One thing I was thinking about Before Sunset was, okay these two people are obviously meant for each other. They fell madly in love 9 years ago but then lost track of each other. Now they come together and feel the same way but it’s been so long. There are so many what ifs! His marriage is loveless, but his relationship with his son is full of love! Can they get together or not? Is it even right? How could it be wrong? And again WHAT IF they had JUST exchanged contact information 9 years ago? (silent scream) How would their lives be different?
I just feel I can really relate to their situation. What if? And on the other end, here I am now, with my Beloved before me! Am I going to sulk about what could have been or embrace the fullness of life to come? They’re both 32 too! They can feel like things are doomed because they missed so much or they can begin the process of healing and coming together into an eternal, blissful union. They can be rash and repeat mistakes of their youth or they can use the wisdom they’ve earned so dearly to make this most precious dream a wholesome, praiseworthy reality!
I just think Before Sunset captures SO PERFECTLY the position that many people my age probably are in. I don’t really know but I just feel like early thirties for many of us is a time of catching out breath, stepping back and saying “Whoa! What just happened? What happened in my twenties and where am I now? Who have I become and where is my life headed? Is it what I want? Do I even know what I want? What I am going to do? This is the moment of truth! This is the crossroads! I learned a lot of hard lessons and had a ton of experiences in my twenties that led me to where I am now, but I’m still on my way. I haven’t arrived. This is that brief window where I have a chance to reflect on where I’ve been and where I’m going and to change my course so that it heads directly for my heart’s desire, to make many important adjustments to how I proceed based on the wisdom I’ve gained. This is my chance before I really arrive and have to dwell for some time in an existence that my heart cannot be at peace with!”
Or maybe I’ve just taken so long to get anywhere that I’ve arrived here late and most other folks have already arrived, for better or for worse. Either way, for me this is the time. If I don’t exercise in get in shape in the next several months, it’s just not gonna happen. Same for studying the Baha’i writings, applying to MSW programs, praying and reading the Scriptures morning and evening, getting proper sleep. If not now, when? This is my golden opportunity! I have a chance to achieve many victories here and then go back to Austin in a blaze of glory! Accepted to graduate school! Twenty pounds lighter! More learned in the Faith! Healthier! In a spiritual zone! Why not? It’s not magic. It’s simple cause and effect.
I co-hosted a new devotional today for the first time. It was awesome despite a few kinks. It feels good to be somewhat active. Anyways, in preparation for it I read some of The Seven Valleys, in particular the Valley of Love. He saith:
“In this city the heaven of ecstasy is upraised and the world-illuming sun of yearning shineth, and the fire of love is ablaze; and when the fire of love is ablaze, it burneth to ashes the harvest of reason.
Now is the traveler unaware of himself, and of aught besides himself. He seeth neither ignorance nor knowledge, neither doubt nor certitude; he knoweth not the morn of guidance from the night of error. He fleeth both from unbelief and faith, and deadly poison is a balm to him. Wherefore Attar saith:
For the infidel, error -- for the faithful, faith;
For Attar's heart, an atom of Thy pain.”
I was thinking about how it is to be in the throes of new love, falling in love, being in love. How that felt for me, what I can understand from what I’ve seen in others. Yes, that’s how it is! It burns away all your reason! And all your reasons. It was like my mind was suddenly able to tear through all the veils and all the distractions and everything and my purpose, my desire, everything became clear! Just love her and bask in her love was my thought when I was in love with Kristen. Just love Baha’u’llah and bask in His love was my only thought when I was in love with Baha’u’llah. Nothing else mattered! Hah! Are you kidding! I don’t need reasons! I have no concern for doubt or certitude, unbelief or faith! I only long to be with my Beloved! That is ALL I care about! The rest I leave to whoever wants it. You can have all of it forever! I’ve got all I need and infinitely more!
To be IN that! To be really experiencing it and not just believing it. To be really feeling it and not just knowing it! In Before Sunset, Jesse and Celine have the priceless chance to renew their love, to fulfill their dreams, to be with their heart’s desire. They have a second chance at true love! That is not something to take lightly! Here I’ve been longing for a second chance at true love with a girl (not the same girl) when I’ve got a second chance at true love with Baha’u’llah! The former may take years to manifest, whereas the latter is ready! He saith:
“O MOVING FORM OF DUST!
I desire communion with thee, but thou wouldst put no trust in Me. The sword of thy rebellion hath felled the tree of thy hope. At all times I am near unto thee, but thou art ever far from Me. Imperishable glory I have chosen for thee, yet boundless shame thou hast chosen for thyself. While there is yet time, return, and lose not thy chance.”
Wow! That just says it all! First of all, I’m a stump of a tree, chopped down by my own rebellion. Not a hopeful image, yet He says there is still time! I still have a chance! Kristen is far from me, married with a kid. There’s no chance for that love. It’s gone. The only earthly love I’ve ever known is at all times a million miles away from me. Wow, that’s discouraging. I can feel that way about someone and then it just ends like that with no second chance? So this must be the ending between this servant and His Best Beloved. I turned my back on Him and then He began His inexorable drift into the far reaches of the galaxy. I am alone forever. WRONG! He is near to me, closer than my life vein. He is here with me. He is so close, so ready AT ALL TIMES. That means every single moment of every day of all my life.
Yet I do not trust Him. HE desires communion with ME? Wait, wait, He desires communion with me? Why? What can I possible have to offer that he would desire? I don’t know but I know it’s not a mistake. I know He really wants me back! What human being is even remotely that forgiving and selfless and loving! No one I can think of! And that’s just one set of qualities! He is superior to all others in every way! There’s not even the beginning of a comparison! I mean, a supermodel who is also a true saint has nothing on Him! NOTHING! No comparison! No supermodel saints are knocking on my door, much less desiring communion with me. But he desires communion with me! How many people in this life even care if I trust them? Very few think about that at all. He points to it as something of vital importance, a barrier between us! I can’t even remember the last time someone pointed out something that was holding us back from being closer to each other!
It’s true, I put no trust in Him! How do I trust Him? What do I do that’s based on trust? I don’t even trust that He’s really THERE! I “believe” in Him. SO WHAT! Yay, I believe. What does that mean? Did the martyrs believe? No, they trusted. They didn’t judge and weigh and then decide to believe, and keep judging and weighing and keep deciding to believe. They took a running jump off the cliff of trust in Him! They loved Him! They trusted that He would always return their love, that He would always be there for them! They flung themselves forward with no thought for themselves and trusted that he would guide them and direct their steps! Their hearts burned with love for Him and nothing else mattered! They were running to Him, flying to Him at all times!
He inhabited a body once, but no more. How can I be with Him then? Well, hey, why does being in a body have to be so important! He exists as He is! He is with me. Do I trust that He is? He loves me. Do I trust that He does? He desires for me return to Him, saying:
“O SON OF GLORY!
Be swift in the path of holiness, and enter the heaven of communion with Me. Cleanse thy heart with the burnish of the spirit, and hasten to the court of the Most High.”
Do I trust Him enough to set forth swiftly on the path of return?
The Sounds of Christmas: Outro
3 years ago