Saturday, October 24, 2015

What am I doing HERE

What are you doing here, a question asked by God to Elijah. This question was asked a couple of times. I do not think it was a “geographical” question, but more of a “philosophical” one. God wanted to know, what he was doing in the current context, how he reached there.

A question I need to ask regularly! What am I doing here…?

If someone had asked Elijah, where are you now, he would have replied – Tired and exhausted – had a tough whole day work and then forty day’s journey. But the full day work was the turnaround of the century! By one day’s work, the whole nation had turned around. Of course he developed a few enemies through this action, but what was that when compared to the turnaround of a whole nation? That is when God asked this question – what ARE you doing here….But along with this question, God provided a good sleep and some home delivery food…That was the concern of God!

He would have also said, depressed, down and out. He was in deep self-pity – I am the only one left, no one else is there who thinks like me, I have been struggling alone for the last many years! But what he did not know was that there were another 7000, similar to him who were toiling away quietly in many locations for the greater purpose! But it took a 40 day journey and the soft voice of God to remind him of this and bring him back to senses and proper perspectives!

He would have said, I am the only good one – a bit of self-righteousness? But at the same time I am afraid, I am being hunted down! Fear of the lady of the Nation, who wielded all the power. But it was not too long back, God has used the seemingly weak and unknown Elijah for a great turnaround. The lady and her husband were trying destroy him, but God had given him a great turnaround. This seemed a story from the past. That God and the power was no more “real”. It took a fire, wind, and storm and then a soft voice to make him realize that the one who was asking the question was the God of the universe and powerful over and above earthly kings and kingdoms!

He also would have said, enough is enough, I want to give up on this life. All this dong “great things” but being rejected by the powers that matter in the visible world, and living in constant fear of the authorities is not worth it. There is a limit to what I can hold on. I am giving up on life! And God tells him in His soft voice, go back the way you came, and on your way back, keep anointing – Anoint the new Kings, anoint the one who is to take over from you, and keep working and waiting till you transition out. That would take a few more years, but he was given a transition plan….

What am I doing HERE when I am tired, worn out, depressed, lonely, afraid, wanting to give up…? Will I give up on God and His plans for my life….? He will not any way give up on me….!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Ancient and New

There is a new world emerging. The new world has various characteristics. A few which I observe are....

One – it is a globalized world. A world where things which happen in one part of the globe will affect the other part. A world where events of every part of the globe is well known to other parts of the globe. A world where every aspect of life in one part of the globe is open for people in other parts of the globe to see and aspire for or reject. This is true for economy, religion, culture, life style and travel and communication. Connect and be part of it, or lose out. Social media, instant communication, instant travel, international investment, international work, Mall walking, all are part of this new world. Testing out the changing values, the new “religions” and “life styles” is the hep thing to do, if not, one is seen as a regressive.

Two – it is a young world. The young are emerging as the new world order. The young with their massive numbers are changing political equations, religious orders, cultural practices, social responses all across the globe. And the aging (not the aged) are trying to catch with this, because they feel if they do not keep up with the pace with which the young world is moving, one will lose out! But not realizing that, that pace needs more energy than what you currently have!

Three - It is an aging world. At the same time, it is an aging world, where life expectancy is going up fast. 80 is the young of tomorrow. Countries and communities and even families are struggling, how to manage this demographic transition. Issues which bother many are - when the world is being taken over by the young and globalized, what will happen to the aged and the elderly? Other than in politics, we do not find these people. They are already in the margins. Interestingly Indian politics also this demographic change is visible.

Four - It is a divided world. But at the same time, there is more division in today’s globalized world than in the past. Divides along religious, cultural, language and other potentially divisive agendas, created for political reasons. For perpetuating divide, there is no end to which some people will go, politics of hate, violence or even war.

Five - It is a sceptical world. In the midst of all these, there is growing scepticism. Scepticism of the values which one held in the past, the current leadership, current models of institutional and organizational structures, the directions which communities, nations are taking. There is a scepticism, about religious beliefs, and traditional morality and practices. There is deep yearning to move and break out and try tings differently and forge new paths and directions.

Six - It is a decaying world. And we are reminded constantly by the media and the scientists that we are living on borrowed time. That planet which has been gifted to us, put here to enjoy, is on its way to “decay” with climate changes affecting every aspect of life. Some tend to ignore this, others politicise, some others fight the war to protect, and sceptics undermine all efforts of the protectors!

Seven - It is a progressive world. But we have progressed a lot. Whether it be life sciences, technology, understanding of the origins of the world in which we live, the human species which we are part of, answers to sorting out the various issues we face, there seems to be a proud reiteration that we have made it! And quite a bit of that is true and easily available to experience and taste. But we still struggle with existential issues and even this is seen as progression since we are told that we struggle because we think we are existing for a greater purpose. If we give up that utopia of a greater purpose, there will be no struggle, because, any way there is no meaning for existence, and this understanding is progress.

Many such newness is sweeping nations, including India, predominantly the urban and the elite India.

And this new is seen as the way to go. Align yourself to the new world of progress, potentials and possibilities and you will make it – align your nation, community, religion, family or individual in line with the “new paths” which seem to be the way to go. Ignore those negative aspects, though you hear it every day, be it be the divided world, the decaying world, the aging world, but engage with the young, sceptical, but progressive world of the powerful and you will make it.

Yesterday, a visitor from Delhi went to a few villages near our hospital and came back in the evening and asked me this question. Why these villages are still the same? On further enquiry she replied, many children in the villages she visited, still do not go to school, are moderately to severely malnourished, have no clothes to wear, nor slippers, and are running around during day time in the fields and roads, playing the whole day, instead of going to school. A stark reality that when Nations are progressing or some parts of a Nation are progressing, there are others which are standing still or even regressing. In the current fast changing world, non-progression is regression.

Isaiah says – “Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.”

A promise of a new path, a new road, a new life giving river, and new fullness of life – when will it come for those who are still unaware of anything new, like those in the villages in and around where we live?

At the same time Jeremiah says “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls.”

A warning to those who follow the new paths of the so called progress, that rest is found at times in the ancient paths…! Reminder for those of us who are part of this new world…!

Stations on the Road to Freedom

Dietrich Bonhoeffer(1906-1945) Discipline If you set out to seek freedom, then learn above all things to govern your soul and your sense...