The Unintended Brake

One early morning, she revved up the engine of her car. Agitated, she tried to drive off. But her car doesn’t move. In her nervousness she could not figure out what’s wrong. She’s stuck there, near the wall.

Lost in the turmoil, she called for help. When I check, I saw the parking brake un-levered. I tucked in quietly, and drive out her car as she watched. It was her brand new car, so she was slightly nervy. Otherwise, there’s no problem.

She thanked me as if I have done a huge favor. I enquired as to why she pulled the parking brake. She told me she was a bit nervy, she pulled it by mistake. It is done unintentionally..

Now, the unintended brake calms her down. She’s settled; her nervy feeling left her. She told me it was a good thing that she pulled on the parking brake unintentionally. If not, she could’ve hit the wall.

She regained her confidence and that sort of things never happen again. The unintended parking brake saved her from further consequence before she reach the main street.

The brakes in vehicles are meant for smooth driving. It helps us avoid some tiny scratches as well as huge car crash.

the unintended brake
Car parking brake; for reference only

The Unintended Brake of Life:

As you look back the past year or your past living, you would realize some kind of unintended brake you put on yourself. The brighter side is that sometimes you don’t even remember pulling the brake. It might have saved you from unwanted shameful moments or simply slowed your life. I hope, one day, we will thank God for slowing down our life a little bit.

The unintended brakes are, many times, beyond the knowledge of man. Our God has pulled the brake for us, intentionally, to save from the road we’re on. It is difficult to understand why God had pulled the brake on us even when we’re confident of what we do.

When we’re afflicted it wasn’t never easy to withstand. When we are in the valley, of the shadow of death, it was spine-chilling. However, when one got settled; have the time look back on those moments, there’s some positive note to be taken, in the least.

I wasn’t happy either; so many restraint. My life’s sailing was not smooth. Unwanted brakes are put upon me, and that’s only how I perceived it. At least for this year, there many things I am unable to perform due to various yet certain reasons.

There is a way which seems right to a man; but its end is the way of death, the Bible says. (Proverbs 14:12) No one is above the purpose of God. We are only players of a larger purpose.

The heart knows it own bitterness, and a stranger does not share its joy (either). So, why should we be bitter about the brakes? In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

Unintended Brakes as Stronghold:

On the flip side, we cannot simply lay back waiting for the brake to get un-levered by someone. A cocoon struggled so that it can fly. One should not get stuck in our faulty pattern of thinking based on deception.

The unintended brakes we put on ourselves could become a building block for another venture of our life. The brakes are intend to make us stronger as we exercise all the potentials we have.

That moment of braking in our life, which we do not enjoy, could be the most important phase in our life. For it to happen we should not lose hope. Even if we perish let’s perish with a hope Christ Jesus still withholding.

When it becomes our stronghold, we see God incorrectly – not as being fair or unjust. We cannot have healthy relationship with our God.

Stronghold makes us see ourselves incorrectly. We underestimate ourselves; we undervalue ourselves. Sometimes in my sufferings, I could barely make it out of this deception. If God has the needs for us to undergo these afflictions, He’ll set us free, victoriously one day.

When the time has come, the truth will set us free. We will regain confidence, un-lever the brake, and sail smoothly in those times to come.

Gratitude for the Brakes:

Let’s give thanks for the brakes, applied to our life, by the Heavenly Father. It is because of His mercy that we are not consumed. We say, the Lord is my portion?

It is noteworthy here that the unintended brakes are that one that saves our life, from accident and unwanted circumstances. Further, it is intentionally put on by our Savior for our own good. So that our God would be magnified in our lives.

Especially, looking back this year, can we give thanks sincerely from our hearts; for all the things God has done for us the good, and the not-so-good included? God is good all the time!

In the year to come may the grace of God be with you, Dear Reader!

© 2017, Thuam Siam Ngaihte. All rights reserved.

Selfishness and Sufferings

There is no exception to our selfish ambition while in sufferings. Selfishness needs to be tamed, and that’s the hard part.

Selfishness resulted in suffering. And it is true the other way round. They go hand in hand yet they should not be together as selfishness would cause greater sufferings.

Here we will talk about selfish ambitions only in the context of a suffering person. Let us put aside those selfish ambitions for riches and personal gains for the time being.

Well, infighting has been going, on and on, in a suffering mind. It is caused by the outward physical pain and the daily happenings. In the end, selfishness becomes an integral part of a sufferer.

At my Hospital Bed
In the midst of suffering

Entertainment, once they are, in the form of plays, music, and the likes, could become a hindrance in living a normal life. I have been in this situation for a while now. I won’t talk deep about it here but there are occurrences I have to endure in my epileptic disorder. And sometimes it’s difficult to blend in with the normal surroundings.

Pain was caused in many forms. Not all forms can be avoided. But there are times when I thought some the causes could be avoided. That is when my selfishness came up. Selfishness, in turn gave way to more pain in the mind. And that’s my problem too.

In living a life, there are obligations that cannot be ignored. I feel bad when I cannot conform to the demands of people around me. I felt that I was selfish because I have to limit my activities.

In that way, the interests of people around me were neglected. At times, I found myself to be egocentric and self-centered in approach because of my weak physical condition.

May be, that is why the Bible gave no exception to any circumstances when selfishness could be utilized in normal living. Selfishness destroys unity and steadfastness to God.

There’s none who enjoy life for a longer period in solitary. Just for a short time, it might be enjoyable. I am not sure about that. We must learn to adjust in the interest of other. Submerging in our self-interest is being selfish.

Disturbances in life could be a blessing. If there’s nothing to bother life would be dull. Eventually, loneliness would ruin and kill our life.

Selfishness as a Stronghold:

A stronghold is a fortress where one can take refuge and safely dwelled with minimum threat. Here in this case, it is that fort inside our human heart where the evil could safely thrive in.

Selfishness could be a stronghold for the evil to dwell if it is not destroyed from time to time. If left unattended the fortress might be difficult to get uprooted. And that is what I wanted to do every day.

It has parasitic character which would eventually eat up its host; here our life or character. It has to be crushed, one day at a time, with the help of the Holy Spirit.

No one can simply spin ourselves in a cocoon while we are on the march. We are to work together as a team in a family, society, and in the church. Yet we are tempted, in many forms, to be a little selfish, manage ourselves, and stay away from people.

Beyond Selfishness:

Now, let’s see, in the Bible, what Apostle Paul wrote to the Philippians:

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (Philippians 2:2-3) There’s no exception given here.

People suffer, even the righteous suffer yet it could become the source of their renewed strength from the Lord. When the Lord blessed our sufferings it can bring joy in our life.

There is a time for all – time to suffer, time to rest. It is my hope that this phase would be used by God in strengthening my faith.

We all suffer but in different ways. There is no great and small sufferings, the pain inflicted might cause same destruction. But in the blood of Christ we can be made whole again.

Rejoice in every situation, says the Bible. In reality, it is really difficult but there must be a way out, I hope. Let us present our request to God, in prayer and petition, with thanksgiving. (Philippians 4:4-7)

In that way, the peace of God will transcend understanding while in suffering. Further, God would safeguard our heart and mind, in Christ Jesus, throughout our journey.

There are still many people, saints and servant-hearted, who could help others despite their sufferings. I want to be like them!

Dear reader, if you too are still in your suffering phase I empathize with you. It is my prayer God would guide us through this phase without causing further self-inflicting pain in the process.

May the face of God shine brighter, amidst our sufferings, in our daily life!

© 2017, Thuam Siam Ngaihte. All rights reserved.