá’u’lláh’s Writings–all of his writings that were translated into English. For the past year or two, I’ve been reading a few pages per day as part of my daily readings. I’m now in the 1100’s and almost done. I’m thinking of picking up another reading project after this to deepen myself further. I started it two years ago but haven’t been consistent–it’s to read one of the verses in The Hidden Words and write in a journal about what the implications of that verse on my life.
I should have kept a journal book on had when going through the big 1,200 page book, but the only book I did this for was the Kitáb-i-Íqán. But that was a good first book to with which to experiment with this journaling effort, and I think The Hidden Words will be a good second book for this.