One would never think of going on a trip without some sort of guidance, whether to daily familiar places or to more distant destinations where highway and street signs along with other landmarks keep us on the right path. How unfortunate it is as we mature, as men and nations, that we feel capable of charting our own course along this world’s most important journey–the journey of Life, especially as it relates to others as most actions do in this new age of perceived freedoms.
In mankind’s infancy such guidance often came from the footprints of pioneers and the hoof prints of their beasts of burden, progressing over time to wheels of various crude and sundry kinds, to rail, interstate highways and aircrafts, all designed for ever increasing speeds with guidance changing from crude maps to Map Quest to increasingly popular GPS (Global Positioning Systems) now available on motor vehicles, cell phones, etc.
When the world moved at a much slower pace with fewer high tech distractions, guidance was easier to detect. With today’s advanced audio and visual technology guidance is made more theatrical with exquisite sound and lighting effects and everything appears to be instant–sending the message to an impatient modern day society that all change and results can and must be instant. Former aspirations to excel in legal, medical, teaching and other crucial professions that effect the masses have given way to seeking quick fixes and becoming instant millionaires, through the lottery or on any number of television shows that offer $-millions or hundreds of $-thousands within less than an hour. The mass hysteria of today’s “entertainment” hardly allows opportunity for beholding any signs of wholesome guidance.
Caught up also in the instant hysteria are religious perspectives as we hear voices raised declaring: “As the prayers go up, the blessings come down.” How diametrically opposed the Hymns and Scriptures of old that I came up hearing as voiced by my mother as: “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” – Philippians 4:11; or “Lead Kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom. Lead Thou me on, the night is dark and I am far from home. Keep Thou my feet, I do not ask to see the distant scene; one step enough for me;” along with countless other declarations of voluntary patience, resignation and humility without humiliation.
Beholding the signs of Spiritual Guidance in this illumined age, however (from whatsoever Lamp it shines), is but the first step. The second is to follow the signs once recognized for we have been assured in the Baha’i Writings that to do so in this New Day, “He will come to your aid with invisible hosts, and support you with armies of inspiration from the Concourse above.”