Showing posts with label Prayer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Prayer. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Holy Singing Liars! | Manna for your soul

Many of the 'New Age Life' churches that I've visited start their 'services' with 45 minutes of 'praise and worship' to get their believer's all pumped up in time for the sermon. In most times,  'believers' are asked to stand, clap, hop and tap their feet to sing and show their undying allegiance to Jesus. Karaoke-style

Many of these 'hymns' are contemporary songs created by gospel artists from the West and are vastly different from the hymns that most Christians would hear at 'plain-vanilla' catholic and protestant churches. 
They have lyrics, that can be understood by someone at a 5th grade (or lower) level of education, set to upbeat tunes. Most of these songs have repetitive chorus lines and words that hymn-writers wouldn't have imagined incorporating until a few decades back. 
A church isn't complete if you don't have 'contemporary hymns' exclaiming with painful repetitions of 'Jesus, You are all I need' 15 times until the 'praise and worship Leader' transcends into tears, breaks into a sober prayer and transitions to the next song. Repeat cycle.

Now I am okay with churches starting their services with praise and worship but why should we be asked to sing a lie? Jesus isn't all I need!
Because even as we are singing this, our minds are going through a shopping list of things we want Jesus to do for us. 
We want more money.
We want to be more attractive.
We want to win the heart of that person.
We want to be able to do all those things we see other people do on facebook.
We want to live glorious, envy-causing, 'Like'-inspiring lives. 

We may sing 'Jesus, You are all I need' 256 times every single Sunday, but you and I know that ain't the truth. And church leaders are okay propagating this lie because that's not what our heart is saying.

Two of my favorite contemporary hymns are 'I surrender all' and 'What a friend we have in Jesus'. Because even though I know I haven't been able to let go of everything I should be letting go off, I know the lyrics of this hymn serve as a gentle reminder that inspires me to let go of things that cause needless pain and anguish. 

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!

Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer! 

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer. 

Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms he'll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.

I find the slow chorus of both the hymns very soothing and it definitely isn't in the same league as some of the peppy 'numbers' our modern churches play, but the lyrics strike home every single time. 

  • Do you have something that is bothering you today? 
  • Are you constantly 'looking over your shoulder' for what might happen to you tomorrow?
  • Does your pulse quicken everytime you think about the future?
If the answer to any of this is 'Yes', then you need to empty yourself and take it to the Lord in prayer. 
It doesn't matter how you address Him, what matters is you surrender yourself right now, right here. 

Sunday, October 04, 2015

In the name of Jesus | Manna for your Soul

Christianity like many other religions have eloquent pray masters. I know people who will weep, cry out, use fluffy words and flowery phrases while praying. I know people who break out in to a hymn midway through a prayer. I know people whose tones will rise in a crescendo while praying. Their prayers are so long, I am pretty sure most people would just change the radio station in their heads and come back just in time to chime 'Amen'. 
But do we really need to have 30 minute prayers to get His attention? 
Do we really need to use articulated sentences and cliched requests to get His favor?

In the New Testament, Jesus taught us the Lord's Prayer. Newer denominations within Christianity have relegated the Lord's Prayer as a dietary supplement to our regular marathon prayers. 

Thankfully, John 14:12-14 gives us some very valuable insights into what is the only prayer we need. And I'll break it up as the 4A's of Prayer.

Association- Jesus is the way the truth and the life. There isn't a shortcut or a faster route to Heaven. Many people get disillusioned by how long they perceive it takes God to act. Well, it should. Because if God would have been hasty and passed judgement as fast as we'd liked Him to perform miracles, we'd all be banished long ago.

Access- We do not need a go between. Catholics worship the mother Mary, because they believe she is the go-in-between man and God. Many other religions worship long dead saints and deities for the same reason. The truth is we don't need a middleman anymore. He came, so that we would have a high-speed LAN connection with our Creator. How much better can it get?

Authority- Jesus is our authority. All inclusive... All authority.. All time. Period.

Agreement- Many years ago, when I was struggling in my career, and when I was laid off, I asked for His will in my life. It was difficult to admit defeat (after all, we are potty trained to never give up), but when I did ask Him to take over, things changed and my life has never been the same again. We must ask His will be done. Even when we know what we want, we must ask His will in our lives. 

This I pray in the Name of Jesus.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Answer to my Prayer [297/365]

If you ask a believer, what is the most common statement he makes while he/she prays, chances are that it will be - 'Answer my prayer, O Lord'
We all implore God to answer our prayers. We beg/plead/threaten and nag our Lord to answer all our prayers. When we were small, to give us that toy; when we were growing up, to give us good marks; and when we were working, to give us a promotion and a good spouse/house/car.

Our wants and needs grew exponentially. We were always desperate when we asked and nagged our God, yet I bet none of us remember if He answered our prayers in a wonderful way. He would've surely given you something better than what we asked for in the long run but that's not something we keep tabs of.

Many years ago, when I was getting to that 'marriageable' age, I began to yearn for a companion. Sure, I had a job and was standing on my feet by then, but that was not enough. I wanted to marry. My parents weren't too keen on searching for a bride for logic that is best known to them. I was stubborn. How could I ever convince my parents that I had needs. As an Indian, you are taught to never talk about your physical and emotional needs when you grow up. It was around that time when I read about the 'virtuous wife'. So I began to pray for a virtuous wife. On my knees. As days became weeks and months, I began to doubt if my prayers were reaching Him. It was so easy to give up and that's what I did. I stopped praying on my knees.
Prayer became just another chore I'd do as I woke up. I wandered.

Years would pass before I saw how wonderful His ways were. I'd forgotten that I asked Him for a virtuous wife but He didn't.
His unfailing love is wonderful. His mercy- plentiful.

Psalm 69:16

I am going through a phase in my life which does not make sense to me. I am not sure how long it would take me to walk through this phase, yet I know that He is carrying me through. I have been praying and sometimes I get impatient and I want Him to do things instantaneously. Yet, I know that my time is not His time. Our plans are myopic and surely not like the plans that He has for us. Having been through worse times, we know that we will get through this and when we do, it will make us purer and stronger.

Does the Lord answer your prayers?
Yes, although it may not always be a 'Yes', the answer could be a 'No'. Or it could be a simple 'Not now'. When I asked Him for a wife, He didn't say 'No' to it, it only said 'Not Now'. The trouble is that we refuse to take a 'No' or a 'Not now' for an answer. So when that happens, we end up doing what we want anyway. The ever merciful Lord that He is, He tells us- 'Ok, go ahead and do it and when you're back, I'll be waiting for you'. And unfailingly, He will be waiting for us when we wander back.

As a parent, we'd like to think that we are a good judge for our children's needs. We know what is good for them and what is inappropriate for them. We even think we know when we must give. We plan for our children's education, marriage and even their life. Yet sometimes, we go wrong. But He can't. Be assured that He has a plan to meet your every need, from the moment you were conceived until the moment you see Him in Heaven.
Isn't it a wonderful thing to know a God who has a plan for every single person that ever was, has and will come to this planet?

Be encouraged to know God's love for you is so deep He will always be there to take care of you. If times get tough and too hard to bear, get down on your knees and share with Him. He will meet you there as you are.

If you are at a phase in your life, where you feel nothing is going right then turn back and He is waiting for you.
Think of a scenario where someone has failed you. Where someone told you something but ended up disappointing you. Now, remember all the wonderful ways He has answered each of your prayers in the past and you'll realize that He has never failed.

Behold, the unfailing Lord!

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Spiritual Death [34/365]

Death is a mournful thing.
While some see it coming, others have it decided for them. But all of us will keep our date with death.

While the 'sudden and unexpected' death of someone you knew could be heartbreaking, a death in the family is something that can crumple a person, from inside and out.

But what about spiritual death?
If you know someone who is struggling with sin and temptation and refuses to reform, do you mourn for them?
In the Bible, we see Jesus raising the dead many times. The Bible does not tell us what became of the people who He raised from the dead. And personally, I don't think that would matter.

The book of Genesis tells us how He breathed into the dust and we were formed in His image. And later we read how we are destined to return to dust (Genesis 2 - 3). Somewhere down the long line of evolution, we've muddled up our purpose on earth. We glorify our bodies. In vain, we think how fat / thin we are is what matters. We chase diets and cosmetics in search of that elusive fountain of youth. We spent all our waking hours dreaming about fitness.
Instead of nurturing a healthy soul in a healthy body, we've made food our sole reason for existence.

Today's world is filled with people who'd rather have a healthy breakfast in the morning than spent five minutes in conversation with God. How much longer can we delay our need for God in our lives?

Nearly all of us hate funerals. Not our own, but of others 
My Dad never wore his black rhinestone wedding ring to a funeral because it was considered inauspicious.
I know people who go through ritual bathing after they return from a funeral service. Because they want to cleanse themselves off the karma of the dead.
Insane as that sounds, this is not going to do anything for the dying spirit that we all carry within us.

I still don't cherish the thought of the day when my Mom or a family member passing on, but the least we can do is live a life that is spiritually immortal.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Locked in [16/365]

The right to live.
The right to speak your mind.
The right to express yourself freely.

Ever since the dawn of civilization, nations and their citizens have fought and defended these fundamental rights.
While many of us are fortunate to practice these rights at freewill, I read about a Briton who wants the right to die. (Read article)

Suffering from the debilitating 'Locked-in syndrome' after a paralytic stroke seven years ago, he now wants to die. (Read more about Locked-in syndrome here)
While I won't advocate euthanasia (assisted suicide) as an escape from life or illness, I can understand how an illness as debilitating as this would take a toll on both the sufferer and their care-givers.

Death is an escape. And given the times that we live in, quite a welcome break too.
But I like to think that you cannot use death as a bail out package in times of illness, state of poverty, choice of lifestyle or your actions.
When I read the article on Tony Nicklinson, while I could begin to identify how trapped he might be feeling, when he described his life as 'dull, miserable, demeaning, undignified and intolerable.', I beg to differ. Hundreds of miles away in Afghanistan, Syria and closer home in India, we have millions whose life can fit into that description.
Death is not an option to them. Life is that endless toil and persecution until the 'break'.

I'm reminded of the many people around us who experiences different kinds of the 'Locked-in syndrome'.
For some of us, circumstances may have isolated us from others. Lying in a hospital bed, serving time in prison (for a just cause), or being shut in emotionally, can make us feel that we are experiencing our own 'Locked-in syndrome'. When people begin to use circumstances as a crutch, we must remember how we are the authors of our destiny.

Stephen Hawking, needs no introduction. Afflicted by Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), he once famously described himself as 'lucky'. While he was just being modest, he went on to receive 15 awards across a career spanning three decades.

Besides the path-breaking discoveries in Astrophysics, I think the most important and often the most difficult decision is when a person who is down and out, decides to make the best of it. I'm reminded of how Jesus, fully God yet stuck in a man's body, struggled against the mighty Roman empire... (Read 2 Timothy 2:1-10).

When adversity has often brought out the most remarkable survivalist streaks in humans, I can't see how we should throw in the towel when we hit a minor setback.

While I stop short of making a verdict on the right to die, the right to live and the freedom to pray certainly wins.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

That's credible! [14/365]

I hate credit cards and don't keep any.
But many years ago, I had up to seven cards for myself. And I kept myself clean. I knew that I shouldn't max it out and I rarely did.
Using it occasionally so that I could keep the banks happy while making sure I made the payments on time. I'd never spent more than a tenth of what I earned a month.

I knew my credit was clean when my bank gave me a per-approved platinum card. I couldn't even buy platinum jewelry but I already had a platinum credit card! I was ecstatic.
Gradually as the excitement died down, the card started leaving an imprint in my wallet. I was barely using it.

Then came my ex. Coming from a small town that had just one ATM, meeting a guy with a platinum card (capable of buying platinum jewelry) and three gold cards was like hitting a gold mine. In under a year, she had me max out all my cards and I owed money to the banks. It shattered my credit rating and I wondered how I could let something like this happen to me.

Sin has the same MO.
It allows you think that you are in control. Allows you to play safe for a while and just when you think you could make no mistake, bam! you are out of the ring. Ding Ding Ding!

In 1 Peter 2:11-21, we see how God cautions us, warning us that we will need to restrain ourselves lest we forget our roots. It is often said that a good name is hard to keep, a bad name is easy to get, and I subscribe to this.
In the pursuit of money and lust, I've known men and women who have fallen for the wrong partners and have slid down the wrong paths. They do realize that they have come down a path that have mutated themselves beyond recognition, but they are too naive to understand that our God is ever-forgiving. Their shame and pride stops them from ever repenting or asking for forgiveness.

At the other end of the spectrum, we see fair weather believers who give up their beliefs just because they suffer persecution.
Again, God have never promised you a bed of roses that have it's thorns removed. He has cautioned us, several times, in the form of parables and as documented evidences of staunch believers like Paul, Peter, Abraham, Joseph and Job who have held firm to their faith inspite of the huge challenges that they went through.

Finally, fight the good fight. End your race with your head held high. Keep the belief.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Second Chance Living [13/365]

On a recent bike ride to the mountains, I was descending down a steep 45% decline with tons of 'hair pin' curves.
If the narrow roads with jagged shoulders don't scare you, the sight of the drop would've made you want to walk rather than roll down the hill.
But I was tired and the lack of sleep was beginning to show on my body. I was barely able to keep my eyes open, much less be alert.
About a kilometer down the road, I careened down the road and barely made the curve. While it took me a few seconds to realize how close I came to plunging down a cliff-side, the incident shook me thoroughly. I've decided never to trust instincts or test the loose shoulders since.
I've also realized how God gave me a second chance that day. But He's given me plenty of second chances since.

Every day, as I go to bed, I reminisce about how the day began, progressed and ended. Of course, with the kind of work schedules I have, my day starts at 12 noon and does not end until four the next morning. So, I am not sure of what the next day will bring. I am not sure if I'll never wake up healthy or wake up at all. I am not sure if I will have as productive a day as I had, but again, like much else in our lives, we take our mornings for granted. While we make plans for an entire year ahead, we forget that our lives can change in just a heart-beat and quite literally too.

We all get our second chances and while God is doling out billions of second chances out every single moment of the day and night, we cant spare a moment to thank Him. There are so many instances in our daily lives where we get away with too many things, sometimes, barely by the skin of our teeth. He does not expect much, because being the gracious, ever loving God that He is, He won't insist that you sacrifice the fattened calf or donate a diamond. He expects us to love Him back. I think we can afford that.

Now, in the time that it took you to read this, you could've have died of a dozen diseases. Or worse yet, would have never made it to this post. But you've already got that second chance.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

We got to talk [10/365]

'We got to talk'
My Manager tells me as I walk in, in an ominous tone.
He would even avoid eye contact and have the face that could make Hitler squirm.
With a nod that would indicate that I've got exactly 30 seconds to materialize in the meeting room which always looked like it was a graveyard.
In the 20 steps that it'd take me to reach the room, my mind is racing with every possible faux pas that I could've committed in the last 96 hours. Almost inevitably, I remember of something I missed. 'Crap!' While I am mentally preparing myself for another holier than thou sermon or is it going to be kick in the fleshy rear? Oddly enough, my entire life does flash past my eyes. By the time I reach the room, I have a knot in my throat.
And the fact that room always seem to be a couple of degrees below zero doesn't help.

But it appears that he just wanted to congratulate me on a job well done. Close call
All the heart-burn that I went through just a couple of minutes earlier seems forgotten. As I walk out of the room triumphantly, I reflect on what I would go through as I wait for that moment with Jesus Christ on the Judgement Day.

I'm often reminded of 2 Corinthians 5:1-11.
A relative of mine once quipped Christ is not looking at your ability but your availability. This is true.
When I was going through the darkness months of my life, I groaned. I found it hard to believe that my Lord would allow me to go through the trauma that I was going through. I had to surrender myself to Christ. But it is so much easier said than done. I found my soul willing, yet the body failing.
That is when I heard a preacher tell 'Walk by faith, not by sight'. I found courage and inspiration in this.

As the end times are being played out, and we see God's prophesies come into fruition, I find myself retrospecting;
How faithful and honest are we to God, living in a body that He made for us?
Have I done justice to the enormous talents that He gave me?
Are we present in the body and absent in Christ or was it the other way around?

As humbling as it will be and as surreal as it appears, you, I and everyone we'll ever know of, will be walking into that meeting room that God has prepared for us. The choice of walking out with that overwhelming regret of never-ending doom or if we'll walk out triumphantly is something we all can make right now.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Awesomeness [9/365]

"Wow! This is freaking awesome!"
It's not everyday I get to visit a home that had it's own helipad and the other bells and whistles.

My friend from college (who shall remain anonymous), on the other hand was a little embarrassed by the way I was star struck. He even had an army of body guards with automatic weapons. I was thoroughly won over. That is if he was trying to impress me. But ofcourse, he was just happy to spend some time with me. It had been a long while since we met.
He was wealthy, influential and a really nice guy. 

But more importantly, he was deeply spiritual. 
That ticked all the right boxes in my list.

I was awestruck at how a person who studied with me at college and would occasionally talk to me, would in a span of a decade become the kind of person that you'd only read about in Business Times during the week and on Page 3 over the weekends. The transformation from being a gaunt geek to a suave sophisticated entrepreneur was complete.

I got to travel with him in his Rolls Royce, and indulged in a power lunch as well.

Most people I know would kill for a few minutes with such a person. But he was incredibly humble despite all the trappings around him. 
At the end of the day, I was inspired. I was moved at his humility but most importantly something about what he said. 
When I asked him what was the one point in his life when everything changed, he paused for a moment, and told me- 'It was when I surrendered everything to the Lord... and when He accepted me'. Profound, I thought. Coming from the mouth of a staunch Brahmin. 

We Christians like to claim Jesus all for ourselves. Well, the truth is He died for all humanity. And that includes the Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Jains, Scientologists and all the rest in between.

While I agree that Christianity does not promise that you'll be wealthy, healthy and wise, but what it does is peace. The apostle Paul summed it up in Philippians 4:11, when he told us how his faith in Christ has taught him how to be content with much or less, in poverty and plenty.

My good friend did not hit the jackpot as soon as he started believing in Christ. Surely, he did have his moments of despair, but as a person who pinned his faith and hope in Christ, he never gave up. 
He went on to testify how a strong and selfless prayer life is like antibiotics. 'Once prescribed, you must take them for the entire course. Interrupt it for a day and you're letting the devil enter your life again, and perhaps mutate to something even worse.'

Living the lives that we are, in a world that is filled with evil and where we are taught to repay evil with evil, we need our daily prayers. Lest we fall victim to the fallen angel.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Ship well built [6/365]

The one word that most people hate.
The one word that can mean refusal, denial and nonacceptance. 

While being denied or refused something that you really want or cherish by someone you love is tough, there will have been plenty of times when God says 'No' to something you ask for.

What is the first thought that goes through your mind when you are pushed into the unknown?
What if God asked you to let go of your family, your parents, your career, everything for that one thing you have been asking for.

The 'What if's of this life haunts us. So does the 'dark unknown'.
Yet as if on cue, God gives us the tools and the knowledge that we need to be able to come out brighter and stronger than we were going in.  
A ship in a harbor is safe, but this is not what a ship is built for.

In the plenty of times when prayers have gone unanswered, I've recalled the story of how Abraham was asked to sacrifice his only begotten son. Try to imagine the grief he would have gone through. Ofcourse, he could've questioned God's request and logic but as a man of faith, he never gave this another thought. While we all know how this ended, we do see how he exhibits emotions that we can identify with.

Peppered throughout the Bible, we see instances of how people are pushed into the unknown.
10 days into the new year, I've heard friends complain how things have not gone their way and then a few others who celebrate the small victories in their every day lives.
But regardless of how anything will happen, we are in His safe arms. 
That is when we surrender ourselves to Him.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

...and the meek shall inherit the Heaven

They say a picture speaks a thousand words. 

Looking at the picture on the right, how many did it speak to you?

In an age where violence is both condemned and glorified and where there is no dearth of bad news, this picture may not shock a modern reader. Insensitivised, our numbed conscience won't even register a protest. 

Christianity's greatest verses teach it's followers to show the other cheek and to suffer for your faith. The meek shall inherit the Heaven. And the poor shall have riches above.

What I've seen is it is easier to teach a person how he/she should live in a way that would honor the Lord, but would he/she resist the urge to temptation? 
While we consider ourselves blessed when all is fine, when we aren't suffering and when we have the money/resources that give us all the material comforts that define good living, we rarely correct ourselves or introspect when we are stuck.

I know people who have been struggling for many years, stuck in careers that aren't taking them where they need to be, or with people who are pulling them down. While we are quick to shrug off a short patch of 'bad luck' as a passing phase, when the 'phase' gets longer, they give up hope. They resign themselves to the fate. They simply give up.

Having been on both sides of 'luck'; where at one point I hit the lowest point a human being could hit, and then being able to 'settle down', I see how important God is in our lives. 

Our perception of God is fish-eyed.
We come closer to Him, when we want something.
As toddlers, toys. 
As students, before exams and when the results are about to come out.
As young adults, before interviews and for a good partner.
As an employee, for a bonus or before an interview.... 
I could go on.
He is our genie in folded arms.

While I've already mentioned how the rich consider themselves to be blessed just by virtue of their wealth, the faithful rarely consider themselves lucky when they are meek, poverty stricken and persecuted. What I see all round us is how eager and earnest our poor and meek are to climb up the social ladder. To earn many lakhs, to build an incredible house, own a good car, lots of jewelry, clothes... But when it's their time to go, none of them are really meek, are they?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Dial 'G' for God

Do you have days that you feel like you are the victim and that God is snoozing and not doing His job?
Have you failed and thought that all is over?
Have you had a broken marriage or a torn relationship?
Do you have a wounded heart?
I am sure all of us have would nod our heads at atleast one of the above.

I've failed many times in the past. I've failed at exams, at work and at relationships. I've contemplated suicide exactly 2 times but could never take that final step. Somebody up there really loves me.
I've heard someone say that you are immortal until your purpose on earth is not served.
So if you would like to live for ever and ever, go ahead, don't answer your calling. Don't live the life you deserve to be living, Don't be what you are supposed to be.

But for the rest of us and the many followers of the the Bible, as it is written in the book of Philippians 2: 14-16, 'Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.'

We are precious, so precious that Jesus, the Son of God, Himself died for our sins, my sins, your sins and your children's and their children's and their children's sins.
When He died on the Cross, His body was the sacrifice that paid for all sins that every human, that was alive or is yet to come. He paid for all the sins that you and me and all the people who ever lived on this planet would ever commit. How wonderful and AWESOME is God!
BUT, there is a condition. 

Oh yeah, We need to surrender ourselves totally and completely to Him.
Normally, we come across conditions that have strings attached but this?
Yes, He wants us. God wants us to love Him and trust Him completely and let Him be the Guiding Force in your life. Oh yes, we wants to do all the work for us!
As if letting His Son die for our sins and the sins of all humanity was not enough, He wants to make sure that we all get to meet His one and only Son.
I can almost picture Him gushing with joy when we let Him take control of our lives (which by the way, He created)

I remember the feeling of absolute joy when I let God take control of my life.
I and my ex had just finished our first and only counseling session and I for the first time, stopped rebelling and gave away the reins of my life to God. The sensation that
swept across my soul is indescribable. It was the most peaceful moment that I'd ever experienced.
The nearest that I can come to describing what I felt can be like how in a bitter freezing winter night, and you wrap a warm wool quilt over yourself instantly warming yourself or like that long deep breath of air that you exhale after holding your breath for long.

There is so many things that we can want to do, but there is so little you actually NEED to do. All you need to do is SURRENDER yourself completely and unconditionally.
Why are we so determined to struggle when the blessed life is so easy to get? All we need to do is listen to the still soft voice of our Lord.

He is all we need..
He is all for us....

He is knocking...
Will you not answer today?

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Love and Loss..

Were you ever in a relationship where you felt like you gave up too soon?
Have you ever been in a relationship that you knew was a dead end but regretted breaking up?

We give up too soon and too easily.
Humans are driven by love. We are constantly looking for affection and acceptance from others. But we often deny that person who truly loves us in our selfish pursuit of love.

Infidelity in relationships doesn't happen because we love the other person any less, but because there is a new recipient of all that love. There is a new person that we have trained our eyes on.

Some relationships are convenient escapes from reality and act like vacation homes that you head to when you want a break from the mundane grid of daily life.
Yet some other meet your physical needs, while starving you emotionally and spiritually.
Some relationships start with a lot of odds against them, develop into a strange coexistence of logic and reason.
The luckier relationships start platonic, and develop into something really beautiful. Weddings happen.

Marriages however can be tough, for most this is where the honeymoon ends. Real life begins here. Graduating from the Lover-boy to a Family-man is uphill pedaling.
The Wife takes it easier, for her it's just a new surname.
He will need to earn for the family. He becomes a one woman man, like it or not.
Probably, nature programmed the homosapien man to be monogamous.

However the Wife now ends up living with a Lover that does not shower all the love that he once showered. She is stuck with making his house. She needs to cook and clean after the Husband. 'Where did I make the mistake?' .. 'Is he not in love with me anymore?' ... 'Did he ever love me?'
Questions that the husband will need to answer real quick. But unfortunately these are questions that a man does not know how to answer without being hurt. While he grapples with these potent questions, the Wife takes his visible confusion and trauma as answers that complicates their once beautiful marriage.

They marry the man they love, hoping that they would change and become that New and Improved Man of their Dreams.
Men marry the woman they love, hoping that the woman will never stop giving him the 'emotional orgasm' that he experienced when courting.

Disappointment awaits both of them
Women fantasize so much on the wedding that they forget they have a marriage to live.
Men don't improve. Correction, men do improve, but improvement in men ends with potty training.

All relationships are hard work.
All our lives, we are tied with that common cognitive bond of emotion and duty.
From the cradle to the grave, we carry a lifetime of bonding. Some that will bring us immense peace and satisfaction and some the exact opposite

I remember a couple who once lived in with each other. They had a relationship of convenience. The guy's sexual and culinary needs were met and the girl's shelter and clothing needs satisfied. Why would they ever need to break up? Most men fantasize about relationships like this, but somewhere down the line they broke up. The girl grew distant and the guy could not take much more of her cold shoulder. They split but years later, he is still pining for her. He only wishes that he should have shut his mouth although he knows that she would have never satisfied his emotional needs.

If only we could look inwards, deep inwards, and plug that 'God shaped hole' in our soul, would we be able to fathom the unfailing love of True Love.
While our society gently slides and shimmy its way to greater depravity and spiritual vacuum, are we forgetting how transient our lives on earth are?
All the arrogance, infidelity and sex in this world cannot save nor satisfy you when your time to go comes.
All the pretty flowers and glowing eulogy wouldn't make a difference to you in death, if you didn't bother to make a positive difference in your relationships when you were alive.

All love on earth is transient and expires, and no matter how much that girl or guy might have professed to have loved you.. the only love that is true and tested is the love that our God showers on us. Your lover may not know all about you, but the Lord who knows all about you, even the really dirty stuff, loves you with a passion that none can match.
While lovers talk the talk, its only our Lord who talks the talk and walks the walk.

Look Within, Love Heavenwards. You can never get disappointed because you know that no matter who you are with and regardless of how much he/she professes to love you, you will have The Love that lasts.. unto eternity.

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