My Lost Spanner

Fall season for the year is about to end. People started harvesting rice from their paddy fields.

When the harvest season is approaching, it is time for servicing of our old and very small, Rice Mill Plant. For machinery work a “>spanner always become handy.

For starters, a spanner is a tool with openings or jaws shaped for gripping or turning nut or bolt. It comes in different sizes and numbers as the nuts also comes in different sizes.

a spanner and a ring
A spanner: for reference

For some machinery, there is a particular number or sizes, which fit with most of the nuts. And we stored these tools in wooden tool box.

Let me tell you something that happened in my early teenage days:

One morning, my father told me to inspect our field, where we grow mustard for its leaves and seeds, located in the vicinity of the hills nearby a river. We started growing mustard plants in the onset of winter.

I readily agreed, as I know he would be busy with machinery work during the day. I pleaded that I will ride a bicycle to the farm. Since the road can be bumpy with no proper road, my father doesn’t seem to like the idea. It is for my safety as our bicycle can develop a snag during the ride.

I kept pleading hard. So, I was allowed to go, using our bicycle. I took one spanner with me so that if it develops a snag, I could easily mend it.

My bicycle ride was smooth that day, until I accidentally lost control and hit a rock on the way. My cycle really develop a snag around the headset adjoining the front forks. I tried to tighten it, and alas, my spanner’s gone!

Where is my spanner? My father would need it during the day! I keep searching up and down the road but unable to find it! I had been warned about this! I am sweating despite the morning cool breeze blowing gently.

With a heavy heart I went back home. “Whoa! You’re fast!” said my daddy. I tried to gather my composure and smile back. “I saw you taking a spanner with you. Now, please give it back I am going to need it,” continued my father.

Feeling guilt-ridden and helpless, “My friends borrowed from me as we met on our way,” I said. Father said nothing but he helped me get ready for my school. He assured that he would manage without it.

The whole day I had been thinking about that spanner. What if I didn’t find it back! What will I say to my father? The thought kept repeating the whole time. School was not fun today!

When I came back from school, I tried to not come face-to-face with my father. I felt very guilty. But just when I was about to enter our house, father called me!

“See, what our neighbor found on our way to the farm?” he said. And that’s my lost spanner.

He told me that our neighbor went to get some mustard leaves for soup after me. He found the spanner in a bush on his way. Further, there was some damage to the crop and I did not inspect the farm this morning.

The truth was out in open! It was expected. I am unable to hide it. I was proven guilty! What now?

“I am sorry. I was lying the whole time. And I am tired. Forgive me, please?” I could barely manage to utter these words with my choked voice. I was filled with tears.

Father held me in his arms tight. “You are forgiven. Don’t do it again,” he said rubbing my head gently. And we prayed to God for His forgiveness.

A moment had passed when I regained my composure. This time full of joy and gaiety – free from my guilt-ridden heart. I regret not having confessed early before school. It is hard to spent time with a heavy guilty mind. My day could have been so much fun at school, I said to myself.

I wonder how my father could have forgiven me so easily. To which he replied because I am his son!

It is not easy to live with guilt. It can be devastating. Guilt-free life I wanted to live. It is good to confessed and reconnected with God every now and then.

We have a father who always loved us: A father who art in heaven yet His abiding presence felt all over the earth!

Change: Yes We Can! But I Will Not!

‘Yes We Can! But I will not change!’ said one of my colleagues, smiling cheerily.

He is not adamant to change. ‘It is time to act, not shout slogans and/or chanting what we wanted,’ he continued. We used to joke around currents happenings that almost deafen our daily activities.

Yes, I am talking about those times Ex-POTUS Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign in 2008. In the end, whether he brings a change or not might differ from person to person, with different ideologies and likings.

Change, in other words, may mean to transform, to alter, to reformed, etc. in its verb form. It is used with hope for positive development or transformation when associated with state and non-state elements.

Human wants are unlimited, we say, which prompts us to like new things, brought-in better practices. Being in stagnant mode can be boring and sometimes led to corrupted minds. So, it is natural to want change once in a while, which history can tell us in great detail.

All changes do not necessarily led to positive changes. It can lead us backwards at times. But we have this innate desire to change, to experience new things at the least, in our minds. For most people, it could be the driving force in their life.

When we do not found the changes we desired, or when things around us seem so stagnant, it can adversely affect us. It can even lead to unwanted thoughts and self-analysis. Further, it can lead us to irritations or having less zeal for living.

Constant:
There is a search for constant to which we can measure or build around our thoughts and calculations. In Mathematical term, we used Pi (π) the Greek letter or 22/7 which is approximately equal to 3.14159. In the same manner, in Physics we have several constant(s). They are useful in many ways to determine values, distance, etc.

Here, it can be known that as much as we want change, there needs to be something which is constant-unchanging figure. When we don’t have that figure in our lives, the waves of life are hard to bear.

When a house is built, there needs to be a constant Cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20) around which the foundation is laid. The cornerstone becomes the important constant object to build a strong house.

For individuals, when we have constant value inside us, we can be safe amidst the stormy calamities. In the same manner, while embracing the much-needed change in a state or society there needs to be something constant to prevent things are not blown out of proportion.

Now, that constant value which did not change, never change, to the ends of the earth is Christ Jesus. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) Here we have a constant value for measuring our lives.

While on this earth, I am also one among many who wanted change in every possible way. But change is the only constant thing on this earth. A change without Christ would be disastrous, for the state, individual, and even for the Church.

Several reforms had taken place. Several Acts and Amendments had been passed, which are still far from perfection. It is for the benefit of most people or citizens, it is being said. That is the nature of the world. However, Jesus Christ never changes.

I am not urging you to resist change. No, make that change happen for humankind to be nearer to God. More changes are bound to happen but if it affects you, remember the unchanging Lord – always standing firm on His words.

Abiding Grace: The Joy of Sharing in Sufferings

When we suffered hardships in life, we wanted someone to talk to. That too, if we are able to talk. We wanted to pour out our sufferings by letting it out.

There is no joy to any types of suffering yet there can be joy to any types of suffering. Personally, I’d been through some hardships and suffering and from the people I met on the way. Let’s discuss some of them.

Not all people understand our inner feeling. Most people tend to hide within us. People are afraid to share their sufferings to any random person. We need someone trustworthy, understanding, and not repulsive in nature. Yet it is hard to find.

There are some who could simply react to your sufferings in one sentence – blunt and plain. For, they do not know what is burning inside someone’s life. However, it would be wise not to react or question someone suffering any pain, be it emotional, physical, or even in grief.

When we are in suffering mode, our mind roamed around leading us to happiness and sadness, inside our heart. This resulted in changes of mood frequently, which sometimes becomes unbearable for us and our surroundings.

It is a privilege, I could say, to meet several people I have known in their sufferings and talked with them. Some get comforted and find joy in their suffering as it will not lasted forever. There will be an end to sufferings although in different ways.

Years ago, my father was diagnosed with cancer. It left us in great distress. We do not know what is before us yet we expect something worst to happen as the suffering is life-threatening. That same year, we learned that I would be undergoing brain surgery due to my prolonged neurological disorder.

My father was done with his first round of Chemotherapy when I was operated upon. Unfortunately yet may be God willing, my father and I becomes suffering partner to whom we can deeply let out our sufferings. We talked about so many things. Let lay out some of them here:

About The End:

Death has been the subject of our sharing, sometimes. We reassured each other of what lies ahead. Being both of us enjoying the Salvation of Jesus Christ, we are determined to meet Him in the near future.

In the course of time, I’d brushed with death, which I gladly share with my father and my families. You can read in details here. There is far better place waiting for us to enjoy. No science and technology needed to proof or help but the blood of Christ, shed many many years ago, was sufficient to get us there.

I remember my father calling me over the phone one particular day. He told me, “I thought my end has been approaching. The time has come to be with Him. I can sense death calling. But I am not afraid to go. However, it is not time yet!” I could sense him smiling while telling me this. He was laughing although tired, during our conversation. It was a great relief to hear that! And we rejoice in praising the Lord for such comfort.

A year ago, his time has finally come. My dear father, see you in Heaven!

About Life: (The special Child)

We did talk about life a lot. There are several things we wanted to re-do or make-over but that’s not possible. So far, the sufferings we had are for our own life; very less for others around us. Yet if God blessed upon our sufferings, it can be useful. And we prayed for that too.

‘The special child of God,’ we called ourselves. Yes, there is nothing special about not being able to lead a normal life, at least for a while. I will tell you why we called ourselves special child of God.

In our suffering, we talked to God more often. We need Him every minutes and every hour to be with us. Whatever happens and whatever comes our way, if God is with us, the rest we worry not. We wanted to be in-touch with Him all the time.

More so, our heart becomes more open to Him ever than before. His words are more penetrating than usual. We are in fellowship with our Savior. He looked after every minute details of our life and He is always close by – within reach. To the suffering soul, He is always near.

Does God Really Care?

Jesus Christ’s prayer for His disciples and all believers in John 17:6-25, I remembered, we discussed in a lengthy conversation. We also get comforted by His prayer – the Prayer of the Lord to His Father. He is still praying for us in the same way or even more than before.

In this prayer, it is clear that Jesus Christ knew exactly what we are going through. He Himself lived in this world in our human form. The pain, sufferings, hardships, He knew it all. He’d been through it. He’d seen it all. And now that’s very comforting.

Although I wanted to discuss these verses in great detail, let me pick some in between here. These are the prayer Jesus Christ had for us. Please go through them:

“While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me.” (Verse 12a) He really did. He saved them from their physical sickness and even from the death.

“My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.” (Verses 15 and 16) Our sufferings are allowed but not to cause us harm beyond we can stand.

The One who doesn’t belong to this world had gone through sufferings. So, we must also endure some sufferings. But He will protect us from the evil one.

“I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” (Verse 26) This is exactly what He did. Made known to us and He will never let us suffer alone being Him within us.

We get comforted with this verses in the midst of our sufferings. When we can found the implications and express it out there can be joyous moments.

Becoming a Partner in Sufferings:

Everyone needs someone to talk to, to let out to someone trustworthy while in sufferings. For me, most unexpected, unfortunate or uncalled for, my father becomes my suffering partner. Being both of us suffering we can almost fully understand each other.

Sometimes full of hope, the other time with less hope – the mind of a suffering person can be unsteady. Anyone can fit in as a partner, someone who will listen to them. One does not need prior training. We have God-given quality to do so, if we are willing. You can be one of them.

For those sufferers who do not have someone to share their mind, Our God is there to listen. Not only listen, He act upon our cases too. Although His ways are beyond what men can understand. Not acting or doing something the way we desired does not mean that God is not working. He is always at work.

Lastly, I did not finish my race yet, but I write because I hope it might be useful.

To Timothy, Apostle Paul wrote, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7) This was written shortly before his (Paul’s) death.

Although, Apostle Paul’s sufferings were way beyond my sufferings, which I firmly belief. When I finished this world of suffering, I wanted to say the same with my head held high.

I am hurt!

“I am hurt!” said my five-year-old, stumbling on the ground. Anxious at what I do next.

He galloped past me. I had reminded him, many times, to look out, follow my footsteps, and go slow.
I waited for him to get up by himself, which I hope would make him tougher. I also wanted him to learn something from this unwanted situation.

“Do something, Papa? I am hurt, I am in pain,” he uttered repeatedly. And I know he is hurt.

I picked him up and rub his pain gently with my hands. The pain doesn’t go in haste. I have no healing power. But he got comforted, at least, emotionally.

In my helplessness, I rushed him home. We did not bring first aid box with us while jogging in the park. We did not expect this to happen either.

On our way home, I remember myself reiterating the need to learn from mistakes. Here, it would be my forewarning to look out the path and not to gallop unnecessarily. I also knew that it is something irritating in this kind of situation, when the accident already occurred.

This incident reminded me of my relationship with the Lord. There are many instances where I wanted the Lord, my God, to do something quick in my anxious moments. Being the Almighty Father, He is and was never helpless.

Many times, I feel like crying out loud, “My God, I am hurt! I am in pain.” And I already did it because I had cried out in my mind although I did not say it out loud.

Do something, please?
I am hoping you must have plan B, in this. But some of your plans are too hard to bear. Give me strength to carry on till I reached my life’s purpose. I remember pleading hard for His intervention.

Although the waiting and His ways can take time and uncomfortable, Our God –Jehovah has His purpose for all of it. If there is a lesson to be learned in being hurt, it is even more worthy. He has all the solutions for it.

Physical hurt, although not easy, was sometimes even better than being emotionally hurt. Specifically speaking for myself, most the hurts I’d suffered are mainly due to my fault, and I accepted it.

Joseph, one of the sons of Jacob, in the Bible had a rough path in his journey of life. Yet he remained faithful to the One who leaded him through and through. At last, Joseph seemed to have found employment in his long struggle.

However, Potiphar’s wife plays spoil sport in his life. Wrongly accused, he was sent to prison. Consider these few cases:

Just when we started to feel secured and settled, some of us lose our job, although due to different reasons. It can be really hurting at times. However, I believed God has better plan for us. It depends on us being able to submit to Him even in those situations.

Out of the blue, an ex-flame of either side of a couple showed up hurting the smooth family foundation. Sometimes, they ended up tearing apart the marriage. In this, we being hurt and our tears are not unseen by God because He has a purpose in every marriage. Stay closer with Him.

For now, someone tried to live responsibly when illness strike the determination. In the point of no return we stand yet it is hurting to stay in the same place. When you are too hurt to even give it up, God listen to our pain.

You wanted to move on saying you will be able yet you still get hurt. Even more hurt when you try to cope with losing some you have loved so much, Our God will pick you up and hold you in His arm.

When someone, most unexpected, let you down or downplay your existence, remember you are still more than valuable in someone’s eye. You might feel mistaken, unnecessary provoked: you get hurt and it’s not easy to overcome, remember Our Heavenly Father can feel with you.

Not an earthly father He is but someone who calmed the storms of life in His might too.

“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest,”
declares Lord Jesus Christ. (Matthew 11:28)

Christians also get hurt yet rest is assured. We are allowed to suffer, sometimes, inflicted by evildoers.

‘Believe in Christ, dear friend. You’re worries or you being hurt would get healed,’ some may say. For a true believer, it is true. But to reach a level as such one must be deeply close with Christ. There is no point in following Him if we wanted comfort in our life.

Pour out your heart and let your hurtfulness be known to Him, He will deal with it. In His ways, He will deal with it. We would be blessed if we can closely follow in His footstep.

It is painful to get hurt, physically and emotionally, but it can lead us to be a better person. Stronger in life and closer to Christ Jesus, we can become!

Playing It Our Own Way

“Papa, let’s play it my way”, demanded my five-year-old.

We are in the midst of playing manual games – Snakes and Ladders.

“Wait; let me think about it….” I replied. I almost gave in, to his demands.

Today he had struggled a lot. By analyzing the way we played for the last thirty minutes, several times the snakes on the board had troubled him. It is difficult to hide my compassion towards him.

“No, let’s follow the universal rule of playing this game. Keep trying!” I said.

He gave me a scorned look. But he followed my instructions; he knew I have the authority over him.

Snake and ladder for playing
Game board; Snakes and Ladders

For starters, Snakes and Ladder is a abidings-20” target=”_blank”>game played by rolling a dice, in different turn, by each player. If your counter lands at the bottom of a ladder, you climb up. And if your counter lands at the head of a snake, you slide down at the bottom of the snake. You keep rolling the dice till you reach the goal or home.

We bought the game for some reasons: One, to reduce his screen time. Two, to help him learn how to count. Three, to spent time together. It is our hope that it would resulted in us growing closer and a good time for teaching life’s values.

Let’s talk about two things:

(a) Power Play at Home;

Now, when he demanded to play his way, by altering the rules a bit, it is natural. We also did that in our childhood days and even protested with hue and cry.

In our innate being, we wanted to bend few things if it does not favored us. But our parents enforced upon us some basic rules, which are not very sweet at that time. And I am really happy they did that.

It is a very small matter. I could have simply let him bend some rules. However, tomorrow he might say, “Papa, let’s play my way again!” So, I used my God-given authority over him so that he might learn his lesson.

In today’s society, I have seen young people challenging authorities, blending the rules and creating havoc in the society. We are deprived of inner peace and harmony.

It is becoming of a trend to revolt yet all revolutions are not bad. Please don’t get me wrong.

At home, the sanctity of family hierarchy has been challenged. In many cases, it has been destroyed. Small things flourished into destruction of human lives.

(b)The Way to the Father;

In the Bible, Jesus Christ told His disciples, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6 NKJV)

We simply cannot bend or create our own way to go to the Father. There is only one way to get to the Father. No other way is given.

If we try to get to our Heavenly Father by our own way, we would perish. (John 3:16) God is beyond the challenge of human; He possessed the Highest Authority, forever and ever.

Do you think it would serve us good to depend on the wisdom of man; bending the way and playing it our own way?
In the game of life, let’s try to, at least, play it safe by following the ways of the Lord.

When failure looms large on our way of life, we are left with none to turn our ways to. This is the biggest threat to a life living on our own ways.

Within the Limited Pasture

We tend to herds of cattle in the green pastures nearby our village. When we are busy with other work, we tie them with a long rope so that they can roam around freely, but within a limited space.

They are used for ploughing our paddy fields where we grow rice during the monsoon season. It is our duty to feed them as much as we could. These herds of cattle are important assets to the farmer. They become a source of livelihood for some families.

herds of cattle in the field
Cattle grazing in the pasture

Being their importance emphasized, we took good care of them. However, after much of the preparation of soil for cultivation was done, we juggled our time for their care and other work.

We, usually, tie them in the fields. We control them. They cannot move beyond our permitted distance. We took them to different places where the grass is greener. Even in their limited space, we assured they get their needs.

Some Reasons for Limiting their Movement in the Pasture:

In short, they lack conscience which makes it necessary for them to be within our controlling limit.
When they are free to roam as much as they wanted, they’d damage the crops of other villagers. The damage need to be borne by their owners.

When they intruded, to farms and gardens being owned by other villagers, some of the folks tried to physically hurt the cattle. They cannot fully protect themselves. And, we don’t want that to happen.

Further, they can easily get lost into the vast landscape, either losing their way or being snatched by other folks to sell in the black market.

On some occasions, they would fall down in a pit or deep gorge. They needed to be rescued every now and then. We put them safe from the attacks of wild animals too.

To avoid these unwanted circumstances, we have limited their movement and put them under our control.

Living within Limited Space:

Although we gave them their needs and keep them safe, they don’t seem to enjoy all the time. It is in their innate being to get loosed and roam around the wild.

As wild as they could, they do not want us to be in control. They are unable to know the plans and care we had for them.

Within their limited space, they would, sometimes, rebel hurting to the owner physically. They can even protest in some situations.

Just imagine if I could care this much for our cattle being safe and fed, how much our Heavenly Father would care for us. We are His sons and daughters – through the blood of His own son.

There aren’t certain limitations prescribed – free to do whatever we like. To each person according to his performance and deeds, we will be rewarded on Judgment Day.

For the thinking mind, this verse from the Holy Bible contained all the possible Dos and Don’ts:

“You who are young, be happy while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.” (Ecclesiastes 11:9 NIV)

However, if you are among the un-believers of life after death, you don’t need to bother about it.

To Ponder Over:

God worked all things after the counsel of His own will: That we should be to the praise of His glory. (Read Ephesians 1:11-12)

Yes, God is in Control and under His limitations, we are safe.

Under His limitations, we can be happy. God cares more than any human ever could.

Do you agree?

Abiding Grace: Finding the Zeal for Living

It is my prerogative in His abiding grace; to always start my days with, at least one verse from, the Scripture. It renewed my hope, giving me the zeal of living, even in my worst circumstances.

There are times though, when I go by my own conveniences getting absorbed in other things. At times, my minds got usurped by what is happening around us. Too much focusing on the happening around us might distort our zeal of living.

Some of the Synonyms of zeal are: passion, enthusiasm, eagerness, fervor, love, and many more. In brief, zeal can be defined as the energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause.

In my free time, I would glance around the world through printed media. Hate-crimes are rampant in every corner of the world. The flamboyant lifestyles of some people adversely affect thousands of people, either directly or indirectly.

Distortion of facts, even in religious matter, to suit one’s living and in fulfilling their selfish ambitions becomes a threat to humankind. More and more people claimed to follow God by only befitting or letting down their faith.

Spreading false prophecy, distorting anything on the way; by way of playing the so-called diplomacy has been disheartening. Each day we are closer to the end of time. Especially to those who do not have hope of “life after death” or unmoved by the promise of life after death, they are in their prime.

In a world of distorted conscience, if I do not believe in the promised privilege about our eternal glory after death, it would be disturbing to spend each day. What really does the world has to offer? It is for you to think.

It might sound foolish to someone who enjoyed fitting in the systems of the world, as it is. I have been through some of the enjoyment but it’s not worth it. In the end, you wanted more. Either you ended up with guilty feeling or you get stuck.

Our body has been in its declining mode once it reached its peak. However, our mental strength in keeping our faith just started heading towards maturity. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, states, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:25)

The time, for my Savior to take me home, is worth waiting. Getting home, from a journey full of challenges and unfulfilled dreams – that’s the reason behind getting the zeal to live on. For someone who is really in Him, life is not burden but enjoyment.

Should you ask me how do I still have hope and have the zeal to go on? By now, I hope, you get it right.
Faith, without His abiding grace would get lost on the way. Yet even when there seems my faith have been lost, in His grace it gets renewed again and again.

Consider the word of the resurrected Christ in these verses, even before His Crucifixion:
“Because I live, you will live also” (John 14:19). Christ had also taught His disciples, His intention, for all of mankind: “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10)