Last day of the year

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Its 4 am, everything is silent, the night is still, besides the hum of the system’s fan and my descent on the keys its all silent, its a wonderful silence, so deep and still, the stillness that can only come when everything has come to a halt, all of human activity retreating into a nocturnal realm to rest their bodies and souls, before meeting the last day of the year 2012 head on before the day ends and a new year is born. Only a few minutes ago I had posted my status on Facebook, speaking of GOD, hoping the best for all my friends in this new year, besides these occasion oriented greetings in this thick cold dark night I wonder what to make of the upcoming year, 2012 had sped by, there were ups and downs, there was joy and there was pain, happiness and sadness, in many ways this year had been the toughest for me personally, I learned things about my own nature that deeply unsettled me, I almost lost my mind, almost lost my life and almost gave up when it mattered most, despite all the damage to my conscience, to my heart to my soul, GOD had graciously lifted me up and given me a fresh new start,a brand new day and a brand new song. It feels almost surreal to even sound hopeful but that’s my exact tone at the moment, they say hope floats, and as I gaze into the uncertainty that the future would essentially bring, I find that I have reasons to fear and reasons to hope, I know that I have miles to walk and loads to bear, there are so many things to learn and so many promises that I have to fulfill. I don’t like planning my life, since I opt more to take it as it comes, but at this juncture when my life seems to be hanging in the balance and I seem to have adulthood on one side and my fast fading years of youth on the other, what choice do I make…? Do I even have to make that choice…? I had no qualms of growing older, as a matter of fact I relished growing older in a certain way, I valued experience and knowledge more than innocence, but still innocence was a virtue that I valued greatly, though I wonder if anything is left in me. Would things change this year….? What about all the stories that had happened the past year…? All the unspeakable horrors that the media finds pleasure in revealing in all its nakedness, the girl who passed away still weighed heavily on my mind, there were a lot of things that are on my mind this particular day, a lot of heavy heavy things, things that make one hesitant to profess, things that make one think twice and things that grieve. But their effects are not heavy on my mind for Christ lives in my heart, my mind like the silence of the night feels the vastness of the slumber and finds quite some comfort in the emptiness borne of it. I walk over to the window to chance a glance at the night, the roads are cloaked unevenly by the street lights and contain the residue of the dark within them, the night is thick and the stars are few, the moon was full yesterday, but now its starting to wane away, the skies are fresh and clean, it almost feels like they were scrubbed clean, though they were immensely dark and haunting , there was a symphony of reverie that resonated from its direct contact of experience that I felt in my heart at the moment, at times the night air was filled with the sound of a speeding share autorickshaw, it all returns to the former state of vacuous serenity. It would be dawn soon, things would start happening, people would wake up, engage in their lifelong morning rituals, the grass would be damp with the mist of the cold december night no doubt, my mom would wake up in a few minutes and ask me to walk our dog, my dad would awake in another half an hour or so and give me one of his patented looks of displeasure at my staying awake all night, followed by a smothering lecture that would be philosophically charged and strategic in addressing my lack of routine and discipline, but what I would miss the most would be the slow descent of light into the swampy darkness of the plains, I would of course miss the silence too, my mom would soon head to the kitchen where she would proceed to prepare breakfast and lunch before she left for the office, my mom had done this for twenty five years without taking a day off, there was always food on the table in the mornings and also for the afternoon as well, Always… Its only right that GOD in all his mystery blessed her with the most lazy son this side of the twenty first century 😀 , Today was a day just like any other, people knew what to do in a day, they planned tv time, office time and home time beforehand or their minds so accommodated with the usual routine sunk into it with no complaints. People got older too, we are all dying everyday, our lives are getting shorter, we lose something everyday that we hardly know about, there is always something happening, always. 

Pretty soon I would need to go over to Madras, I would probably take the same ole train, feel the same ole’ opposition to Chennai Central( the railway station), argue the same price for the auto fare back to my apartment near the famed Gemini Bridge, go back to work, meet people in my office who would never change, talk to people who would never listen, work in a downtrodden community where I was perceived as an enemy more than a friend, read books, buy books, forget all about them, where did everything I ever read go…? I was not the rain man most certainly but I would have liked the company of those very lines that had made quite an impression, I am not bemoaning the fact that the ritual of life never changes, but I am wary of this earthly life with all its pitfalls and with all its failures, I would fail, I am sure of it, but I would learn something out of it as well, I would change too, I would find new ways to make a moment more meaningful, I would speak too, I would take it upon me to spread the seeds of the good news, and GOD was with me, I knew that he would not leave me nor would he forsake me, but the weight of the present year that is about to end sits heavily on my shoulder, on Jan 1 , 2012 I had watched a shooting star in the night skies, I had wished for the year to reveal itself through my soul, and I got my answer, my soul or rather my heart revealed itself to me completely, I saw how delusional I was, how selfish I could be, how self centered and heartless I really was at times, how I shrunk , how I suffered in self righteous anger, how I gave excuses, how I failed miserably through repeated actions of self grandeur and carelessness, my heart in other words my soul was revealed to me in abundance, I saw how meaningless my life was without GOD, and I am one of the good guys, apart from my cutting self analysis, I tend to keep extremely high standards in terms of my conduct but inspite of all that, inspite of a million goody goody acts, I still had not felt complete within those times, but the minute I encountered Christ rather like Paul on the road to Damascus, I fell down, and I asked the blinding presence, ‘ Who art thou Lord…?’ , and ‘ What dost thou want of me…?’ , like the prodigal son who knew that he belonged to someone far greater and superior but for a long time leaned on his own understanding, his own self will, his own egomaniacal dogma of surviving and waiting for the right thing, until in one moment of clarity I saw how foolish I was and how ill conceived all my attempts were, I saw that the loneliness in my soul was not because I had no one to love me, it was not because people deserted me, it was not because this past year nothing great was accomplished by me, it happened because I did not have GOD in my life, I was doing things that were hurting HIM, and I took my freedom of free will for granted and served pagan gods when my true master awaited patiently for my return, how monumentally stupid have I been that I had not even realized that I was lost in the lies that my so called destinies seemed to offer, my true calling has always and will always be to spread the word of GOD, I remember how when I was young I likened myself to Jonah, I knew that I possessed similarities to him, I ran away from God too, I had given my life to God at a very young age, at the age of fourteen, but I had not kept my end of the bargain, I stumbled, slipped, backslid, fell down, tumbled, struggled and wrestled with my faith for a very very long time, I have come close to abandoning my worldly life many times, and I wanted to , I wanted something more spiritually satisfying, I found that or I thought that I found it in Zen, the mystical aspects of it greatly appealed to me, especially since they depended on self scrutiny, giving up of the self and seeking peace, it gave me great joy for quite a long time, and I almost felt it change me within, not a permanent change, but rather a gentle sentiment that struggle was the nature of all man, why struggle when the end is known…? I thought. There were great moments of personal peace that came when I followed Zen, of all the world’s religions that I studied, and this list is long, it includes the wicca, hinduism, buddhism, judaism, the teachings of Osho, the teachings of Krishnamurti, certain teachings of the occult, certain aspects of Islam( the importance given to prayer greatly appealed to me) Jainism, nature worship, Magic etc, the mystical traditions spoken of by Paulo Coelho, I did not deeply enter into these things with lifestyle changes, but I let them enter my mind and I allowed them to ask me questions, questions that I was open to, answers that I believed must be sought, very much like Frankl I deeply believed that man needed meaning to survive, and I connected all the teachings that I came across with my heart that was open to self inquiry, and my intelligence strove to understand their origins and the people who practiced them. But despite all these my life seemed to have an immense void that could never be filled, partly because I was running away from Jesus, aspects of the artistic life greatly appealed to me, especially that of dedicating oneself to his art or craft, and I found that my urges took me very much in the same path, I started to isolate myself and spend more time working on subjects, reading poetry, especially the lovely lovely poems of W.B. Yeats, that of Keats whose sensitivity I admire, Frost whose observations I enjoy, Wordsworth whose temperament and themes greatly excite me, I will speak of the struggles in these realms later on, but as I said my life seemed vastly empty, I had loved but even that seemed more on the earthly level, I sacrificed my health by staying late night at the basketball court hooping it up, but even all the love that I had for it seemed to waver, and I really wondered if all the passion that I poured out into the game was misplaced, I turned to music, the performing arts, I listened to music through much of the night, I explored, I made the most of my time in regard to listening to new music, I found myself fascinated immensely by Ludovico’s compositions, by Miles Davis and his trumpet, Wynton Marsalis and his range, by Tupac and his smoldering dual personality, by rap music and the artistic expression and potent of the spoken word, all these were well and good, they gave me a world to live in, even though I had no job or money, I found a certain sense of satisfaction in them, and if those failed I took my bike on long long drives, travelling to roads by the sea, finding isolated places in common parks where I would sit for hours just to engage in this walk called life and observe all the people and wonder how their lives were lived, despite all these extravagant notions, despite radical claims to my ideas being superior, despite my rage at being despised and advised to frequently, despite my revolutionary fire that was sparked by a friend who later grew to judge me, despite all these seemingly unique pieces of a troubled personality, despite my bohemian urges,despite my sensation seeking nature, my lack of conformity to society, despite all that I was still empty, and all these aforementioned things did not enter into that emptiness nor could they make any form of lasting impact, in my usual vague mindset I wandered off key and started to blame my own sense of self, I was rather cruel to myself, I hypothesized that I was the root cause of the problem, that my deep seated tendencies to fear and self loathing (in the past ie) were the keys to my problem, Aha, I thought, feeling all proud of myself, I had identified my problem, now I would channel all those past memories, all those vulgar emotions and their insidiously draining dramatics could be quelled and disposed of with my mind, I always survived didn’t I…? I have changed too many times to remember now, I would change, even though my heart was shattered into a million little pieces I would adapt, evolve, change… I would later see all these things in retrospect and they would all make a lot of sense to me, I thought, I was wrong again, in a series of events, major blows would fall or rather rain down, and I was systematically destroyed, abolished, demoted, deactivated, hung in suspense over raging kindled fires, lost and frustrated. What was it…? I would obsess over a whole day, I tried different self administered therapies, weed, pleasure, alcohol, friends, wild drunken nights with people whom I really should not have been friends with( one of those earned a trip to the Police station btw), brutal self analysis, dream analysis, meditation, trance music, scoping out multiple job opportunities, repeated attempts to wash out my memory and start anew but these attempts would not last more than a few hours, and I would be again cast into that foul pit of self despair and my war against the demons who practically obliterated my soul in those times continued day in and day out, I had trouble sleeping, I lost my appetite, I started to fear people, I locked myself in my room for days on end, and there just seemed to be no way out, I was gone I thought to myself. I would not survive this time, and it was then that the son of the woman who works as our maid committed suicide, and it really struck me, that I was dead, soulless and without any feeling other than pain. To the outside world I was the same Joey, the one who played basketball late into the night, the one who always listened to their seemingly irrelevant stories, who always supported them and always had a word of encouragement for them even when they were often , how do i say it…? Wrong…? But my oscar worthy acting was crumbling too, my mind lost its handle, it rotated hyper-extensively , my competitive nature made things worse, I needed to do this I thought, pain is something that you have always embraced, c’mon Joe pull yourself together, you counsel people for crying out loud, you gotta do it, I would say to myself , but I couldn’t, it really seemed that I could not escape this time, that I had been caught , that all my life lines had been cut, here I was stranded on the highway of life all alone, with my famous ego(famous to me of course), with no friends ( I hardly made it appear like they mattered most times), constantly shifting between Vellore and Madras, which is a hundred kms apart, losing it every other minute, and what was all this struggle for…? It was then that I realized that all that struggle was for my life, my will refused to give up, even when playing basketball and say we were down twenty points, I would be the only guy believing that we would win, I always liked great odds, but this battle seemed more complex than those, they seemed almost too easy, for the first time in my life I got a whiff of what victims of abuse went through everyday of their lives, I understood pain and frustration in whole different dimension, I saw how pain overpowers conviction and pushes out faith, in the past whenever something happened to me, good or bad I would say a small prayer in my head, it was during one such time that I realized that all through my bad times, the Bible had always opened up to a passage that spoke to me personally, a psalm that felt like it was written especially for me, or a song that I would find a christian song whose lyrics healed me, whose lyrics touched me, I was finding more and more reasons to smile, I found the immensely therapeutic effect that prayer was having on my soul, it is written that the Lord was closest to the broken hearted for HE hears their cries, and no matter how great my burden or plea the Lord made me realize that he was indeed the Shepherd of my soul, I broke down and fell on His knees confessing all my sorrows, apologizing with a broken heart that I had strayed too faraway from Him, that my own choices were responsible for the void in my heart, and that He was not to blame, I confessed to Him that I was happy to have Him back in my life, and things changed, those were days of immense struggle, a lot of sweat and tears, a lot of time on my knees, a lot of lessons, a lot of clearing up( though issues remain, I am free of their emotional consequences), a lot of revisiting the past in order to forgive truly the foes from my distant past, and life returned to me again, I took great joy in those days, God made sure that He stayed as close to me as he could in those days and He has been so ever since, His promises never fail, they never will. I sometimes wonder why I talk so much about those experiences, its not like I wanna revisit them everyday and in my mind I don’t. I do sound more and more like a gushing teenager with his first crush than a dreamy minded 25 year old who up and until now had never known what a personal relationship with God can feel like. But I guess all things work together for good , and that He has made all things Beautiful in His time, I certainly am not asked to write by any divine intervention or personal message from the heavens, this is more thankfulness than anything else, this is thankfulness, love and gratitude and awe all rolled into one that is doing all the talking , in rambling sentences, at times ill timed sentences and a breathless intoxication. 

So its 7:02 am now, I did not write all that long, as I so expertly predicted mom kept me busy for the better part of an hour with taking care of our doggy , and also running some minor chores in and around the house, the atmosphere has shifted from a sacred sanctity to that of an awakened toddler, hungry and in need of some attention. I chose to accept my sentence, the morning dwellers would pretty soon be teeming all over the place, honking horns, destroying any semblance of silence, since I lived in a town the noise levels are much lower, but when you’ve been fed the pristine silence of unconscious fate you can’t stand the distractions of the conscious fate, every atom of sound reverberates through your entire being making you feel like you’re sharing a crowded space, and the light though blessed and all embracing can feel like noise at times, especially for the sleep deprived soul..! I know that I have been searching for something for quite sometime and I have figured it out, the conclusion to this grand essay, so though I started to feed the thoughts that drove this essay they all began in the appreciation of the present moment or rather a moment in the past few hours that helped me realize how beautiful each hour was in a way, for I saw myself seated on the edge of a cliff, and below me lay the valleys that all humans need to endure and pass through, in my life they mean encountering unsavory characters at the basketball court who are driven by selfish and egoic pride, in whose presence I cant seem to find my game, it means to drive everyday to work and listen to people a few years older telling you what life is all about through their lens and through their eyes, convincing you that they know better, that no matter how wonderful your testimony in Christ is they are the experts in the field, I would love to take them aside one day and tell them, nobody , Nobody knows life, every moment, every second is not revealed, Only God knows what can or will happen, so stop repeating things that you normally say to youngsters whom you seek to guide just so you can flatter your own vanity, I follow my Christ everyday and that is more important to me than your self righteous predispositions, in this place you can only tell me what to do in regard to a particular aspect of work, don’t try to understand or confine me, since I care not that you do..! No matter what difficult aspect you seem to grapple with, pain, sorrow, rage, frustration, wounds, failures.., no matter what form or shape they take, know that there are things in this world that must be endured, but take Faith in knowing that you have the almighty God and his power to redeem and save at the bowing down of your head and the kneeling down of your knees, figure life out, the Bible is not that harsh a book, its probably the most beautiful book that I have ever read, for in the struggles of the people in that book the shining glory of GOD shines forth and conquers any dysfunctional aspect of humanity and saves, so I guess this is my new year message, that of hope for you (whoever you are), that of faith( I hope you make all the suitable arrangements for it…!), a message of sticking through ( no matter how hard the ordeals appear, no matter how meaningless life appears, no matter how unchangeable something appears), I feel that God will do miracles in your life if you only give Him a chance, I like Paul(of the Bible) accept my fate, though in no way can I be compared to that inimitable man of God, I speak more like one who learns from his experiences, his letters and as an apostle to the most High, Happy New Year 2013, I pray that you give your all to Christ, 

Your friend 

Joey 

Doubts, fears and whines

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One thing that I recently noticed about myself in my self introspection was how much I was complaining and grumbling and also repeating what I know about GOD, I for one had pride in how original my thoughts and insights can be and I find myself almost leaning to my former states of logic and inspiration, not that I in any way feel that the message I deliver is disinfected, I abhor it more when I repeat the same thing over and over, since it frustrates me and what I said acts as a barrier to new revelations and insights, thats one reason why I am hungry everyday to learn something new about GOD, a lofty exercise pregnant with lofty expectations, but I don’t see it as that I see it as a quest for meaning , a quest to understand man in the light of GOD, a quest for GOD Himself, and when the subject of your deep contemplation is quite mysterious and divinely revealed and not humanly perceived it can be quite a difficult subject to tackle, I for one who though entirely conscious of my human limitations at times am infected by a sense of apathy and discontentment, how exactly can the Bible hold all the answers to every problem of man in the twenty first century, how can GOD speak only through this book, why is GOD so silent so many times(this question coming from a dude whose major contribution to the world of human communication is a prolonged silence act), why this …? why that…? etc etc to infinity, I realized how trivially incompetent my human nature was, how fickle and how greedy for spiritual wealth it seems, greed in this spiritual aspect does seem entirely agreeable but greed as in any other form is greed, excess hardly satisfied, the end product is always saturation, whereas meals at the correct time always satisfy the hunger. But as always my human tendency to worry took over and I submitted to it reverently as do most humans when worrisome news or headlines flash on the TV screen , I am quite infamous for disappearing when my presence is most needed, or gathering up enough confidence to majorly flop in some endeavour, do I atrribute these all to GOD or do I rightfully take the blame…? Beyond all that what was my attitude to all these things, sure I could dream a million messages on the pulpit delivered in blazing fire and the richness of the spirit, but why when these opportunities did present myself did I run away…? Was the opportunity not a manifestation of my dreams….? And should I not rightly submit to the Lord what I humanly find impossible…? Why was I becoming such a second hand version of who I once was…? The Joey I knew would find challenges stimulating and take them eagerly on to at least learn where he stood, the joey I knew would not find failure threatening in any way since it was success that he feared, the joey I knew saw everything as an adventure and despite the fact that he was minorly self absorbed would not complain or find fault or talk behind another person if the situation did not demand it, my entire construction of self seemed to have majorly shifted in its architecture that I seemed to harbor a sense of bewilderment whenever something that I would normally handle seemed more like an impossible task, even the simple task of talking or speaking took on new terms, for I found that for a brief period of time people hardly seemed to bother about what I thought and instead dumped all their opinions, their high sounding doctrines on to me, and most often these were rehearsed dialogues that were quite common and often expressed as a show of character, ( I of course did the same 😀 but figuratively speaking), it was bizarre, were these things happening for a reason or was this how things would be from now onwards…? Was I prone to cowering in fear out of the mistaken notion of humility before every other self righteous urge…? What was happening to me…? Why am I so bothered about people think…? Why am I so concerned about how the future would end up to be, is it not written that GOD holds the future ..? Am i being assailed by a demon of disturbance or am I mentally declining …? Why do I seem to have more questions than answers…? Is this my sad descent into Bipolar disorder…? Where my final stand against doubts that have plagued and consumed me seem to have the power to invisibly play with my emotions and feelings….? But I realize now how deep I have snaked into my own fears and doubts and trapped in those venomous prisons I can only see and feel their own voices and affirmations, this exercise as always has accomplished its goal.. 

A dialogue with my sister

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But…but… I can’t , she said
Its next to impossible for me to even write anything remotely similar to whatever it is you have written, she said
I listened, my heart flaring at the notion of impossibility my sister was dipping into in regard to her talents
‘ you have to journey on despite what ends you meet sis, sometimes you have good days, sometimes you don’t, sometimes you write words that can ignite your soul and sometimes it is but a gentle breeze that blows by when one finds himself before sharp rocks and loathsome boulders, its the attitude, I told her with all my passion just piqued at the manner in which she assumed things
Things are not how they seem, they never are , you have to believe in yourself beyond what others think of your abilities, because you are the master of your talents and you are in charge of what you can do with them, its how you approach things that defines you, when you dedicate your mind, your heart and your soul to pursue your passion then sky is the limit for you, I said
Imagine what people make of God, for some HE is some unimaginable deity whose appearance they bow down to out of fear and a sense of devotion entirely misplaced , some like to blame HIM for all the world’s catastrophes, natural disasters, man’s sins and manmade horrors such as cults, the Holocaust, gruesome murders, inhuman rapes, continual abuse at the hands of a spouse, where is God in all this they grumble in bitterness, if this God you speak has so much love and of whom you speak of with so much persuasion , why does HE not reveal HIMSELF…? Why is he silent when millions of people die every year living their lives in vain…?? Why…?? Imagine someone asking you this question dear sis what would you say…?? I asked my sis
Eh…. I don’t know, I would not know , I dont have that much knowledge , she said in sincere nervousness
‘ You can only know God when you seek Him and when you do find HIM , let go of your self and ask HIM to lead and guide you, for to see the kingdom of heaven it is important to be born again, to the outside world Jesus remains just another important person right alongside the likes of manmade deities, they refer to Him as just another great man , a great prophet or to quote a favorite line of the devil’s doctrine, HE was perfect humanity with the idea of God, and what they ask you to believe is that since Jesus had divinity within HIM, we all have God inside us, we are all Gods ourselves, those are insidious poisons sis, man cannot be God, man was just another created being that God in HIS wondrous love created in order to worship the most High God. And I know I have strayed far from my point, but I will answer the question that I posed before, ie when ppl ask where is God…? Or blame Him for their own problems or ask where God was when they went through such an intense period of problems , I will tell you this, I don’t have the answers myself, sometimes questions themselves are important in order to help us cultivate a deeper sense of piety and devotion, in a sense we are ordering God for all the problems man created, God gave man free will and what did man do with it…? With the aid of the devil’s demonic designs cultivate excessive materialism that just pollutes the minds of people with excessive excess , man made himself a God in his own eyes with great achievement, with great intellect, with great knowledge and strayed even further from God, man made sure that they killed all the people who preached about God, taught the words of God , all the prophets, all the good men were slaughtered as what they said made man uneasy , and when God sent HIS own Son they made sure they killed Him as well , and you still want more signs….?? What else do you want God to do for you….?? Should be your answer dear sis

I knew that I had started to passionately beseech my sister to take more serious efforts in pursuing her passions and ended up defending God, I couldn’t help it, those thoughts had kept me awake late in the night as I struggled and wrestled with the weight of the world’s complaints about God, whatever they posed as their question and discontent with my master , became my problem and my doubt, and I admit to not finding the answers , what do I say to the man of God who lost his wife to cancer, his son to suicide, and his money to robbers…..?? I dont know the answer , I don’t , this man of God lost hope and faith in the almighty and spent many lonely and sad years all alone, I cant tell him God was testing him, because I cant understand God myself , I dont want to , I love Him anyway, it took me a long enough time to know HIM personally , and when I found Him , I know that I can put all my trust and Hope in Him , not in what HE can do for me , but I trust in Him , because I want to , I love Him, because of all the sufferings he has suffered in order to redeem mankind from sin , thousands of years of bondage, billions of lost souls, God cared for them all, He knew them all by name, He created each and everyone of them, He knew everything about them, He could only watch in grief as each one denied Him one by one either with blasphemous thoughts, sinful deeds or ungodly lives, man was His creation after all. And God does care, why else would He send Jesus his only son…?? The very Jesus who went out of His way to reach the most inferior of all men and women and show them true love…? Why did He have to wash his disciples feet with his hands…? Why did he have to die such a brutal and cruel death for someone who wont even take the time to really understand Him…? Why does He cry to his Father , Lord God forgive them for they know not what they do for all the men who cruelly tormented, abused and chose to spit on his bloodied face….?? Why ….?? How much more do you want my Lord to do….?? If you don’t know my Lord personally dont curse and abuse him , ok…? , I cant show it empirically, give stats for it or even prove it scientifically , I dont have to , you can only feel Christ by faith, and you believe in Him through faith and you walk by Faith and not by sight…… the true irony is that all talents are God given, but man twists them to suit his own agenda , if there was ever an ungrateful, disloyal, unfaithful wretch his name is man…!

In ending I said this my sis, take courage in how far you’ve come sis, God has blessed us all with unique talents, remember how before you went to school you had no idea of how to read or write…??? Similarly take the essential effort and time to hone and develop your skill set, abandon yourself to your passion , and make sure that like God’s relationship with man you have a relationship with your ability, and someday you will look at what you have and glorify your Father in heaven ….

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The sun was here you could feel it, but it was too early, as early as 8 o clock on a cold December Sunday morning , he was surrounded on all sides by lush green , by rich red soil , by drooping plantation leaves that stood solemn and serene in the vast and empty fields , he was many many miles away from the noisy and violently unstable town with people naked in all their unflattering tendencies. He was in a village up the hill , he had come alone , the place that he was at belonged to a relative of his , and he had come here to meditate and pray for a while before departing , just a few miles away from the hills there were thick forests that were quite infamous for their man eating pythons that the locals greatly feared and revered at the same time, that was one of the reasons why he could make out pious Hindu shrines on the way up that bore the recoling head of a serpent that the simple minded folk had raised in order to worship, that was a part of the appeal for him , no not the gigantic snakes but the refuge from man that a forest could provide, this field that was surrounded by hills on all sides, the ground was a gorgeous golden, he had taken refuge under a mango tree for now, he was surrounded by fields on all sides that teemed with agricultural produce , there were very few people around, he could barely make them out in the distance, it did not matter of course , a slight wind picked up the dead leaves and spun them around in a brief spell and held them in the weak clutches of mid air before the landed back on the ground to rest aside gems of rocks and stone. The wind though mild had made him shiver , he could still see a thin sheath of transparent white that cloaked the top of the hills , the hills always roused up fine feelings of solidarity in his heart, they made him feel strong and he remembered one of his favorite psalms, ‘ I look up to the hills , from where does my help come from…? My Help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. No wonder he loved the hills he thought, he took a few minutes to soak up the song of the morning , it was heard all around from the joyous flitting sparrows , to the gathering crows, to the beat of the woodpecker on a thick trunk to the zigzagging swirl of the butterflies with their dashes between the flowers and their neighbors, one need only look at nature to feel the beauty that the creator had intended for the planet, mornings especially early mornings were wonderful to experience, the changes that take place in the skies, as the stellar shining lights of the twinkling stars and the milky way fade from view as light returned to its claim and darkness departed to dim another part of the globe , the skies were a light blue some thin clouds lay scattered in what was otherwise a clear blue sky, he needed this confirmation in a way, back in the town with the vulgar realm of the unsacred he lived near a slum , his parents were once upon a time quite affluent both in name and riches, but hard times had fallen on their family, some betrayals and backstabbings later they had shifted to live in a humble cottage where they sought to serve the Lord, but as I said earlier times were hard and Joseph often retreated to the Hills to meditate on the word and pray, and he needed his times with God , especially now when the world was not making any sense, just yesterday an incident had shaken him , his mom had hired a maid from the nearby

A rainy Saturday afternoon

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Its a rainy Saturday afternoon , I lie on the bed my mind mildly bothered by the wandering remnants of the past, but the innermost part of my being communes with Christ as I try to live with my end in view, surprisingly I had attempted to go through the newspaper earlier on in the day an act that I should’ve avoided , since no sooner had I picked it up when I came across the headline that the girl who had been gangraped by six men had passed away in a hospital struggling for her life until the last moment, I threw away the paper with frustration , my heart grieved for the girl’s soul , what horrors face so many of us in our lives , I wonder how her parents are coping with the tragedy , life is so uncertain , life is not a given, sorrow and tragedy are common to us all , personal and otherwise, how many of us have gone through our lives without encountering the pure unadulterated evil that is rampant in this world…? So many a time we ourselves unwittingly partake of this curse of human nature by stretching forth in ignorance our own conditions into this filthy corrupted heap , and before we realize it we too have committed errors that we previously would’ve been self righteous about , and of course we can never take back what we did be it some minor act or some habitual activity that has reduced all our sense of control to passivity, it always begins with the thought, an innocent tiny atom of a thought, an attempt to make sense of something seemingly forbidden, the Bible says that thought feeds desire and desire to sin and sin in its fullness to death, death is a consequence of sin , the end of the conscience’s unblemished run , and the birth of sin, but the Bible does speak that we were conceived of in sin , Adam took away forever the ignorance of our hearts to sin in the garden of eden and replaced it instead with knowledge , knowledge not only to discriminate good from bad but also to make choices in that direction. And human nature is in no way above that of God or equivalent to God , and any claim that we are all Gods is demonic in nature for the very fact that Lucifer sought first to attain the throne of GOD ALMIGHTY, even though he was only a created being, its not hard to see how this same doctrine is disguised into a million different pleasing philosophies and beckons man into believing that he is GOD himself, such thoughts are of the devil , we are all created beings made in the likeness of God, and GOD in HIS wondrous mercy saw to it that HE sent his one and only son JESUS to die for all our sins so that we may never die living a life in which sins can’t be forgiven , the death of my best friend on the cross ensured once and for all the defeat of Satan and his realm of darkness on this planet, no longer does man need to despair and feel lost and live in guilt for all his sins and miseries Jesus has the power to forgive all forms of sin , not only forgive but forget completely, how many of us have that nature…? To not only forgive but to forget as well is something quite impossible in the human realm, a practice that I myself have struggled with over the past few years , I could forgive but forgetting was a whole other isue altogether , and it was something that I struggled immensely with before understanding it through Christ’s love, by myself I could not do it but with the gentleness of his warmth I do it whole heartedly and without any doubts as to the success of such a move.

But at times heaven feels too far, pain all too real , faith too small and weak when pitted against all the world’s apparent glory and your own seemingly stumbling pace, there are major disappointments that one finds with God, with people and with life in general , and just when your conviction was seemingly resurrected after a major struggle you still find that nothing outside has changed , and the world remains with its grisly problems, with unpredictable personal and global calamities, which is why you have to learn to accept it and instead set your heart on things above and not on things of this earth, and seek the counsel of the Lord beyond everything else and lean not on your own understanding, you do have to take faith that eventually things will clear up , that Justice would prevail , that the perpetrators that cause these unjust things to happen are unaware of the influence of Satan’s lies , and realize that we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God , but grace is available free of cost in the blood of Jesus if only though shall deny thy self and humble oneself before the cross and ask God either to forgive, to lead or to guide us in our lives, HE is always ready to listen and will not forsake us nor does he treat us as our sins deserve 🙂 Blessed Saturday :-):-)

The Return

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The past few days have been quite a learning experience, filled to the brim with wonderful insights, lengthy reading expeditions and lengthy journeys into the inner fields that were sown with seeds of hope, faith and love through the blessed wealth inherent in the power of Christ my Lord. But I kind of struggled to get into a rhythm with the word, I took lengthy notes, filled my notebook with plenty of descriptions of the wind, the sky, the moon, the sun and the stars , took down exact feelings that were half dreamy and half rooted in a world that too often lacked magic and a deeper sensation, but they seemed impossible to reach into when I did find the time to go through them, there seemed to be an vast stretch between the last entry and my current state of mind, it seemed that there was an abyss between both cliffs and the tip upon which I stood as I gazed out into the distance offered nothing beyond a vast space filled with musings and faint memories, but I had been eager to write, I had read quite some provocative books the past few days, most notably, The Bible Jesus Read by Philip Yancey, a radical look into the meaning behind most scriptural books had not only added thrilling insights to ponder at length about , it had also enriched my knowledge and I felt that familiar fire burn in me as I read the Bible through the help of Yancey’s masterful work. But a strange feeling had accompanied my urges, a feeling that tended to completely obscure and take from conscious reach the fire that gripped the quill and its nature, my descent into this new sense of unease seem to be working to unravel all the knowledge of the journey that I had taken thus far, and it seemed potently insensitive and seemed to have a subtle poison that worked steadily to obliterate any form of conscious memory of who I was when I grabbed pen and saw a piece of blank paper, I sighed all those former victories meant nothing to me right now, they were just a faint memory as were my ideas that I had so religiously jotted down onto my notepad, they were all dead, I was as usual left to fend for myself,  but I made sure I stayed on my guard against this formidable foe who seemed to completely defeat me with ease, I felt the familiar  surge of fear that tended to grip me whenever I met a new foe who seemed all mighty and powerful. I had to tread slow in this unfamiliar territory equipped with the familiar tools of a buzzing mind and an eager pen as the enemy swirled and ravaged unseen and seemingly invincible for the time being. 

But as long as I occupy this space I do my best to get out my thoughts and observations, I imagine my inner world falling and chaos ruling over, all the mansions that I have erected so far, all the forests, unconscious oceans, all of the dream inhabitants that have a life of their own within me all crumble and fall in millions of pieces of haphazard bits and pieces and I run with all the remaining energy that I’ve got, all mysterious remnants in whose midst I feel like a complete stranger, maybe the feeling that I would get when walking down a busy road in the city with hundreds of strangers all around me just booming and wandering all about, these are people that I would never see again in my life save if possible for divine insistence , and day by day this grand drama repeats over and over like the restless waves of a mighty sea, the mighty sea of all humanity. Millions and millions of complex souls all lost to the vast cinema that is life…. How many would I preach the gospel unto….? I wondered even as the inner feeling fails to dissipate 

“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” wrote Anaïs Nin, and I quite agree with her statement, as a part of my experience to prepare for this mental calamity I retraced the steps that I made before I met Christ on that lonely night, a few months ago my life though imperfect was full of promise, my promised land was of course a Book deal, and my dream was a completed book, although I was not sure what theme I wanted to pursue, I did my best to give it my all, a strong decision in an otherwise turbulent affair, for my ideas tend to be as shifty as me, and as evasive and often times invisible and unpredictable, I could be without sleep for 30 hours and not get a single mention worthy idea but just as I was about to collapse into what would be my death from the sheer fatigue of the particular exercise a tiny glow would appear in a darkened corner of my mind, and it would grow and grow until its message would be impossible to deny, but sadly nothing came of such moments of sheer rapture, my body unable to bear the lack of sleep and the consuming hunger that had gone unfed for the exact time frame would drown me and I fell to the bottom of the darkness as sleep cast its spell on me.  And the beast of the self howled into the darkness that was my soul, in those days I was a step towards the stairway to literary absorption and a step below deciding against this pursuit that seemed to be completely overpowering, and had I chosen to dedicate myself completely into that path, I am sure that results would’ve come, granted that quality is a worldly term that refers and compares, I would say in my own words that I would have been proud and maybe felt a minor sense of accomplishment and I could have also felt a sense of peace knowing that I finally had something that my mom and dad would’ve been proud about, I can almost hear my lil sister saying to her friends, my ‘anna'(term for brother) has written a book with pride and joy, but sadly I chose instead to feel victimized and never quite rose over the hurdle as I thought I would, I don’t necessarily view it as a failure, I just see it as a stepping stone, and in view of my love for Christ I feel stronger and more unconcerned about worldly opinions. There was a time when it bothered me, there was a time when I wrestled against what the world saw of my talent, and I had to combat them in my mind day in and day out, a few months before my mentality was either to win or to give it my all, but now a major burden had been lifted off through the redeeming power of my Lord and savior JESUS Christ and I no longer struggled with the burden of my ambitions. I realized that I did not need to struggle against the burden of having to succeed merely to prove my doubters and naysayers wrong, to shut mouths of people who convinced me that without connections I would not amount to anything, that my whole writing thing was nothing more than a ‘phase’.

Stephen King once said that the most important things were always the hardest to write about, and I guess he captured what I was trying to say perfectly, I did not struggle to find an idea, I had problems because I had too many ideas, when I would be focusing on one story another story equally as enticing and captivating would appear in my imagination and being the expert controller that I am I tend to lay down my pen and live out the story as a movie in my mind and when it completes I find that I feel like I can never recapture the richness that my imagination in my head was able to spin, and I would let these cunning thoughts to drain me of my resolve and work instead on diary entries, and though I speak like I was consistent, my self discipline wavered when I felt that I was placing too many limits on myself and felt that I craved freedom more, and what that did was bring along with it laziness and an indecisive mind, discipline is extremely important if you wanna be a writer. 

What was I to talk about in my stories…? Where do I begin…? Do I begin from the time I was too young to remember or do I recount the countless days where I crept upto the window while my parents slept to stare at the moon in unhindered appreciation and wonder….? Or do I talk through characters based on people who have either helped me appreciate life or detest it…? Somehow I did stumble upon the core of my feelings, that this life had stories to tell, and that you needed to talk through whatever means you find comfort in and learn to speak with whomever listened, narrate stories that touch you and that you come across, stories that too often pull you in and work hard at these with all the dedication necessary to precision, observation and reasoning and present them with your individual flair and individuality and see to it that you never falter from your goal and spend as much time as you can as you would with a newborn baby for it is vital to grow both as parent and as a child. 

 But then again I would not call myself a contemporary writer, I could not see myself writing for a career, I mean I shrink and hide when people talk about writing and writers, and even when I write too often I tend to entertain negative thoughts that the devil so charmingly whispers into my ear concerning my skills and my level of competency. Lies that I had been believing for way too long, I don’t know if I can call myself a writer, especially when I don’t know what to call myself :D, I have always detested conformity and labels, preferring to find a new approach no matter what the cost may turn out to be. I am not a success story and at the most I might seem like just another random blogger talking about stuff that don’t really matter(on the surface) , but that is not how I see myself, I am not gonna say that I wanna ‘matter’ and I most definitely don’t want to take pride if I do turn out to be successful because that’s not who I am, if anything i’d only like to be able to prove to myself that I can do it, that a guy who flunked classes, knelt outside class when everybody else was allowed inside to study, could do something that he had always dreamt of doing, is that asking too much…? I would like to be able to boldly stand in front of a million people and say with confidence and assurance that I write, and for the first time in so many years truly be known for something, is that so bad…? To want to do something with urges inside of you that have been bothering you for so long a time, I did a brief stint as a content writer some years back, and believe me I was not that good back then, but I worked hard in a place where I was walked over on by a bossy egomaniac who loved to constantly check his fingernails to see if they were pretty enough in the bathroom mirrors that he loved to sneak into, more than talking negatively about the way I wrote back then, I would say that my style of writing was not encouraged, I was not given the opportunity to be original and creative but asked instead to conform to a dull style that relied more on simplicity rather than innovation and design. But I understand now that GOD allowed such experiences to shape me, all my past shortcomings were important lessons, things that added to my soul and helped me build character even though I swam in the uncertainty of life without a rudder to guide me and a harbor wherein I could rest and find solace in.

But time and time again, writing has shown me just how much it loves me, which I feel is GOD’s gift and joy, it has taught me so many valuable things, it has been my refuge apart from GOD, both writing and basketball have always been anchors in my life, and though I feel sad every now and then that I still have not accomplished anything ‘big’, I take great joy in returning to these two great friends that have always treated me with love and acceptance, and I hope that by the grace of GOD I can be happy without anything for the rest of my life, that the gift of HIS mercy alone is enough to keep me joyful and happy through all eternity.  

Aside

As I sit here in the dark, my mind a mix of light and dark, I search to find the thoughts that had hours ago captured my heart, I ease my mind and beseech it to let it be, though I can no longer enter into the previous state of mind and pluck fruits that bloomed after hours and hours of mental decline, I say to myself nothing’s lost, it rarely ever is, what has gone was meant to depart you still feel things in your heart so why give up …? Look instead to open your heart and create a fresh start