Posted in Christian, Life, Personal Musings, poetry, Reflections

Around the Light

Watching the insects of the night flit around the porch lights had kept the toddlers occupied in the late evening. With a sudden power outage their curiosity grew as they watched the same happen with the candle. The run towards the light and the backing away once when one gets too close to the source. The constant movement keeps the interest of the keen observers alive. What resonates through the mind while being an avid spectator of the scene is the similarity with John Bunyan’s “The fly at the Candle”. Are we like the fly that gets burned by the glory of the World or is the light source that akin to the Words of the Gospel.

“Long is the way and hard, that out of Hell leads up to light.” John Milton (in Paradise Lost)

As one runs over the pages, the light can always be of the good kind or the bad type. Like the porch lights that offer the attraction of the light but cause no injury to the little insects as they land on them, the light doesn’t harm but offer light through the darkness. While the candle, if one gets too close can burn when directions and steadiness is at fault. While Bunyan had focused on the candle as the Gospel had brought shame to those who lived far from His Words, what resonates through the thoughts is that “light” is always of many types.

One is surrounded by the bright lifts, dim ones, gray ones and coloured ones. Each of them have their own view changing points and features. Each light has their own appeal, aura and wonders around it. Discernment is what brings one to focus in the right kind of light. Add to it, own perception, conscience and innate principles; the beauty of the light can be experienced at the best. Light indeed dispels the darkness. But the point is to see that this light benefits one to live the gift of the life as per His Will, the right principles and own contentment as well as happiness; for that is where the difference between the darkness around or within is dealt by the light.

“Happiness is always there. You just have to choose to see it. There’s no point dwelling in the dark and ignoring the light of the stars.” Carrie Hope Fletcher

The Fly at the Candle

What ails this fly thus desperately to enter
A combat with the candle? Will she venture
To clash at light? Away, thou silly fly;
Thus doing thou wilt burn thy wings and die.
But ’tis a folly her advice to give,
She’ll kill the candle, or she will not live.
Slap, says she, at it; then she makes retreat,
So wheels about, and doth her blows repeat.
Nor doth the candle let her quite escape,
But gives some little check unto the ape:
Throws up her heels it doth, so down she falls,
Where she lies sprawling, and for succour calls.
When she recovers, up she gets again,
And at the candle comes with might and main,
But now behold, the candle takes the fly,
And holds her, till she doth by burning die.

Comparison.

This candle is an emblem of that light
Our gospel gives in this our darksome night.
The fly a lively picture is of those
That hate and do this gospel light oppose.
At last the gospel doth become their snare,
Doth them with burning hands in pieces tear.

– John Bunyan

Posted in Daily, Family and Society, Personal Musings, poetry, Quotes, Reflections, Work

Strain of the Indisposition

On the days when the work schedule drags, the events then on tend to go on in a discordant manner. Eventually on reaching home, with the usual things not done like dinner late, homework hours not supervised and the like; the entire mood sours down and the evenings end on an unhappy or dissatisfied note. While journalling such days and reading them later on, at times it’s how one learns to behave when things go beyond the expectation (especially when in a negative manner) that makes the biggest difference in the long run.

“The greatest joys of life are happy memories. Your job is to create as many of them as possible.” Brian Tracy

Emotional infection is a deadly thing. A chain effect triggered by it can have far reaching consequences; avoidable, unnecessary with a significant negative impact, spoiling relationships and makes the daily hours unpleasant, of discontent as well as unhappy. As the scales of the balance go awry, the urge to initiate the “blame game” and point fingers start soon, as compared to making efforts to try and reschedule to get back on track. Guarantee for everything or anything never exists in reality. There is always a chance of a miss or an error present even in the best laid plans, schedules or goals. When one lets their emotions fly unchecked, the consequences can go deadly and far reaching, be it on the professional, personal or domestic front. To keep the inner peace best within, learning how to handle the unexpected is necessary skill. Though this may take time and plenty of effort, they are all worth when the impact is taken into account. For words and memories have a far lasting effect, than targets or achievements as scored on paper.

“I am convinced that the greatest legacy we can leave our children are happy memories: those precious moments so much like pebbles on the beach that are plucked from the white sand and placed in tiny boxes that lay undisturbed on tall shelves until one day they spill out and time repeats itself, with joy and sweet sadness, in the child now an adult.” Og Mandino

No matter how many precautionary measures one may take; when things go haywire, take a quick breathe and continue on. The art of learning to manage any curve-ball lies in the way we behave to these sudden turns. Instead of fretting and getting dejected on the “why me, why now” aspect, settling and finding effective be it temporary or permanent solutions may help make the days (or evenings) end better. More than achievements, goals or occasions, what stays etched in the mind are “feelings”. The feeling of calm and happiness in the children as their parents return from work, the approach that another person feels or learns as the crisis period is sorted and the cumulative efforts taken to settle any environment are just few of the better emotional memories that linger and stay on as the years pass through.

“I’d like the memory of me
to be a happy one.
I’d like to leave an afterglow
of smiles when life is done.
I’d like to leave an echo
whispering softly down the ways,
Of happy times and laughing times
and bright and sunny days.
I’d like the tears of those who grieve,
to dry before the sun
of happy memories
that I leave when life is done.”
Helen Lowrie Marshall

Posted in Christian, Daily, Life, Personal Musings, Reflections

Shelter when Lost

While going for a walk with a rambunctious pet, getting caught in the wet fury of the nature and her elements was an unplanned and unprecedented event. Scrambling for a cover, it was a blessing to find the shelter in the barn. As the flashes of lightning began and the pounding of the rain increased in full measure; while the fortunate ones may have escaped the fury by Providence or His Grace, the reality that there may be many others who had been caught unawares would be drenched and soaked by now makes one feel blessed in the present circumstances.

“When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by.” (Exodus 33:22)

Every now and then, in our lives, one may reach certain points or stand stills wherein the tempest roars strong crushing the spirit both in the physical, mental and emotional sense. In those moments, all one longs is a brief respite, a form of shelter to regroup and regain the inner strength. That respite is found when under His Shelter. As experienced by the wayfarers, the gift of peace and shelter in His Wings had no precedent or parallel.

Echoing the opening lines of the hymn “Rock of Ages,” with its opening lines, “Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee ”; the saving grace and mercy of God is such that His Presence will be with each one of us, helping us find refuge in Him at all times and on all occasions. As we experience and battle the unexpected furor or unprecedented upheavals, seeking the shelter of a temporary respite in His Hands helps us find our way back home.

Posted in Life, Personal Musings, Reflections

Roads that Curve

While visiting university friends who had relocated to another city, getting to the city wasn’t an issue but finding their residence was. With Google giving directions, the traffic being routed by the city police and previously gotten directions, we eventually got there but it was an enlightening experience.

The entire journey reminds one of how similar our lives get to be. As one goes through the days, there would be plenty of instructions, chaotic thoughts, previous knowledge, creative ideas and misled information to sort through before nightfall or the eventual end. Amidst all the hullabaloo, to take control or discernment of the right isn’t easy.

“A highly developed values system is like a compass. It serves as a guide to point you in the right direction when you are lost.” Idowu Koyenikan

While on some days, following set instructions maybe easy other days it isn’t as direct. Along the process one makes plenty of errors, experience more downhills than uphills and redefine own understanding. Amidst all this chaos one learns to direct the self with the help of inner values, instincts, conscience, humaneness and Faith. These are few of the many factors that take the lead in finding a way out through the pandemonium thoughts and situations. Letting them all lead in solo may’t help us, but together, the mayhem settles and the terminus maybe in sight.

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
― Gandhi

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

On the Canvas

“Real generosity towards the future lies in giving all to the present.” Albert Camus (Notebooks 1935-1942)

One of the best things about entertaining a group of toddlers, is their spontaneity. Following their flow of energy, children are more keen on dwelling in the “now”. What about the adult “nows”? More or less, they do happen more in the professional sphere than the personal zone. Eventually some “now” never happens, neither does “the later”.

As each of us “adult” reserve their time and energy for the tomorrow, those proposed plans mayn’t happen. Time has it’s own flow. At times the tomorrows may work out, at times it mayn’t be so. If it was done at the “now” of then, then maybe it would be have happened or done only. Time has and always will be contrary. Sometimes as the toddlers say “let’s play tent” or “play with us” maybe some of the most precious memories made as one unwinds from work than catching up with “the telly”.

“It’s being here now that’s important. There’s no past and there’s no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there is ever, is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can’t relive it; and we can hope for the future, but we don’t know if there is one.” George Harrison

Time has a beginning and ending, but those moments in between are what fills up the blank canvas. It may be filled by phases of dark hues, spots of brightness scattered in the dark template or hues of varying colours depending on own choice. As one decides on how the space on the canvas needs to be made so for the future days, take care that the spaces of now don’t go void.

Hymn to Time

Time says “Let there be”
every moment and instantly
there is space and the radiance
of each bright galaxy.

And eyes beholding radiance.
And the gnats’ flickering dance.
And the seas’ expanse.
And death, and chance.

Time makes room
for going and coming home
and in time’s womb
begins all ending.

Time is being and being
time, it is all one thing,
the shining, the seeing,
the dark abounding.

Ursula K. Le Guin (1929-2018)
(From Late in the Day: Poems 2010-2014 (PM Press, 2015). Copyright © 2015 by Ursula K. Le Guin.).

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

A Hand We all Need

While doing the weekend stint of shopping, the difficulty in managing a capricious toddler was fully felt. From cooperating in the first few minutes to putting everything into the cart and running loose down the aisles, I had my hands fully occupied. Fortunately, a kind saleslady took some pity and gave me a hand while making my toddler help her in putting the sticker on the weighed and bagged vegetables.

“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” John Holmes

One needs help in many forms. From being given a space in the traffic queue during rush hour to given a compliment for the successful completion of a project or trying a new skill, settling into a new neighbourhood, we all need various degrees of help. While some types of help may be in a pure physical manner, others may be in the form of lending an ear more than a hand or simply offering mental support to ease the burdens and stress. Happiness mayn’t be so, if achieved by the sole exclusivity of the world around one. Instead the sheer joy of giving and receiving help in any form may result in a shared feeling of contentment, a state of happiness, peace and calm.

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I parked in front of a mall, wiping my car, when a tramp approached me. From the looks of him, he had no car, no home, no clean clothes, and no money. There are times when you feel generous but sometimes you just don’t want to be bothered. This was one of those “don’t want to be bothered times”. I hope he doesn’t ask me for money, I thought. He didn’t. He sat down on the curb and after a few minutes he spoke. “That’s a very pretty car,” he said. He was ragged but he had an air of dignity around him. His scraggly beard keep more than his face warm. I said, “Thanks,” and continued wiping my car. He sat quietly. The expected plea for money never came. As the silence between us widened something inside me said, “Ask him if he needs any help.” I was sure he would say “Yes” but I held true to the inner voice. “Do you need any help?” I asked. He answered in three simple but profound words that I shall never forget. We often look for wisdom in great men and women. We expect it from those of higher learning and accomplishments. I expected nothing but an outstretched grimy hand. But he spoke the three words that shook me.

“Don’t we all?” he said.

I was feeling high and mighty, successful and important, above a tramp in the street, until those three words hit me. *Don’t we all?* I needed help. Maybe not for a meal or a place to sleep, but I needed help. I reached in my wallet and gave him enough to get a warm meal. Those three little words still ring true.

No matter how much you have, no matter how much you have accomplished, you need help too. No matter how little you have, no matter how loaded you are with problems, even without money or a place to sleep, you can give help. Even if it’s just a compliment, you can give that. You never know when you may see someone that appears to have it all. But they may be waiting for you to give them what they don’t have! A different perspective on life. A glimpse at something beautiful. A respite from daily chaos, that only you with a different view can see. Maybe the man was just a homeless stranger wandering the streets. Maybe he was more than that. Maybe he was sent by a power that is great and wise, to minister to people too comfortable in themselves. Maybe God looked down, called an Angel, dressed him like a tramp, then said, “Go minister to that man cleaning the car, that man needs help.” *DON’T WE ALL?*

Source: vk.com”

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

Priceless in More Ways than One

One of the most treasured possessions in the family chest is the watch my grandfather had given my brother for his graduation. Those days with the economic slow down hitting hard, this graduation gift had meant a lot of saving, toil and loss of the daily pleasures which may have affordable if not set aside for the watch. Looking through our grandfather’s eyes, his days had echoed the effect of the Great Depression and the feel of not having the benefits of today. Each effort for a better tomorrow included certain sacrifices from both our grandparents. In comparison to the days of the present, every help or sacrifice whether it be in relative terms or not, as long as it is from the heart; it makes a difference for all.

“Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you’re not really losing it. You’re just passing it on to someone else.” Mitch Albom

None of us really don’t know the extent of the priceless things that we have been blessed with. Reflecting back, each one of us have been showered with infinite Grace and blessings, many which may go beyond than what may have been expected. Underlining these blessings, lie hidden hours of unending sacrifices and priceless sequence of events, made so by giving their all to ensure their best. The truth is the one realizes the priceless treasures that each of us hold, a bit too late. Beyond the physical world, to feel the immense selflessness, love and warmth of human nature, it is those that are priceless that matter the most.

She paid the highest price.
The seller stood behind the store counter and stared absently at the street. One little girl went to the store and literally stuck to the window. When she saw what she was looking for, her eyes sparkled with delight. She went inside and asked her to be shown the turquoise beads. “This is for my sister. Can you wrap them beautifully?”, asked the girl. The owner looked in disbelief at the baby and asked:”And how much money do you have?” The girl pulled a handkerchief from her pocket, unfolded it and poured a handful of little things onto the counter. With hope in her voice, she asked: “Is that enough?” There were only a few small coins. The girl proudly continued: “You know, I want to make a present to my older sister.” Since our mother died, my sister takes care of us, and she does not have time for herself. Today is her birthday and I am sure that she will be happy to receive such beads, they will be very suitable for the color of her eyes.

The man took the beads, went deep into the store, brought the case, put the turquoise in it, wrapped it with a ribbon and tied a bow. ” Hold on!”, he said to the girl,” And carry it carefully!” The girl ran out and skipped toward the house. The working day was drawing to a close when a young girl crossed the threshold of the same store. She put on the counter a case familiar to the seller and separately wrapping paper and an untied bow. “Were these beads bought here? How much did they cost? ”
“BUT!”, said the owner of the store, “the cost of any product in my store is always a confidential agreement between me and the client.” The girl said: “But my sister only had a few coins.” Beads from real turquoise, right? They must be very expensive. We can’t afford it.”

The man took the case, with great tenderness and warmth restored the packaging, handed it to the girl and said:“She paid the highest price … More than any adult could pay: she gave everything she had.” Silence filled a small shop, and two tears rolled down the face of a girl clutching a small bundle in her trembling hand …