An Escape Route: Quiet Time

DSC04648

“The mind is willing but the body is weak.”  You already heard it couple of times.  Here I’m not explaining about it.  It’s just a phrase, for many.

There is an old Mango tree nearby.  Birds resting on its branches are a common sight.  I envy them a lot.  Straight to my window was their resting place.  When they are in chirping mood, it was a pleasant sight.  More than that, they take rest in the branches from the scorching heat of the sun in noontime.  They did not make noise nor do they disturb one another.  They are observing quiet time, I would say.  I’d love to join them.

I love loud music.  The louder it became the more I enjoyed.  But that was in the past.  After a series of hospital visits and the surgical procedure followed by medication, life is different.  My tolerance level changes.  Many times I would like to elude myself from the noisy atmosphere of the metropolitan city, where I lived now.  The melodious sound of the past became a loud noise in the ear.

After years of treatment, the body metabolism changes, this kept troubling normal life.   It was refreshing to tune into soulful songs at times.  The world now is full of innovative things for better living and enjoyment for the dwellers.  Noise was much contained than earlier.   Every small device produced noise, as it makes the owner kept excited.

With children, you need to talk and laugh more than being with adult person.  Being at home, I spent most of my time with our children, and I love it.  We fought hard to live up to each other’s expectations.  We needed to play and dance to keep them engaged and happy.  It keeps me active and alert.

In my younger days, I spent my time in the village, the country-side.  There, we hardly had good sound devices.  We were roaming in the quiet forest.  Back then, we talked about life in Metro Cities with great excitement.

Now all things has changed.  If there is a Bible and good books to read, I would want to escape in quiet place alone.  But that was not possible at all.  I’d love listening to the voice of God in the quietness of time.  There are so many things that stole our thinking and time.  May be that’s why quiet time was more important.

But quiet time alone, without God will serve no purpose.  We are blessed to have God who is always with us, in sickness and in health!

Related read: Stay Connected: Precautions

Finding Favor

Not by our choice we are given this life.  God had given us the privilege to live this beautiful life.   God created the earth and its inhabitants.  ‘And God saw that it was good,’ it is written.  We are one among them.  Then, sin entered the world.  It was growing ever since, it seems.  Now there is no one who can find favor in the eyes of the Lord.

Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of their heart was only evil, continually.  And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord wanted to destroy them.  But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.  Among mankind, it was only Noah who was still righteous.  Here we can see that the Lord was always watching mankind.

Noah was the only person who did not engrossed himself in the wickedness.  One commentary mentioned that the earth did not need rain till that time.  Dew drops were sufficient for the vegetation, which implies that it would difficult for him to believed God’s word about the ensuing flood.  In his great faith, he built an Ark as commanded, which saved his whole family and the creatures.

Noah was also a human like us.  He must have his chances to indulge in the wicked things.  Finding favor in the workplace and in the family itself is hard.  We knew it.  But consider this; Noah found favor in the Lord.  Let us also strive to find favor in the Lord first.  Then all things will fall in order in the workplace and in the family.

Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations.  He did all things as commanded by the Lord.  He spent his time with the Lord.

While I was reading this, Enoch came to my mind.  Enoch walked with God, and God took him.  His death was not mentioned.  While walking with the Lord he was no more.  He spent his time with God.   God wanted friendship from us.  He wanted to stay connected, always.

God is good to those who seek refuge in Him.  He even saved them from the wicked world.  He did NOT let favoritism play spoilsport.  He is not selfish.  Should we try to find favor among our beings, it simply resulted in bitterness.  It won’t be longer still before God destroys the earth.  Let us seek refuge in Him.  In Him, we find comfort and complete happiness.

Does the way of the wicked instill fear?

Nearer we drew to Thee, our Rock of Refuge

Does the world call us to shun God?

Let us strive to walk with Him, always.

Small stuff Big stuff

moses staff

In life, some make it big some make it small.  Achievements are what we are talking about.  Unlike any other thing, it depends on who measure it and how it is measured.  Some are born to perform big things while some performed small but very important things in life.

At least before you do something worthy, your life here on earth will not end.  God has purpose in your life.  That purpose, not everyone knew in their lifetime.  Still they have done their part.  Some knew it but deny it.  However, they came back to the One in time, before it’s too late.  You are surely to have contribution at least for people around you.  How you contribute will differ.

There are times when we felt we aren’t contributing.  We are supposed to be leading but it’s just impossible to achieve that Herculean task.  You hit a dead wall on your road.  You have no strength to overcome that particular obstacle.  Let me draw one instance in Moses’ life;

Moses denies his calling but he humbled and gave in to be part of God’s mission in bringing out the Israelites from Egypt.  With God by his side, the Israelites were delivered to begin their journey towards Canaan, the Promised Land.  But then, the Red Sea stands in their way.  What Moses did here was worth mentioning; he cried out to the Lord, and he obeyed His command to hold out his stick towards the sea. (read Exodus 14)

That’s not huge at all.  He needed to hold out his stick.  Moses did the small stuff; God did the big stuff.  Moses took time to talk with God in the midst of tumultuous groaning of the Israelites.  He had conversation with God, he seeks words from Him.  That gave him way forward.  The Red Sea was divided.  The children of Israelites walked on dry land in the midst of the sea.

When life’s tempest tossed, talk to Him; seek words from Him.  We needed to do something on our part as we see here in what Moses did.  Try to do something with what is in your hand however little they might be.  To reveal the faith within us, God wanted us to do the little thing.

Joshua was given seven days to perform the small stuff, that’s what he can do best in his might.  On the seventh day, God did the big stuff for His people.  The Wall of Jericho collapsed and they conquered the city. (read Joshua 6)

Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness…., God will do the big stuff.

Take your time and talk to God.  It is the contribution that matters whether big or small.  You don’t to script your big time life story.  Perform the small stuff, with great faith.

*stuff: things, activities.  Little things Big things

Fallen Leaf

Fallen_leaf

We were strolling in the park nearby with my little ones.  A cool breeze was blowing unexpectedly in the evening.  Scorching heat of the sun was experienced throughout the day.  By the way, it might rain tomorrow.

Few days ago, my children came home from school.  He said, “Daddy, I bring some home work for you. ”  The assignment was to make symbolic bird’s nest for school activity.   It was indeed homework for parents as Pre-school children are not able to do nothing on their own.

Now, here in the park, we were searching for dry twigs and fallen leaves to make a symbolic bird’s nest for my children. My son refused to pick up some fallen leaves.  He told me that they were too new and looks so good to be picked up play with.  I told him that we need to pick them up as they cannot be put back in the branches.  “Oh!” he sighed.

While we were still under those trees, few leaves fall on the ground.  So my son was wondering, “Why are they falling down when they can be used by the tree?”

“The wind was blowing hard so they can’t stand the force,” I replied.

So we picked up the leaves, even the new leaves.  After all, they are fallen.  They are dead.

The process of photosynthesis was explained in its simplest terms.  And we talked about trees.  The importance of trees for clean air was reiterated.  Being responsible in our role and to live in harmony during our short span of life was also told.

The leaves, after they fell, are unable to perform their duties.  I told my children, “They did not travel.  They did not change places.  But still they have their given role.  They worked to sustain the life of the tree, where they grew.  They worked together responsibly.”

“When they move, they move together.  They did not complaint each other.  The green leaves look bright and happy, always.  They are shining because they are happy.”  I continued.

Yes, it might be simple and boring for adults.  But for children, they are in learning mode so they get attracted and learned the lessons in simple things too.  Many times, our life span was compared to the flowers, which dried up in the evening.

By now you must have known the reason I told this simple activity.  Living together responsibly and harmoniously is one among the essence of life.

You will always be mine

As a parent, I am not averse to mild physical punishment of children at home.  But it can be avoided or better still if it’s not necessary at all.  I hope we have our own view regarding it.  We can defend our own views too.  In that way, it depends on the one who use it and who don’t use it.

Years ago, I, unwillingly, had to administered the rod of discipline on my son for the first time.  All the negotiations had failed.  I had already told him if he didn’t abide with the authority (here the father i.e. me), physical punishment may ensue.

The case:  Playing time was over.  He demanded more.  It was time for just 10-15 minutes of learning.  He did not comply.  The authority was challenged.  If the authority can be surpassed every time, it’d had no meaning to its existence.  My son pleaded the wrong way, with crying and throwing the toys.  It was time to do something.

All possible efforts were done to let him know what he did was just wrong.  That is, to remain calm.  It was impossible to condone the situation.  So I administered what was promised, just two times.  He submitted himself right away.

I took him in my arms and held him tight.  We say prayer for forgiveness and ask God to help us in the future.  We acknowledge Him to be our witness.  And that, He bless our effort to be good and inculcate wisdom in the right way.  By the time we finished our prayer, we both said “Amen” in agreement.

My son said, “Papa, sorry!  I will be a good boy…” Tears of happiness ensued.  I gently rubbed his pain with my hands so that the pain might ease soon.   At the same time, I am comforting him.  Assuring him, whether good or bad he will always be mine.  I will always love him.  I also reminded him it was out of love, and it won’t happen again unless otherwise needed.   In a moment, both of us became happy.

By the way, we all need to know there is a higher authority in the society and in the world.  Those who can outrun authority from childhood are a menace to the society.  By the time they grow up, none can teach them the right way.  They cannot live responsibly in the realm of the society.  They have power within them, they thought.

It’s just that we needed to react in time.  Love can sometimes be painful though!

Dear son, I love you more.  You will always be mine!

*(This is written based on my journal some years ago.)

Nurturing young minds

They were playing with their toys.  Enacting stories to the best effort they can achieve.  The elder would perform monologue when he feels like.  The younger appreciated the effort of her brother.  Laughter and cheering filled the room.  It is the ideal atmosphere every family would dream of.

The words spoken were pure, coming straight from the heart.  There is no sign of manipulating any situation created so that one might gain edge over the other.   Two kids enjoying their time with the few toys they had.  When they need to use rude words, I enquired where they heard the words.  It was from us parents or from outside the house.  They learned from what they saw and heard.

I hardly interfere while they were playing.  Since becoming a stay-at-home dad, I had the privilege of watching nearby them.  Whenever they needed an extra person for role-playing, I’d dropped in.  I served, mostly, as their quick dictionary or adviser the whole time.  It was worth the wait and the watch.  I feel like saying, folks don’t grow up.  The world is full of evil minds.  But I cannot do that either.

Many thoughts came to my mind; before they became intoxicated with the real world full of crooks.  The phrase, ‘Grow up! Get a life!’ was used many times, to the honest and kind-at-heart kids, who are not willing to get adapted to the cruel world.  Can you imagine what the world has become?  Our kids are at risk whenever they step out of the house.  Worst still, some are at a greater risk at home.

What have the human heart become?  What goes wrong?  Oh my!  There are so many things to tell.  Give the kids their own space. Nurturing and caring them to illuminate their innate being to create better societal values may lead to more peaceful surroundings, mind you.  The more we become old the more our minds get corrupted with evil thought.

By teaching them the way of life, sometimes I feel, we are simply imbibing the ideals of a cruel world.  ‘You know son, when you go out you should be careful not to talk to any stranger’ was a common piece of advice we gave them.  ‘They are not good people, avoid them as you can’.  We taught them so that in the least they can help us in safeguarding them.  That’s our duty.  But on the flip side, we are teaching them bad things that can be done.  You might not agree here.  I did not fully agree though.  But I wanted to emphasize on the condition of the world we lived in.

Had the minds been still pure as they did in our younger days, the world would be full of laughter and happiness.  Still we can something starting from our home to change the world.  Nurture the young minds to live up to their mind.  Bringing up children, if taken seriously, was a big challenge.  To bring up a peace-loving and harmonious mind in today’s world would be a huge challenge.  Still then, our best should be tried.

There are a tremendous amount of good things to learn from children.  Corrupted minds and corrupted thoughts should learn lessons from the young minds.  But who would do that!  We don’t have time for others, nor do we try to learn that costs nothing.

The night will soon pass!

The news came, ‘our Dad passed away just now’.  Flashback on the life of my father came like lightning in my mind.  Daddy taught us many things in his lifetime.  Among them was his firm believe in the Resurrection of Christ.  In that moment of our grief, ‘Daddy must be meeting his Savior now.  He holds onto his faith until he breathe his last.  How blessed is he!’  For mankind death is inevitable.  Since Dad had already proclaimed Jesus Christ as his Savior, it was just a matter of time till we met Him.

And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.*

Jesus Christ was crucified on the Cross; His body was claimed by one rich man, Joseph of Arimathea.   With Pilate’s permission, they took His body, wrapped in clean linen cloth with spices, and buried Him in his new tomb in a garden.  Nicodemus and others accompanied him in the whole thing.  Jesus was buried in accordance with Jewish burial customs.  Again, with Pilate’s permission, the tomb was guarded. (Matthew 27:62-66)

For the disciples, Jesus was the Son of God; God in the flesh.  In Him, they believed.  Yet they might have expected that in some ways He might skipped death.  But that does not happen.  They saw Him suffering, they saw him dying.  They might be pondering, ‘Oh my! He was the Son of God.  How can this happen to Him?  But now He was dead’.  So they locked themselves in the upper room, where they had the Passover Meal the day before, fearing they too might face the same fate.  Can you see yourself here?

In His death, Jesus Christ set free the dead.  On the third day, He rose from the dead.  Mary Magdalene went to anoint His dead body accompanied by Matthew, Mark, and Luke.  They found the tomb open.  Jesus was no more there inside.  The angels told them He has risen!  The angels told them to meet Him in Galilee as they had been foretold. Jesus Christ, in his body, met his disciples here.  Apostle Paul recorded Jesus Christ appeared to the twelve disciples, and then to more than five hundred people, and so on. (1 Corinthians 15:3-8) Let me leave the proceedings of the resurrection here.   Scientists and Researchers keep working on the evident, which are given knowledge for that purpose only.

This particular situation happened many times in life.  We know God is there, but sometimes He just seems dead.  He was not working, it seems.  He has promised us His presence and we know He had all things under Him.  But sadly, He was dead like normal human.  They could no longer talk to Him. We did pray to Him but somehow, we feel, He just did not do anything.  We feel lonely; we feel we are left to fend by ourselves.  It was hard to get through even one night in the wilderness.  Have you been that road? I had.

But it doesn’t end here.  He rose again.  When they most needed Him, He appeared in their midst, out of nowhere.  Even for the ‘Doubting Thomas’, He was there to show the nail marks, and in his reached to even touch Him.  He was kind enough to clear the doubts of Thomas.  He will also clear our doubts one day, in whatever way is best for us.  Keep the faith.  He is available for every situation, for every type of person.

Death, the most feared fate of man, has been conquered.  All our fears and doubts will also be conquered.  The resurrection is the vindication of His teachings.  Christ the Victor proclaimed victory over Evil.  Even death could not hold Him longer.  The hope of life after death was reaffirmed.  One day, we will be joining Him in the celebration.  The dark night is going to pass soon. What a great day it would be when I see my Savior face to face.

*1 Corinthians 15:14