Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Striving to teach out of LOVE, not sheer obedience - Hoff stories

Another enlightening story shared yesterday by our active teacher-friend Richard Hoff that highlights the importance of having a pure motive when teaching. At one point he refers to the injunction given by the beloved Guardian to each believer: "Never must they let a day pass without teaching some soul, trusting to Baha'u'llah that the seed will grow." (Guidelines for Teaching, #1995)

Dear Friends,

My wife agrees with me that in my case "teaching is the dominating passion of my life." I am not disagreeing but often it is not as simple as it seems.

I put teaching a new soul every day above purity of heart. Example: Decades ago I was so immature that I would get mad and rebellious. [My wife] says, even then I was better than I was when she married me.

This one time I committed to go reservation teaching and decided to back out. [My wife] pushed me into going. I was mad. I was driving the car with her and two youth. I saw a hitchhiker! I stopped and had [my wife] get in the back and had the hitchhiker sit by me. Bla, bla, bla and I got his card signed.

Then I had the others deepen him and we took him with us to the Baha'i home on the reservation. When we got there, I knew [my wife] was upset. She took me aside and told me how offensive that teaching experience was to her. She said you didn't love him, you just wanted another notch on your gun handle (an old western term).

I went from being mad at the world to thinking, WOW! I realized I taught him because I had not been obiedent to teaching some soul that day. I instantly changed into being engaged and loving again. I taught out of obiedence to teach someone every day.

Was I a pure channel? No I was antaganistic, mad and angry. That experience has had a profound effect on my life.

BUT I WAS OBIEDENT TO TEACHING A SOUL EACH DAY!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!! !!

Therefore for me, I make it a point to get involved with a new person every day that I am able to do so. Often I even get out bed when I am sick and got to a store to meet new people. By the way, it physically helps me to get well.

I don't think one can be a pure hearted teacher unless they learn to talk to new people, no matter if they are in a spiritual low, they do it anyway. The Spirit Of Baha'u'llah gudies us when we are engaged in delivering the message. We do it right and we flub it. That's the way we learn.

The writings say the twin pillars for our growth are REWARD AND PUNISHMENT.

love you,
J. Richard Hoff

No comments: