My thoughts take me back to a scene from a movie. A feather whirls about in the air. It flies up to the trees and then down near the feet of Forrest Gump.

Off again that feather flies into the sky, signifying the constant flow of our lives. In the case of Forrest, he was such a pure soul that he never went against the current, but rather always gave himself up to the will of God. He submitted to whatever life brought him with a pure, kindly and radiant heart.

“Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get,” he famously said, and whatever he got he was thankful for.

How do we become so pure of heart? How do we ride the breeze of God’s will? Lightening the load of the self will make our spirits more buoyant. Renouncing the ego can lift us higher. When it is not about our wants, we are not fighting the wind and can better see what God has in store for us:

There is no peace for thee save by renouncing thyself and turning unto Me; for it behooveth thee to glory in My name, not in thine own; to put thy trust in Me and not in thyself, since I desire to be loved alone and above all that is. – Baha’u’llah, The Hidden Words, p. 5.

I implore Thee, O my Lord, by Thy name the splendors of which have encompassed the earth and the heavens, to enable me so to surrender my will to what Thou hast decreed in Thy Tablets, that I may cease to discover within me any desire except what Thou didst desire through the power of Thy sovereignty, and any will save what Thou didst destine for me by Thy will. – Baha’u’llah, Prayers and Meditations, p. 241.

Personally, I really get myself into trouble when I don’t release myself to the wind of God’s will. One example is my nagging fear of someday getting Alzheimer’s. I ruminate and worry every time I forget something or when I think I am displaying early signs of dementia. In so doing, this practice draws everything dementia-related into my life and escalates my fear.

Today I went to the funeral of a beloved elderly man in my community. It wasn’t until I arrived that I learned that he had Alzheimer’s disease the last days of his life. I thought to myself–how terrible! But then I listened to precious stories about how he lived his life serving humankind. It was only the last few years that he felt the effects of the disease; just a blip in his wonderful life. The condition never affected his soul. I will always remember him as healthy, smiling and kind, as do all who knew him. He lived his life on the breeze of God’s will and is at peace now.

The only way out of the fear, I realized, is to cling to love. I had to believe that God loved me and no matter what would take care of me. Focusing on the love and not the fear brought me peace:  

Rely upon God. Trust in Him. Praise Him, and call Him continually to mind. He verily turneth trouble into ease, and sorrow into solace, and toil into utter peace. He verily hath dominion over all things.

If thou wouldst hearken to my words, release thyself from the fetters of whatsoever cometh to pass. Nay, rather, under all conditions thank thou thy loving Lord, and yield up thine affairs unto His Will that worketh as He pleaseth. This is better for thee than all else in either world. – Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 178.

After the funeral a dear friend saw me crying. He said with a smile, “Kathy, this life will last but a few minutes longer. It is so short, there is no time but to be happy.” I recognized that I had spent hours worrying about things that might never happen, rather than taking advantage of the few precious moments I have left:

O thou who art turning thy face towards God! Close thine eyes to all things else, and open them to the realm of the All-Glorious. Ask whatsoever thou wishest of Him alone; seek whatsoever thou seekest from Him alone. With a look He granteth a hundred thousand hopes, with a glance He healeth a hundred thousand incurable ills, with a nod He layeth balm on every wound, with a glimpse He freeth the hearts from the shackles of grief. He doeth as He doeth, and what recourse have we? He carrieth out His Will, He ordaineth what He pleaseth. Then better for thee to bow down thy head in submission, and put thy trust in the All-Merciful Lord. – Ibid., p. 51.

To trust is to be as a feather in the breeze of God’s will. To have faith is the secret to flowing with the constant current of the wind instead of fighting it. God, in His unfailing love, always knows what is best for us, so why struggle against the outcome of His will? After all, what choice do we ever have?

The opinions and views expressed in this article are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of BahaiTeachings.org or any institution of the Baha’i Faith.

18 Comments

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  • Mark David Vinzens
    Jan 05, 2018
    What God has [to give] is better for you, if only you knew. (The Holy Quran, Surat An-Naĥl: 16:95)
    • Jan 05, 2018
      Thank you Mark for this very pertinent quote! I wish it was included it in the article, but hope that people will read your comments here. It is definately something I want to remember.
  • Alan
    Jan 05, 2018
    As the husband and caregiver of a beloved wife diagnosed with Alzheimer's learning to accept the will of God has been the greatest blessing. Our love grows stronger the more I allow God's will, His law of love, to rule every moment of our lives. Without it, our lives could be constant sorrow and worry about tomorrow. Striving to allow the splendours, the attributes of God, to illumine my inner being, make everyday a joy. Yes, there will be tests and difficulties, but they exist only so that I might know God's will. What a bounty!
    • Jan 05, 2018
      Dear Alan,
      I am so grateful that you have shared this beauty and wisdom with all of us. I want to remember your sweet and loving words always.
  • Jan 05, 2018
    Hi Ellen. It is purely coincidental that I have quoted only two authors in this piece. In one of my recent articles I quoted 5 different authors. Wikipedia states that, "The Bahá'í Faith is recognized as the second-most geographically widespread religion after Christianity."
    Raised a feminist, I can unequivocally say that I have found no other religion to be more of a champion of womens rights and equality than the Baha'i Faith. Please check out some of the articles at this site or Google "womens equality and the Bahai faith", regarding this subject that is too lengthy to address ...here. Thank you for your questions, Ellen. Independent investigation of truth is a primary principal of the Baha'i Faith.
    Read more...
  • Ellen Griffiths
    Jan 05, 2018
    I see only teachings from first world Bahais. This concerns me. Is the faith really international? And
    The administration in Haifa is male only. Is the faith really non-sexist?
  • Jan 05, 2018
    This is a really great revelation, great wisdom, often learned through experience.
  • Luna Issakhany
    Jan 04, 2018
    Beautiful article!!! To be a feather in the breeze of God’s will is probably the most peaceful and serene state one can attain. It implies making efforts, trying things and seeing what doors open and in which direction God confirms us. It also implies learning to pray not for what we want but rather to ask God to help us accept His will, whatever it is. Developing absolute trust in God is a long but beautiful journey :)
    • Jan 04, 2018
      Thank you for your lovely comments, Luna. So beautifully expressed!
  • Deborah Hauth Crumbaker-Oldham
    Jan 04, 2018
    I have struggled with this for many years now. How do I know what is God's Will? How do I tell if what is happening to me is God's Will or the result of my own actions? In 2000 started having pain in my hips as I walked. I consulted physicians and underwent many different therapies and even surgery on my back multiple times. I had injections, I had discs removed, I had physical therapy , I had psychiatric therapy, I tried Chinese herbal medicine, I tried chiropractic therapy and through out it all I was on a wide ...variety of medications. Things just continued to get worse and worse and finally I lost my career. Since about 2006 I have lived in a reclining chair in a corner of my living room. I have prayed constantly for healing. God's Will?
    Read more...
    • Jan 04, 2018
      I personally do not believe that we become ill or experience hardships as a result of our own actions, per se, but as tools for learning detachment, wisdom and to guide us closer to God. All of us experience troubles in our lives and I am so sorry that yours are so intense. I can think of so many quotes that address your concerns from the Holy Scriptures from the many articles here that have addressed this very subject Deborah that I believe would be quite helpful. Sincere prayers for answers and healing dear.
      Facing Pain.Tests and Trials with Infinite ...Joy
      How the Soul Deals with Suffering
      Can Pain Be Good for You
      Read more...
    • Jan 04, 2018
      I personally do not believe that we become ill or experience hardships as a result of our own actions, per se, but as tools for learning detachment, wisdom and to guide us closer to God. All of us experience troubles in our lives and I am so sorry that yours are so intense. I can think of so many quotes that address your concerns from the Holy Scriptures from the many articles here that have addressed this very subject Deborah that I believe would be quite helpful. Sincere prayers for answers and healing dear.
      http://bahaiteachings.org/facing-pain-tests-trials-infinite-joy
      http://bahaiteachings.org/how-the-soul-deals-with-suffering
      http://bahaiteachings.org/can-pain-be-good-for-you
  • Jules R
    Jan 04, 2018
    Heartfelt and poignant article 💖
  • Jan 04, 2018
    Just what I needed to read this morning. I resonate strongly to your way of thinking and seeing things. Thank you Kathy.
    • Jan 04, 2018
      That's so sweet of you to share dear Patricia. Thank you!
  • Elaine Tahririha
    Jan 04, 2018
    Beautiful. Thank you.