IS THE SEED OF REBELLION GERMINATING DEEP WITHIN ME?

Rebellion according to Wikipedia is – “A rebellion originates from a sentiment of indignation and disapproval of a situation and then manifests itself by the refusal to submit or to obey the authority responsible for this situation.”

Rebellion can be individual or collective, peaceful or violent, for a good cause or bad as well. But usually, the word rebellion termed as negative and bad which we are going to discuss about this week.

When God created this world and created human being, He taught the world either directly or through the nature that this universe has a chain of command which we human can’t just breach it or go against it. The consequence of which is deadly when we go against it. We humans may be the crown of His creation, but we are not the gods of it even though we try to play ‘god’ like the kids play teacher-teacher or mommy-mommy game. When we go against God’s direct instruction and try to substitute it with our own ideas then we rebel.

Let me give you an example to make things clear…

In our office, our boss called for a meeting and delegated the responsibilities to all for an upcoming one-day event. The event was on a Sunday and one of the colleagues said, “Sir, I won’t be coming as I have some other work”. We all laughed as we knew how my boss will react. He replied, “Have I given you any option to decide? It is an official event and if you won’t be partaking it then you may leave the work”. And we all agreed to him when he said that. The hesitating colleague had nothing to say afterwards but to take up responsibility which was assigned to him.

Was he happy with the boss? Yes, definitely, because he understood his fault of rebelling against his boss’s decision.

Did he enjoy the event on that Sunday? Yes, wholeheartedly, because he acknowledged the chain of command laid down in an office set up, instead of opposing it any further.

Rebellion always begins in the heart. And in the beginning, it is never violent or active that can be seen, but it remains unexpressed. When the fire smolders, it spreads everywhere to create havoc.

Children and teenagers’ rebel against their parents and teachers which has smaller effects on everyone’s life connected to them. Sometimes, this small sparks of rebellion of college students were flared by the politicians to cause devastation.

“This is my life; I want to live it as I want”

“I can marry anyone as I wish”

“I don’t care what others think”

“It is about my rights”

“I want it this way”

“Why should I listen to him”

All the above are the statements which depict nothing but pride and rebellion in a human heart which is the first sin we commit in our hearts against our parents, teachers, elders, superiors, authorities and against the author of this life, GOD. Our sinful natures do not allow us to bend down and bow to the authority of another or God. We want to be our own bosses, and that rebellion in the human heart is the root of all sin.

It is true that we have freedom to choose according to our own wishes. But can we allow full liberty to someone who has bad temper, who is on the verge of destroying self and all around him? No, right? Then how can we cry about certain prohibitions as curbing our rights? Isn’t that cry, a cry of rebellion or trespassing?

“Rebellion is trespassing”
(Image Credit: Google Inc.)

Every human heart has the seed of rebellion germinating deep within. So I can’t justify that by saying, “I am not revolting“. My heart knows, I am already revolting against something deep within myself. But remember, whenever it happens, we need to let it pass through a scanner before working on it or trying to fan it further. A scanner might be your best friend who is wiser than you, an elder who is more experienced than you, your teacher who understands the right and wrong better than you… Or look to God by just saying a few words of prayer like this – “Oh true God! Help me to understand whether my desire is right or wrong… Give me the right direction and let me know how to go about it”. Trust me, I have been doing this for last 44 years in my life and was never disappointed even though sometimes things are bleak and dark for me. Though I refer, ‘the Bible’ for the clarity of my mind and conscience.

So, friends! I know it is a preachy article, but not a lie. Do not flare up the flames of rebellion in your heart. Pray for guidance.

Stay Blessed!

WHAT HAVE I DONE ABOUT SOCIAL JUSTICE IN A PERSONAL LEVEL?

It took around 6 months for me to learn Bengali. As I slowly tried to pick up few words, I was amazed to hear them using Onyay (injustice) for a wrong doing. For example, to say – “I have wronged you, please forgive me” they say, “I have done injustice, please forgive me”. And I quite admired the use of the word injustice in the place of wrong doing. Wrong doing sounds casual whereas the word injustice explains the gravity of the matter.

My point here by saying this is, not exercising justice or doing injustice is a character deeply rooted within us because of our sinful nature. God is a God of Justice and He always cares for the poor and needy. He is always keen and interested in human beings needing social justice. But unfortunately, we human, on the contrary being bestowed with various responsibilities to do justice, fail to do so. Because of our fallen nature and selfishness, we struggle to do justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society.

All through the week my co-writers have raised issues concerning social justice by giving so many examples and narrating different case studies of social injustice that has been taking place in our country and abroad. But I want to think differently. I want to take up the responsibility on myself. I want to ask myself, whether I have looked into the matter of social justice when I was given an opportunity? What have I done to bring social justice or justice in the life of a particular person?

Blaming the government and the political leaders is very easy. Going in a procession protesting against a law or injustice is easier. But have I shown mercy to the person desperately needing my mercy at a particular time? Or have I thought that this is mine, my family needs this, I can’t give it to someone else, outsider? Trust me, by doing so, I blocked the process of distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society, in the life of a person.

When I exercise justice in my daily life, it will spread to my family members, then my community, then it will spread to the country at large. Let me give you an example… Let’s think about the pre-independence era when all the Indians were under the British rule, losing all our rights. If the freedom fighters would not have come forward in the fear of being beaten and killed then we would not have seen independence today and would not have celebrated 71st Republic day this year on 26th January 2020, which is tomorrow. If they would not have selflessly stood against the social injustice in their personal lives, they could not have spread the fire of social justice across the country.

If I am unable to bring justice in my family then how can I expect it in the bigger sphere, like in the society or country?

In closing, I want to quote two scripture portion where we are commanded to do justice…

Thus says the Lord of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.

Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.

If we just follow this in our daily life we will surely see justice happening all around.

Stay Blessed!

HOW NOT TO DWELL IN YOUR MESS

Getting bogged down by life’s problems and situations and remaining inattentive towards the people around us is not a new thing for us. I won’t shy away to confess that I was too bogged down with my own problems last year and was finding it very difficult to think out of the box, trying to get out of the mess with many silly attempts.

I see a very self-centered and self-submerged ME, when I looked back into 2019, trying to introspect about myself. It is not at all a great state or condition for a human to stay within his or her shell after being created to have a multi-dimensional relationships with the people around him or her and with the God, Almighty.

Eventually, I lost skills in many things. I became monotonous. My messages and encouragements didn’t have much sparks as I usually have. My motivations seem ordinary and were not well conveyed ones. My decisions were not very concrete and shaky. I struggled with my time and deadlines. I failed to keep in touch with my own relatives and friends. Even I struggled to write meaningful articles and manage Candles Online.

In Cuttack, during my last vacation when I was reflecting on everything that I went through the year, I found where I went wrong.

I DWELT IN THE MESS!

Dwelling in the mess or negative situations around us instead of getting over it becomes a problem when we don’t handle it wisely and that tend to make us depressed, sad…letting us be blind towards the people around us and their needs.

We will come back to this part later… Let me divert your focus to something else…

Have a look at this image below:

This is how we were created by God – to have relationship with our fellow human beings as well as with our creator God.

I find it funny when some try to live all by themselves. I know, there are some who were the victims in the hands of situations and life. That’s a different matter. I have seen such people who keep a better connection with their fellow human beings than those who are crowded by people around them, strangely!

The best way to connect with the people and understand their needs is to get out of our shell first and the best way to get out of our shell is to focus on the needs of others. These two actions are interlinked and have to be carried out together.

I have experienced a fact about my mind. When I look into the problems of others I tend to forget my own for a moment. And the more, I make a habit of looking into the problems of people around me, the more it becomes a habit of thinking about others than dwelling in my own mess.

If I have to list out a few ways how I can be a help for others then I would list what I really do and want to do more often considering my physical limitations:

  1. I do pray but I will pray more strategically by listing down the names of people and their needs.
  2. I will ping people more often instead of expecting them to ping me first. Who knows, someone might need a warm ping from me desperately.
  3. I will visit people more often those who need a little company, especially old people. They are the most neglected and most loneliest people on this globe.
  4. I will try to listen more than talk. That way I might be helping more people. 🙂
  5. I will be more funny and humorous to bring that smile which people crave to display on their faces.

There are many other things that I really want to do though I am still unable to fulfill them in my life. I can only list them when I really make them happen in my life. And I pray to let it happen by His grace so that I don’t dwell in my mess but walk out of it.

I will tell you one thing, all these actions can be easily and genuinely executed only when we are well connected vertically – human to God. This is the base, if you are forgetting it. And it is tried and tested, if you think I am just blabbering weird theories in front of you.

Friends! The Bible says, “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” This is a fresh year. We still are in a very festive and celebration mood, let’s try out and give it kick-start and divert our minds from our own selves to the people who are in desperate need of our care and support.

Stay Blessed!

WHY ACKNOWLEDGING GOD IS SO DIFFICULT?

The knowledge we gather becomes the barrier between us and our Creator. It is only a childlike simple heart can accept anything and everything. When we are childlike, it becomes easier for us to accept and acknowledge God but when we keep a complicated and complex mind then we struggle to accept Him and suffer ultimately.

Don’t we run to Him when we are in trouble? Don’t we scream and cry out to Him when we suffer? Don’t we jump around here and there seeking some divine help when we are sick? Then why is it so difficult for us to accept Him in our day to day life, when we are happy and kicking?

I have heard from even my own family members that, “Let’s be practical“, when I ask them to pray, wait and seek His guidance. I give my example even… Yet, they get stuck to their practicality leaving a God, who is also the creator of this, what we call – ‘A Practical Life‘.

Friends! Be assured, “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

Don’t hesitate to acknowledge His presence in your life today…

Stay Blessed!

USE WORDS MORE, THEY ARE BENEFICIAL TO PEOPLE

On the 1st January 2020, I sent a poster that I had made to wish all the people by sending them to everyone I know and are close to me. But I made sure, I add few words to the image I send. The exchange of images and wishes started to flow from both sides. And I received an image of her family with “Happy New Year 2020” written on it as soon as I send my wishes to her.

My reaction to her was : “Words are less… We try to convey our messages through visual imageries more, these days.” She confirmed me by sending two more emojis instead of words again. 

It strike me as I was observing this last Christmas and New Year day that how we are so comfortable and fine with just sending images, either created by us or forwarded ones without even caring whether the person is benefited by it or not. 

I regret that I haven’t written anything about anyone recently as I usually do on their birthdays. I remember whenever I do such things for any one of my sisters or brothers, others keep poking me for writing something for them as well… or say, “Ah…when my birthday will come and Bhai (brother) will write for me as well“.  My Badepapa (My father’s elder brother) used to write such notes for people. I had kept a letter that he had once written. I regret that I had lost it somewhere. I still wish I could find it back to treasure it forever. Most of us have that habit of treasuring those letters. Isn’t it? 

Words do have such values and effects on our minds that elevate our spirit when we needed it the most than these forwarded images. No, I am not criticizing or against those formatted images. I did it myself as well. But it has lesser effects on us than a few words of comfort, consolation, encouragement and so on that are hidden behind a wish. The words we type out or speak have powers, they can kill or heal others. 

In closing, I would like to quote a couple of Bible verses which read as under:

The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.”

Words satisfy the soul as food satisfies the stomach; the right words on a person’s lips bring satisfaction.”

I am good at framing words and I decided to use my this skill more and more for the benefit of others. 

How about you? 

Keep thinking as you keep celebrating the freshness of 2020 till the end of January. 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Stay Blessed!

MEMORIES TO PRAISE GOD AND INTROSPECTION

Memories are like flowers which bloom time to time and probably never wither but fade away with the passing of time. Sometimes, we keep them as garlands or try to throw them in a dustbin though we fail to erase them completely.

I always keep memories close to my heart whether it is a bad one or a good one. Good and joyous memories always make me feel God’s grace in my life. Bad and difficult memories make me feel I am human, weak yet, God’s strength remains with me in every situation. So, let me take you back to my memory lane of Twenty-Nineteen.

It was a most painful year of my life. If I look back, my heart pains a lot and I just wonder if I could have gone back a few years back then I would have loved to change many things in my life so that 2019 would have been a better year for me. But as I said before, I take this year as the year of expecting God’s strength to be with me. You might ask me what are my pains, probably those who know me closely, they know what were my pains.

I also lost three of my very close friends. They didn’t die. They are very much alive. But they simply just left me uninformed. And the problem is, I can’t contact them even if I have two of their contact numbers. I have no idea about the third one.

Actually, some of our most painful memories center on our failures to make a wise decision or disobedience to His commands or lack of trust on His character while the most all the good things that we can remember are because of our obedience or the wise decisions that always bring success.

I can quote a Bible Verse in this regard:

The Lord commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the Lord our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today.

I really need to check on my life and where I falter to obey Him.

In the year 2019, I have a few satisfying moments for which I want to praise my God. As my Dost Aditi mentioned in her article that: “God has sent me to do better things in life. And I think I have found my calling. No, I am not heading to Himalayas and meditating my whole life but I will be right here, amidst all of you and serve the mankind that I am supposed to.” And I would like to say that, I could serve many people in this year. Moreover, it was God’s purpose in my life that I would be poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice.

In closing, I can say, I take the opportunity to praise my God for all the beautiful memories that He had granted me and I learned many things from the bad memories by introspecting on my follies this year in 2019.

Stay Blessed!

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE WILD FLOWERS AND THE FLOWERS IN A GARDEN

A few years back, one of my very close friends revealed that she used to like me a lot and even have feelings for me presently (the time she revealed her feelings). But it was also true that she was happily married to her husband for years together. She could reveal her heart because she was clean in her heart and confirmed her dedication and love for her husband. But she went on to ask me a question that made me ponder on it, seeking an answer to that question.

“Why God gives that feeling of love in our hearts for someone very special but doesn’t give the scope to culminate it?”

And I quite relate to that question as I have come across many beautiful relationships where I’ve felt to be drifting away though I have managed myself to get back to be on the track. But this question still slithers in my mind and heart even today without having a proper answer to it. In fact, whenever I try to search a proper answer to that question it lets my mind raises more questions in my mind:

 Are connections bad? Probably, I will outnumber everyone in having connections with so many…

Is it better to avoid making friends? I have never learnt avoiding or ignoring any human who interests me or who extends a hand towards me.

Are emotions supposed to be suppressed? I am so outright honest with my feelings that I haven’t learnt the skills to suppress my feelings at all.

Is it good, pretending everything to be alright? Not at all, I really can’t pretend and be alright.

And the last question is a deadly one…

Is drawing a line necessary? Absolutely!

Relationships are so beautiful that we build with people irrespective of their genders. But ironically, it is absolutely necessary for us to draw a line when we are supposed to. I would like to confess, sometimes I hate to draw a line with someone I love so much. But I just force myself to do so… 😦

Why is it necessary? Why I do not have the scope or freedom to express my love for just anyone irrespective of their statuses (of whatever kind)? WHY???

I will give you a mental picture which might help you to understand why is it necessary to draw a line in relationships…

When we take a walk in the woods, or roads, or a field we find many beautiful flowers across the path blooming and smiling at us. They grow erratically with freedom. They look good, no doubt about it but they succumb to their end without proper care and attention because they are stray, far from a caretaker. Usually, those who walk across them, pluck them or uproot them from the source of their life and nourishment.

Whereas, if we look at the flowers in a garden, they bloom with pride and were well taken care of by someone who is attentive to them, not necessarily an able gardener or farmer.

Relationships that we make are like those beautiful flowers blooming with different colours and beauty. But they all look beautiful, protected and safe within a boundary drawn with godly standards.

The Bible says,

Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.”

And a person with self-control draws a line and creates a beautiful garden.

How about bringing those wild flowers into the garden within a boundary? They will look beautiful within those lines as well.

Actually, our fallen nature makes things complicated. And God, probably doesn’t allow us to be disorderly and stray because He knows, the more we are allowed, the more perverse we will be in our behaviour and life. Why can’t we be of a clean mind, and keep beautiful friendships all around?

Friends! Let’s enjoy the relationships that we make within a permissive line drawn for the safety and lasting of those relationships.

  Stay Blessed!