Before the time comes: The Waiting Period

“Don’t be afraid.  Jesus (Christ) will calm the storm when the time comes!”

My five-year-old son consoled his baby-sister.

One evening, strong tropical monsoon winds blew the neighborhood unexpectedly.  As it generally happened with our young ones, our little daughter was covered in fear.   The trees bending up and down were a rare sight for her.

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Few days before, I was narrating when Jesus Christ calmed the squall in the Sea of Galilee.  The disciples were unhappy with their Teacher being asleep in such dangerous situation.  They felt He didn’t care enough for them as they had expected. (Matt. 8:23-26)

No one knows how long the wind will blow.  Nor did we have authority over the winds.  Several measures can only be taken to take shelter.  Modern technologies also failed to measure the exact consequences.

So, it is important to know what to do, how to do, just before ‘the time’ comes.  Jesus Christ rose from the dead but after three days.  The waiting period was three days.

On the road to Emmaus; “…we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened.”  They are lonely and deeply troubled.  The news of Christ’s Resurrection, simply, astonished them.  (Luke 24:19-35)

Several times, the pain, caused by the neurological disorder, in my body was hard to tolerate.  Yet the time has not come when I will be completely free from it.  It will come sooner or later, in His time.

So, in the meantime, I should not be left discourage or afraid.  I needed to remind myself this more often than before.  He will calm the storm one day.

Fear often overshadows faith.  When the pain is there, it is a good reminder that I am conscious and fully alive.  Fear kept the going troubled.

It is wonderful how one get strength – from where and when.  This time it comes from my son.  As he consoled his baby sister who was in distress, often times I am the one who needed to be consoled.

When you are hit back by what you’ve told others about comfort, being God as our refuge.  It makes me wonder whether I did less in the past or not.  It can become an important step forward in the way of life.

Wait on the Lord, with all your heart.

With my little ones: In the same shade

Reflecting back on what has happened to me when I first take up almost the full job of looking after our two children; my three-year-old son and eight-month-old daughter, then.

I had undergone right Amygdalohippocampectomy on December 14, 2015, and the unexpected huge repercussions that happened early in January 19, 2016 that nearly ended my life, here on earth.  Now the time has arrived for me to spend most of my time with my two children again.

Left my permanent job with the sole purpose of looking after my two children, life has been more of a blessing than sadness.

I had spent, most of my childhood days, missing my parents, as I have the chance to stay with close relatives, for the purpose schooling and helping them or them helping me.  Many tears have been shed by me because I had missed my parents so much.

So, it has been my goal that once I had my own child I will not leave them whether they are with somebody or not as long as possible.  I want them to have me by their side in whatever they need and witness them as many as I could.

In that way our emotional attachment and understanding might reach the necessary level needed by a normal human being.  However, I do not want to be a possessive Dad, throughout my life, either.

They are my (our) hope for a better future.  Even if I didn’t succeed in trying to mold them into a good human being, I will simply say, I ‘d tried my best.  I gave them my whole time, in this short span of life.  Furthermore, it is more important for me that they live their life in the likeness of God.

On the contrary, I have this fear that I might not be able to provide them their financial needs.  Also, there is also this fear that in my old age I might not be able to take care of myself and left alone by myself.  There is no guarantee in life that every good or bad thing is going to happen.

A life, once lived, will not come back, as they say.  I may regret or I may regret not, that is in the hands of the Heavenly Father.  Sometimes, I did missed my office-goer life.  “Fight the good fight”.

Yes, it is important for me state that I am not a single parent.  My wife is working hard to put bread on the table every day.  Work culture in our city was hard.  No reasonable off-days when most needed were common.

Happy Father’s Day!

*Re-published Sept 2016

Children of God: When the Angels hold them dearly

We lived in the third floor of a building.  We used the stairs every day.

There is no escalator or lift service in our block.  Only for some fitness freak people, we are their envy.

For instance, walking in the lofty stairs could be risky as we have small children.  One day, as we walked down the stairs:

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”Dear, walk slowly.  Let me hold your hand,” I said to my five-year-old son, cautiously.

“Papa, the angels are holding me! I will not fall” he replied joyously.  And he was right!  Sometimes, when he is galopping down the stairs, I couldn’t hold him.  The angels did!

Although this time, he was hinting at me that I don’t need to be over-cautious when his confidence is building up, as he walked.

Accidents and/or mistakes occurred in split-seconds.  In all the other remaining time, we are protected and hold dearly.  Even those split of seconds are priceless.

“Oh! I also wanted to have that kind of faith,” I sighed heavily.

Certain number of my life’s trouble would wither away in thin air, should I have that kind of faith in me.  My son was always a good reminder, or an agent of assurance from above.

It also reminded me of Psalms 91, also referred to as the Messianic Psalm in the Bible. The deliverance of how the Messiah would be.  We are blessed to have Him in our life.

Many times, Fear takes over my Faith, which sometimes, makes me wanted to live in reclusion: the short-lived joy, seeing the future as bleak, no way out in my reach, seeing self as a burden.

In those moments, in the least expected way, God speaks in a still small voice, as we waited on Him.  Troubles and sorrow are for life-long but His assurance in our pursuit of Happiness, is what we longed for.

Psalms 91 says, “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High.  (He or She) Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”*

Now, this is what I talked about or that my son had reminded me today.  Psalms 91:11-12 says,

“For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways.
In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.”

How much care is bestowed upon us!  To us, the unworthy souls!

Had I knew it and be in Him, day in-day out, in all possible path of life, why would I be weary and so tired?  I said to myself over and over.

One very important thing to be noted here: The devil (read as Satan here) who is trying every possible way to deceive us, simply, did not take rest either.  The devil quotes these very verses (Psalms 91:11-12) during the Temptation of Christ. (Luke 4:10-11)

Once in a while, our eyes are blinded and we missed our path.  And, we wandered away from the protection of God via the angels.

In the end, let us remind each other, again and again, God binds us with His ever powerful words and deeds.

As the Psalmist declared; I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” (v.2)

*my emphasis added.

Being a Stay At-Home-Dad: As the journey goes on

  • Being a stay-at-home-Dad is a bigger challenge than I ever thought.  I was happy to be with them the whole time and play with them. It was a great privilege on my part to witness the growth of my children.  Every new thing they learn and taught by me gives immense pleasure on me.
  • Teaching the way of life with my own life becomes a big task.  Children are more affected by their surroundings and they learned from what they see.  So many things in the life of an adult had to be kept away as long as you are with them.
  • The privilege of enjoying my children comfortably sitting on my lap is my priority, for now.  My small kisses, wrapping them around my arms, my assurance, giving them ‘high fives’ for every small achievement, me being hugged tightly when they came home from school, etc. meant the world to me.
  • From time to time, even in the least expected situation when they uttered “Papa, I love you…” it makes my living worthy.  The feeling of happiness was more than words to describe.  The time will come when they too would want to live as their heart desire, with the adrenaline kicking.  But they will love their parents more when they can reasoned again.
  •  To be in the mood of a child for most of the day was heartening.  You should be quick to change your mood instantly.  Dance, when they demand, and cry at the same time to keep them entertaining.   Office life is a big get away ticket.  Since I’ve experienced both, I think, I can say this.
  • It made me realized what my parents did to bring me up is worth more than an appreciation.   I respect them.  I love them more for what they did.  Something beyond what money can buy that cannot be repaid in its entirety.  When it is time for me to takeover as a full-fledge father, I simply, cannot leave it for somebody.
  • Sowing a seed of life that thought would best suits their life is always risky.  It is more important to be able to keep them focus in the will of God.  To let them live a life worthy in the eyes of the Lord would fulfill my duty to look after them.
  • Never did I think I’d be doing this job during my student life or when I first joined my banking job.  Working till retirement was what I had anticipated.  Unexpected turns are common in life.  And I know it will turn again, someday somewhere, for better or for worst.
  • The time will come when my kids are all grown up, by God’s grace.  I don’t know what I would do in those times.  They may want me to work again so that I might earn again.  Since I have already left my fulltime job and getting a new job isn’t that easy.
  • Day in day out, the thought of leaving my children in some crèche was disheartening at that time.  I do not regret doing what I do either.  Their happiness is my happiness.  I’d shed few tears when I put up my resignation for consideration, as it is a dream for any man to work in a reputed sector.
  • In the meantime, my health plays a big spoil-sport.  It was, sometimes, disheartening as I could not spent time and play with them as much as I wanted to.  I have a big plan, for and with them, when I started to spent my time with them.
  • Since we don’t know what future holds, we tried to fill their heart with valuable instructions, which I could impart at my best, to them.  So every moment was used as best as we could, I would say.
  • Big respect to my wife, for putting food on the table, every day.  Every deeds and hard work of my wife was deeply appreciated.  In this way, when we worked together, we are able to run a small family, at our best.
  • Should we be able to form a family, which is under God, it would be our dream fulfilled.  With great faith and hope, my children would, hopefully, walked in the ways of the Lord.  That would bring contentment to my life.
  • Though there are certain difficulties and obstacles, at times missing my office atmosphere, in our chosen way of life, we are hopeful that our work would bear fruit someday.

PS: These are based on my personal journey in metro city.

Being specific: the new norm

It was boring and time-wasting, reading a subject, which is not so interesting but important.  For children, everything needs to be told and get done in those few minutes before they get carried away.

‘Beating around the bush’, in other words, is expressing matters logically. However, being logical to illogical person did not make sense at all.

To sound more polite or to avoid shock at some unusual things, it is better to avoid being direct and to the point.  These are how we express events and thoughts, be it in writing and speech.

Short – to the point and catchy, is the preferred words, especially in the social networking sites.  People had different amount of time as well as understanding level.

We want to know everything in the least time taken.  The world’s moving fast, we say.  For adaptability, we should be able to follow the new norms.  But that’s hard.  Does that mean all things should be short and specific?  It is for you to decide.

Although that is not what I am writing this piece.  Let me tell you something about prayer:

It was lunchtime; my son was eagerly waiting for what is going to be served.  His mother had prepared ‘chapatis’ for him, before heading for work.  We mostly had rice for every mealtime.  For starters, chapatti is a flatbread made from stone-ground whole meal flour.

With his hands folded, my son said his thanksgiving prayer, before he began eating.  We thank God for giving us meal every day.  But that day, this was how he prayed.

“Lord, thank you for the chapatis.  Please bless our chapatti to be our source of energy.  Bless Mommy’s hand for making this chapatti.  Give us this day our daily chapatti.  In the name of Lord Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen!”

If you see, it’s chapatis, chapatis… along the way.  He knows what he was saying.  So, he was praying or expressing his gratitude specifically, I would say.

When the mind is pure, and we know exactly what we wanted, this is the likely outcome.  We can pray for the whole world or the whole planet too.  We should also pray specifically, if we are burdened about something, very heavily in our heart.  For it would provide relief from shouldering our burden too.

Being specific in our prayer meant that we are clear about what we wanted to say to God, which is a good thing.  While praying for the whole world is more than a good thing to do, sometimes, we need to be specific about certain things.

Generally speaking, in that very short span of our invested time, it might be possible that we missed some of the very important ‘add-ons’ that comes with the big catch.  The ‘add-ons’ can serve as a bridge to our next move.

It is a known fact that big investments take time.  We should be willing to wait for the big thing to happen.  In this fast moving world, it is necessary to take time out for ourself.

By being specific and well chosen words, we are following the norm.  It also meant that one is clear and confident about what was expressed.

What do you want to say to God?

“Papa, I forget my prayer lines!” exclaimed my son.  The feeling of little disappointment can be sense from his voice.  And I rushed to his rescue, immediately.

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A child needs to be taught how to pray.  I teach my children few prayer lines, which I thought, would instill the practice, and make it easier for them beginners.  Bed time, morning, and mealtime provided suitable time for such practices.

“Dear, don’t get upset,” I said to encourage him in his learning.  It is a good feeling when a child wanted to say a prayer by themselves.

In the meantime, questions like: Why do I need to pray? Is God really watching… needed to be answer sincerely and carefully.

“What will I do if I forget my lines again?” he asked.

“Son, you won’t forget again. However, if it happens again think about what you wanted to say to God.”

His eyes shone bright in excitement!

So I continued, “Because, in reality, you are talking to God when you pray.  If you are happy, say thank you to God.  If you are upset, let it be known to God.  If you want something you didn’t have  yet, you tell Him.  Then, if it’s necessary for you, God will give you.  So, say something at the least.”

“Oh! I’ll keep that in my mind next time,” said my son who now looks really excited.  And he really did it.  I’ve seen him.

Again, I asked him, “What do you want to say to God?”  The answers seem to be unending.  For a child, who did not know what to say to God a few minutes back, he was now flooded with his so many ‘thank yous’ as well as his request for himself and others he cared for.

During His time here on earth, Jesus Christ taught disciples how to pray.1 It makes me believed that one needed to be taught how to pray, especially for beginners in life and  spiritual new born.  More importantly, it is the heart which really matters than what we expressed, we are also told.

We are so blessed that we can pray anytime, anywhere, and whenever we need His presence.   God is omnipotent and preeminent, and we knew that, although there are some people who didn’t accept it.

Sometimes, being an adult human in the ‘groaning’ planet, it is difficult to get into the mood for praying.  I don’t feel connected.  The feeling of being unconnected, mostly, is because I had focus too much on myself or due to an astonishing lack of discernment.

However, in that particular time and place, I needed prayer the most.  In those moments, your priceless act of concern by praying for me will set me free.   There is no such thing as insurmountable problem in the eyes of God.

So, whether you are happy or unhappy, let me urge you to say something to God.  For your one act of random kindness by prayer will work wonders for you and for others as well.

1. Matthew 6:9-13 (The Lord’s Prayer)

Being rejected or accepted

We were alone at home.  Daddy knew her well, he assumed.  It was time for her noontime nap.  Daddy cleared his throat to sing a soft lullaby.  When Daddy cleared his throat, it was as if he is to going perform in a rock concert.

So she cried and push a little.  Daddy feel rejected, and he crawled out like a lazy cat.

“Papa….please”, she pleaded me to come back.  She knew there was no one beside daddy in this time of the day.  Daddy wanted to act proud but he couldn’t.  He goes back and sings a very soft lullaby.  Her hands running over my face becomes velvety soft.  And she fall asleep in few minutes.

It is selfish to love someone because of selfish attitude.  Every human should be appreciated for their existence, not because of what they can do for us.  We preach love but we did not follow.

Acceptance, had you ever ask someone what they most wanted, was what we craved for.   The feeling of being accepted is a game changer for many.  However, what is bad for the family and society or for the person, should not be accepted.

Love someone not just because you need them.  Not just because you have the obligation to do so.  Not just because you wanted to please your desire.  It is tiresome.

Here, I am not saying my girl is selfish.  It is with them young children.  They will soon outgrow it.  However, she taught me this beautiful thing by the way she acted.

Someone’s love is better not to be taken for granted.  We won’t find the true meaning of it.  And we might end up hurting someone.  When we found out, it might be too late.   I had come across few people who have experienced it in their life.

Above all, there is only one true love, which should not be rejected; Agape* – the unconditional love of God.   I don’t think you are alive today by mistake or just because you take enough care of yourself.  It is because of the love of God.  Even when you do not need and despise His love, you were never rejected.  You are given time….may be you might end up without accepting it.   If so, it our life would be a complete blunder.

“In the time of my favor I heard you, And in the day of salvation I helped you.”*

I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. 2 Cor. 6:2

Rest assured in him.  However, don’t get me wrong when is say this.  There are so many things to fight in life.  But one thing, God will give you the strength to carry on, lived on.

* Agape is selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love, the highest of the types of love in the Bible.

2 Cor. 6:2, Isaiah 49:8