In the Baha’i Writings, we find this passage: “And now I give you a commandment which shall be for a covenant between you and me – that ye have faith; that your faith be steadfast as a rock that no storms can move, that nothing can disturb, and that it endure through all things even to the end; even should ye hear that your Lord has been crucified, be not shaken in your faith; for I am with you always, whether living or dead, I am with you to the end. As ye have faith so shall your powers and blessings be. This is the balance – this is the balance – this is the balance.”
What does that mean, “this is the balance?”
It means that faith is the balance we need in our lives. We have an epidemic in this country of people of all ages who downshift into their lower selves when there is a conflict or other situation that they have trouble handling. Survival instincts take over as higher brain functions turn off. Small problems often get worse as wisdom is often completely lacking. This is where balance-faith is needed. Those who have faith have an extra bulwark against fear and against taking rash action. That’s why we need to teach our children to have faith.
When children are born, they have many needs for nourishment. Some are physical and very noticeable. Others are mental and spiritual. The need for love is well-documented, as are academic needs. Many people recognize the need for spiritual nourishment as well. For without this nourishment, the development of faith is often stilted.
Children and adults too, for that matter, need to explore and investigate how their spiritual capacities relate to the rest of the world to make the world better for themselves and everyone else as well. These things are referred to in the Baha’i Faith as the “fundamental verities.” We have a series of books we study in study circles with a tutor who has taken the class before with activities and stories meant to develop an understanding of great spiritual truths taught in all religions.
There have been many times in my life when faith has made a big difference. Once when I was on the way to work down a slick mountain road, my car started to slide sideways. I quickly said the name of God that Baha’is say when danger threatens as my life passed quickly before me. (My funny Baha’i friend said, “That wasn’t what I would have said!”) I kept my head and the car straightened right out. I said a quick “thank you” and went on to work.
I’m so glad that my children are children of faith because life is a lot more challenging mentally these days than it was when I grew up. I hope other parents will give their children the extra chance that faith offers to make the right choices in life. Remember as it says above, “As ye have faith, so shall your powers and blessings be.”Rich Young is a member of the Baha’i Assembly of Thurston East. Perspective is coordinated by Interfaith Works in cooperation with The Olympian. The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by Interfaith Works or The Olympian.