A Jolt in the road……

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.....the jolt changes things!

                                                                        ….the jolt changes things!

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, rather we are spiritual beings having a human experience” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Most times, very significant events are captured by an exclamation of some sorts like the popular ‘Eureka!’ to its being described in some fancy words like ‘the aha! moment’, the aim is ultimately to try and share the clarity of vision received following such an event. For those who like penning down stuff, it’s that thought that takes such a grip on you that the ability to attend to some other task is almost non existent. Expressing it is like the release that you so crave, it rids you of the restlessness of your inner being….that desire to comprehend in some form, the sudden change of events that hitherto had seemed almost perfect – just like we planned????

As a growing kid in a large household complete with 5 siblings, the house helps, relatives, pets and the frequent house guest; it was mandatory to start off the day by attending to the chore that had been assigned to you by the matriarch. One of my earlier chores was cleaning up the master bedroom which also included one of my favourite tasks – making up the bed, and there was something almost soothing in transforming the neatly folded square of bed sheet into the bedcover that spanned the breadth and width of the mattress. Smoothening out every crease, making every tuck as neat as possible, maximum concentration and the quiteness, it was almost like the bed should never be slept in because it appeared so beautiful however that was what I’d have liked as against the very essence of the whole exercise which was to prepare the bed for the next sleep in. That was what the bed was made for, the exercise of dressing it up was just a process to get it to fulfil the purpose for which it was made. If it was not slept in, I guess there would be no need to make it up and then there would be no chore of that sort again. In retrospect, I suppose that task played a role in how I deal with neatness and almost being too particular about how stuff is arranged.

A couple of days ago, I was almost involved in the second rollover in my entire driving history and geez!it is indeed a miracle that it did not happen but it began just like the first one, there was that annoying jolt in an otherwise very smooth road for the last hundreds of miles. It is no testament to how far I’ve come on this journey, banned from driving 5years ago by medical experts due to dystonia but God has sometimes shoved me when I had almost given up on myself, and His grace is so evident in the very fact that I was even behind the wheels. Battling the hesitation from medical experts, turning a deaf ear to the concerns from some that it might be more of a con than a pro because of the stress involved but it’s something I’ve always loved doing (driving and road trips) and just being able to enjoy it again has been such a delight. The last few weeks have all but gone by in a blur and just when it seems like everything was going according to plan (slowly but surely)….. It happened again, I struck that jolt in the road, not because of medical fears but just something that could happen to just about anyone, I swerved to avoid an object! – need I mention how smooth the last hundred miles had been? Now it’s like my very worst fears might be realised, the road trips might come to an end and the prospect was so horrifying some minutes ago….

It’s so weird that in our world today, we are seemingly more comfortable with trusting human opinions or technology made by man when in all sincerity, these things that we are choosing to base our existence upon are creations of our hands and mind you, our knowledge is very limited. We readily turn to Google for the answer to that question that was just thrown at us, and without even stopping to consider, we are ready to run with the answer supplied by Google. Funny enough, there was no Google in high school and I barely relied on it in college but I did succeed (sure it might have made stuff easier but still ….). It is so strange how more often than not, we make the choice to run with what we consider our best plans and get so lost in it that it actually requires that jolt in the road to make us realise how feeble and limited our own attempts at making and living the best plans out are. We so quickly get so drawn into the smoothness of the road that we forget that life is in itself more of a journey than a destination, it is a series of stops and when we allow ourselves to get lost in the smoothness of some portion, we may very well miss the next exit and the entrance to the next and usually better phase of our lives.

As Christians, it is so easy to profess our faith when the going is smooth but guess what, faith is tested by trials and it is during those trials that we have to come to terms with our faith and profess it because we believe even when the situation says otherwise. One of my favourite Scriptural verse is encapsulated in the story of the three young Hebrew boys born and bred in captivity, under the rule of Babylon; what is most compelling is that they stared their own death in the face of the fiery furnace and yet their words whilst depicting the possibility of their own human fallibility strongly proclaimed their faith in God regardless of whether He came through on their behalf or not. It’s become more than just words to me on this journey, I choose to believe that my Creator has the best plans for me because I’m constantly reminded on a daily basis of my limitations (no thanks to Myoclonus). And yes it has taken yet this jolt to bring me around but I’m glad that I have come around to acknowledge that my well being is not defined by how smooth the road has been or will be, but rather it will always be defined by the gradual manifestation of His purpose in my life. I choose to enjoy the moments as they come and not flinch when it ends because as surely as day and night, seasons will begin and end.

Even as the winter winds howl, and the temperature plummets, I am reminded that this is yet another season that has begun on the ends of the previous one. And even though the prospects seem scary, I know that choosing to worship rather than worry will always put me in good stead. We have to make the painful admission that we do not know it all and our best plans pale in comparison to His purpose and plans for us. We have to acknowledge, sometimes painfully too, that He has got us even though it might look like its the isolation of the darkness again. I look back and I acknowledge how far I have come, despite the overwhelming hopelessness of some of those times and I know that the jolt is less of a deterrent but rather more of a prod in the right direction. Understand that you can only encourage yourself in Him when you are all by yourself, alone and sometimes frightened. You can only understand the wisdom of sorrowing times when you truly lose and are sorrowing, the process includes pain and pleasure but its up to you to choose on what you’d rather dwell on. I’ve gotten past the worst times, what else but better times await me ahead. There is no counsel save His that takes preeminence in my life and even though I stand alone in these times, I will stand tall and true because I know He is all things to me. Such comforting reassurance even as I face the uncertainty of tomorrow, I am truly glad for the privileges and opportunities – the opportunity to be differ ent, the opportunity to leave positive impact on the lives I’ve been blessed to encounter, the opportunity to hear people say how inspired they are and above all the opportunity to share my story and watch hope burst into flames in the life of those who had given up and those who almost had.

I can never know it all, that’s impossible but I know who does and with every passing breath (it’s quite visible these times), I choose to defer to His Will and plans because it has and will always be about Him. Nothing else matters more!

פרידה עד שנפגשנו שוב בתזמון שלו, וייתכן שאהבתו של אלוהים להיות אמיתית לך!

Adios! Continue reading

Crystal clear???…

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“You can learn a line from a win and a book from a defeat.” – Paul Brown

It is such a bright nice day today, definitely better than yesterday just because I am alive to witness it and choose to share every moment with as many as are opportuned to realize what a unique privilege it is. I know what it is because every day is a new one for me as I refuse to succumb to the selfish dictates of living with myoclonus. It is not just a new day, it is a new month, a new half to the year and yet again another awesome reason to live as though today were my last. I am truly grateful for how far I have come and suffice me to say that I have learned many books and still intend to make some of those books a reference for the many that come after me and those that I have the honor of their company albeit for a brief space of time.

One of the most niggling issues that still keep me up in constant bewilderment and consternation is how can we live a life of meaning without a crystal clear purpose and I dare to use the term a little bit loosely because clarity is a function of how polished the crystal is. Now what makes for a well polished crystal? A not very savory experience, having to be unearthed from deep within the bowels of the earth, scratched and not an immediate head turner if you sure do not know what you are looking at. And then there comes the painful process of scouring off the dirt and the abrasions of the polishing before you can then use the word crystal. Now for the clarity, it still remains a thing of choice because we can get all caught up in the beauty of the facets and fail to realize that the longer we hold it up to the light, the more beautiful a spectrum we behold. I have two of such crystals – LBJ and JOIV and each waking moment I am amazed at the kaleidoscope of ‘words cannot define’ beauty that I see, and that alone is enough motivation to pick my weary body out of bed and get a go on life.

We passed through Italy a couple of weekends ago and one of the striking things that endear me to the Italians is their seemingly insatiable love and zest for life – their cooking, their wines, their women, their language and their spirit. I remember how spell bound I was when I took that first spoon of risotto and I made a promise that for as long as I am blessed with life each day, there is so much beauty and love to share around and even when I am knocked down, I will look up and get the strength to pick myself up again. The question is not why am I not a champion but why have you chosen not to be? Because life’s stage is as expansive as it can get and regardless of who or where or what you are, there will be your moment on that stage. What you do with the allotted time is definitely up to you but for one who has been through some life changing events, I dare you not to look at the clock but make it a performance that will forever be remembered.

A few weeks ago, I lost one of my high school mates – Victor Igene and I can tell you that he was so full of life that till today many of us are still stunned not just by his demise or the irretrievable loss to his family but the manner with which he passed on and I know that given a brief peek into the future, he sure would have done the same thing again albeit with extra caution because he just wanted to bring some joy into someone else’s life. Now we are devastated at the manner of his demise but the truth is that to the best of my knowledge, he had the right intent and purpose. Whilst we contend with making his demise count in the battle to bring about a so much needed change in that part of the world, the onus lies on the rest of us to realize that we may never see it coming but come it surely will and yes there will be loads of sadness and grief but ultimately the question will be, what value did we have on those that we were privileged to encounter and leave behind. To all who read this, let it be known that Victor was an amazing person and will forever be missed.

“Generally speaking, I simply ASSUME that the best is always happening in my life; whether it is enough money,a comfortable and nurturing place to live, whatever. In this same line of thinking, I see myself protected and guided by a squadron of guardian angels…so I seem to KNOW when it’s time to let go of a situation because it;s not good for me, and when to embark on a path that is RIGHT.” -Chelle Thompson

One thing I know for a fact either asleep or awake is that we all know what is right and what is wrong but the challenge is how many of us are bold and courageous enough to embark on the path that is right and when we are able to initially summon that courage and then put it to work, I say that you are no longer a faceless, nameless entity globally but a champion in that little environment. Just like the crystal, get ready for the abrasions of life and the searing heat that will want to overwhelm just becaue you have identified your purpose and have chose to be different. However, I have seen the end a countless times and it never changes, there will only be one left standing on the battlefield, all bloodied up but victorious and it is gonna be YOU. Now we may choose to hide behind the innumerable facades (work, peers, fame, career, past failures etc) that are so available in life but are you going to make that choice to be different. Dig down into the earth that you are created of and pull out that purpose that is laying and waiting to be a thing of beauty. Do not be fazed by the band wagon that has become so monstrous and seemingly the only thing in today’s society and dare to be you.

You cannot make a niche for yourself on everybody’s bandwagon but remember that life is not a bandwagon, it a stage, it is an opportunity, it is your journey and path. Make those seconds count with every life taking breath that you use because one day it is not going to be there and you will have either prepared yourself for the next phase or be confined to an eternity of regrets. It is now we make our choice, not tomorrow, definitely not yesterday but now and with my father’s voice so clearly ringing in my ears, I hear him repeating these words – do not put off what you can today for tomorrow because today is the PRESENT; a gift. Let that crystal in you shine forth and allow people the experience of seeing the kaleidoscope of colors that will leave a positive impact on their lives forever.

“For me the greatest beauty always lies in the greatest clarity.” – Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

lמסתדר טוב עד שניפגש שוב בזמן שלו

Adios!

 
 

 

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