What is life really about?

Right from our birth, we are taught that God made us special. That He made us unique. That God love us. That we were made in the image of God. That God will bless us. All of these statements are absolutely true. But I bet you, as you read the above statements, it made you feel good. It makes me feel good. Who doesn’t like knowing God is on our side?

Re- read the statements again. This time, emphasis on the ‘God’ part.

GOD made us special. HE made us unique. GOD loves us. We were MADE in the image of GOD. GOD will bless us.

It feels totally different to me to suddenly focus on God and not on the ‘me’ part. God begins to look big and ‘me’ does not seem to matter anymore.

The last few years, things haven’t exactly happened the way I wished in my life. I wondered why. I asked God ‘why?’ so many times. While the answer did not come one night as I slept or while a thunder rolled, it did come. Over the years. Slowly, I am perhaps understanding the ‘WHY?’

Maybe this life really isn’t about me and my needs.

If this life was all about me, then God, being the loving God He is, would run this world around me. My loved ones should not die. I should have the best paying job. No sickness would harm me. That includes the cold and the cough. I doubt, all these would make me ‘unselfish’ and more like Him.

So…..If this life isn’t about me, perhaps, it is about the Glory of God. If so, the fights over who should wash the dishes at home, does it matter anymore? Does it matter how many vacations we take or how many places we see? Does it matter how expensive our gifts are?

If life was about me, it would matter what happens to me or what injustice I went through. But it isn’t.

If this life is about the Glory of God, then all that matters is… someone washes the dishes. That I am rested enough to have strength to carry on my life for the Glory of God.

If you agree with me on the concept of, ‘this life is all about the Glory of God’. Let me ask a few questions that may perhaps help you see clearer.

In that last 24 hours, what did you do for the Glory of God.?

How much thought was spent thinking about God vs thinking about yourself?

How much of your time yesterday was invested towards eternity?

Did God really get the Glory for your last victory?

I cannot answer these questions without feeling a bucket load of guilt.

Take time to think. Is this life, really about you or me?

Could it be all about the ‘Glory of God’? (Isaiah 43)

Too Quick to Look

Are you kind ?

Think about it before you proceed further.

Kindness –  That was the topic I was going to discuss with my class yesterday. And my class consisted of a bunch of 6-10 year olds. These are good kids. I know them to be. At the start of the class, I asked them to pull a chair from the many lying around and sit. Most of the bunch did. A few little ones, could not pull a chair. And so, I did for each of those kids. When every one was seated,we started talking and I finally asked, why did the older kids not help the younger ones with the chairs. After all, isn’t that kindness ? And their reply was ‘Oh! who? I did not see anyone struggling with the chairs’. (After thanking God for such a teachable moment), I replied , ‘We did not see cause we did not look’.

Cycling_Amsterdan_03We did not see because we did not look.

I do not see because I do not look.

When asked to sit, my eyes dash towards the best seat. I grab one, pull it to the best spot and sit. Proud of my accomplishment.

When I’m hungry, my eyes look for the nearest and quickest source of food. I do not look at the next table, where a hungry mother is silently watching her kids eat.

When I am in a hurry, my eyes look at the watch and the road. I do not want to look at a homeless man asking for money.

When I am tired, my eyes just want to close. I refuse to look at a depressed friend.Not yet anyway.

Till I am satisfied.

Once seated, I will look around. Maybe then, I will spot someone I can help.

Once my hunger has been fed, perhaps my eyes will wander to the next table.

Once My destination has arrived, as I wait, I will help someone with money.

Once I am rested, I will invest my time in a friend.

What if…what if the maybes ,the perhaps and the waits never happens?

We all want to help. If we had the power to heal the sick, we would. If we had enough money, we would help the poor. If we have the time, we would volunteer in a shelter. If we…. , then we would….. . If we …….. , then we would …….. .

But If we were to honestly ask ourselves, when was the last time, we had enough money, achieved all our goals and just had extra time ? When was the last time, we put others first before us?

Let me ask again. Are you kind?

Do you not see because you do not look?

Mediocre !!

As per Google’s definition, this is what mediocre means.

mediocre

And why does it feel like such a bad thing?

When I was little, I believed I was one of the best singers in the world. Why, you ask? My world consisted of my mom, dad and bro. And I could sing better than them. (Please, don’t break my bubble here.) When my mom and dad ‘ooohhhh’ed and ‘awwwww’ed at my signing, it fed my belief that I was a good singer. And then came college. I tried out for my college choir and did not make it. Yikes! And then Youtube entered my life. I was no longer what I called a good singer. Reality set in. Years later, I’ve made my peace with the truth. I can sing but I was ‘unexceptional’.

If the definition of mediocre did not include all the words with ‘un’s and ‘in’s and had been just this,

mediocre 2

is there a chance this word may not seem so bad after all?

I love writing. My dream would be to have a blog that the at least half the world would read. I would be getting paid for what I write. My writing would be thought provoking and funny at the same time. I would write books that become best sellers. While the dream still lives, there is also the reality. I love writing. I have a blog that, on a best day 20 people read. I write like maybe 10 times a year and I make absolutely no money from it. I do not have what it takes to write a book. (Unless of course, I print all my previous blog posts and make a book our of those papers…Apart from my mom, I cannot think of anyone else who might want to buy that book.) I am, what Google might call , ‘Uninspired’.

Someone I follow on twitter, tweeted this morning that ‘Life is too short to be mediocre’. While I don’t know that person personally or understand the context in which the tweet was made, I will fight against the thought this tweet seems to convey. That being mediocre is not a good thing.

So what, if I am one of the million IT professionals who never make it big? So what, if I never become a Taylor Swift or a Kari Jobe? So what, If I am just a fish in the ocean that you do not see or know the name of. So what, If I might be someone you never even knew existed. So what, if I am one in a crowd? So what, if I am a face that you see and forget? So what, if I am a name that you don’t write down in your contacts list?

So what, If I am ordinary or average in this world? Unremarkable in this world? Unexciting in this world. ? I am at my best when no one is watching. I am free to be me, when no one knows me.

But I rest in this one fact, that someone sees me. That someone knows me. Loves me for all my averageness. Though I am ‘ordinary’, He knows my name. And He knows your name too!

If there’s one thing you might want to take away from all this blabbering, let it be this. It’s ok that you are not famous. It’s ok that you are not the best in your field. It’s ok that you keep failing. It’s ok that you still haven’t found the one. It is not the end of your story. You are loved by the One who created you. You matter to God. Not because of who you are in this world. Not because of what you do or did. Not because of what you have or don’t have. God loves you and He always will. He know your name.

Love is ….

After  a week of fighting with hubby and reflecting on everything that he wasn’t doing for me, I was lead to read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. For the first time, these verses came alive to me and I understood what it was all about.And as I read these verses, I began to understand, what an epic failure I was when I judged myself based on these verses.

Love is patient – FAIL

Love is kind – I certainly have not been kind to hubby lately.

It does not envy – Please God, don’t let me fail this one.

It is not proud – ummm. Guilty

It does not dishonor others – Guilty. At this point, I am begining to sense a pattern here. 

It is not self seeking – Groan! Re-reading my first line of this post.

It is not easily angered – Red Flag! Red Flag!

It keeps no record of wrongs – (Are you kidding me? ) I have to re-think my entire life. Huge Guilty!

Love does not delight in evil – Let me pass this one too God, please?

Rejoices in the truth – Hopefully, this is a pass.

Always protects – A pass. Maybe?

Always trusts – My biggest area of failure.

Always hopes – My second biggest area of failure.

Always persevere –  I give up too easily. Sometimes even before I start trying. FAIL!

Sigh! I need to work on a whole lot of things in my life.  I need to learn what LOVE really means. It is certainly not what I have been practicing lately. And I sure am glad that God is not giving up on me.He is still working on me to make me who I ought to be.

Have you checked your life with 1 Cor 13:4-6 lately? I sure hope you fare better than I did. If not, relax. God still loves you. There is hope yet, for all of us.

Standing at the Crossroads

The past few weeks have been differently weird for me. Different in the sense, I’ve had to take a decision that I have never taken before. So in the past few weeks, I’ve had to think about my decision, take me decision and let people know about my decision. I’ve had to deal with people’s reactions, my own doubts, what I feel is God’s plan for my life, my own doubts, our financials and my own doubts. And Oh, did I mention my own doubts?

God has blessed me with a wonderful job. The best job I’ve ever had in my life. I have absolutely no complains about my job. And the folks at my job want me to continue working for them. Everything is so perfect except (I think) God rocked my boat for reasons I do not know yet. So I stand at the crossroads now.

Lately, all I could ever think of was how, I needed to take a break from working. For what? It started as just a de-stressing time but it soon ballooned into this whole desire to pursue my dreams. And the funny thing is, my dreams are not huge. My dreams do not involve being an entrepreneur or writing a book or something that I’ve heard other people follow. My dreams are simple. They just involve me and a few lives around me.

So here I stand at the crossroads. I’ve decided which path I’m going to go. I am just waiting for the signal to turn green, so I can go. But these last moments at the crossroads, when I still have a chance to change my decision, are proving to be harder than I thought. I have my indicator on, so people can see where I am heading and I can hear them asking why? A guy shouts from his path, “Where is this path that you are taking, headed?” I reply, ‘I don’t know’. Another lady waves, ‘Good Luck down that road’.  A friend asks, ‘Are you going to come back to our path?’ ‘I don’t know. I hope this path leads me down the other path soon so I can join the crowd again.

As I stand at the crossroads, I am thinking about a lot of things. Like, how much hold money has on me. Like, how uncertain future is. Like how scared I am of uncertainty. What following your dreams mean. What stepping out in faith means. What listening to God means. What facing my doubts mean.

Standing here, my greatest discomfort is not knowing why. Why am I doing this? Why I am doing this now? What am I giving up my job for? And my answers to all of the above is, ‘I don’t know. I honestly don’t know.’

All I know is, I’m giving it all up to follow my heart and my heart follows Jesus. And I believe God put this thought into my heart. – The world will always push you to do more. At some point, you have to pause and say ‘Enough. What I have is enough’.

And with this thought in my heart I accelerate towards the path I have chosen.

Let’s retire early, Shall we?

10 Jobs that will let you retire early – That was the first mail I saw in my inbox. Ironically, that mail was from one of the many job portals that I subscribe to.

Now if you think about it, the day you retire, the job portal loses one customer. Why on earth, are they advertising to something that could potentially lead to them losing customers, (since we are already in a highly hypothetical scenario, let’s stretch it some more)  which will lead to them losing revenue, which will lead to a million job cuts and eventually, shut down of their company.

Either they are really selfless and want what’s best for their customers or they are completely confident, that not many of us will actually read that article. Let alone, get into the jobs that could help us retire early. So which one is it? That they do not believe in what they just said or they do not believe in what we would do.

OK. I totally exaggerated the whole thought. Oh, wait. I have not yet read that article. Yes, all this even before I could read what the article says. Before my mind can think all this through, my hands quickly deleted the mail. Of course, I fished it out from the trash after my brain had finished processing this whole thought.

Why does this topic seem so appealing to me?. Why do I want to retire early? Am I not happy with my present life? Will I be more happier if I retire early? Is it the retire ‘early’ part or the ‘retire’ part that excites me? Is it that I am lazy and hence do not want to work? Do I wish I was born a millionaire? Is it all about the money ?

If I have all my basic requirements to live, met today, why do I still want more? Why do I want a bigger house? Why do I want a car bigger than what I have now? Why do I want a better job? Why are we always looking for something that we do not have?

If we knew and understood  all the reasons to the whys above, maybe this world would have been a far better place than what is it now. OR Maybe not.  I don’t know.

Maybe all that I can do now for myself, is to pray what Audrey Assad sings about.

 

 

Born to win.

You were born to win! 

Looking to become leaders in their industryThat’s the latest catch-phase that every religion seems to be talking about. You were born to win. If you believe in Jesus, He will give you everything you need. Speak, and your words have power to make it happen. The power of positive thinking. 

While it is super encouraging to hear those positive words and many of them are indeed from the Bible, I wonder if we are moving far away from the truth as quickly as we can.

Back in the days, as a little girl, I thought my purpose in life was to please God. And in return, God would do everything for my best. If I did not get a dress that I prayed for, it was (in my mind) because God probably was going to give me a better dress than the one I prayed for. As a teen, when I did not get a prize that I was dreaming and aiming for all my life, I thought it was probably because God knew that giving me that prize would somehow take me away from God. As a young adult, when I did not get the appreciation I thought I deserved, it was because God was going to use my experience to bring many people to God.

And now as an adult, when the one thing I wanted most all my life was given and taken away, I searched for a reason. The purpose of why I had to go through such an ordeal. What could God possibly get out of my situation? It hurt bad. It disappointed me. It broke me completely.  Somehow, all the ‘it must be for my good’ , ‘God is going to give me better things’ explanations did not make sense.  It just did not make sense.

How can death be explained as a good thing in any way? How can cancer be explained as ‘better things await’? How can ‘God is a loving God’ be explained when bad things happen?

Maybe, just maybe, we got it all wrong.

I believe that yes, we are more than conquerors in Jesus Christ. I believe that the battle has already been won. I believe that all things work together for my good. And more than that, I believe that the reason I was made, is to bring glory to God.

As humans, we define win as ‘something that we expect to happen, happens’. But is that how God defines a win? If the very purpose of my life is to glorify God in every circumstance, then in what ever situation I am in, I got to bring glory to God. And that would be a win in God’s eyes.

When I am faced with death of a loved one, I go though my pain depending on God and that glorifies God.That’s a win. When I am faced with sickness, I do life, praising God for what I do have. That’s a win. When I am out of money, I live everyday trusting God to lead me. That’s a win. When what I am disappointed, I cry out to God. That’s a win.

So you see, we are winners even when bad things happen to us. Cause we choose to glorify God. Having a big house, lots of money and good health cannot be a win in God’s eyes. How then can we, define win as just that? How then can we expect only good things to happen to us ?

That is why, this is what I believe. In every circumstance, whether good or bad, I choose to bring glory to God. For I was created for that very purpose. And that’s a win.