Abiding Grace: The Joy of Creating Our Own Niche’

Leaf stucked in between
Finding niche’ in between

In His abiding grace, we are allowed to create a living zone that suited our existence here on earth.  Yet, one must noted that creating our own niche’ outside God’s abiding grace would hamper our living.

We have that place, situation, state of mind with serene beauty where we can find peace as well as conditions that suits our living.  In pursuing certain numbers of our goal, we needed to be out of our ‘comfort zone’ as well.

Although we couldn’t possess enough wisdom to create our own world, we try to create it anyways.  In His abiding grace, God has given us to live in our own comfort to the extend we wanted to stretch it very often.

We are allowed to create our own niche’ even in the workplace.  When we can our own niche we called ourselves settled, which may mean we get adjusted or people get adjusted to us.  There are some who do not want adjustments at the cost of others.

From reading newspaper to surfing the web, there are certain things to take care in life.  Each morning when we opened the newspaper, we need to decide the news articles to scan through or to give it a miss.  Reading through the hardcore crimes in detail might be harmful to some of us.

Vulgarity has different dimensions in different parts of the world.  Viewing or seeing vulgar pictures or contents is not good for the weak in mind and body.  So, some people try to be in-between; categorizing contents and pictures, by ourselves.

Criticisms are important for living.   It can help us to be a better person.  In the meantime, harsh criticisms might dampen someone’s virtue.  We all have different take or approached to critics.  It is better to be open to criticisms but we should also be careful choosing words in criticizing others.

Wealth is a major factor for divisions in life.    Poor and rich are separated by a huge gap.  In our mind, at least, we should be in-between.  Providing space for every person to flourish in this earth is a must.  The dividing society seldom yielded a welfare state.

Let me reiterated here again that in our every sphere of life; every pace of life, every level of life, every reason for our living, we can create our own niche’ in His abiding grace.  Comfort in the non-comfortable circumstances, rest in the hurried way of life, guaranteed in Hi grace.

It is a privilege to never let loose, for someone who are abided in His grace.  Never rebuke someone for not complying your view of life.  Encourage them to shine in their status achievable.

In our every way of life, we are bonded in His abiding grace.

How Do You Want to Be Remembered When You are Long Gone?

Well, this question always intrigued me. For every beginning there is an end.  We will be gone.

This is the second installment on how you wanted to be remembered. By how we response to this question, I believe, it will determine our thoughts and actions. Please, I am not trying to rob you off, of your liberty.

We wanted to be remembered fondly. How much fondly and in what way? To some certain extent we can have our say. What others may perceived about you might not be the real you. We cannot know someone in their entirety.

Number of times, I have been poised before this very question. Although I have an answer in-hand most of the time, it is a big question of life and be remembered, put in one sentence.

a dry tree trunk still standing strong
A death tree trunk: gone but standing

As stated before, your answer to this question flashes what you wanted to do with your life, your approach to life, and when you’re gone. I am not going to put my answer here either but you are free to assess after reading this piece.

If this particular question is, asked at some high level competition with huge prize, the level of answer of might be different. They would be getting the required platform for performing. Here let us put it in a lower tempo, for the ordinary living, too. Either way, we would be remembered when we are gone.

All great personalities as well as unknown people faced death. No one escape death. There will be an end to, what we called our life. Please do not take it otherwise; I am not trying to instill ‘fear’ in you. A life, worthy in the eyes of the Almighty, would be talked about with great passion. Not only remembered, it will boost the life of others too.

There will be moments in time where you’d be remembered. There are people whose life is worth studying yet all of us cannot fit in this category. Some are remembered for their good deeds, their inventions, brevity, and the likes, although in different scales.

Eulogies, some people prepared or pre-wrote their own eulogy.  It might be a good practice depending on the situation. That day when we exit this world, yet our life will be gone but talked about.  In our death anniversaries, family and friends will fondly remember us.

History can tell us that all outstanding personalities, we considered today, contributed in different manner even when they’re gone. Some uplifted evil practice into the world to serve their personal interest in their quest for power.  Yet they are remembered.

Should we want people to remember us in a deserving way, now is the time to live it out. We must pay their due tribute to those who are gone before us.

Luscious fruit, in the Garden of Eden, must be in abundant too.  Extremely abundant to satisfy, the physical need of the first couple. Yet, just one fruit, should be avoided; not even touched. The same applies in our walk of life too. You already knew it, I hope.

When the ‘evil inside us’ took hold of any situation, we do not pay heed to the consequences of our actions.  Then, who cares about when well be gone and how people will remember or talk about us. In this kind of behavior, no one will benefit from our action and our younger generations will keep on suffering.

For someone who will try to ignore or dodge this question, it might mean giving up before the end comes. We might not achieve everything though we deeply desired in our heart but it is worth a try before we’re gone.

Let me cite just one simple example: With huge respect, one who invented atom bomb or nuclear bomb to who set up Home for the Dyings, all are human.  Yet they are remembered but in different ways.

Also, to someone who runaway from responsibilities, to someone who run shelter for the homeless.  Someone who chose to beg than working hard, to someone who died due to starvation because of crop failure. Who deserved to be remembered and talk about? It is for you to decide.

Faithful till the end for the Savior, would be our sweetest remembrance, if we can live for it.

Fragrance, what kind of fragrance do we want to spread – fragrance of Christ or fragrance of death? It depends on us.

Wealth is another thing; a good name is another thing. There is one similarity; both can be earned.

Contentment in the midst of unlimited wants is another achievement worth talking about.

Fame is not everything; it is behind the reason we get fame that matters.

The list is long but let me end it here for you to continue…

 

Please feel free to comment. Your thought counts. Thank you!

Abiding Grace: The Joy of Sleeping

It was well past midnight.  I close my eyes but I did not sleep.

I am in my thirties, not old as yet.  My normal body functioning has changed, some years ago.

Just one mistake, I did not take my medicine in time.

My body needs rest.  My mind needs rest.  And the pain will ease.  If I didn’t get enough sleep, more serious problem might follow.  I was, already, warned about the possible consequences during my hospital stay, and I knew that too.

When we were young and healthy, sleepiness comes too soon – even before we were ready!  I wanted to read more but felt too sleepy to go on.  Before I knew it, it was morning!

When morning comes, I woke up fresh – hale, and hearty because of the good night’s sleep – rested well.  Get ready for the day’s work humming music with a huge smile.

Yet, when I thank God for the goodnight sleep, I tend to rush through it.  I hardly pause for a moment to let my heart be filled with joy from up above.  The happiness was priceless.   God’s abiding grace, which was bestowed upon me, I hardly gave sincere thought.

The night in my bed, turning from side-to-side, I’d battled for sleep and rest.  It was not as easy as it seems.  It was a gift from God.  When I can’t sleep in time, the night seems to be a long dark period of life.  One night feels like a year of drought where everyone is deprived of good harvest, which would eventually led to unrest.

But still, in those sleepless nights, when I can sense the Lord’s presence; my heart rested.  However, the body witnessed strain eyes and sleep-deprived body ache.  The Lord gives sleep to His beloved.  Sleep gives us rest!

Medicine-induced sleep is tiresome and non-enjoyable.  Several times I’d experienced it.  More than that, sedation is hard to bear when you wake up.  I have been through it, and I could say, I knew it.  The one gifted by God is all special more than we know.

To sleep and be able to wake up again is the greatest gift of all.  It signifies the superiority of the living God.  The day will come when we won’t wake up again.

I lay down and when I woke up the Lord is still with me.  When I won’t wake up again, that day, I’ll be with my Savior!

sleeping peacefully
sleeping peacefully

Once again, sleep is a wonderful gift we get from God.  And to wake up again is even more beautiful.  It is because of His abiding or enduring grace, which cannot be bought.

God’s abiding grace is sufficient for all, especially to His children in Christ.  His grace is priceless!

Let us be thankful!

 

Please fell free to add your comments, experiences, and thoughts.

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.

stairway of house
Stairway

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

 

”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.

Communion: At Grandpa’s Fruit Garden

In the slope of the hill, Grandpa had a fruit garden covering an entire small hill, few kilometers away from home.  Pineapple, mango, fig, jack fruit, etc. are grown in the garden.

Three small huts are built in the slope.  To save time and energy, sometimes, we spent the night in those huts.   Grandpa prepared meal using the fresh herbs found inside the garden.

A small hut in the garden
A small hut in the slope of a hill

When the dark night descended, Grandpa lit a candle and spread a sheet nearby.  Before we could sleep, Grandpa told Bible stories, interestingly and very accurately.

Among the three small huts, the middle was designed to be a small church; a church for small time day-workers and visitors.  With a wooden cross mounted on top the roof, there were; Hymn books, Bible, a mat to be spread for kneeling, and a drum – made of animal hide or skin.

When morning has broken Grandpa started his days praising the Lord.  By himself, he sang several hymns beating the drum, which we also joined when we get up, first thing first in the morning.

Luscious fruits, ready to eat, welcomed us.  ‘The Lord ripen these fruits for you’, he said.  As a child, we believed that God somehow personally ripen those fruits for us.  Grandpa told Bible stories and sometimes he would sing along as we work.  We worked in the garden till lunch.

Lunch time was always special.  We gathered in the small church, kneel on the mat and spent some time praying.  Grandpa opened his Bible and read portion of the book with further explanation.  Songs of praise followed which were sung with great enthusiasm.  In this way, we are happy and get our strength renewed.

The sound of the drum can be heard by several farmers nearby us.   I remember some farmers joining us as we prayed.  Others took it as a sign of ‘lunchtime’ and called for noontime rest.

As the evening approached, we spent our time giving thanks inside the small hut.  Sometimes, as we rush for home, Grandpa would sing hymnals throughout the way till we reached home.

As far as I know, Grandpa like to commune with God.  He spent his days with his Savior.  His happiness increase the more he commune with God.

And in that way, Grandpa also instilled the gospel in our heart.  Now, when I was about to relate Bible stories for my children, I can hear my Grandpa’s word-to-word narration of the great men and women in the Bible.

Although we lived there no more, the place becomes a reminiscence of our childhood days.  When we planted seeds of a tree, we spare time for thanksgiving and prayer.

From what I knew and observed, Grandpa commune with God in any circumstances, which becomes a valuable lesson to his grandchildren.

I seldom see Grandpa jaw-dropping and staying low.  He was always happy.  The more we commune with God the more we become happy.

Whenever I get the chance to visit him, my heart was delighted.  In those moments, first thing I heard before I gather myself up from my bed would be my Grandpa reading the Bible out loud.

He was old now but he’d spent the morning meditating on God’s word, first thing first.

Grandpa imparted priceless life’s lesson for his family without saying a word.

Mannequins: Flaunting their best for shoppers’ delight

Once in a while, our family went for shopping.  In the shopping area, mannequins are a common sight.  Children love them or they are afraid of them.  They meant, at the least, something to the shoppers of different age.

Mannequin inside a store
Mannequin

Mannequins are lifeless.  They have no thoughts.  But they dress according to the season. They tell the shopkeepers and shoppers the arrival of a new season.  They did not feel tired.  They cannot be compared with us, the livings.

They are designed to impress shoppers by silently showcasing new designs.  They are made to attract shoppers.  You knew that already, by the way.

In big cities, they are common sights in the streets and shopping area.  You may not believe this but for some people, it is a rare sight.  There are people who hardly had enough savings for shopping.  They could not afford to get inside that cozy showroom.

As a decorative item, mannequins play an important in interior designing.  They also become the promoter of their trademarked styling and decorating agent.  It might be noted here that we’re more than them.

Some mannequins are neatly fitted and dressed.  They lived in the comfort of air-conditioned atmosphere, which every human could not afford.  People are employed to dress them and look after them.

I remember seeing a homeless person gawking at the mannequins with a long-pause.  I couldn’t digest what he was thinking but it took my attention.  He didn’t look quite happy though.  He nodded his head and headed towards his begging spot – his begging spot in the sun, without a roof.

Some lonely shopkeepers held them as their good friends as they did not gossip behind their back.  Everyone needed someone to share their pain but not spread their misery.  Since every person are not good secret keeper, people tend to be careful.

Few people are like the mannequins; they simply show off!  Although they have a functioning brain, they didn’t think much.   For instance, they lived a very hard life; tired and exhausted, unlike the mannequins as the mannequins are brainless.

Mannequins are designed for a purpose.  Much more than them, we, humans, are designed by God with a purpose with a functioning brain.  Specially, for believers, we are supposed to attract others in the likeness of Christ Jesus show-casing characters of a saved person, to be a light to the world.

Generally speaking, excess of the inside comes outside.  We always wanted to showcase good thing but that is difficult, I also knew it.  Before I could know, there was something wrong in me.  Each day, I needed to be cleaned and renewed.

Mannequins could NOT act beyond just showing off.  But we can do something more if someone is attracted by what they saw in us.  We can also lead them in ‘the way’, should they wanted, we already had.  We can give them or show them the ‘way’.

We are ambassadors of our faith.  In heaven, we will be rewarded.

Homebound – Walk of Life

There was a rich and influential man.  He was influential because he was rich.

He was a good man but with shrewd workers.  His workers loved him as they can take advantage of him.  As far as he is concerned, he felt people loved him.

His workers exploited the common people and his riches were built out of their sweat.  Since he’d interacted with his closed associates, he never knew how people felt about him.  There are few homeless men around him whom people cared.

People regarded him as being selfish and greedy.  His obsession with luxury lifestyle spoke for them.  He never interacted with the common people.

Unpredictable journey
Unpredictable

One evening, he had a terrible accident and never recovered from it.  He could sense the end is near but he wanted to live at any costs.  His wealth wouldn’t last long, he thought.

He had a wish, he ordered his burial-place must be prepared in a spacious land with perfectly designed small structure.

Gradually, his wealth had declined.  He has nothing left behind for his heir-apparent, which further eroded the happiness in his life.

The end has come.  So they buried him in that specified land, per his wish.

Several times had gone by, when one day, the news of a homeless man’s death is doing the rounds.  The people, who knew him well, wanted to give him a good burial at the least.

The homeless man’s life story was filled with bitter fate.  He gave his best shot but was still reduced to this condition.  So he had the sympathy and loved of the people.  They contributed to buy his dead body a burial spot.

They heard about the heir-apparent of the rich man’s deteriorating living condition.  And they propose him to sell some land, which he obliged immediately.

At last, the homeless man was buried.  He was laid to rest next to the rich man’s spot.  The people are happy to perform the last rite of the homeless man.

In their short span of life, they walked different path, although undetermined.   They both are hated by some and loved by some as well.

Ostensibly, they ended in the same place and in the same spot.  They are going home!