April 16th-April 22nd
Monday was our last full day with our host families. This time, some of the goodbyes seemed to be a bit easier than they were in Guatemala City. We have had our share of practicing. As Abdu’l-Baha said goodbye to a group of friends on this date 100 years ago he stated, “The breath of the Holy Spirit is your comforter, and the angels of heaven surround you” (The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 20).
The Mexican people and many other Latin cultures have a similar message of hope while saying goodbye; ‘Vaya con Dios’ (May you go with God) which I like just a tad bit more than ‘Dios te acompañe’ (May God accompany or go with you) because it is an indication of our responsibility. As we traveled in the last week of our journey, these two statements became real to us.
One statement implies that we have a choice as to how close we are to God, and the other implies that He has a choice as to how close He is to us. Is it possible that both of these statements are true at the same time? I am not suggesting that God abandons us, although I do believe that He has the power to choose for us just how far we ‘feel’ from Him. This doesn’t indicate that He is gone by any means. On the contrary, He is ever more close than before, yet we feel pain because He is ‘far’ or joy because He is ‘close.’ In addition, we, as humans, have a will in this too. Should we say our prayers in the morning when we wake up or will we push them back until we have time for them around lunch, or should we read the scriptures now or whenever we find time at the end of the day?
The rest of the week for our group was filled with both feelings of nearness and feelings of distance. The ending of one journey always indicates the beginning of another. Many emotions surface such as…’it’s an adventure to see what is around the corner’ or ‘I’m unsure of what to expect and I am frightened of what the future holds.’ If we took these emotions and equated them with the two positions above…of nearness or distance; I know which one I prefer to work
toward, what about you?