Hoping; truth and Realism……..

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hope

Hope unconquerable.

Phew! Without so much of a fuss on the part of anyone, we are already in the third month of the year 2015. Surprisingly the number 3, across several divides and discourse, has some bit of symbolism to it and for me, it is many things – Divine sovereignty, my birth month, my position in the order of siblings, and for a while it was my favorite number. Why? I just loved it or better put, I chose to love it however that would be the subject of another write up hopefully. Borrowing the thoughts of Vera Nazarian; “Love is made up of three unconditional properties in equal measure:
1. Acceptance
2. Understanding
3. Appreciation
Remove any one of the three and the triangle falls apart. Which, by the way, is something highly inadvisable. Think about it — do you really want to live in a world of only two dimensions? So, for the love of a triangle, please keep love whole.” 

It has been over 40 days since I put thoughts to word, my sincere apologies to those I have left hanging. The stark truth is we are each made to complement one another and how dreadful it would be if I did not hope and believe that someone somewhere was taking the time to read my thoughts. To you, I say a gracious thank you and pray that your aspirations would dwarf your immediate limitations, if any exist because I speak from the perspective of one who has seen his immediate limitations grow in leaps and bounds. In admitting that, does that deprive me of hope or rob me of the knowledge of truth? Definitely not, I know that I have been created for the long haul and properly equipped at such and perchance when those dark days loom, I also have realized that the resources from which I draw on daily are not and can never be measured by man. I have had everything taken away from me, not by choice in whatever dimension, but I stand today, so much better than I have ever been.

A couple of Sundays ago, I was blessed to be ministered to by the One World Children’s Choir and even as I looked upon the huge smiles and the pure love emanating from their actions – something dark and sinister struggled to shake me off my perch. With a surge of emotions, I recalled how easy it is to feel alone and hopeless but I quickly reminded myself with the truth that there can be no life without hope. How else can anyone begin to explain the chain of events that have uniquely characterized our individual paths through life? What are the indices that reveal the superiority of your life when compared to the next face beside you? As each of the kids went through the routines, obviously practiced but yet seemingly original, I realized that the life we live can and will only be evaluated by the choices we make.

Unknowingly, there is a growing curiosity about the difference between truth and fact. Some school of thought say that truth is subjective while fact is not, others disagree on the grounds that they mean the same thing. I could go on and on however I just want to share my thoughts especially for one who has witnessed both extremes in almost every aspect of life. I opine that both are different – each differentiated by its reference base. For me, truth is simply truth; it is what the Sovereign God says and be you from the North pole or the South pole, there is no higher authority than God. For me, the test is what can you appropriately compare truth with. What people referred to as facts centuries ago have either been slightly amended or completely thrashed however I choose to rely on truth as the only virtue that has the inherent potential and capacity of completely liberating you. Is the truth real? Yes it is. Is it tangible? Now that is bound to be contextual…..

I was privileged to celebrate a new year a couple of days ago, and amidst the outpouring of well wishes, prayers, gifts etc I reminded myself that I could never have made it this far without hope in the truth despite the reality of the situation. it is that hope that births the dreams and aspirations that guide me through the turbulent waters of life. And just like the blinking light atop the light tower, I am guided inexorably by what I have chosen to accept and believe. Regardless of the incessantly changing tides of life, this truth stands out – I am who God says I am and whether I choose to believe it or not, the propensity for hurt is overwhelmingly stacked on the latter. We are blessed, whether we believe it or not yet again, for the sole purpose of blessing others and how ironic would it be for anybody to say that there is nothing each day to be thankful for. This truth trounces every religion and thought process. The follow up question then would be, if we admit that there is something to be thankful for each day then why can we not share that gratitude with someone else. Give and take, Yin and Yang, Life and Death – to everything there is a beginning and an end, an action and reaction, a positive and negative…..

Without us beginning, there would be no end, and then throw in a little high school physics and we might just get stuck in the inevitability of never being able to garner all knowledge. What we do with the little that we have or are given is what determines whether the subject of hope is a reality in itself. We can choose to make our lives as real as possible by giving hope to someone else, because we are, simply because someone gave. We receive only because someone gave. Now I have since acknowledged that riches are not synonymous with happiness, real contentment and joy can only be achieved when we fulfill. Fulfill what? Fulfill that for which you were made, I tell myself every moment that for goodness, kindness etc, it is better late than never. To forgive is divine, but it is humanly to err. To begin again always seems more difficult but do a 360 degree evaluation and you will agree that there must always be a start. For me, each new day is an opportunity to be the hope that someone else so desperately craves and for as long as there is breath in this fragile body, I choose to believe that “When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” – Paulo Coelho

I must begin with myself each new day and whether twilight catches me still unfinished, I know that tomorrow will begin with me being better than where I was yesterday.

Remember, the quality of whatever we aspire for or dream of can only be made manifest in the quality of what we give others. We are, because someone gave and regardless of how despondent the circumstances are demanding of you – you still get to choose. Make it count!

עד שנפגש שוב , אני נפרדתי ממךלשלוםוטוב ביותר שאתה לבד ראוי .

Adios!

Plunging Deep…..

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With a level 3 heat wave warning already being broadcast, the very first thought that crosses your mind as you step out into the streets is the alluring image of yourself in gaily coloured swim trunks, abs defined, plunging into a  cool swimming pool (preferably isolated for people like us) with a poolside bar that serves chilled daiquiris with the umbrella thingy and a rainbow straw or a chilled tumbler of well prepared chapman with bitters and then with the harsh brightness of the wonderful sun, suddenly you realise that the mind really can play tricks on you. Watching people of all sizes and shapes, many in very indecent apparels (all in the guise of getting a tan), you can only but appreciate the beauty of the seasons. For with every season, there is a beginning and an end, and the teeny weeny differentiator for us as individuals is choosing to pull out mid season or holding on till the end of the season and the commencement of a better one.

I have not been able to muster the funds for my standing air conditioning unit so I’ve chosen to utilise my little halogen fan and basically ride out the season (save myself a couple of quid especially as I am seeing my Pain Specialist on Friday and my spine popping Russian this week too). Admittedly, I have to admit that the last few days have been so filled up with appointments that at the end of the day, being passed through a huge milling machine is kinda like an understatement and when the questions come, I can only respond that certain things I just have to do myself even at my own toddly pace. As for the strength, you know as I do, I have run out of mee own strength reserves but thankfully with an upwards glance, I acknowledge that there is an inexhaustible supply which I gladly choose to exploit.

Now again, just as one of the many perks of being in this medically challenging period, I was privileged to listen to one of the most unique couples in this part of the world recount their tales of utilizing their time and God-given potentials to change the world one person at at time and it especially came on the heels of a video clip, that my solicitor and friend sent me of the shameless display of thuggery and sheer insanity in one of the ‘hallowed’ chambers of parliament in one of the states of the self acclaimed sleeping giant of Africa and it is in indeed no wonder that things have gotten this bad and obviously still will because I was also opportune to watch the debate between Tony and Ed which was almost like a game of who can provoke the loudest laughs in the chambers. Clearly a huge difference between both scenes but the message is clear that whilst we choose to do nothing, let us loudly remember the words of Helen Keller “Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all — the apathy of human beings.”

Aboard the District Line, we were regaled by a pair of jovial fellows with a guitar and a violin, as they chose to play and make that little moment something worth remembering and in response to my question, one of them remarked ‘we just do it for fun’ and I add life is too short to spend all the time on the dive board awaiting the perfect moment to dive in. I say, just plunge in and get swimming! For a huge number of us, we choose to spend more time on the sidelines being very vociferous even to the extent of being obnoxiously annoying when all that is needed is just for you to hold your breath and plunge in. Get those energetic words into action, life is way too short to spend it all on the bylines, sending out video clips on youtube and doing absolutely nothing else is abysmal. Like I always say, begin with that one. You may not know the decision makers for your borough but you do know your next door neighbour who has tons of decisions to make and whether we want to admit it or not, those decisions can very well alter your own life. Remember the story of the cow who was so indifferent when the mouse came complaining about the trap the farmer was setting, well life is cyclical and so opt now to do something about that issue that seems so unrelated to you.

Lyndon Bowring (CEO, C.A.R.E) shared one of the most memorable moments of his life, not from his offices across Westminster, not within the rooms of 10 Downing Street but in the steps of the Oxford Station (if I recollect clearly). Just as I advice everyone I come in contact with, do not ask ‘you doing alright’ just because everyone else says it but ask it with sincerity and expect an answer because you do care. So Lyndon came across a laddie vending the Evening Standard and asked him the question………and waited for the response. Wait for it……the laddie with a grimace revealed that he was so sorely pressed that he needed to dash across the street and avail himself of the restroom and was only hoping for someone who would be kind enough to cover his post for a couple of minutes (nobody is really that fast…lol!). Now there was Lyndon, briefcase in hand confronted with a need and with a second to choose, he offered to help. Within seconds, briefcase plunked down by his side, there was Lyndon (not just any person) vending the Evening Standard whilst the laddie hurried off to do his business. In Lyndon’s words, those moments remain one of his most memorable moments and permit me to say that those very moments are so hurriedly passed by when they constitute memorable in every letter of the word. Yeah, he sold off quite a few and was just getting into it when the moment passed but he plunged in and got refreshed and continued with a lesson learnt.

It is not always behind the doors of Parliament that lives are influenced, yes, decisions concerning all of us are made there but for many of us who are awaiting that moment when we can strut through the front doors of 10 Downing Street to the awaiting paparazzi, every day presents a unique moment to plunge into the life of someone and make a difference. I have this to say to the many professed Christians “Christians have no business thinking that the good life consists mainly in not doing bad things. We have no business thinking that to do evil in this world you have to be a Bengal tiger, when, in fact, it is enough to be a tame tabby—a nice person but not a good one. In short, Pentecost makes it clear that nothing is so fatal to Christianity as indifference. ” -W.S Coffin Jnr

We are regaled every waking moment with delightful opportunities to plunge in and get refreshed by doing just lil bits of kindness and good to just one person, but alas many of us choose to watch at the sidelines forgetting that life is a moving train and you definitely cannot be motionless on a moving train. With a series of severe back flares yesterday under the keen eyes and hands of JOIV, I still had to answer the call of my good friend who just returned again from the hospital for the second double bypass surgery in less than three months. And even as we sat chatting, I chose to make it memorable by reminding him that we are all alive for a purpose and in moments like these, when we awaken after a life threatening medical challenge, the onus lies on us to make better use of the days we now have. It does not have to be when you are incapable of speech and bereft of movement that we are compelled to make that choice, we can choose to plunge in now. I may be incapable of walking the miles or giving lengthy encouraging speeches however I have chosen not to be trampled underfoot by this disorder.

I choose to live, and not just live but live refreshingly through the lives of the very many fascinating individuals I come across. Like Teddy, with severe Down’s syndrome, who was joyously showing off his brand new wristwatch to as many as he came across. As I watched with dismay, the looks of annoyance flashing across the many faces he shared the moment with, when it was my turn – I delightfully exclaimed his was nice but mine was even nicer and just that response evoked a gentlemanly kiss on the back of my hand as he and his fellow mentally retarded peers were headed away. Now that made me beam indeed because “It seems to me that no matter what religion you subscribe to, acts of kindness are the stepping-stones to making the world a better place–because we become better people in it.”
― Jodi Picoult.

Let us take that plunge today, and I am all ears when it is time to share how refreshing an experience it was.

And remember………………we were made to live for His pleasure and not just exist.

 פרידהעדשנפגששובחבריםיקרים ….

Adios!

An Ode in May

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Twas a bleak Thursday surrounding your arrival

Your emergence shrouded in the secrecy that has formed you

The first of a quartet, to the world a joy and beauty to behold

But indeed, a tare sown among the wheat

Let them grow altogether so as not to harm the wheat

The Master had proclaimed, none can trifle with that

 

With a gilt edged environment, your skills you honed

In the ivory towers guarded by the lions, you found your true world

Like a chameleon, blending with kith and kin

But with the fury of the adder, you struck with venom in your tail

Like Moses, shipped out for a better future

But to your own destruction, you chose to sail

 

With the perfume of cool waters to mask your stench

You flitted thru, a swathe of destruction in your wake

Taking both the learned and the learners as captives

A beguiling smile; your trademark. Your words like d peals of a broken bell

To many of your victims, they hearkened to their death with the peals

In a city smeared by coal, your chambers were far reaching

Alas a juvenile you were tagged but in error they tagged

 

As a ship manned by pirates, with all but stole goods

In your wake, many were drawn. What a charming vessel they said

And yet your very bowels bore the stench of death

Foisted off as quickly as possible, to rid themselves of more pain

Your harbour masters, dreaded your impending disaster

Your lying words spun like a web, strung along by the masts from South Africa

Into the ears of many, they went.  Captives and your spoils of war for your gloating

 

Thrust into a union, your harbour masters hastened to do

An impending disaster waiting to happen

Oh that the warnings of the star were but heeded, a word spoken in truth

“Doth thou think you know her? A spinning cork, she stands for nothing!”

The very seed nursed in you for a decade less one, thou hath despised

A gift and an inheritance from on High, thou hath smeared withbile and forsook

Back to the streets, you went. Charming to many, beguiling to all

There was nothing to offer, a pig with golden rings in its snout

But to the muck, you chose to return. At home with the filth, engorged with the spill of strange men

 

‘Queen of the streets’ would do you injustice for in secrecy you wore your crown

Words as poison dripping from your lips, tainting every ear that u whispered into

4score&7 was your filthy score, an ARVist you have become

Twice painting your easel of life at the stroke of 7, undeterred in your exploits

Hounded by the good, you hurled filth at them all.

You declared that the waters of adultery was your resting place, and so be it

An end in itself as declared by you, no-one can save you. No one will

You have made your bed of thorns, and lay on it you shall

On scented sheets, strange men shall conquer you till there’s nothing left

 

Yours is a tale of woe, of a choice born

Thou hath contendeth with Him who none contends with

Salvation yet He offers you, but your harbour master consoles you

Naming Saint Maria as your patron saint, an amusing concept indeed

Your walls shall fall, and the stench behind them in full glare revealed

There’s nothing left for you, queen of the streets

And like Jezebel, the dogs await you below.