Friday, April 21, 2017

Please wait...

I used to work at a high-rise building which overlooked a busy highway. Every evening, I would notice vehicles lining up for several kilometers on a road that should otherwise not cause traffic obstructions.
But because I could see a 10 km stretch of that road, I could notice how motorists about 8 km's away would speed only to join a growing pile of impatient, angry motorists. 
Sometimes, I'd wish that if only the motorists knew what was ahead so that they could be patient and prepared for the long wait. If only they knew they had to wait, and allow the traffic lights to turn red, their wait would have been a lot more stress-free. 

Life is a lot like this.

We can't see our future lives. We could predict it, but there's no way to know for sure how long it would take for us to experience all the things we want/desire. 

I used to be an impatient person. But I had an experience that mellowed me. 
It was a time when I was at the crossroads of my career. I'd been preparing for a job position for a few years by then. When the time arrived, I had to face a test to be hired. It was a test that could 'make-it-or-break-it'.
But in that moment, I stopped worrying. I remember confidently telling myself to wait and not be anxious. 

Two weeks later, I get an email from the hiring manager telling me 'I have been hired' for the position I didn't qualify. I was beyond stoked! The fact that I waited patiently impressed my employer so much that she chose to hire me. 
I later learned that I was the most suitable candidate out of 100's of other candidates that she'd interviewed for over 6 months for the position.

In retrospect, I hadn't prepared enough for the role and I didn't do my test well. I had very little experience to do the job I was expected to do. 

That was only the first time I realized how liberating it can be to be patient. 

There have been many more instances when God silently worked in the background, moving people out of the way, clearing obstacles and changing situations so that I could get to where I had to. But then, I am also grateful He didn't give me everything I asked for either. 

In the beginning, I would be wrecked with anxiety and self-doubt. I would keep wondering if I would get that job/hike/interview/or whatever it is that I wanted at that moment. As days stretched into weeks and months, I would almost give up hope. But then like welcome drops of rain on parched desert ground, my faith is restored when I hear the good news! 

When I planted the first sapling of a Golden Bamboo in my balcony garden, it looked like it wasn't growing at all. After weeks of watering, and when I'd almost given up, it started gaining height and sprouting new shoots. It never stopped growing after that. It became the tallest and toughest plant in my garden, growing several inches every day.  

After having been impatient at a certain point in my life, I think it is because we live in a world that promotes 'instant gratification'. 
Our media compels us to hurry because being slow = being a loser. 
We are fed a rich diet of the 'Copernican theory' of living.  We must get it when we need it. 
We've been ingrained with the belief that Success is measured by the number of 'Instant Yes's' and a 'No' means we've failed. 

Two of the most annoying words we will hear every day will always be 'Please wait'. 
We know we need to wait. Yet we can't bear the delay. 

That bamboo needed time to establish its roots, away from my watchful eyes to grow into its full potential. Many of the situations/people/things that happen in our lives are alike. 

It's terrifying when our tomorrows are uncertain. 
For some, it is about losing our identities. For others, it could be uncertainty about finances or health. But what we remember to forget is how we need to allow God to establish the roots of our future before we are allowed to step into it. 

So the next time you feel like things aren't happening as fast as you want it to happen, remember this - It isn't a No yet. It isn't a Yes either. It is a 'Please Wait, I am working to get you what is best for you'.

Are you ready for the best He has for you?

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Singing the Blues away...

I've battled depression for almost all my adult life. 

As a blogger, I get a lot of feedback from readers across the world. A year ago, a 'friend' read my blog posts and remarked 'WOW! Your posts are dark and it shows how depressed you are'.
I agree. This is who I am. 
I write posts that are born out of personal experiences, purified by the fire of life's furnace. My posts are my unique personal stories and I won't regret one moment of them. I am not ashamed of any of them.

It was during my dark days that I stumbled across soul-lifting music from Beth Hart, the Blues musician. 
Blues evolved from traditional African chants, and hymns, as a way to convey extreme emotions. Through the decades, the genre has grown from its humble beginnings in American slave history into the phenomena that transcend boundaries and language.  

Beth Hart's 'Leave the Light On' touched a chord that kept reverberating within. Her songs are dripping with personal stories of despair and triumphs. 'Over You' is my comfort music. The haunting piano notes will heal your scars. The lyrics will soothe in the only way good music can. 

Beth Hart may not be famous outside of Europe, but her music precedes her fame. Surely, it doesn't have the well-oiled PR machinery that bubble-gum artists have, but if you are looking for music that is a balm for frayed nerves, tune into Beth Hart on the web or better still catch her live at the St. John Auditorium, Bangalore on the 22nd of April. Get your tickets here...

Whether it is through music or the written word, when people share their stories of personal victories and losses, pitfalls and triumphs, that's when you inspire. 

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