Sunday, September 30, 2007

One prejudice conqured!

There was a time when I struggled to accept Muslims. Pakistan was considered an enemy country and Pakistanis being Muslims made it difficult even to think anything good about them.

In Dubai, I was exposed to Muslims from all corners of the Arab world. I met some extremely amicable and warm people there. I had many colleagues who eventually became great friends. There were 2 Pakistanis, an Iranian, an iraqi, a Lebanese, Sudanese and a Jordanian. All were Muslims expect the Lebanese girl who was a Maronite Catholic.

I have 2 experiences which changed my biased outlook towards Muslims and Pakistanis. Once I went to eat in a pakistani restaurant and sat on a table where there were few Pakistanis. They all looked at me and they knew that I was an Indian. I was a little embarrassed being the only Indian there. I ordered food and the man opposite in white beard smiled at me and I smirked back. After about a minute his food came on the table and with out a second thought he offered his plate of rotis and the gravy dish to me and said, you may please eat from this until your food comes. I was shocked. I did not know how to respond to this humbling act of hospitality. I felt so small.

The second incident happened in Abu dhabi. On arriving there that morning by bus, I walked into a chai shop where many Pakistanis stood relishing the morning tea. They were all cab drivers. I ordered tea and was waiting. The man next to me on receiving his cup of tea offered it to me and told me to take it and he will pick up mine when it comes. What admirable disposition displayed by people whom I once considered antagonistic and arrogant. I realized they too are Gods children, sometimes so much better individuals than myself.

I pray, God give me the grace to see all men alike and with out prejudice

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Monday, September 24, 2007

Discovering God in my sinfulness

I have been able to mature in a lot of areas in my life through these years. But I have terribly failed to make any progress in few others. A side that is exposed to me and God alone! The sins that I confess over and over. I hoped a day will come when I will victoriously overcome these weaknesses.

Years gone by and I still fail. I fought with myself, wrestled with my decisions and despised my wretched plight. Asked God why am I not made pure in all areas? Guilt haunted me and I stayed away from the presence of God like Adam hid after he sinned. Thankfully every time, confession brought me back to the Merciful, Unconditional Love

Just the other day, reflecting on this, God brought me a thought. Suppose my son is very fond of chocolates and I have warned him not to touch those chocolates in the fridge. One day when I was sleeping he took it and ate it and I knew it. I saw my son lying on the bed and not talking to anyone. He is not bubbly anymore. He is wrestling with himself, probably questioning himself why did he do it. He knows I love him a lot. He can't face me. When I see him struggle, I’m filled with compassion and I go to him and say son, come to me then he will break into tears and say appa... I .... I would say to him, I know you love chocolates. Appa also loved chocolates I hug him and he will say i will not do it again. He is healed and I'm made to feel so joyful!! I know, since he love chocolates, he might do it again.

I guess this is what happens when I sin. Instead of wrestling with myself, I must go to appa and hold his hands and before I even say sorry, He will say I know it son and I love you still!!

I learned, when I try to patch up things myself after committing sin I am being proud. I do not want to admit that I'm week. I do not want to go to appa because I fear He will scorn me and I will feel rejected and unaccepted. This would mean I do not know His immense love for me. But instead if I walk to him and hold his hands after every sin, I’m admitting my weakness and being humbled. and I promise him sincerely that I will never sin again.

Some points in the reflection:

  • My father knows me, my background and the reasons why commit certain repeated sins
  • He loves me not only when I’m sinless but with all my wretched frailty
  • My being able to go and hold his hands every time I sin depends on how much I know my father and His love for me.
  • If i'm being passive after sin and make no effort to reconcile, it's time I test my love for the Father and know that I’m heading to loneliness, rejection and seclusion and finally fatherless ness
  • Be gentle to myself. Treat my body as a gift. Know that it is mortal and accept its potency to sin
  • Do not give up on my constant desire to be pure in my body even at the face of repeated failures.
  • Finally, I remain a child to my father however tall I grow

Have I discovered God in my continues...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Me and Jesus at work

Yesterday morning, I was really troubled with a particular problem at work. I wanted to solve that problem, was trying hard but somehow could not. Suddenly, I received a phone call from Erode. A Jesus Youth program is coming up there and they are planning to publish a booklet. They wanted my testimony for that. I told the person that I am stuck up with a problem in office and that it will be difficult for me to prepare my testimony within a short notice. He wanted it by afternoon. But he kept on pleading and finally, I agreed. But I had no idea how I could find time to do that. I just went back to my work and I prayed "Lord, I know that you want me to write my testimony. But I won't be able to write that peacefully until this issue is solved. So please help me to solve this problem." I knew that my Lord was hearing my prayer. The problem that I was struggling with since the previous day got solved the next moment!!! Praise the Lord!!! I couldn't believe it.. I ran around telling my friends about the Lord's miracle. Some did not believe me, but some really believed. I wrote my testimony and was able to send it to him. Alls well!! The Lord showed me once again that he is with me always....

"Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."(Matthew 6:33).

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The pain in breaking oneself

In the year 2002, in dubai, when I realized I was leading a very easy and comfortable spiritual journey, I asked God to send me suffering. One morning when I walked into the restaurant to eat, i met a Hindu boy who traveled with me in the bus to office and i joined him at the table. Something prompted me to ask him how his family life was. He opened up and told me that he does not have a place to go back that night and his wife physically assaulted him and has told him not to stay with her anymore. I was staying alone in a room and I told him come and stay with me and he did.

Days passed by. I prayed with him and kept trying to help him to be able to forgive and accept her (as she is) and reconsider his decision to divorce. Despite of my continues efforts, he made no progress and continued to resent his ill fate and endlessly complained. He repeated the same complaints every time we sat down to speak. A month passed and my words did not make any difference to him at all.

I began to go though an ordeal. The thought that all my efforts are not yielding any result broke me completely. I was reduced to zero. I desired to escape from him. In that small room I completely lost my privacy. I told the lord i cant take it any more and He moved out to a new place on his own.

I painfully realized, there is no love with out sacrifice, pain and breaking oneself.

Discovering God in oneself

Have you ever discovered God in yourself? It's high time we stop searching Him outside and discover Him within ourselves. As Christians we often forget our duties not knowing that He lives in us and thereby not giving others an opportunity to discover God.

I'd like to narrate a simple incident when I discovered God in myself. Once, while attending a program, during the tea break, as uaual I was moving around to find lonely souls and met a guy who was sitting all alone sipping his cup of tea. I went to him and started speaking to him. He was so happy, so happy that I can't explain the joy I saw in him. He told me that he was praying to God that someone talked to him. In such a big group of prayerful people he was feeling so lonely. There were so many people around, but all were busy in their own groups. It's a common phenomena that we can see everywhere. We ought to break the barriers and start caring those in need. It need not be a beggar on street, but a rich friend of yours who feels lonely. And you'll discover God in yourself and will see the reflection in their eyes.

Before setting off to do great things in search of God, let's start with small things in our daily lives, and thereby experience Him. Let's start doing what we can before trying to do what we can't.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

My Discovery

Discover was an awesome experience for me, especially the sharing of Fr. Xavier, his experience in slum area, the story of “little Vasanthi and her family”. Richness of their heart...amazing!

Throughout the programme, I got my own space for everything. Nothing was imposed on anybody and I really enjoyed the fellowship. Discovering God in nature and fellowship was a beautiful experience. Through this programme I renewed my commitment and Discovered the real mission of mine.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

My Poor GOD !

Discover means to obtain knowledge or awareness of something not known before, as through observation or study.(To make visible; bring to view).

Thats exactly what I experienced from this program. I was always aware that we could discover God in the poor,in my friends,in my family/others but actually made no effort to discover God in them. But after coming here, I have been challenged to put my foot forward and actually make an effort to find my God in others.

I have an experience with regard to this :

Everytime I walk on the road in front of Yuva Vikas on my way to college/ office, I see an old poor man, strecthing His hands. Everytime I look at him I have a stong urge to help Him, an urge I have never experienced before or with others.

Whenever I see Him the words of our Lord echoes across my mind , "when i was hungry,u never fed me........when i was thirsty........"; I have been seeing Him on that street for past so many years, but have not been able to do anything concrete to help Him, although I want to. I sometimes say an hail mary as I pass in front of Him. I wished I could live out my faith in a more practical manner. As the WORD says "FAITH without Works is Dead ". I know that i have Faith but also know that my works fail to justify the same.
After hearing Dr.Joe's incident with the poor sick chap He saw when He accidently met Him on the street was touching. I was able to relate to it very much.I know thats easier said than done in my case, but what this program has given me is living examples who have 'working faith'. I always wonder what is it that drives people like Naveen lobo, Sr.Prabha...and others to sacrifice their life, to make themselves all time available to the poor and thereby to 'God'. Well I have been challenged to Discover the answer on a personal front.

I have always ignored the sixth JY constant-option for the poor (rather never thought much about it). We must start Looking at it more than a constant ;It must be our way of living or simply a prominent JY lifestyle. I HOPE !!


"Remember an Archer is known by His Aim not by His arrows" !

Discovering God in others

Fr. Mathan was telling me during one of the planning sessions about an incident that happend in Dr. Joe's Family. Once Joanna broke a very expensive vase and she was about to cry (as she knew this was a vase they cherished), Dr Joe (her father)ran upto her and cuddled her to his chest and said "you are more precious than this vase". Can I be such a father to my children and be able to respond like this with out loosing temper.

Monday, September 10, 2007

A road to discovery

Well, for me, when I was aked to attend the program, I didn't know what the program was all about. I didn't know the name either. I set off and found out that the way to Discover ain't that easy, yet really enjoyed the roller-coaster ride like how life is supposed to be. Anyway, though I didn't try to discover what it's all about, and though I didn't try to discover anything, I realized that lot of things were unveiling before me through the days.

And one fine day I discovered that 'Discover' is the name of the program when one of our friends tried to discover what the name stood for. And in the meantime, unknowingly, I 'Discovered' many things through fellowships, through sharings, through music, through friends, through nature etc. I felt that the most appealing was the sharing of our married friends, maybe because I was in the thought process of marriage these days.

And more than anything I discovered new roots for the option for poor. Overall it was quite a different experience. And I wish and hope that it wasn't all the end of it. I realy look forward for programs like these in future, not too far, so that we can strive more and more to make the Kingdom of God a reality.

Really wonderful

For me, it truly was wonderful. Discovering God in fellowship with others and learning from real living testimonies was just beautiful. Hearing experiences of people who found God in the poor was really touching. I got to know the reason why the option for the poor became the sixth pillar for JY.

what an experience !

Discover has been an overwhelming experience. Just what i wished for. I had so many new things to carry home. Never thought that I could discover GOD in so many unconventional ways.

your Experiences

This blog is for you to share personal experiences discovering God in unconventional ways. Be it in the poor, others, suffering, family, nature, movies, theatre, music or art. Share it so that we begin to nourish others through our own little experiences.