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

Reality of “ad confidunt”

As the calendar states that it is mid-March, the weather-man begs to differ by sending a couple of heat waves across. Consequently as the heat and humidity rises, the power outages happen, almost on a proportional scale. For the first couple of hours, the invertor works till they run out too. It’s the late nights that are the worst. Being scared of the pitch black darkness, the kids had begun to cry as they woke up from their sleep. Then through the darkness, what calmed them down were the familiar voice that soothed them through the night, the voice that they put their trust in and let their fears rest.

Reflecting on this incident was the likeness with the sudden bouts of uneasiness that flare up within the self. They just happened, some as a consequence or a build-up; while other times they had happened just out of the blue. What calmed the soul and the restless mind when one tried to do so, were His Words.

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” (Psalm 56:3)

All of us have our own set of fears and problems. To find a resolution is a must, but at times it goes beyond us. Those are the days when we need to learn to put our complete faith and trust in the Lord. Saying it easier then doing so. For many of us, trust never comes easy. We often tend to fear opening up, especially if it may be used against us at a later stage. Such is human nature.

Yet God’s trust and faith are way different from what is perceived by man. His Faith not only encourages us, but empowers one to face obstacles as they come. Here, faith and trust go hand in hand. His mere presence through the scriptures and teachings brings the flame of hope and strength through the dark hours. For all this we need to truly believe. Learning to trust like the babe in the cradle enables us to grow in His Grace and His Love. Such a gift of true faith and trust is what clears the perceived gray clouds in the mind, bringing a fresh lease of life to the day. Whether our lives be short or long, we don’t know. But what we will know or realize is that, by putting our complete faith and trust in Him, we will find the beauty of life and joy of living, in each hour and day as they come by.

The amazing story of Charles Blondin, a famous French tightrope walker, is a wonderful illustration of what true faith is. Blondin’s greatest fame came on September 14, 1860, when he became the first person to cross a tightrope stretched 11,000 feet (over a quarter of a mile) across the mighty Niagara Falls. People from both Canada and America came from miles away to see this great feat. He walked across, 160 feet above the falls, several times… each time with a different daring feat – once in a sack, on stilts, on a bicycle, in the dark, and blindfolded. One time he even carried a stove and cooked an omelet in the middle of the rope!

A large crowd gathered and the buzz of excitement ran along both sides of the river bank. The crowd “Oohed and Aahed!” as Blondin carefully walked across – one dangerous step after another – pushing a wheelbarrow holding a sack of potatoes. Then a one point, he asked for the participation of a volunteer. Upon reaching the other side, the crowd’s applause was louder than the roar of the falls! Blondin suddenly stopped and addressed his audience: “Do you believe I can carry a person across in this wheelbarrow?” The crowd enthusiastically yelled, “Yes! You are the greatest tightrope walker in the world. We believe!” “Okay,” said Blondin, “Who wants to get into the wheelbarrow.”

As far as the Blondin story goes, no one did at the time!

This unique story illustrates a real life picture of what faith actually is. The crowd watched these daring feats. They said they believed. But… their actions proved they truly did not believe.Similarly, it is one thing for us to say we believe in God. However, it’s true faith when we believe God and put our faith and trust in His Son, Jesus Christ.
Note: In August of 1859, Charles Blondin’s manager, Harry Colcord, did ride on Blondin’s back across the Falls. Author Unknown
Source: inspire21.com

Posted in Christian, Life, poetry, Random Thoughts

To Hold On

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4)

Reaching beyond the mid-phase of the Lenten period brought around a multitude of thoughts within the mind. Unlike the years before, as most of the meetings have been switched over to the online mode; reading the Scriptures and writings is how the present Lenten period is being observed. On listening to the narration of the Jairus’ daughter ( Mark 5:21-24, 35-43) reminds us of His Grace and with faith anything is possible.

“Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” ( John 8:12)

Each of us have our own bundle of sorrows and pain. Going beyond them requires one to find the courage from within. To find it, one needs to hold onto the Faith that He is with us always, will catch us when we fall and even if it happens, ill protect us. Such is His Love and His Grace as echoed through the chapters of the Gospel. As they always as, knowing and believing are two different aspects. Let this Lenten period teach us to experience strength and hope in His Love, His Grace and His Mercy. For He is always there, we just have to learn to never let go of His Hand.

Keep Walking…
Barbara Aldrich

Here we stand together,
Dressed in our pain,
Covered with scars
From wounds we did not ask for
Or deserve.

So what now?

We can’t go back and relive our lives.
We can’t take back the innocence we lost
Or make the sadness we felt into happiness.

But we can go on from here,
So let us start.

Stretch out your hand to mine,
Close your eyes
And slowly let the pain slip away.
Let go of the sadness;
It belongs to yesterday,
And let’s walk.

The earth is firm beneath our feet.
The sun is warm on our face.
Heavenly Father sees our struggle,
Smiles at our effort,
And sends us strength.

My friends, we can’t stay, looking back,
Lest we falter.
We must face forward,
Eyes wide open,
And keep on walking.

Hold tight and don’t let go;
You aren’t walking alone,
And neither am I.

Barbara is a part-time teacher and E.M.T. (Emergency Medical Technician), the mother of six children and three step children, married to her high school sweetheart for 23 years and living in Nevada. Thank you for sharing this with us Barbara!© 2005, Barbara Aldrich (Source: inspirationpeak.com)

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

Stop..Observe..Shift..Move

Ever felt the awe on wondering how one had reached the end. Sometimes it’s so hard to grasp that one has finally checked off that “to-do” in our own list. Such were the feelings on nearing the finish of the present project. While the start and the journey through were something not to be experienced again by choice, the lessons learnt have not just changed the mind but moulded the perspective for the years ahead. The initial phase of the project was something akin to the experience of Edison and his light bulb; too many glitches and hang-ups on how to start off. In the end we had to break it down to many minor components and then tackle it down. Through all this was team-work, improvisation and plenty of re-dos. But the point was to stick on to it.

“Life is a blank canvas, and you need to throw all the paint on it you can.” Danny Kaye

Many of us have gone through similar phases in some part of our lives. They were those days when one couldn’t earmark them as progressive days. But the reality was those were the rest days to regroup, re-focus and re-centre ourselves once again. Those gap days gave the energy to strive on. The change of thinking lay in not rushing off to mark each day as a failure or success, but to look at the bigger objective and target. Sometimes in our haste to reach tot he top, we forget that without the rest for the soul, the body nor the mind can’t move ahead.

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

To regroup, sometimes we need to go back and re-trace our steps. Few may be wrong; but admitting them mayn’t be an easy task. For those moments let the feeling of “I’m always right” take a backseat. Being human, we all are prone to err. So it doesn’t really matter that one went wrong, rectification if feasible, is what makes a whole lot of difference. As long as one keeps the will strong, time would be an ally to the self. Take a moment, a deep breath and chin up. As always, be true to the self and move ahead. Eventually we’ll all reach there.

The Mountain

If the mountain seems too big today
then climb a hill instead;
If morning brings you sadness
it’s okay to stay in bed.
If the day ahead feels heavy and your plans feel like a curse,
There’s no shame in rearranging,
don’t make yourself feel worse.
If a shower stings like needles
and a bath feels like you’ll drown;
If you haven’t washed your hair for days,
don’t throw away your crown!
A day is not a lifetime.
A rest is not defeat.
Don’t think of it as failure,
Just a quiet, kind retreat.
It’s okay to take a moment
From an anxious, fractured mind.
The world will not stop turning
While you get realigned!
The mountain will still be there
When you want to try again
You can climb it in your own time,
Just love yourself till then!

Laura Ding-Edwards

Posted in Life, Personal Musings, Photography Art, Reflections

Flap to Flight

Cooped in the same stretch of space for a couple of weeks drives “not just the toddler in the house” but also the bigger ones into a frenzy. While the taller they are the more refined become the ways to kill boredom, the smaller ones don’t get diverted that easy. Which is why one of the practical purchases online included the “bi-no-culars”. Courtesy of it, the first project of interest was the nest on the old banyan tree in the backyard. For we had chanced upon the family of coppersmith barbet (chempukotti), with their hatch-lings residing covert amidst the branches.

“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.” J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan

The curiosity and whispers that accompanied for the next couple of days were about the happenings on the tree. One of the activities observed was how the three fledglings were taught to fly. After the first few falls from the nest, they discovered that by spreading out the wings, the falls were not that jarring. After a couple of days the next things we saw was them flying onto the low branches.

What set the grey cells into action was the fact that they had “spread their wings and flapped”. Putting that little lesson into the realities of life, each of us are thrown into the situations that we least expect. There are many ways to deal with those scenarios. Crib and cry, or buckle up, gather the few feathers we have or grow new ones, spread them out and learn to flap. Eventually we’ll fly. At the end of the day, it all boils down what we really want to do. If one really wants to fly, know that one can and will. Whether it may be soon, in some time or long time; that isn’t entirely in our hands but what we can do is to learn and try. The rest shall soon follow.

“I was shown a fledgling learning to fly. It’s first efforts were very feeble. But as it used its wings more and more, they became stronger until it found the freedom of flight and was able to soar to great heights and fly great distance without any effort. I heard the words: Faith comes with practice. Live by faith until it becomes rocklike unshakable, and find the true freedom of the spirit.” Eileen Caddy

“You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.” Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon

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

Wonder across the Sky

“Skywatchers are in for an end-of-year treat. What has become known popularly as the “Christmas Star” is an especially vibrant planetary conjunction easily visible in the evening sky over the next two weeks as the bright planets Jupiter and Saturn come together, culminating on the night of Dec. 21.” (Source:nasa.gov)

“The celestial conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn planets will take place on Monday, December 21, 2020. … During this conjunction, the two large planets come so close that they appear to make a bright double planet.” (Source: timesofindia.com)

After the chaos of settling down the house for the evening, it was a quick sneak up the terrace for a view of the “celestial conjunction” or as popularly put as the “Christmas Star” for this year. An eagle-eyed search lead the seeker to believe that the eyes have made out this “end-of-the-year treat”. On locating what was believed to be “the treat”, the eyes went a couple of planes ahead and above. Oh behold, the magnificence of the sky.

To witness the gift of His creation, one doesn’t need to visit the exotic places or the most eagerly anticipated trips to the seven natural wonders of the world. The wonders lie in our own backyards, terrace and skies above our abode and oh yes, even in us as well. Though sometimes to find it, we need to be still and know ourselves.

Truth is we all have that something special in each one of us. In our haste to explore the world, we lose ourselves in the chaos and fail to reconnect and embrace life as a whole. As the gifts of the sky and His Grace always show; sometimes one needs to just stand still and believe in order to appreciate the beauty in this world around us.

Life is such that, happiness isn’t always enclosed in gaily wrapped packages. Sometimes it’s there in the air, but we don’t see it. Instead we crave for the next one or the forbidden, missing out on what was there in grasp. As Christmas always says, His Glory and His Grace is always there; when one finds it, the happiness, joy and above all, the peace that one always longs for will be in our reach.

“Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight!
Glories stream from heaven afar;
Heavenly hosts sing Al-le-lu-ia!
Christ the Savior is born!
Christ the Savior is born!”….
(Lyrics from Silent Night lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Songtrust Ave; Source: LyricFind, Songwriters: Traditional)

There are innumerable glories as well as countless gifts and blessings that we come across. Some we know, many we don’t. Yet the more we know and learn to appreciate, these would be put to better use. As the year comes to a close, let this season teach us not only to share the love and joy, but also learn to be still, find ourselves and on the whole, be a part of His miracle.

Posted in Christian, Daily, Family and Society, Personal Musings, Quotes

Start of the End

Into the first few days of the last month of the year, brings out a fresh leash of hope to many. A yearning that the uncertainty and surprises (not of the nice variety) that this year had brought about, would come to an end. A wish that things would be happening for the better, from hence on. Bringing about this season of hope, the Advent, is also a journey to hold still, reach within and find the true self. It is a time to refrain from the hustle and bustle of the routine; take off for a few moments and spend time with those or for those, who really matter and need it. It is a time to ponder, wonder and say Grace for those tiny little miracles that happened along the way, known or unknown to the self, or even if known so, only in retrospection.

“It is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us memories of goodness and thus to open doors of hope.” Pope Benedict XVI

Whether one celebrates Advent or not, the last few leaves or columns on the calendar, do highlight the fact that this year is drawing to a close. At the end of the day, whether the coffers or the belly be full, what really matters is whether we have the happiness and joy to hold within our hearts and souls. And above all, how many smiles are seen around.

As we all have reached the end of the year, with the longing of new beginnings for the season of promise comes upon each one of us. Bringing this season closer to our hearts and soul, starts by being true to our own self. In doing so, one not only gets to embrace their happiness, but throws off rays of hope for those around them. For it’s these small lights that bring out the beauty of the dark skies.

“Advent is the time of promise; it is not yet the time of fulfillment. We are still in the midst of everything and in the logical inexorability and relentlessness of destiny.…Space is still filled with the noise of destruction and annihilation, the shouts of self-assurance and arrogance, the weeping of despair and helplessness. But round about the horizon the eternal realities stand silent in their age-old longing. There shines on them already the first mild light of the radiant fulfillment to come. From afar sound the first notes as of pipes and voices, not yet discernable as a song or melody. It is all far off still, and only just announced and foretold. But it is happening, today.” Alfred Delp

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.