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.

Posted in Family and Society, Personal Musings, Random Thoughts, Reflections

Minute that Counts

The mandatory requirement to touch base with the company headquarters’ to update the central team about an ongoing project, lead to a lot between us colleagues to send one among us to the field office to give a review of the updates. Whether fortunate or not, the short straw was that of yours truly. So after a fortnight gap, the familiar route was taken and a lone figure saw itself at the main office waiting to clock in and touch base with the head office. For once, there was no hustling for the lift, a disarray of feet scrambling in to push the glass door across, punch in the codes and the like. With time on hands, it felt good to exchange a couple of words at the reception and interact live with another human face. Truth to be told, it felt real good to see another set of life-size smiling eyes behind the mask and exchange a flurry of words and compliments.

One of the things that this past couple of months have taught us is the precariousness of life and human relationships. In the hustle and bustle of the modern era, we not have just forgotten to smell the roses but also, to recognize their scent.

In the course of conversation, a pertinent thing that struck out was that many a time we never used to really connect with the other person. Each time one is running around the clock, short of time; we forget the little things done for us. When was the last time time we talked to the doorman who held the elevator for us in the morning rush or the colleague who had covered for us when the clock was ticking away ? Or the regular cafe server who had ordered the regular cup of joe in a jiffy ? Or the security guard who had guided one to the reserve the best parking space in the lot? While these things may seen quite small or inconsequential, they were the things that made the day bright. How many times did one thank or acknowledge the doers of these bright moments?

Sometimes all it takes is to appreciate someone for the little things that they had done. While it mayn’t seem to be a quite important thing then, later on looking back; these small little acts had helped to make a dull, tired or quiet day into a better or happier one.

“I drop kindness pebbles in still water everyday, and I watch the effect they have on other people’s lives. My favorite kindness pebbles are compliments.Drop a compliment and watch the ripple affect that it has in your life.” John A Passaro

To say an honest compliment or just lend a hand doesn’t take much effort. All it requires one is to pay attention to the world around them and note the little acts of kind gestures done right under our nose. Still on the page of sifting through memories, one incident that stuck in the mind was seen during my initial days at work. Throwing an office fundraiser for the local town, in the wake of the floods; we had to put in an impromptu garage sale and a variety show. A chance encounter resulted in one of the daughters’ of our building security employees displaying her art work. With her beautiful oil work on canvas being a quick sell, her talent got noticed by the local art school who had later sponsored her to the art school she goes to today. Those paintings had graced the walls then, only because her father had shown her work and was duly encouraged to make them a part of the venture then. Those kind and meaningful gesture had lead to a chain of events, lighting the lives of others and changing them into new turns.

“Never underestimate the power you have to take your life in a new direction.” Germany Kent

When the chance ever strikes, no matter how busy one is; to just take a minute and render a n appreciation or simple compliment, would result in an array of smiles. Learning to appreciate others’ is how one experiences happiness in their lives. One never realizes how much one may miss out on them. Not taking one person around us for granted is important. For just as we appreciate those around us; the same goes when we are appreciated too. To make small but significant difference in another lives, is something more priceless that no money or material wealth can solely replace. Pass on the chain and share the greetings and smiles with the feeling of warmth in the daily world around us.

Posted in Daily, Family and Society, poetry, Stories Around the World, Work

Trace those Bytes

The ten minute coffee break during the morning office hours serves as an interesting session for not just coffee alone, but an interesting exchange of words or ideas, catching up with colleagues on non-office talk and intercepting snippets of information. Considering the latter, those bits of news may hold a ten-percent truth or just pure nonsense. Which is why, for any piece of information; print is the best. As far as the verbal pass-it-on goes, always consider the true source.

“The only thing more frustrating than slanderers is those foolish enough to listen to them.” Criss Jami

The thought to always trace the source of any news is important. As early as Aesop’s fables tell us, one’s character is defined by the daily lives they lead. Pole do change, the bad habits get thrown away for developing better ones but the essence of one stays almost the same or better if considering a positive change. Like if one knows that a colleague has the tendency to hype up things, take those details said at a lesser face value. Just like a wolf won’t eat any oats, know that the horse won’t eat red meat either. So for any source of news, look for the face and facts lest the one gets trapped in the mire of lies, confusion and errors. Knowing this and doing so, will help maintain their sanity especially when the news rendered is weird and disturbing. With this, office or even social life will definitely be handle-able during tired, dull or dreary days.

A tricky old wolf once entered a farm,
And seeing oats growing, he put on his charm,
So, calmly pretending that he meant no harm,
He spoke to a horse in his stall.
Sir Horse, I do hope you are comfortably fed,
But in case you are hungry and famished instead,
There are oats by the ton in one field, he said,
And I ate none so you’d have all.

Now the horse knew quite well that the wolf hated oats
And cared nothing for horses — or cattle or goats,
And in fact was well known for attacking their throats,
So he couldn’t resist ridicule:

Sir Wolf, he said, Don’t think me over-suspicious
Were I to suspect there was something malicious
In your lying claim you find oats delicious.
BEGONE! Do you think me a fool?

Aseop’s fable: (The Wolf Fails to Deceive the Horse)
MORAL: Before you believe anything, consider the source

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

Sip from the Saucer

One of the quarterly church retreats was held at a tea estate a day’s journey away. On arrival we were all greeted by a steel tumbler of tea in. a wide bowl ( more like a cup of tea and saucer). With the tea being piping hot, it was custom to pour a little out into the accompanying bowl and sipped from therein. This custom reminded me of the days of my grandmother wherein hot tea was sipped from the saucer. The rule at the estate was to refill the tumbler of tea when reached to half level, unless the guest had requested to stop. Watching the morning sky, one couldn’t help but be thankful for His bountiful Blessings and His Mercy as our cup overflows.

“Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.” (Psalms 23:5)

Looking beyond the present, when one tries to count own blessings, is when the realization of how blessed one is begins. Though the modern world may set up plenty of benchmarks on the definition of success, achievement and progress; the most important thing is to count our own blessings. Looking behind one realizes that one may have reaped more than sown, or that while the planning may haven’t happened as desired; one wouldn’t exchange the present for anything else in the world.

“For you the cup isn’t half full or half empty, you’re always topping it up.” Rowena Cory Daniells

Though our troubles are hot at times, as we learn to pour it out into His Hands, we realize that our burdens are lightened. The fallacy of human nature is that one realizes how blessed one is, mostly at times of deep introspection. The trouble one takes less time to reflect on oneself and more time is spent on running the wild goose chase. Each of us have been blessed in our special way. Knowing that is important, for as our cup gets filled with His Love; learning to appreciate it and experience them, is what makes our lives enriched and beautiful.

Drinking From The Saucer
by John Paul Moore

I’ve never made a fortune,
And I’ll never make one now
But it really doesn’t matter
‘Cause I’m happy anyhow

As I go along my journey
I’m reaping better than I’ve sowed
I’m drinking from the saucer
‘Cause my cup has overflowed

I don’t have a lot of riches,
And sometimes the going’s tough
But with kin and friends to love me
I think I’m rich enough

I thank God for the blessings
That His mercy has bestowed
I’m drinking from the saucer
‘Cause my cup has overflowed

He gives me strength and courage
When the way grows steep and rough
I’ll not ask for other blessings for
I’m already blessed enough

May we never be too busy
To help bear another’s load
Then we’ll all be drinking from the saucer
When our cups have overflowed

Posted in Christian, Family and Society, Life, Stories Around the World

The Search for the “why”

As the world around us reels from the pandemic, one is conflicted by numerous emotions through the day. From struggling to provide for family or self to trying to keep down own job, managing the domestic front, worrying about loved ones, surviving through the lock-down and quarantine period, coping with the loss and death; grief, worry, fear and uncertainty clouds the minds. To deal with all these, one may put on a silent front or a litany of rants and raves; while others may seek solace in their hobbies, comfort of His Spirit or just put on the shutters in their mind. Whichever way it may be, each one of us have our own struggle each day.

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)

Across the continents, as more and more get infected; the thought of the whys of this events always lies buried in the mind. At the end, as questions mount, authorities gear up and media brings the news to the front-line, society watches and wonders as to why these events had escalated to the present point. For those with no contact history or living in places where community spread is rampant, each day is a living nightmare. Some find comfort, while others face irreplaceable loss. Through all this, His Existence is questioned.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Roman 12:2)

Unfortunately what one must realize is that these bad days, have always been a part of history. For those of us with great-grandparents, grandparents or parents who had served during the wars, various accounts of the past memories would have had similar tones of the stress seen today. Yet through all this, God has been there during good and bad times as well.

What makes each day different, is how we gear up our own Faith and lean on His Word to find solace, comfort, peace and hope. Regardless of the whys, hows, whats, wheres or ifs; one must seek out the courage lying deep within and take His Help to face each hour as they come by. For that is the gift of Faith and His Love ever present over the generations of then, the now and henceforth.

A university professor asked his students a question:”Does everything that exist was created by God?”
One student answered bravely:” Yes, created by God.”
“Did God create everything?” asked the professor.
“Yes, Sir,” the student answered.
Professor said, ” If God created everything, that means that God created evil, because it exists. And according to this principal, the things we do determine who we are, that means – God is evil.”
The student got quiet after hearing that answer. Professor was very happy with himself. He boasted to the students, that he proved once again that God is a myth.

Another student raised his hand and said,” Can I ask you a question, professor?”
“Of course,” professor answered.
The student got up and asked:Professor, does cold exist?
– Of course it exists. Didn’t you ever get cold?
Students laughed at the question of the young man.
The young man answered: “Actually, Sir, cold doesn’t exist. According to the laws of physics, what we consider to be cold truthfully is the absence of heat. You can study a person or a thing according to its ability to transfer energy. An absolute zero (-460 degrees according to Fahrenheit) is a complete absence of heat. The whole substance becomes inert and unable to react in that temperature. Cold doesn’t exist. We created that word to describe what we feel at the absence of heat.”

The student continued: Professor, does the darkness exist?
– Of course it exists.
– “You are wrong again, Sir. The darkness also doesn’t exist. Darkness is actually the absence of light. We can study the light, but not the darkness. We can use the prism of Newton to expand the white light into many colours and study the different lengths of the waves of each colour. You can’t measure the darkness. A simple ray of light can burst into the world of darkness and light it up. How can you find out, how dark is some kind of a space? You measure the quantity of light submitted. Isn’t it? Darkness is an understanding which people use to describe something that happens in the absence of light.”

Finally, the young man asked the professor: ” Sir, does evil exist?”
The professor timidly answered: – Of course, as I have already said. We see it every day. Cruelty among the people, lots of crimes and violence around the world. These examples are nothing other than the manifestations of evil.
The student answered to this: ” Evil doesn’t exist, Sir, at least, it doesn’t exist for itself. Evil – is just an absence of God. It is similar to darkness and cold, created by people, to describe the absence of God. God didn’t create evil. Evil is not the faith or love, which exists like light and heat. Evil – is the result of absence of Godly love in a human heart. It’s like the cold, which comes when there is no heat, or like the darkness, which comes when there is no light.”

These words left the professor speechless.

Posted in Family and Society, Photography Art, Random Thoughts, Stories Around the World

Set by Own Standards

Restoring old family furniture involves plenty of planning. Depending on the requirement, design and the budget; the type of wood is selected and work starts at full swing. While some may be a “do-it-yourself” project, others require help from the experts. Which is why two weeks later, we had stopped by the local furniture centre to pick up our refurbished pieces. Imagine to our surprise when not only was the underlying rotting wood removed and replaced keeping the design and base structure intact, the upholstery was redone and the polish shining to reflect. While we didn’t expect such a beautiful restoration. The work they had done spoke volumes about their work ethics and principles. Regardless of the expense or the pay received, the work done went beyond it.

“What you do is what matters, not what you think or say or plan.” Jason Fried

To do any task entrusted to one, requires one to be willing to work and see it through. Yet along the way, there may be unexpected glitches which may take one by complete surprise or they may be as or beyond the anticipated. The battle then ranges between completion of target deadlines to doing the project in the complete manner in the time available. Doing the job may be as per the required but the choice of going that extra mile depends on oneself alone.

“Persistence. Perfection. Patience. Power. Prioritize your passion. It keeps you sane.” Criss Jami

Not just as work projects alone; but whatever one does, one should learn to enjoy those little motions. Be it in making that single cup of morning coffee, washing the car, mowing the elderly neighbour’s lawn or giving a hand at the local fundraising garage sale, do it because one wants to help and do their best when in action. For while words and thoughts may fade away with time, the emotions left behind and the actions effected by them stay embedded for the years ahead. The care we have for another is shown not through words or deeds, but heartfelt actions or work that brings a smile on the faces around us.

“Even though your time on the job is temporary, if you do a good enough job, your work there will last forever.” Idowu Koyenikan

One day a man was asked to paint a boat by an owner of boat. He brought with him paint and brushes and began to paint the boat a bright red, as the owner asked him. While painting, he realized there was a hole in the hull and decided to repair it. When he finished painting, he received his money and left. The next day, the owner of the boat came to the painter and presented him with a nice check, much higher than the payment for painting. The painter was surprised.”You’ve already paid me for painting the boat!”, he said.
– But this is not for the paint job. It’s for having repaired the hole in the boat.
– Ah! But it was such a small service, certainly it’s not worth paying me such a high amount for something so insignificant!

“My dear friend, you do not understand. Let me tell you what happened. When I asked you to paint the boat, I forgot to mention about the hole. When the boat dried, my kids took the boat and went on a fishing trip. They did not know that there was a hole. I was not at home at that time. When I returned and noticed they had taken the boat, I was desperate because I remembered that the boat had a hole. Imagine my relief and joy when I saw them returning from fishing. Then, I examined the boat and found that you had repaired the hole! You see, now, what you did? You saved the life of my children! I do not have enough money to pay your “small” good deed.”
Source: Social Media (The Internet)

Posted in Family and Society, Life, Personal Musings, Photography Art, Stories Around the World

The Flight to Catch

“All our sweetest hours fly fastest.” Virgil

Every now and then, when school isn’t there between the turn of the academic sessions, we take a day off in the middle of the week. Nothing exclusive or exciting is planned. With the weather being nice, we just pack off a picnic lunch, couple of snack meals and then head off for a local park, hill top or just the beach. The purpose was always to just set the ball rolling and have some downtime with the kids. For the impromptu rainy days, it would be spent outdoor with paper boats, in the tree house or just a family camp-out in the fields.

We started this trend once we realized that each of us have our own tight morning schedules. With the kids being in school and we both, as parents having our own work environment, the family ground was just reduced to evening hours, domestic chores, dinner and Sundays. The effect was the feel of drifting away, even though evenings were there. Which is why, when things are light, we all pack off to make our own memories. For while our independent days are important with a mix of choice and necessity, these special days are occasions for us o bond better with each other, help us find our even footing in the paths of life and keep us connected for the later days in life.

Reflecting back on own childhood days, the personal cache of recalls not relate to travels alone but also of the impromptu baking or art sessions in my mother’s studio, going for long treks, camp-outs and the days on the farm especially during summer. Those days never had any fancy restaurants, social media applications or instant transfer of media, commentary or comparisons. Those days were spent on the moments. As the wise of those days knew, that was the gift of life and time.

All of us have our own hectic schedules, whether as students, professionals, part-time employees, entrepreneurs, homemakers and the like. While some of may be able to prioritize between friends and family, sometimes the distribution of time is way off the ideal for our own personal balance. While one may try to shorten everything to what is necessary and important based on social requirements; know that time is of a fleeing essence. It may be there one minute, but gone the next. Realization of this little fact works wonders in helping us balance out and regroup the priorities in their required manner.

Man only lives once, but creates memories and moments, meant for lifetime. When those of regret linger longer, it tends to wipe out the best parts of life, besides draining one internally. Looking back on those moments, when one tries to set their priorities right, the days become sweet, full of life, rich with laughter and treasured moments.

“Time has a wonderful way of showing us what really matters.” Margaret Peters

While at the park one day, a woman sat down next to a man on a bench near a playground. “That’s my son over there,” she said, pointing to a little boy in a red sweater who was gliding down the slide. “He’s a fine looking boy”, the man said. “That’s my daughter on the bike in the white dress.” Then, looking at his watch, he called to his daughter. “What do you say we go, Melissa?” Melissa pleaded, “Just five more minutes, Dad. Please? Just five more minutes.” The man nodded and Melissa continued to ride her bike to her heart’s content. Minutes passed and the father stood and called again to his daughter. “Time to go now?” Again Melissa pleaded, “Five more minutes, Dad. Just five more minutes.” The man smiled and said, “OK.” “My, you certainly are a patient father,” the woman responded.

The man smiled and then said, “Her older brother Tommy was killed by a drunk driver last year while he was riding his bike near here. I never spent much time with Tommy and now I’d give anything for just five more minutes with him. I’ve vowed not to make the same mistake with Melissa. She thinks she has five more minutes to ride her bike. The truth is, I get five more minutes to watch her play.”
Source: Social Media (via The Internet)