A Broken Bicycle

A Broken Bicycle with chain
A Broken Bicycle

Sam, a young boy, was hustling down his old bicycle in the streets.  As usual, there were people queuing in the vicinity of a dented building.  He was trying to run pass the crowd when suddenly the cycling chain broke into two pieces.

Many times I told my father to get me a new one’, he murmured angrily to himself, as he stood there helpless for a while.

Another boy Jim, who was standing in a long queue nearby, was watching the boy.  He saw what was happening.  More so, he was envious of the boy’s bicycle.  As the boy was cursing, he knew that the boy had a father too.

‘Oh! I wish I had a daddy too’ he sighed heavily.  Jim was trying to get shelter for the night for him and his sick mother.  They are force out of their rented room few months ago.  Jim was happy they got a shelter for the night.

Meanwhile Sam seems to have a terrible day.  But his mother came, and took him home in their car.

Sam’s mother doesn’t look happy either.  By the way and how she behaves with his son; it seems she was too tired taking care of everything for the family.

In a moment, they reached home.  They called the local mechanical agency to fix the broken bicycle. The mechanic came late.  However, he managed to get there just before darkness takeover the dimming sunlight.

Sam’s mother enquired what took him so long.  The mechanic apologized, and told her that he had to buy some medicines on the way and that takes time more than usual.

The mechanic told them, he needed the money for his treatment, so he came despite that.   If not he wouldn’t have come.  He further told her that he used to work in a company.  In the company, he was in the back office operations.  However, he could no more meet his employer’s daily requirement due to his body ailments.  One day, he had to quit the job and he requested his employer to help him.

The request was granted and that is to remain available when there is excess demand for service.  But this time, as a mechanics, the skill he learned during his stay with them.

However, one thing is certain.  He will be able to pay for few medicines more.  The poor mechanic look so happy with what he got, his life.  He was cheerful and happy, humming few songs while repairing the cycle.

The necessary repairing is done.  He put his tools in a bag, and was about to leave the place.  He was so good in his work.  It left Sam giving him a big smile.

Out of a sudden Sam’s father appeared and thank the mechanic. He shook his hand and told him that he was watching from the window, as he was performing his job.

‘You came in the right time,’ he said.  The mechanic was wondering what he was trying to say.

Then he added, ‘I will not bring home my workplace stress with me anymore.  I needed to be happier that I was able to work although I do not fully love my job’.

Contentment depends on our approach to life.

© 2017, Thuam Siam Ngaihte. All rights reserved.

Superhero – an enticing characters

We love something extraordinary, just a larger than life figure, it seems.  Adult and children are equally left bewildered about such characters.  In today’s world, it is another craze of our generation.  It is a good thing to help in understanding the heroes.

Superman, Spiderman, Batman… to kid’s Yokai, you name it.  Characters are countless.  Every distinct culture must have their own characters or myth, which are larger than life.  By the way, we all are fascinated by such stories and character.

I still remember the day I introduced such type of character to my children during our ‘story time’.  The name was Samson-the strongest person recorded in the Bible.  My kids are mesmerized by the story as I was narrating.  Each short pause in the narration was waited by anxious faces.  They have seen much cartoon characters and superheroes movies but not a natural power, who don’t need extra catalyst to incite his power.  It was different.

There is a secret to Samson’s power.  His hair should not be cut.  A razor must not touch his head.  As an adult, Samson’s strength allowed him to tear apart a lion with his bare hands and to defeat many of their enemies* with supernatural acts of strength.  There comes Delilah, the harlot, who was used by the enemy to subdue him.  Samson falls on the beauty of Delilah.  They captured him, cut off his tresses, and was blinded.

After a time, the enemies chose to bring Samson out of prison to make sport of him.  He was brought into the arena during a festival where about 3,000 men and women were in attendance.

Samson repented and begged forgiveness before his God, and also to renew his strength.  God did approve his prayer.  He renewed his strength but not his eyesight.  He died there with many of his enemies.   That’s to it.  He died there amongst his enemies beaucse he despise his purpose.

My children have so many questions to ask regarding this ‘very strong man’.   Would he be stronger than Hulk or Spiderman or Superman….and so on.  Parents, who have experience their curiosity level, will know clearly.  “Can we be as strong as him, if we didn’t cut our hair?”  The reply was, “I don’t think so, No”   But that’s the joy of telling a story to children.

Even in our young ages, we already have a craze for something larger than life.  Although for kids, it is to have control over their friends, to be the boss.  It is not a wonder that the so-called Power Blocs of developed countries are vying for making armaments, which could subdue the poorer countries.  I agree, it does give them huge interest in the political arena.  For man, that is the largest thing they can achieve in a life time.

Now coming back to our Superhero(s), I personally appreciate when they included the famous line, “With great power come great responsibilities”, in the Superhero movies.  It does teach us many things.  Although there is no such thing as Superhero, except for Samson.

It is a good way of teaching the children about responsibilities and the fruit of sin.

*Philistines, the enemy of the Israelites at that time. (Judges 16)

© 2017, Thuam Siam Ngaihte. All rights reserved.

A Father and a Leader

Family portrait
Family depiction by a child

The changes men experience on becoming a father are not seen outside.  For many, it is a thrilling moment of joy and excitement.  The happiness along with it brought responsibility, which some denied vehemently.   Had it been thoroughly thought-through in minute details, it really is a new challenge to life.  To bring up someone in a world that one had already experienced, seems like impossible task.  However, amongst all the things in life, it was the greatest blessing one can achieved in a life time.

As much as the fervor of becoming a parent, there goes a huge obligation side-by-side.  I have known some fathers practically straying away from the responsibilities of being a father.  In contemporary world, there are Runaway Fathers as much as Runaway Mothers.  They must have their own reason for doing it.  However, when God invented family it never was intended to be that way.   Some biological parents are simply described as “sperm and egg banks” by their children, pertinent to some cases.

Apart from that, I am also blessed with a good father.  Dad used all his wisdom, some of them being innate, to raise us.  He stressed on living a life acceptable in the eyes of the Lord.  Although we could not achieve it in its entirety.  The importance of having our soul being saved was reiterated.  He guided us through the tumultuous period of adolescence, which helps me very much in particular.   In the midst of poverty, Daddy always gave us the best he could.  For that he would even bowed to wealthy persons for loans or for help.  Personally, I appreciate him because the courage to do that, it takes a lot.

Now I want to draw your attention to Joshua; who led the Israelites into the Promised Land, Canaan.  He was also a father.  During their journey, they have witnessed before them the wonders God had done for them.  Despite the insurmountable obstacles in their way he trusted in the Lord.  They started settling in the land of the Canaanites, when he warned the Israelites with his huge declaration:

“…But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”*

They must have felt accomplished.  They are in the Promised Land.  It is time for celebration to embark on a new life in the new fertile land.  It is a Success Test for them. In this time of great importance, Joshua made this significant warning or declaration.

We are all immigrants or migrants in some way.  Some immigrate for better living while some migrated from smaller town to big cities.  While all of us did not taste success in the process very often, most of us have had success.  In this time we must look back and reaffirm our standpoint as Joshua did among the Israelites.  Are we among those usurped in the liberty we enjoyed in the place we live?

One more thing certain here is Joshua must have good command over his house.  He spoke for his households.  It shows the integrity of his house.  We now live in a world full of distractions, which hampers our family relations.  It also shows that he performed his duty as a father diligently.  Had all the households been like his, it would not be necessary to make that declaration amongst the tribes, but it is not.

Serving the Lord, in its entirety can be performed in many ways.   It is just necessary that the entire member need to be in one heart to carry on with the task.  To successfully passed-on the faith from generation to generation itself is a huge achievement.  Should the anchor of the family be the Almighty there’s not a thing to be added.

We are often enticed to go slow or even completely gave up in building or rebuilding the house.  More importantly, many gave up before they even started.  Everything starts from the house.  The failure of the society, the state as whole reflected the core of the family in our country.  Joshua is true leader, who led the Israelites as well as his house.   Let us also choose whom we want to serve in this short span of life.  What heritage we want to leave for our next generation?

Let’s  spread love, true love, followed by action.  I felt thankful to the fathers who are already leading the right way.  I also pray for all of us, the fathers, that we be given strength to perform our duties rightfully and happily.

*Joshua 24:15d (NKJV)

© 2017, Thuam Siam Ngaihte. All rights reserved.

Home that’s where the heart is!

It was a hot summer day.  My son just came home from school.  After finishing his home assignments, it was time for him to take a short nap.  It is a great privilege for me to assists him in whatever I could.  I’d sing him a lullaby, which would coolly put him to sleep peacefully.  I would watch him sleeping from near, very dearly.  Somehow I was reminded of my childhood days.

Since my Kindergarten days, I had the privilege of living away from home in our relatives places.  I’d stayed in their places, which are miles away from home.  This practice helped us in many ways, mostly on financial grounds, as we could not afford good schooling.  This staying away from home gave me immense joy and experience in my life.

It was during the night, I mostly craved for home.  The touch of my parents and grandparents along with my siblings was deeply missed.  Many times, I remember lying in a pool of my own tears.  This was NOT because my relatives were harsh to me.  It was just that I missed home.  The smell of home just passed through my senses.  I was just a lonesome child far away from home.  I can recall my cousins ‘sympathizing’ me as best as they could.

Summer holidays are welcomed with great excitement.  For a short stay at home we would walk miles with gaiety.  Once I told my parents, I’d already shed enough tears for the love of them that I wouldn’t shed no more tears in their departure.  However, I realized that it was far from the truth.  When Daddy was diagnosed with cancer, I regretted going to the city for pursuing higher studies.  I told him straightaway I spent too little time with them.

Home that’s where the heart is! The corporal punishments and scolding for better behavior was still sweet from parents, not from anyone other than them.  In a matter of time, we all become grownups, which make it necessary to start making our own living and fight for our survival.  At that point of life, it was impossible to stay together if the pasture was thinning away with time.  Even now we lived faraway from home.  We need to find our own way of sustaining life.

For someone, I know, it might feel not worth telling or uncalled for.  I find it to be indispensable.   We need to remind ourselves what we’ve been through.   It is simple but close to my heart.   Your comments and experience, if available, would be appreciated.   Let me reiterate here again that;

Home that’s where the heart is!

© 2017, Thuam Siam Ngaihte. All rights reserved.

Good Adviser: A light for my path

 

For my degree and postgraduate degree courses I study Political Science.  I am interested in it but I am not good at it.  For many, it was interesting in that they study the trend and put forward theories worth defending.   Moreover, the studies were aimed at providing best solutions or suggestions in the political arena.

Many things I had learned during the courses.  Among them was the importance of having good advisers in life.  The theories and case studies, as well as the critics are meant to serve as adviser for generations to come.  Although there are several attempts at providing proven method for building a welfare state, it failed to provide universal solutions for every problems in the political sphere.

While studying the ideologies and theories, it can be observed here that the thinkers, mostly, are NOT necessary the rulers of the state.  They served in the state, or for the rulers.   Here lies the importance of having good advisers in building a welfare state.  Many times political blunder committed or being committed are results of having shrewd and/or bad advisers or thinkers in the state and vice versa.  (I am not discussing here in details the cases being spoken about.)

The same applies to our lives as well.  We have the chances to choose our mentors at different phases of life.  For some, parents are their best mentor while there are lots of people who rejected their parent’s advice as well.  Their reasons for doing that will still differ and they might be able to defend their act.  Whatever is the situation, if the outcome is good for the family and the society, it might be acceptable for some.

More importantly, there is someone above all these ventures.  Some believes it while some challenges its existence.  We all know there is someone that rules us.  That governed the earth, much superior than earthly beings.  And for me, that is God.  He exists.  We are blessed to have Him easily accessible even in our life.  That, more than anything, who loves and teaches us to stay connected with Him.

A light in the way from up above
A light in the way from up above

The Lord our God always wanted to show us His ways.  Seek advises from Him through His words; then our life here on earth would be worth living.  Our life here on earth is a preparation for what is going to happen next.  Life after death was promised.

Not only that, with God by our side we will find happiness in life; for His compassions failed not.  The way of accessing through to God is by studying His words and meditating on it.  The Holy Spirit will guide us in our thinking and in our activity.

The tongue of man or the word of God; we are given the liberty to choose.

Let me conclude here with verses from Psalms 119: 10-110. (With my emphasis added)*

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous laws. (And I failed)

I have suffered much; preserve my life, LORD, according to your word.

(I know I have done little or nothing but please)

Accept, LORD, the willing praise of my mouth, and teach me your laws.

Though I constantly take my life in my hands, I will not forget your law.

The wicked have set a snare for me, but I have not strayed from your precepts.

Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart.

My heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end. (help me!)

I hate double-minded people, but I love your law.

You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word (I  really do!)

© 2017, Thuam Siam Ngaihte. All rights reserved.

An Escape Route: Quiet Time

 

You already heard it couple of times, “The mind is willing but the body is weak.”    Here I’m not explaining about it.  It’s just a phrase, for many.

Birds sitting in a branch enjoying quiet time
Birds sitting in a branch

There is an old Mango tree nearby.  Birds resting on its branches are a common sight.  I envy them a lot.  Straight to my window was their resting place.  When they are in chirping mood, it was a pleasant sight.  More than that, they take rest in the branches from the scorching heat of the sun in noontime.  They did not make noise nor do they disturb one another.  They are observing quiet time, I would say.  I’d love to join them.

I love loud music.  The louder it became the more I enjoyed.  But that was in the past.  After a series of hospital visits and the surgical procedure followed by medication, life is different.  My tolerance level changes.  Many times I would like to elude myself from the noisy atmosphere of the metropolitan city, where I lived now.  The melodious sound of the past became a loud noise in the ear.

After years of treatment, the body metabolism changes, this kept troubling normal life.   It was refreshing to tune into soulful songs at times.  The world now is full of innovative things for better living and enjoyment for the dwellers.  Noise was much contained than earlier.   Every small device produced noise, as it makes the owner kept excited.

With children, you need to talk and laugh more than being with adult person.  Being at home, I spent most of my time with our children, and I love it.  We fought hard to live up to each other’s expectations.  We needed to play and dance to keep them engaged and happy.  It keeps me active and alert.

In my younger days, I spent my time in the village, the country-side.  There, we hardly had good sound devices.  We were roaming in the quiet forest.  Back then, we talked about life in Metro Cities with great excitement.

Now all things has changed.  If there is a Bible and good books to read, I would want to escape in quiet place alone.  But that was not possible at all.  I’d love listening to the voice of God in the quietness of time.  There are so many things that stole our thinking and time.  May be that’s why quiet time was more important.

But quiet time alone, without God will serve no purpose.  We are blessed to have God who is always with us, in sickness and in health!

Related read: Stay Connected: Precautions

© 2017, Thuam Siam Ngaihte. All rights reserved.

Finding Favor

Not by our choice we are given this life.  God had given us the privilege to live this beautiful life.   God created the earth and its inhabitants.  ‘And God saw that it was good,’ it is written.  We are one among them.  Then, sin entered the world.  It was growing ever since, it seems.  Now there is no one who can find favor in the eyes of the Lord.

Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of their heart was only evil, continually.  And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord wanted to destroy them.  But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.  Among mankind, it was only Noah who was still righteous.  Here we can see that the Lord was always watching mankind.

Noah was the only person who did not engrossed himself in the wickedness.  One commentary mentioned that the earth did not need rain till that time.  Dew drops were sufficient for the vegetation, which implies that it would difficult for him to believed God’s word about the ensuing flood.  In his great faith, he built an Ark as commanded, which saved his whole family and the creatures.

Noah was also a human like us.  He must have his chances to indulge in the wicked things.  Finding favor in the workplace and in the family itself is hard.  We knew it.  But consider this; Noah found favor in the Lord.  Let us also strive to find favor in the Lord first.  Then all things will fall in order in the workplace and in the family.

Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations.  He did all things as commanded by the Lord.  He spent his time with the Lord.

While I was reading this, Enoch came to my mind.  Enoch walked with God, and God took him.  His death was not mentioned.  While walking with the Lord he was no more.  He spent his time with God.   God wanted friendship from us.  He wanted to stay connected, always.

God is good to those who seek refuge in Him.  He even saved them from the wicked world.  He did NOT let favoritism play spoilsport.  He is not selfish.  Should we try to find favor among our beings, it simply resulted in bitterness.  It won’t be longer still before God destroys the earth.  Let us seek refuge in Him.  In Him, we find comfort and complete happiness.

Does the way of the wicked instill fear?

Nearer we drew to Thee, our Rock of Refuge

Does the world call us to shun God?

Let us strive to walk with Him, always.

© 2017, Thuam Siam Ngaihte. All rights reserved.