Posted in Christian, Daily, Family and Society, poetry, Reflections

Step to Start

One of the biggest drawbacks of the present day is the mass confusion and uncertainty attached to it. Nearing the end of the year, as the leaves of the calendar come off and the thickness goes down, the gnawing thoughts inside awakens again, “Oh what a mess of the year”. Reflecting on this one aspect is true that this year was totally off all expectations and hassled man; yet on the another hand this year helped one to refocus and find themselves.

“Most times, the way isn’t clear, but you want to start anyway. It is in starting with the first step that other steps become clearer.” Israelmore Ayivor

Finding ourselves doesn’t start off with a loud clap and bang. It starts off in the quiet moments where one shuts off the noise around them, and seek answers to within or just lie still. One of the gifts of the humane nature, is that the mind has unbelievable strength of its’ own. Each person has many facets of their character. Using them or donning them on, comes when the time is right or the when the mind ascertains it. Those who learn to do so, eventually survive the downpour and learn to appreciate the tiny blessings that come along with it. Each person has their own treasure trove of surprises; using them to better the day is what makes the whole difference in the world.

Another part to finding ourselves is to learn to switch off the irrelevant chatter around the self. Plain listening to the numerous conversations around oneself or pointless chatter, doesn’t serve any real purpose, unless one learns to tune in and out at the right points. Knowing which points are right or not; that happens only by experience, through own eyes or of those around us.

“…but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

No one can move ahead by staying on that spots. Even a baby starts off on all fours, in tiny shuffles or large leaps, but they go ahead and explore. Caution is needed, but also hope, faith and the belief that there is always something better to do, especially using our own talents. More than talk, go ahead and start off. True that when the going gets tough, take a pause but wilt not. For the days are still there, for the year to end. And as always said “better now than never”. For the world needs those tiny steps of today, to make the difference in the tomorrows that come.

The Room of Ancient Keys
by Elena Mikhalkova

Grandma once gave me a tip:

During difficult times,
you move forward in small steps.
Do what you have to do, but little by little.
Don’t think about the future,
not even what might happen tomorrow.
Wash the dishes.
Take off the dust.
Write a letter.
Make some soup.
Do you see?

You are moving forward step by step.
Take a step and stop.
Get some rest.
Compliment yourself.
Take another step.
Then another one.
You won’t notice, but your steps will grow
bigger and bigger.
And time will come
when you can think about the future
without crying.
Good morning.

Posted in Christian, Daily, Family and Society, Personal Musings, Stories Around the World

Spring, after the Torrent

“The greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.” Martha Washington

Many a time, as the sun sets, we drag our feet over the threshold, wondering when will they ever be a day, when there would be a spring in our step. Then again, on other days, there’s a spring to our step. Or the warmth enters the soul and fresh hope surges after a fresh cup of joe or a warm pot of tea, light chatter with family or friends and a couple of memories or moments. Little do we realize that, through all this, it is the “way we go about things” that makes all the difference in the world, especially as one encounters the unexpected hassles in the curse of the day.

“Crow asked the pot : How come you are able to give sweet and cold water when you yourself is made out of mud which had to go through very high temperature and burnt to be transformed into clay pot?
Pot’s reply : My character is to remain cool as a clay in all circumstances
even though I had to face high temperature to become a pot .”

Each of us have our own test of fire. Some we were able to temper down, some we got off with a few minor or even major scalds to burns. Yet at the end of the day, we survive because of the fire that beats within us. Our essentiality is what defines who we are, what we do and how we do it. Circumstances come and go, they change according to a design of their own and swing to the direction of the wind. Despite all this, a large role of the outcome is played in how we go about things, based on our own disposition, mentality and will.

Know who we are. Then reconnect with ourselves, the Faith that guides us as well as draw our strength from those who wish us well. As always said, “it is the test of fire that makes us strong”, but the fire can be conquered depending on how one fans out the flames. As the fire strengthens us, keeping our own composure with an inner strength and humaneness is what brings a spring to the step, hope within, warm happy thoughts within as well as to see through the situation by the time tomorrow comes by.

“17 Do not let your heart envy sinners,
but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord.
18 There is surely a future hope for you,
and your hope will not be cut off.
19 Listen, my son, and be wise,
and set your heart on the right path..” (Proverbs 23:17-19)

Posted in Christian, Family and Society, poetry, Reflections

Shades of Red

Gazing out at the fiery evening sky brings to mind the words of Francis Bacon, “Let not the sun go down upon your wrath.” Reality wise, it mayn’t be so. Even as the sun rises or sets, we carry over the fury to the next hour, knowing or not. Only when the dust settles quite late, does one realize the futility of holding onto that strong emotion of “anger”. Truth is then, at the moment of restless and fury, that anger was what felt right.

Certain scenarios in life justify expression of “anger”. Own credit transferred to the senior or colleague, inability of the other person to listen, the same error going on complete loop are just a couple of many scenarios that eventually trigger the anger wire. Sometimes it is this anger and injustice that keeps the inner flame burning, allowing one to move on. Yet this “anger” can cause one to combust and burn own self to embers. Such is the power of anger. Contrary to what most say, as per the writing as by experts in this field, often express the opinion that anger should never be stored away or stewed away. It needs to addressed and expressed in the right manner. And finally it needs to settle down, so that one regains the normal balance of own.

“26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil.” (Ephesians 4:26-27)

Like the two edged sword that it is, anger needs to be used in the right manner and also let gone back into the folds of time. Dragging these shades of red, over and over again, makes one lose out on the brilliance and vibrancy of the other colours around us. True that being humane, things happen and one feels the anger. One needs to acknowledge, address it, reason it, use it to better own self but never to feed it, so this beast consumes us from within. If and when this anger festers, give vent to it in private, journal it and pray for strength and patience for the soul to calm down. For taunts and rebukes never help but self-destructs. Hold fast and hold true to the soul, for this phase of “anger” shall too pass. As the anger fades into the night, the next morning shines clear and bright, for a better tomorrow.

How Clear, How Lovely Bright
A.E.Houseman

How clear, how lovely bright,
How beautiful to sight
Those beams of morning play;
How heaven laughs out with glee
Where, like a bird set free,
Up from the eastern sea
Soars the delightful day.

To-day I shall be strong,
No more shall yield to wrong,
Shall squander life no more;
Days lost, I know not how,
I shall retrieve them now;
Now I shall keep the vow
I never kept before.

Ensanguining the skies
How heavily it dies
Into the west away;
Past touch and sight and sound
Not further to be found,
How hopeless under ground
Falls the remorseful day.

Posted in Christian, poetry, Random Thoughts, Reflections

For an Answer

“Part of doing something is listening. We are listening. To the sun. To the stars. To the wind.” Madeleine L’Engle

Reaching home after work, is as always, a mad rush. After the new routine of “outdoor clean-up”, the usual tune is to run the maze between the study table, the kitchen and the laundry. Add to it, is the continuous movements of hands, each doing their own, to just settle the state of the house. Amidst all this, would be the occasional tug from below, “Mom did you see my new drawing?”, “Can I have cake for dinner?”, “Online session was so ‘bo-rrr-ing’ today!!” and the like. The automated response revolves around “how nice”, that’s wonderful to really !” Not to get me wrong, I do listen, but the initial hour or two, is solely to settle the house. Though these thoughts come with regret, sometimes one does wish that the first routine would be just to put our feet, and listen to listen to those young voices around us, and those that are within us.

“It takes a great man to be a good listener.” Calvin Coolidge

As always said and known, listening is a skill that is soon coming to be a rarity or a gift. The notion that no one has enough time has become a common chant, till it becomes ingrained in our minds as a reality. Truth we all have just enough time to do, what should be rightly done, not to do solely as per the dictates of society or profession. Among those “to-do” things is to learn to listen to those around us. Sometimes the big things in life come in very minute and quiet moments.

“Making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding;…” (Proverbs 2:2)

Noise and thoughtless clutter drives one away from own self. Each of us have our own prayers for help. But to feel them answered, one needs to listen and notice. Not everything in life comes with a “clang”. There are those gifts of life, that come best in the quiet moments. Amidst all the clatter around us, as we promise ourselves to listen to the gifts and blessings; life becomes a beautiful voyage wit each day being better than the previous. And this self-discovery is what gives buoyancy to the heart, mind and soul.

And A Meadowlark Sang
Ravindra Kumar Karnani

“The child whispered, ‘God, speak to me’
And a meadow lark sang.
The child did not hear.

So the child yelled, ‘God, speak to me!’
And the thunder rolled across the sky
But the child did not listen.

The child looked around and said,
‘God let me see you’ and a star shone brightly
But the child did not notice.

And the child shouted,
‘God show me a miracle!’
And a life was born but the child did not know.

So the child cried out in despair,
‘Touch me God, and let me know you are here!’
Whereupon God reached down
And touched the child.

But the child brushed the butterfly away
And walked away unknowingly.”
© 1999, Ravindra Kumar Karnani

Posted in Christian, Family and Society, Personal Musings, poetry

Splash of Promise

Improvisation is a must, especially when running a houseful of tiny feet. This subtle fact is realized, when off-hand promises are called into account. When guile doesn’t help, it’s time to bring out the big guns and aim for a happy outcome. Alas, real life, especially for us big ones, it doesn’t always happen so.

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favour and honour; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.” (Psalm 84:11)

Each of us may have had our fair share of promises. As the years go by, we realize that some mayn’t be kept as duly when said; while others may happen over time, albeit in a manner such that the snail may go at a faster pace. Yet many a time, we just let those words go fade away, for the mind and the heart feel those words would stay in the infinite emptiness.

Nevertheless when those believed to be empty promises do happen, the first feeling that swamps through is the gift of His Grace. Once this is known, the feeling of awa and surprise lights up within the self. In building our plans or going by our regular, we often tend to overlook the fact that there is He supreme above all of us. Every now and then, as we are shown, His Love and His Grace has the power and gift to dissolve the stones across the path or give us strength to chart a new route. His Promises hold true for those with His Faith, whether it be smaller than a mustard seed. The strong belief and faith that each of our rainbows will come in our due time, would bring in the light to chase away the shadows of uncertainty. And when the mind is being weighed by those unfulfilled promises, know that each of us will have our share our share of His Rainbow, all we need to do is to survive through the torrential rains or gales, whichever way it may be. Till then, hold true, pray deep, preserve on, buckle down and let His Love and Strength lift us from within.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”(James 1:17)

God’s Rainbow
by Author Unknown
The falling rain dissolves into mist
And the thunder begins to die
As the sporadic lightning fades
An arch of color pours from the sky.

Rainbows appear after mighty storms
When things look their worst
Just when the sky is darkest gray,
Out of Heaven does a rainbow burst.

God first sent the rainbow to Noah
As a sign that His word is true
The rainbow’s eternal message
Still speaks to me and you.

The rainbow is a sign of God’s promise
That He will guide us through any storm
That He will ease all our troubles,
No matter what their form.

When you feel battered by life’s storms
And you are filled with doubt and dismay
Just remember God’s rainbow is coming,
For it’s blessing you have only to pray.

“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” Eleanor Roosevelt

Posted in Christian, Family and Society, Reflections

Remedy of a Kind

An unfortunate accidental brush with the hot skillet, lead to a speedy escape to the cabinet in the washroom, wherein the hunt was on for the red capped tube among the toiletries. After washing with running water and applying a thick salve of toothpaste, the sting from the burn had significantly come down. Giving an internal whisper of thanks, that tube of toothpaste had become a lifesaver of sorts. This ready remedy had saved a trip to the town clinic.

“The punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)

Prone to making mistakes, some of our errors are due to lack of sight or erratic movements, often termed as “being clumsy”. Though sometimes, those mistakes are quite painful to bear and deal with it. Each of us at some point throughout our lives have felt pain. When the pain is physical, we reach for that salve; yet when the pain becomes more of an emotional or inner turmoil, to lessen the pain is no easy feat. One needs plenty of courage, inner strength and time to heal through those wounds.

Every now and then, sin infects each of us. It may leave a stinger behind as it’s mark or cause the rash of inner unrest and troubled thoughts which may precipitate in a couple of days. Facing the after-effects of the latter makes us enter the slow though vicious cycle of pain and grief. Pain of this sort, happens on two fronts. First is when we bring it forth onto those around us and second is when we bear the effect of it, as a consequence of actions, which have happened towards us whether they be direct or indirect. Either way, we deal with the pain and disease of sin, causing it or bearing the brunt.

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace…” (Ephesians 1:7)

Surprisingly the balm for this sort of problems are always found in His Word. As the Scriptures teach us, the vicious cycle and effect of sin, isn’t easy to break. It tends to leave the burn behind, making the pain and their reminders affect us then on. By the gift of His Love and power of His Grace, we get healed from the effects of sin. Though for this to happen, one should learn to identify the burn of the sin. When we believe in His Word, the sickness brought on from sin and its vices, are removed by His Healing Power and the restlessness within is squelched. To experience the healing salve, we tend to identify the pain and the fact that it’s there. Then we address the problems.

While the pain may recede by the power of His Love in a couple of days; other situations it may take weeks to months to heal from it completely. Whether it may take a lifetime to learn to recognize the burns, teat and address them; the need to do has to arise from within. For His Love always awaits us. It is we who need to start on that hunt for the remedy, as we chose to treat the pain by the power of His Grace and His Mercy. But taking the first step, lies in our hands alone. Unless one does so, the experiences and the richness of life then on, will not be an experience of reality but a much awaited and anticipated dwam of sorts.

“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)

Posted in Christian, Family and Society, Personal Musings, poetry, Reflections

Through the Way

With the season getting a little busy few miles down at the my in-laws farm and relatively less helping hands, we had decided to pitch in for the next one week. Since the work-from-home mode was still in effect and on turn this week, shifting the venue of work, involved a few hassles but was done. In due process, the first venture was getting the morning chores done. From cows being milked, eggs collected for the market and goats fed fodder, time just runs on the farm. Watching the young calves get on their feet and the chicks follow their mama and accepting their first few steps into the new world, makes one realize that life has few cycles of it’s own and we shall all survive it.

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.” Eleanor Roosevelt

Walking on the built roads and the steady worn down paths, helps one see the fields ahead. But to explore the woods, paths don’t necessary tell us all about the hidden treasures within the woods. Experiences in life are akin to the well trodden roads through the fields or the untrodden paths in the forest. Each person has their own tales of travels and survivals. What may seem trivial for one mayn’t be so for the other. Yet through all this, the common thread is that, we all will prevail.

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” ( 2 Corintihians 5:7)

As read time and again through the Scriptures, what may be uncharted waters for one mayn’t be so for God. As weave our own way through my experiences in our lives, knowing that His Grace is watching our step on those untrodden paths and will catch us when we fall, is what give one the Faith to put one step in front of the other. Across all these paths and roads, known or unknown as we let Faith help us find our way, one realizes that one is never alone.

Letting His Grace and our Faith work within us, is always what takes us through all “these downs and the ups” in life. As we cross one hurdle after the other, the realization that nothing is impossible, especially when we work through Him. Though small, but highly potent Faith and history has always taught us, that we will prevail, as long as we believe.

“Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” (John 7:38)

There is a difference between a soaring bird,
That surrendered to the power of the air masses,
And that one, in the direction of the flying one, –
Her keen eye is fixed on the target.

Here is the first fluff spinning,
Spread wings like a string,
As if it falls on a bed
And it rests from the works.

The second is tirelessly carried,
Although the headwind does not spare.
Mighty flow, but the bird does not give up:
Contrary to obstacles flies.

There is a difference between those who are Floating
and thinks that they are moving forward,
Who have ceased to appreciate their salvation,
Whose habitation among the muddy waters –

And those who live only God every day,
Who does not surrender to storms and rains,
Who walks , but not sideways,
And the eye does not lead to the goal ahead.

Who, tired, does not go back
And does not cease to believe God,
But who multiplies prayers multiply,
To whom worldly dirt does not stick.

Who, like an eagle, does not hide in bad weather,
Whom and in a storm attracts height,
And for whom victory in God is happiness,
Who does not think his life without Christ.

There is a difference! Though inconspicuous today,
But only good will enter the granary.
Let’s draw strength in God’s Son,
Moving forward on the wings of faith!

Ermolova S.