The date 19th September2018 is very significant.
I was thrilled to get the news of the arrival of my 3rd grandchild on 19th September morning .
I met with my sharing group of our community for our monthly meeting that evening. We shared on the 3rd chapter of Colossians .
The 2 themes were how we look at the old self ,which we were and how we become the new self, literally with new clothes.. how do we discard our old ways ,
Quote: ‘But now you must get rid of all such things- anger , wrath, malice, slander, abusive language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in the image of its Creator. (Colossians 3:8-10)
and live with lives of compassion.
Quote: ‘As God’s chosen one’s, holy and beloved clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive . Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts , To which indeed you were called in the one body.’(Colossians 3:12-15)
After the round of sharing… we concluded that there were areas where change had taken place and some where we still needed to change. Anger, and patience were some common themes .
But we realised that we are all work in progress , requiring The Master’s help at all times.
One of us beautifully shared that in the end , it is love that helps us to see others in new ways ….
Quote : ‘Love is patient; love is kind; love is not an proud or boastful, arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable, or resentful,; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing but rejoices in the truth. It bears all thing , believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends.’ (1Corinthians 13:4-8)
The inability to love leads to poor relationships and further many more pitfalls to sin .
Jesus came that we may rise to new life ….
We start with a clean slate ,when we acknowledge our sinfulness and the need for forgiveness and to forgive others .
I was thrilled to get the news of the arrival of my 3rd grandchild on 19th September morning .
He is such a chubby and healthy baby boy.
As I was shown his pictures , and was told his name to be given:
This struck me:
1. He is being named Daniel Michael ….surname Jordan
Daniel is my favourite prophet of the biblical times…. why ? Because he was courageous and spoke for the truth .
Michael is the name on both sides of Daniel’s parents family tree….and of course Michael is also the angel to fight against evil .
2. When a child comes into the world, the little one comes with a clean slate….This is new life.
We can also start with a clean slate in life no matter our past failings .
‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son , so that everyone who believes in him ,may not perish but may have eternal life.’
Think about it , every day is an opportunity to start afresh……
Years ago I remember reading a comic strip with some humour to it…Slo Jo was a cowboy, who faced the Ketchup Kid…. It was not the usual gunfight however. Here the test was on who could down the burger faster… The Kid finished his burger rapidly….and then watched Slo Jo relishing his burger with Ketchup , taking his own time… the lesson for the Kid… , enjoy the burger…what is the hurry?
I think , many of us are immersed in work, and have a problem of time… we become busy, stressed and worry about work to be done…
I am sure we all had coffee/tea breaks..but was it like the Ketchup Kid or like Slo Jo
Often the best moments are when one actually savours the moments either alone or with friends.
I have tried coffee from roasted coffee beans ground and filtered…. with a dash Sheridan .
……slowly like Slo Jo…while I smell the coffee, savour the taste ..and appreciate the situation around me… my friends, colleagues, family or just connecting with nature …
Time passes by… I see some of my good friends who have worked hard and done well in their careers. One case stands out. Today he has been overwhelmed with multiple health problems. And worse still he has fractured his hip, and now compelled to bed rest.
I wonder at such traumatic changes. Does it really matter, how much I have achieved?
Have I savoured the times I enjoyed with family and friends.
Importantly have I looked at my eventual goal in life?
This will not be easily accepted. We plan for holidays and so much more.
“Do you know where you are going?” These are famous words asked by the renowned basketball player Pete Mavarich, also called ‘Pistol Pete’, because of his brilliance in the game. He continued “ I know where I am going, and am preparing for it” A week later he died.
Our lives change when we are aware of our destination.
I too am aware where I am going, and I will certainly ensure that I prepare for it every day.
Yet often when I even mention this, my family does not like to hear any of it.
But is not death certain? Do you fear it?
There is no need to fear. Life does not end , but only changes.
‘If our hope in Christ has been for this life only, we are the most unfortunate of all people.
But Christ has in fact been raised from the dead , the first-fruits of all who have fallen asleep. (1Corinthians 15:19,20)
When this perishable nature has put on imperishability, and when this mortal nature has put on immortality, then the words of scripture will come true: Death is swallowed up in victory. Death where is your victory? Death where is your sting? Now the sting of death is sin, and sin gets its power from the Law. So let us thank God for giving us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Are you afraid?
Then remember these words of Jesus ‘ I am the living bread which comes down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever; and the bread that I shall give is my flesh for the life of the whole world.’ (John 5:51)
Jesus also assures us ‘ And know that I am with you always: yes to the end of time.’ (Matthew 28:20b)
So it certainly does not matter, how high or how fast one paces one’s life. Reality strikes, when one is faced with the inevitable. Reflective moments are necessary; so when you next take a coffee break, take time to smell the coffee and let your thoughts flow.
Nothing comes easy ; specially when you have to wait for permissions, or sanctions . All around us , people speak of getting things done and facilitating the process by paying a fee ( I call it a bribe)
Do you agree ?. Does the time factor decide whether it is right to bribe or not.
Who is guilty? The giver or the taker ? If there was no giver, would there be a taker?
My experience still upholds the age old ways of patience, persistence and prayer. Believe me it works .
Outstanding cases for permissions are from the Municipal Corporation, Provident Fund department, and Collector’s Office. There are good people in these places. Please do not prejudge them, and conduct yourself on that aspect. Follow all the guidelines, and also followup; even if it means going 10,15 or 20 times..
When you respect others you will be respected for your patience and honesty….why honesty. Because the giver of a bribe is dishonest and causes another to be dishonest.
Be happy when you taste success for your patience. The Lord above will bless you abundantly.
If anyone tells you that times have changed….please remember, honesty, respect, and love of neighbor will never lose value.
There is another angle to seeking expeditious help in such matters. Have you tried praying?
Not only for yourself, but even for those from whom you seek these permissions/sanctions.
After all authority is bestowed , and God answers prayers
When the shoe is worn on the other foot, you will see the difficulty that such authorities face in being just and honest. Most often , they have to deal with people who are ready to pay their way through , but they also face pressures from political sources in power.
Our ability to respect authority and accept the requirements for sanctions will be a big help for those who will eventually grant your requests.
I have been a beneficiary of following this precept, and have great peace of mind…
So remember, its always two way..
The waiting game is all about patience, trust and respect..
The correct use or abuse of the chair, will decide on two people : take a guess!
The little fellow Tim the sparrow flitted about searching for tasty morsels from the plants ; alongside was Tiny his partner also foraging. Most of the gang of crows led by Doug unofficially claim the area of the huge Mayflower tree as their own.
Then far above we have a visitor McMoran. He is of medium size and has a tinge of green on his wings and head. He has an awkward squark and darts from one branch to another. Do I know his breed? He looks good and is very rarely seen in the vicinity.
What can you expect then? Lets count Doug and his gang. ..about a dozen, and getting into a frenzy.
“ Is that how you guys welcome me , a tourist ? “ questions McMoran
“ Says who? Are you are a tourist? “ caws Doug. “ You look like a trespasser.”
An upset McMoran squawks back “ And who decides who am I”
“ The May flower tree has existed since the past 60 years; my great-grandparents nested here.” Replied Doug.
A nonchalant McMoran continued moving among the topmost branches . Who can stop him?
The chorus of caws increases, and strangely….subsides . The gang of crows realized that , numbers do not matter. Courageous McMoran did not get blown away by the aggressive crows.
What about Tim and Tiny. They finished their search for tasty morsels and have enjoyed their time in the sun. Did they get overawed by the number of crows and their size?
Each is gifted differently. The ability to use their gifts will decide their future. Every weakness is compensated by a strength. What about the crow? Does his appearance deceive you?
The crow is one of the most intelligent and sturdy birds. No wonder , beauty in this case does not matter. They care for their young and mourn for those who die.
Sparrows though small, send their young out early and they begin to fend for themselves.
Who was the visitor ? Dear reader, you need to help me as I can only describe this quiet tourist.
Lets hope he comes again with more of his kind. And may he be welcomed by all the natives of the good ole May Flower tree.