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

Driving Force of Love

“The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.” Victor Hugo

It was a busy morning, approximately 8:30 am, when an elderly gentleman, in his 80s arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He stated that he was in a hurry and that he had an appointment at 9:00 am. I took his vital signs, and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would be able to see him. I saw him looking at his watch and decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound. On examination, it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redressed his wound. While taking care of him, we began to engage in conversation. I asked him if he had a doctor’s appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry. The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife. I then inquired as to her health. He told me that she had been there for awhile and was a victim of Alzheimer’s Disease. As we talked and I finished dressing his wound, I asked if she would be worried if he was a bit late. He replied that she no longer knew who he was, and hadn’t recognized him in five years. I was surprised, and asked him, “And you still go every morning, even though she doesn’t know who you are?” He smiled and patted my hand and said, “She doesn’t know me, but I still know who she is.”

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” Lao Tzu

When a couple starts off in their journey in life together, they slowly learn about each other, work through difficulties and despite the faults that each has, they overlook them because of love, as the latter has no limits, tally marks, check posts or boundaries. As time progresses and disease catches up with age, losing the treasured moments is disheartening for all. Yet despite the disease that strikes, the bonds of true love of one is strong enough to hold both. This story that I had read exemplifies the fact that whether true love has no time limit.

“The most desired gift of love is not diamonds or roses or chocolate. It is focused attention.” Richard Warren

The art of love doesn’t lie in the lone act of giving gifts or worldly pleasures. It lies in giving your time to understand the other person, what they are going through whether it be joy or sorrow, triumphs or difficulties. For the strings of love will be strong to bind both through trying times when the love grows and strengthens over time. In fact our actions speak louder than the words that we say or the words that we write, although they are important as well. Amidst the daily schedule, take out some time for each other so that you learn about each other and find some quiet time to rejuvenate, find peace and share moments as well as memories for later.

“Love is not only something you feel, it is something you do.” David Wilkerson

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Posted in Life, Personal Musings, Quotes

The Bucket List

The 2007 movie “The Bucket List”, a comedy-drama film revolves around two terminally ill men on their road trip with a wish list of things to do before they “kick the bucket”. The screenplay was written by Justin Zackham with the word “bucket list” and had started off the trend of listing down what one wants to do before they die.

At first dreams seem impossible, then improbable, then inevitable. Christopher Reeve

Although the concept of “bucket list” was officially there since 2006, the wish-list has been there before. Though not documented, many have had their list of wishes and desires to do, especially when faced with crippling uncertainty of their existence. Yet as the movie brought this to a highlight, many had began to jot down their list and started to cross off what they wanted to achieve in their short span of time. Eventually the trend shifted to university and college, where the list began with as long as fifty to hundred things to do before one meet their eventual end.

“Don’t worry, I plan on living a long time.”
“Why are you making a bucket list, then?”
“Because if you wait until you’re really dying, it’s too late.”  Gayle Forman

“What is the purpose ? Do we need it ? I am still young and I have time”. While these questions used to churn around in the mind, the best answer would be “yes”. Everyone needs something to look forward to, especially when they are in the dumps or caught in the mundane chaos of life. When we list down what we want to do, not the daily or weekly “to-do’s” but the desires and events we want to do so as to experience the fun and beauty of living; it makes every drab day more interesting. Besides helping us to look forward, “listing our favourite things to do” helps to retain a sense of positivism, balance, feeling of lightness and being alive. Unknown to us, jotting down our bucket list helps to battle the depressive mentality that takes root in us at times.

“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss, but that it is too low and we reach it.” Michelangelo

Is there a limit ? There is no limit or confinement to the “n” number of things you can do. It can be simple, weird, quiet or adventurous; it doesn’t really matter as “your bucket list” is for you, about you and what you would like. Despite the “busy days”, find time to make one soon, before time snatches you away. For those of us who have a list and never got to do anything about it, find few minutes daily to make it happen. Out of the 86400 seconds allotted to us, 1800 seconds doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface. When we start the small steps, we realize that we are slowly crossing off the items off our wish list and soon will find time for the bigger ones. Let the bucket list happen, as the feeling of elation and completion can be better felt than explained.

“I wanna go on a road trip someday. Alone or with someone I love. I wanna get away. Explore places. Sleep in the car. Stop a lot just to admire the view. Visit museums and try out coffee shops. Listen to my favorite albums while driving. Have a Polaroid camera. Take pretty pictures of the sunrise. Take pictures of myself. Run through a forest. Chase fog. Chase the sun. Spend hours on a field making flower crowns. Feel the wind in my hair. Buy souvenirs. Meet people. Take time to observe. I wanna make memories. I wanna feel alive.” — Things on my bucket list

Posted in Christian, Daily, Life, Personal Musings

Deprived by Doubts

One of the most common ways that we deprive ourselves of happiness are “the doubts” that continuously provoke the mind. For instance, when we buy any expensive gadget or any item like a car, cell phone, dresses, cruise tickets or the latest laptops, we continuously skim and look for offers, plan on the pros and cons as well as try to budget and pray about it. Yet once we receive it, we often have a mixed response. Initially the thrill is there of the brand “new”thing and we try to explore it, use it and show other as well. Yet after sometime, when something else new comes up or we see something better, we then wonder if we should have bought “it” later or had waited for some more time for something better to come up or a larger discount on what we had wanted. The joy and happiness of the “acquisition” becomes negated by anxiety, worry, sadness and disappointment all because of our doubts.

“Give thanks in everything: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Instead of turning onto the track of frivolous doubts and dissatisfaction, it would be better if we prayed about our choices, made our decisions wisely and first thank for the events that have happened. Each time the doubts creep into our mind, think of the days and the “whys” of our need. As long as what we have attained serves the purpose, neither the brand, model or whether scores of people have it really matters.

“Don’t ever doubt yourselves or waste a second of your life. It’s too short, and you’re too special.” Ariana Grande

If we indulge in every niggling doubt that lurks in the mind based on what we see, hear or assume; then we would never find time to be happy with anything. Instead if we learn to grow our trust and faith in His Grace that all things happen for a reason, even though we often assume it is only based on chance and circumstances. When we try to rejoice and find joy in the smallest things that we had wished for or had happened just like that, the good moments in the timeline of our memories increases and prepares us for the journey ahead.

Posted in Life, Personal Musings, Stories Around the World

Aftermath of Ripples

Everybody talks about wanting to change things and help and fix, but ultimately all you can do is fix yourself. And that’s a lot. Because if you can fix yourself, it has a ripple effect. Rob Reiner

Two men were out on the water in a boat. One of them began drilling in the bottom of the boat, and the other, aghast said “What are you doing? Stop drilling!”. And the first man replied: “It’s all right. I’m only drilling on my side.”

Whether it’s your side or my side, the drilling of the hole affects all the travelers in the boat. This was a forward I had recently received from a friend. There are other versions similar to the above tale, although I believe this was adapted from the parable in the Jewish Midrash Rabbah. The message underlying is that the action of one person whether intentional or not, will affect those around him, either directly or indirectly.

Like the ripples caused by a stone in water, one leads to another till the action wears off. In real life, the ripples caused can have drastic impact, of the good kind and of the dangerous type. An accident, sudden death or harsh words can offset a chain of events that haven’t been predicted or foreseen. While some call it fate, not all events can be grouped under that umbrella. The consequence of our actions at time can be unfathomable. Drunk driving, hit-and-run, speeding, unsupervised work at construction sites are few instances that remind us that our actions impact everyone, not just us.

“Our personal ripple effect is the power of one generating hope and change in others for a better world. Like ripples radiating across the surface of a pond when a pebble is tossed in, kindness is powerful and has far-reaching, positive ramifications that bring about a tremendous sense of joy.” Laurie Buchanan

While we do good, others do benefit and same with the bad. When we try not to cause harm to others by keeping our selfish interests under check, it makes the world a better place to live. In case we forget this important fact, remember very often what goes around comes around as well. After all time doesn’t discriminate.

While it may seem small, the ripple effects of small things is extraordinary. Matt Bevin

Posted in Christian, Life, Personal Musings

Engraved in His Hands

The dread of needles, the smell of antiseptic, hospital scenes and the scars (both physical and mental) left behind are dreaded by almost all age groups, especially from childhood and even adults do faint or scream through injections. With the advent of anaesthesia, major and minor surgeries have become easier and reduces hospital stay as well. Imagine the scene when you have jagged scars running across your skin reminding the person of the struggle, tragedy, narrow escape and survival marred by the mental and emotional trauma of the event. Can anyone carry such scars in their hands ?

“See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;your walls are ever before me.” Isaiah 49:16 (NIV)

As Charles Spurgeon had said in his teachings about the wonderful connection between this promise of the Lord to His people, the Israelites and His Son Jesus, on the cross as He died for us.The person who had to be engraved was nailed to the cross by the nails hammered into His Hands. Whether through the palms or wrists, even to think of the excruciating pain caused is tragic. The Romans had perfected the method of cruxification with some victim tied to the cross while others were nailed. They had ensured that crucifixion victims would hang painfully until their diaphragm went into spasm and they literally suffocated to death.

Whenever we feel that: our burdens are too heavy, we are under the perpetual cloud of suffering, our doors of opportunities shut in our faces, feelings go numb and when everything from work,relationships, investments go downhill;remember that the Lord has never forgotten nor forsaken us. As seen in the scriptures from both the Old and New Testament.

  • Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.(Deuteronomy 31:6)
  • For the Lord will never reject His people; He will never forsake His inheritance” (Psalm 94:14).
  • The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the Lord will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.” (Isaiah 41:17).
  • ” When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and though the rivers, they will not overflow you. … For I am the Lord your God …” (Isaiah 43:2-3a)
  • “But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, and my Lord has forgotten me.” “Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me.” (Isaiah 49:4-16)
  • “Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age. ” (Matthew 28:20)
  • “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
  • “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” (Hebrews 6:10)
  • Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5 )

With these promises even the gray skies and the gloomy days will brighten with fresh hope and faith that God shelters us in His Hands as long as we step into His Shield and His Love.

Posted in Personal Musings, Quotes, Stories Around the World

Rekindle the Dying Embers

One of the prerequisites of camping in the woods (or even large backyards) or during nature nights is to start and maintain the fire. Once started, the flames keep the light coming and conversation going, as long as the flames are fed alongside. As the flames of the fire die down, unless the dying embers are stoked back the fire won’t serve it’s purpose.

Since the beginning of time, man has been fascinated by fire and its’ effects. What sometimes we fail to realize, is that we all have a fire in ourselves too. Like the dying embers, we need to be stoked once in a while. The spark within us often fights to stay alive especially during personal tragedy or when the situations get beyond our control. Unless the sparks stays to restart the fire, the fight goes out from within. Some days, the struggling sparks are ours, other times they belong to the sparks of others who are going through a difficult patch. Those times, we need to set the spark with words of encouragement and courage as tinder and kindling to relight the flame again.

Like how Paige Hunter had rekindled the flame of many with her “notes of hope” attached to the Wearmouth Bridge in Sunderland, England, the latter which is notorious for its suicides; we can bring back someones spark by kind words and gentle understanding. One doesn’t have to go far to look to do something, when it things are happening around them right under their nose. It might not take much effort from our part, but will make a huge difference for someone else. For even one dying spark, when revived will bring back the light and spread warmth in this cold world.

Posted in Christian, Life, Personal Musings, Stories Around the World

Leaving The Sandbox

A five year old girl was playing in the sandbox. Filled with a child’s unpretentious happiness, she found the simple play interesting and fun. Suddenly her mother runs up and pulls the girl out of her childhood idyll and with haste, carried her home away from the sandbox, her source of joy. Without explaining anything, the little girl was taken away from the sun warmed box of her freedom, changing the simple but happy hours of joy. Crying and not understanding what was happening, the little girl turned away from her mother screaming to go back into the sandbox. Why did the mother do it ? For from a distance, her mother had seen a huge dog broken free from its’ chains and rushing towards the sandbox. The mother knew of the imminent danger that her child was in from the hungry, ferocious and uncontrollable beast and ran to bring her child to safety.

While the child didn’t realize what has just happened, she trusts her mother to take care of. Likewise with her mother’s love and attention; she will slowly forget the bad moments, treasuring only the happy memories in the days and years to come. Deep inside her, she knows that her mother will keep a watch over her and step in wherever and whenever possible to save her from the other potential precarious situations.

Isn’t this situation similar when we find something snatched from our hands just as we were enjoying it ? Do we ever know why from time to time God takes you something that is so dear to us?

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

Like the caring mother God takes away from us what we take to be our sandbox like our favorite work, strong relationships, savings. Whether it is getting fired, losing a friend or suffering material loss, He takes away from us the feeling of comfort which we are so eager to hold onto. Although we may never know what is happening at that moment, in hindsight we come to realize that our life has changed for the better. For God does not always explain the essence of what is happening and its benefits for us. Yet we realize much later that the change was for our own good. Like the girl who was taken away from the sandbox for her safety, we have our whole lives ahead of us which may be unpredictable but happy if we keep our Faith steadfast in His Mighty Works.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8