September 26, 2007

"You and I were made to love..."

"It is the feeling of insecurity...", one of my friends who had gone out of India to Dubai for a trip replied after seeing the way the assemblies today lack true fellowship and closeness. He went on to say,

"the know, they anytime could be thrown into jail, their visas could be canceled, anytime they could be ripped through by a one knows. They stand for a belief that is so contrary to the Islamic ideas persistent out there in Dubai. It is this feeling of insecurity that drives them with a heartfelt longing of being together. Knowing each other and understanding each other's need and problems has become a part of their day to day lives. Crying over petty issues had become a thing of the past. Not knowing what would happen of them the next moment, they carry on their lives together, rejoicing in one's happiness and mourning in one's grief. Not worried about their family background or their caste or how rich and poor they are, they cherish the closeness and joy that arises through sweet fellowship...."

In a city like Mumbai, one hardly finds time to cherish and enjoy the freedom we have as a secular nation. Not a nation governed by a particular religion, but still have the freedom in practicing and propagating your belief. It is this freedom that we so often take it for granted and misuse it. That feeling of insecurity is not the driving force in us. In countries like the US, UK...where the whole country is governed by a 'Christian' government, living as a Christian is not an issue. That's why we find so many people today turning to atheism. No closeness in the family results in divorce, desperateness, depression, resort to drugs,sex just to find a feeling of being loved.

While countries like the US faces such problems, not claiming that such problems do not exist here in India, where do we stand? The need to know my brother in Christ has been lost. The need to comfort the one who is sorrowing, the need to lend a helping hand to the one who cannot walk alone, to be a friend in deed has seldom troubled us. The love of Christ has so fainted in us that we many a times even fail to have fellowship with God.

We got time for our studies, we got time for our work, for our idiot box, for our spider's web, for our meal, for our games, for our friends, for our mobiles, for our laziness, for our ambitions, for our gadgets knowing that all these are vanity and will perish as the flower that fades away. Yet we in our business forget our Creator and frame ourselves to be gods of our own lives.

"You and I were made to worship, you and I were made to love..." songwriter Chris Tomlin poetically emphasizes. That was the basic duty to which every creation of God was called to. God desires that every creation would come to him with a heart of worship. The fellowship we lost in the garden of Eden has been regained on the cross of Calvary but with a very costly price. How much more should we cherish this fellowship!! Only when we devote time to sit at his feet will we learn the beauty of our Lord in his holiness and Majesty. Then will worship outpour from a true heart that has seen God face to face.

Tonight there might have been a brother or a sister in need of your help and comfort or who would have just needed you to be with him or her to be a moral support. Where were you? Were you lost in your selfishness? Or were you at his heart's doorstep catering to his needs? That's where we all need to question ourselves. true fellowship arises only when we realize the need for it, only when the love of Christ reigns in us. Lets evaluate ourselves and examine our hearts as to where exactly do we stand.

September 19, 2007

Completely stressed out

We had this Environmental Project to submit. Our professor informed us well in advance a week before the date for submission. Now that wasn't good news. I was in a group of three. The other two in my group were girls from my college. That wasn't a much big issue. But as you know, you always tend to follow what they say. So we agreed to meet in college for completion of the project...that was a day before the submission. But plans got changed when they requested me to come to their house instead to college. That was fine to me and fixed a time with them.

While leaving home, my mother just casually asked me as to where I was going. I informed her on the same just to hear a tantrum of hundreds of questions that I got as a 'soft' reply. Coming from a Christian family that's a bit conserved on its ideas regarding this world, it wasn't unusual and I expected such kind of thoughts because I was going to a girls house. But it was wise to not keep it a secret and land up into much more trouble. Reaching their house was a big adventure. They lived in Dadar(W) and I landed up in Dadar(E) searching for their house. Then after asking directions to almost everyone I crashed into, I finally managed to reach there an half an hour later. Worked on the project and returned home only by 6pm.
Started with a short prayer asking for God's help and started writing the project...Went on till dinner and realized that I had a lot still remaining.

Sat up in the night, with a heavy head, till about 1am. Sill had a lot more to write. Next morning I had to go for class early in the morning. So slept with a very confused mind as to go or not for the class. If I hadn't completed the project by the next day which was the deadline for its submission, I would lose a whole precious 20 marks. So I slept deciding not to go for the class. Next morning got up early and started writing the project, not knowing the vastness in it, I prayed a short prayer skipping my morning quite time. Scrambling here and there for printouts and pictures, I managed to finish the project only by 11am. Rushed to the college knowing that I was already late and was going to be jacked for that. On my way I remembered that I had forgotten some important papers that I had to carry along. My heart almost skipped some beats. Luckily that day, I could submit the project and get my other work done too, thanks to my friends who helped me out.

Happily I returned home, leaving behind a very big burden. Remembered those short prayers that I prayed along all throughout and thanked God for his help. I really credited God for helping me because I felt it would have been virtually impossible for me to complete the project in time. After around 9 hours of writing, it felt so light and peaceful without having that burden to carry around.

That night I got the biggest shock of my life. While laying down to sleep I suddenly remembered that I had forgotten in all that mess and hurry, to write my name on the project!!! My heart apparently stopped. Couldn't think about anyway out. Submission's done. Those 9 hours of writing, the stress in it, no sleep, missed class....would all that go in vain?? I just couldn't sleep that night. Did God do this purposely?? Would he forsake me in the end? Would he not pay heed to all those prayers I prayed to him? I was shaken thinking these things. Once again I prayed to God and asked him for his help. But that night I couldn't sleep peacefully.

The next day, I just couldn't concentrate in my class. After class immediately went to college and tried to do something. Our professor was the kind of guy who would fire you black and blue till you are really ashamed of yourself. However, I couldn't meet him and asked a peon for help. He found the problem a no big issue and readily understood my problem and helped me out. Thanks to his efforts, I could heave a sigh of relief that day.

Through all this I realized that God will never forsake his children. Some way or the other, he is always there to help them out. But all that we need to do is to ask of him his help. So many a times we leave the house even without a simple prayer of 'God help me'. We tend to forget that every step that we take is by his grace and strength, not by our merits but by his favor. Lets not forget to always ask God for his help though the task be small or great.

September 13, 2007

Livin' in hope

Recently my grandfather passed away into his eternal home of rest leaving behind his footsteps that can never be erased and which continues to inspire and challenge all those who wish to follow that path which he trod. A man firm in his word and spontaneous in action, this man was one hardworking person who never allowed another to wipe away the sweat from his forehead.

At a ripe old age of 83, battling through cancer, he walked each step towards his earthly destiny with courage and complete dependence on the one who held his hand right from the time he stepped out of his mother'
s womb. 55 years of service to his Maker, he served in awe and sincerity greatly following the footsteps of the one who made him. As he breathed his last breath among his loved ones who watched in grief as he said goodbye, he left behind a smile on his faint lips and a tear of joy that rolled down his cheeks comforting hearts.

After his first treatment, the doctors gave him three more months to survive. But God's will in his life was that he should be with his loved ones for another three years just to teach them some qualities....qual
ities such as patience in serving and suffering, joy in sorrow, hope in despair, strength in weakness, love in fellowship....I still remember the words uttered by his son on the deathbed of his father, "Even after he came to know that he was diagnosed with cancer he softly said,
"If it pleased God for me to carry this burden in my old age, I will carry it" ."
It is easy to say such things but he was a man of action.

He had this hope that after his death he would be with Christ. This hope gave him courage and strength to walk his pilgrim journey. He looked forward to those mansions ready for him in heaven and not worried about the earthly complexities. All throughout his life he fought a good fight and finished his course, leaving behind an example for people to follow.
The hope that burned in his heart burns in the heart of each one of us who knows Christ as their personal Savior and Lord, too. This hope assures us daily that if we die today we will be with our Lord. A hope that separates each and every believer from the fantasies of this world that corrupts the very deity of Godhead. A dying world in which people perish and fade away in their own fancy imaginations of what life after death would be, this hope is the only sustenance of our salvation.
Christ came into this world and took the punishment of our sins on himself that through his death the curse of sin could be removed from us. But this hope is living in us today because we do not worship a dead God but a living God who rose up from the grave on the third day. If Christ wouldn't have risen from the dead our faith would've been in vain and would've been like any other. Anyone who confesses with his mouth that Christ is Lord and believes in his heart that he has died for his sins, he too enjoys this hope.

So what is this hope?? As I began with, my grandfather went away with this hope that he would be in heaven after his death. And we too can cry with hope cause we know that our goodbye is not in vain. Do you have this Hope??