Saturday, November 21, 2015

Losing it....

The question I am asking my self is, “Have I lost it” or “Am I losing it”? 

All around we are finding situations where people, countries, communities are losing it. Losing the Meta Narrative the Momentum the Looking out the Looking Ahead etc. From being a world, community and people who were slowly moving from Tribal to Global, Local to Glocal, Narrow life perspectives to a greater perspective, regional to national, national to world as the platform, things seems to be changing fast. We are being forced to think again back to our tribe, our family, our lives, our faith community, our Nation etc. Slowly boundaries are being redrawn, lines are being put down, limits are being clarified, and attitudes are changing. This is visible at all levels, whether it be National or individual lives! Some of us are at ages, having been or broader platforms, find it easier to wind down to a more limited and narrower sphere of engagement.

The context has much to do with this. There is the pressure of the context which tells us, take care of your own and your interests, no one will stand with you. If you engage with others, that has to be for your interest and advantage. There is a context which tells us, hold hand partner, work together, as long as it contributes to you and your narrow interest, otherwise do what you are expected to do and live your life. There are some who intentionally have decided due to the pressures of the context, to redraw the boundaries. There are others, who instead of being “Giraffes” who have a higher perspective of things, are becoming more like “Ostriches”, burying their heads in the sand. Refusing to look around at what is happening, because that looking around is disturbing. Fear of the future in an uncertain world makes some to bury their heads in the sand! Some others live a life a complacency, things and contexts like this will come and go, I have to live my life and take care of my things….

How can one guard oneself from losing it – whether from the pressure of context, fear of the unknown or complacency which has become a habit?

What is this “It” we are talking about? The greater purposes for the world at large, to be a community which lives and enjoys each other and works together for the greater purpose of us being kept in this world, Nations as influencers of each other to move together, tribes and families as units of this greater purpose, individuals as again channels of the same purpose! The purpose of loving God and loving each other….
We have replaced the creator’s purpose which is greater and larger, with the creations purpose, which is narrow and limited. When creator is thrown out or when we redefine who the creator is, or rewrite the creators purposes based on our understanding, or give up on the creator itself, this is what happens! Because we as creation cannot think beyond our limited abilities unless empowered and revealed to us by the creator…

We need some sane voices in this context – voices and lives which will not “Lose It”….Lives which will live out the greater purposes in their own narrow spheres of influence, using the narrow spheres of influence to impact a greater community around us….who will move from the areas of responsibility to those of influence and concern. How do I make this greater purpose my passion….

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Three conversations...

These are summaries of a day long conversations which I had yesterday as some of us travelled into Hitauda, Nepal, a small town 60 km from the border. Conversations with people whom I met, the vehicle drivers, friends, myself and with God (I presume He was listening into my un-uttered conversations too)!

We left the campus at about 7:15 AM and walked over the border – closed to vehicles because of the blockade by the Madeshi’s or Indian immigrants in Nepal. At the border – on the bridge which is the so called “No man’s land” – (both countries say it is not in their jurisdiction ad so they cannot do anything,) there were tents which are supposed to be occupied by the protestors. But it was empty. There were a few young men, trying to make people who were walking across donate to their cause. No vehicles are allowed by the Indian side to cross, saying that border is closed. Other than Bikes and Ambulances! Tongas, Rickshaws, and Tuktuks, wait on either side of the bridge to pick up passengers who walk across and come in. At the same time, a few kilometres to the left through a village road, vehicles (only small cars) keep plying along with the Tongas….The Tuktuk we took, to reach Simara, which is 25 kilometres away, (normally one takes bus or other vehicles), took a hour and a half and about 1800/- Rs. No private vehicles or buses are running these twenty five kilometres for the last many weeks. They are pelted with stones by protestors if they run. The drivers shared, it has been four months. We normally get passengers mostly at night, when there is no stone throwing. Now that it is Chhatt, it is easier, people are not protesting. Wait till day after tomorrow, it will be closed again. One of them said, I get up 3 in the morning, come to the border, get Diesel at 200 Rs per litre in black and then run the whole day. There is no end in sight – but we are tired….

We were picked up from Simra by friends and taken to Hitauda and on the way, conversations with the friend of ours was educating. “The issues are multiple. For many years, Nepal used to say yes to anything which India wanted, now our leaders have become stronger and India does not like it. How can they ask us to change our constitution, which was approved and signed by 97% of the MPs. There were suggestions in Kathmandu, that there should be a dialogue with India, but the common people got together and said, no way will we compromise. We may not have Petrol Gas Daal or rice, but we will survive. People have got together and were organizing wood as fuel. But India should have at least allowed Medicines in, we do not have even lifesaving Medicines. But this has opened up our relationships and doors with China much. India does not realize that they are losing out by this…Most Nepali’s want close relationships with India but this is being destroyed by a few. These few who are protesting know that have the backing of the Big Brother and so are empowered to continue the blockade! India may say we have nothing to do with this, it is an internal problem but everyone knows how they are behind it. Our leaders also know what happened to Sikkim. Bhutan is worried! So our leaders will not give in.” Very perceptive comments from ordinary citizens who are facing the pain of the blockade….

Living in the present, for short term perspectives of power and ego, ignoring the long term implications of such a life….! Are we not guilty of living such lives today….?

We reached Hitauda, where there was a book release. The book was written by a local leader, about how the first few Christians from the districts that surround Hitauda were put into jail and how they refused to give up on their faith. The book in Nepali “Who Dared to Guard their Faith” was the story about the context of life then, and events from these people lives. The story of a long term vision and inner conviction which gave these people the strength and the courage to stand in the midst of physical and emotional abuse.

Almost all of them, had come over the border of Nepal into India, for health care. And during the process of getting health care, at the local mission hospital, (DH) had the opportunity to experience the love and compassion provided by the health care team, which initiated the process of life change. Through various events which followed, how one by one, these ordinary people from the villages in and around the border, kept coming back across the open border, from a closed country to a country where there was freedom to follow any faith. And these cross overs became opportunities to be built and stabilized in their faith. And when the troubles of persecution and imprisonment hit, they were ready, to face these situations. I met with many of them, some in their 90’s most of them in their late 70’s or 80’s, still holding on strong in faith being channel of influence to the younger generations.

A generation of people from both sides of the border – who were working and living for a greater purpose and a future hope. Health care providers who provided health care with love and compassion. Health care providers who shared the love of God along with health care. People who were hungry for the love of God, influenced by these people. People who were willing to allow God to change them for a greater purpose and hope. People who were willing to give up their life for the sake of a greater purpose and hope.

Living in the present for a greater purpose and a future, to be part of a bigger picture and purpose….Where are those people today…?

In the midst of these conversations, I kept hearing from some people who were around with me. “Those were such good days. Things were so different, there was great support from each other. There were people who were willing to take the risk and spent their time and energy for such greater purposes.” After listening for some time I asked, but what about today, why not today. The answer was unsettling – “not possible, things have changed. In those days….those golden days….it was different!” The conversations were disturbing – not because of the glory of the past, but these people having done good in the past seems to living in the glory of the past…

Living today in the glory of the past….Are we, our institutions and movements living in the glory of past…?

Three ways to live today – live for the short term gains of the present, live in the glory of the past or live for a greater purpose and future….All in one day….!

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...