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Glee

Over a month ago when I heard I was entering into a season of “glee”, I think I misinterpreted it to some extent. I had just gotten done watching the entire first season of the television series “Glee” online and my mind could only think of the word as far as joy & happiness – which were not wrong, but as I have discovered, a limited interpretation.

As the month progressed, it saw the resurrection of some of my childhood dreams & aspirations I thought had bitten the dust. You can say I ticked a few things off my personal “bucket list” if you will.

  1. Hang Gliding had to be on the top of my list, particularly since flying is what I have always claimed I have done right from my childhood, and becoming a pilot was one of my first ambitions in life. God knows the pleasure I felt having to put down my name as “pilot” in the personal release documents. I’d do it again for sure, but what takes its place in the list is Bungee Jumping. 🙂
  2. Horse Riding & Living on a Ranch have been my all-time dream, thanks to books & movies that have inspired me. I can tell you that my first horse ride was almost like being in heaven, the tall grasslands extending as far as the eye could see, the sun setting behind, and the bugs biting – ouch! That brought me back to reality, alright. I’m not quite done with the living on the ranch bit yet & need to go back to experience it completely. Whether it’s the Ecker Ranch or elsewhere, you can be sure I will!
  3. Ice-Skating was one of those childhood fantasies. Alright, I didn’t get to ice-skate like you see it on TV, but I got on the ice & at least learned to balance myself & move despite a couple of hard falls. Some day I’ll do better, given the chance.
  4. Lawn-mowing on a John Deere wasn’t in my original list, but I added it because I quite enjoyed it & think I did a pretty good job of it too.
  5. Swimming didn’t quite happen as planned, but at least I got my first swimsuit so that’s a start. Next I need to find a pool, and I believe I know just the right friends with a pool in their apartment complex and an open invitation. They can be sure I will be visiting soon (their parents might need to be out of town when I do, though, else they might be scandalized :D.)
  6. Attending an American Wedding was quite an experience for me, particularly as it was different even for regular Americans. I have to say it was organized extremely well, was simple yet beautiful, and there was just so much peace & joy. It was quite different from any Indian wedding I have ever experienced, and I have my friends who invited me and helped get me there to thank. I have reason to believe it won’t be the last American wedding I attend.
  7. Riding a Bike technically should not be on anyone’s bucket list because it’s something most children can do, but it was on mine. For some reason, I was stuck with a yellow tricycle all my life (still have it) and although I loved riding it, I regretted being unable to ride a bicycle many a time in my teen and college years, especially studying on a 365 acre campus that could best be gotten around by bicycle. It was only at 22 that I actually set my mind on learning to ride with my nephew’s bike on the narrow strip of ground outside our home. So for me to be able to ride around almost every evening, both working off the calories & just having fun, it had to be checked off my list as an achievement.
  8. Tooth Fairy Presents were the most unexpected, but threw light on what God was trying to tell me all along the season. It’s one of those things that I didn’t even remember myself, but apparently others did. It had moved them so much when I had mentioned over a casual conversation about falling teeth and tooth fairies that I had always put my fallen teeth under my pillow as a child but had never gotten a present. I know it’s probably the silliest thing in the world, but the fact that the people that remembered it took me out to lunch & surprised me with presents for every tooth of mine that had ever fallen (and more) were pastors and some of the most prophetically gifted ones I know made it important. They did mention when they handed me my gift bag that there might be prophetic significance, and my response although I was just playing along at the time was, “Thank you so much! I feel so fulfilled!”

And fulfilment is what this season of glee has been about – fulfilment of many desires that I had buried, given up on, never had the opportunity to fulfil, or simply forgotten about. That said, my bucket list definitely isn’t all done yet. There’s the driving, rock climbing, shooting, ball dancing, skate boarding, skiing/snow boarding, and many more… I can only imagine that as I grow older, that list will only grow while some are checked off and others replace them, and I have the calm assurance that they will all some day be fulfilled.

What got my attention through all of this is that God cares so much about these little details of my life, enough to take me to a different country and use people (some of whom I barely even know) to fulfil them. I felt ashamed that I have failed in the past to trust this same God with some of the most important things in my life, things that I thought I knew were best and could fulfil all on my own without His help. I had often been afraid that God would end up giving me something I did not like, and had resisted His direction, choosing instead to go my own way. How foolish of me! Would the God who cares about me getting silly tooth fairy presents not care enough to give me the very best in every area of my life and fulfil the deepest desires of my heart?

I rechecked the definition of “glee”, and it said, “great delight”. It struck me then that God’s Word promises, “*Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” That, right there, is the key to my glee!

*Psalm 37: 4; Proverbs 3: 5, 6

8:30 AM, 2 July 2010

The Ecker Ranch, Watford City, North Dakota


The bird of the past still beckons,

Its call enticingly sweet

Speaking of familiar ways

First contemptuous then browbeat.

Looking back, I ask the question,

“What’s in it for me?”

“Nothing,” is the honest answer,

It should be plain to see.

Relentless it tarries,

Coaxing sympathy

I turn away, face the wind head-on,

Declare: I’m free to be me!

Come Away with Me

This is a rather personal post, one of my “conversations with the love most high”, more specifically His love song to me:

Come away with me
To a place of quiet & rest
I will feed & protect you
In my arms you’ll be blest
In my words you’ll find comfort
In my embrace, I’ll woo you to me
With sweet, kind, tenderness
Envelope you, consume you,
Take all of you into me
That we will be One
Body, mind, soul, spirit
I’ll show you the secrets
On my heart for the world,
Hear your woes & worries,
I’ll hold you when it hurts,
Whisper sweet somethings
In your ears till you burst
With joy and with freedom,
With fire for me.
So come away with me
To a place of quiet & rest.
I long to be with you,
To sing you a love song
While you lay on my breast.

Painfully Numb

Painfully numb
Despondently glum
Under The thumb
I succumb
To the weight of the heavy heart’s drum.
The word’s mum.
Conversely aplomb,
Deliberately dumb.
For the day will come,
Fair plumb, when the King will ransom.

My Easter

For many people the last few days have meant hot-crossed buns, bunnies, goodies, and Easter eggs. But this Good Friday – Easter weekend has been a significant one for me. I’ve been able to think deeply about my life and make some important choices. For the handful of you I shared my thoughts with on Friday, you know the background and the place I was in when I started out. Just so you also know, there was some disappointment I faced the same day that led to the realization that all of the things I had had on my mind were simply foolish, unnecessary, and would only lead to harm. It brought me to a point where I felt ashamed, guilty and very stupid for even thinking on those lines. Where had the trust in God I had claimed gone??? Apparently, it’s much easier to just say very proudly that I trust Him but actually doing it, letting go and submitting one particular area of my life to Him is so very hard!

I ought to admit that I have been a strong-willed, stubborn mule of a girl right from childhood, always wanting my way and say in everything. Even my biggest mistakes in life seem not to have convinced me sufficiently that my way is not always the best way. I don’t always know what’s best for me. I don’t always know myself better than anybody else. I don’t always have the best plans and ideas for myself. It’s a good thing God does. I should know that well enough by now! How much more does it need to take for that to be drilled into my head and every fibre of my being???

So, Good Friday ended up being for me a day to literally put to death and nail on the cross some of my worst follies: pride, stubbornness and arrogance among the top few. Having done that, one might imagine I felt free and full of glee. No. Mere human that I am, it was followed by only sinking lower into anger, bitterness, self-pity, blame, hatred, and every abysmal emotion that it is possible for one to feel. I eventually succeeded in caving out a big tomb of self-condemnation for myself, sealed shut and left to waste away.

This Easter morning, though, I awoke with hope and a sober knowledge that I could break free of the tomb, rise from the depths and be alive again through the same power that once conquered death, sin and the grave and now lives in me. I took great comfort in knowing that irrespective of my worst sins (even my lack of trust in God and His perfect will and plans for my life, and my unwillingness to submit completely to them) I am forgiven, accepted and loved. Unconditionally. What’s more, I have the promise of life everlasting with the Almighty God Himself. And in light of eternity, all my recent concerns are nada, zilch, absolutely nothing.

I just began writing some lines in conclusion but felt they would best go in verse, so here goes:

Today I chose to trust you, Lord, to submit and obey;
Repentant come before You and earnestly pray:
Lord, not my will be done; I’d rather have Your way,
In You I’ll find my freedom and strength for every day.

I shed these weighty burdens – let them rot and decay
I break through every stronghold that has held me at bay.
As a bird emerges from its shell, where once it idly lay
In time I’ll spread my wings and to great heights fly away!

Thanksgiving

I hate having to wake up early in the morning in order to travel. More often than not it ruins the rest of my day, with my body & mind both disoriented and rebellious. This morning began no different. It was just a little after 6:00 AM when we set out, and the sun had just begun to rise over the mountains. But a few minutes into the drive down hill, and I was overwhelmed by God’s greatness. The road we were driving down had massive landslides from the recent rains left, right & centre. It saddened me to see the loss of property & the “ugliness” of the destruction and state of affairs, if you will. The poor locals headed to work in the tea estates had to travel by bus to one point, walk a distance over badly damaged road, and catch another bus at the other end.

However, as I looked beyond & over the steamy valleys below, a beautiful sight beheld my eyes. (Too bad I didn’t have the time to stop & take pictures, but I know those images will be forever engraved in my mind’s eye.) As I gazed at the stunning hues splayed across the early morning sky, I could not help but feel a glimmer of hope and thanks well up inside of me. I had to gulp down that familiar lump in my throat and hold back tears, even as I looked back on the year that has passed.

Just like my path this morning, my life’s path had been forcibly altered and it hadn’t been easy. I had known the new path ahead would be long and winding, but little had I expected it to have as many pitfalls of it’s own. This past year, of all my years so far, would have been the most convenient for me to simply look at my circumstances and get discouraged, angry at God, and grow increasingly fearful of what the future would hold. But all it took was for me to take the focus off of myself and my immediate path, to look beyond into the awesome beauty that God had surrounded me with, and to know that He had promised beauty for ashes, a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. The God who displayed His power, majesty and glory over the loss, sadness and fear around me this morning is the same God who has carried me through my hardest times and been my strength in my weakness, particularly this last year. All I can say in return, is “Thank you, Lord!” as I lay down my life once more for Him to take, use, mould, form… transform into a masterpiece for His glory.

(These simple lines came to me as we rode down, and they express my thoughts this Thanksgiving:)
As the sun rises o’er the mountains,
The mist akin to a sea
A melody wells up in my soul,
A song of thanks to Thee.
For memories and times gone by,
For the future yet to be,
For all You’ve giv’n and done thus far,
And what’s in store for me.
Take my life and use me Lord,
I come on bended knee;
A vessel fit and for His fame,
This is my only plea.

To Tie the (K)not???

Funny how the topic of marriage has become an increasingly popular and often discussed one among many of my friends, more so in the recent past. I suppose the older we get with our statuses unchanged, the more pressure to be married by hook or by crook, to find that clichéd Mr. Right (or Miss. Right) and live happily ever after. I can understand this well in our Indian culture, with me being in this category myself – well, not exactly, but somewhere there… Anyway, all this talk about wanting to find the love of one’s life got me thinking and I decided to blog some of my thoughts.

To most of you reading this blog post, it is no news that I have been down that road many a time only to be hurt & disappointed (and vice versa to the concerned parties, I’m sure). I am presently at a point in life where I am just content to be single & let Jesus take that place rather than face more hurt & disappointment, although that is easier said than done. However, that does not mean I have been written off the “charts” or am no longer a fish swimming in the deep, wide ocean. The difference is, I’m no longer desperate to “get hooked” or to go find “the one” because I’m pretty confident anyone worth marrying is going to come find me! Moreover, like I quoted an unknown person some time ago, I do believe “A girl’s heart must so be hidden in Christ that a man has to seek Him to find her.” That’s the only kind of man I want to marry after all of my bitter experiences, and nothing short of that will do – a man who first seeks God & the kingdom of Heaven and finds that all the rest falls in line.

One of my friends recently asked me, “What do you girls expect? Jesus?!?” I thought about it, and the truth is, yes! :o) Well, at least for me… I sometimes wonder what a hot dude Jesus must have been while He lived on earth – son of a carpenter and carpenter Himself… I don’t think He ever needed a workout because the natural must have been gazillion times better. 😛 What??? Call it blasphemy, burn me at the stake if you like, but I’m pretty sure Jesus was HOT, in fact way HOTTER than any currently existing piece of male flesh for sure! He totally burned it up, and He still does for me, for real. No, I’m not kidding. I really mean that. I am completely in love with Jesus, and if anyone wants to win my heart, they’re gonna have to beat Him. So there! Ha! 🙂

That said, let’s be practical… marrying Jesus ain’t gonna happen as long as I’m on this earth, so here’s the next best option: a dash of Jeremy Camp, a pinch of Lincoln Brewster, a whole lot of Jesus on the inside, and I’m good to go. Wishful thinking? Maybe… but what am I going to lose by thinking?

So… to tie the knot or not? That is the question… As I pondered this, God showed me a fruit tree with a ripe red fruit hanging on it. I felt like that fruit myself, ready to be plucked. Now, let’s not allow our imaginations wander away & border on disgusting here… but a ripe fruit is good for several things: to be eaten as is, or to be made into a jam or juice or jelly or some other edible product. And with that, a ripe fruit would have served its purpose. But what if… what if… nobody actually plucked that ripe fruit? Would it have failed and not served a purpose? Over time it would fall to the ground, begin to shrivel, rot, and gradually become nothing but dirt. Sad.

I think the analogy is pretty clear, the plucked fruit resonating with the much-desired, fanciful married life while the rotted one represents the unmarried life of misery. But wait… what’s that I see? Several months, maybe even years, down the line I see a shoot springing up from the dirt. Tiny, green, easily mistaken for a weed, but a shoot nevertheless… In a few more months or years, I see that shoot grow into a large tree itself, bearing flowers, fruit & being a home to many a bird… much more than it could ever have achieved, had it been plucked and eaten or made into some other fancy foodstuff. Did the uneaten fruit not serve a purpose? Indeed not! I believe both the eaten & the rotten served their purposes just as had been destined even before the world began.

So here’s my conclusion: to be married some day remains a great desire. However, let not anyone who might not ever get married assume that his or her life is meaningless and has failed its purpose. In fact, God may be able to achieve greater, mightier things in and through your singleness than He could have ever achieved through your marriage. And for the married or marrying, I’m not done yet… eaten fruits must also have their seeds or cores discarded, which at some point reach the dirt too… and we all know what happens after. Therefore, eaten or rotten, you serve a purpose; serve it well! To tie the knot or not, it matters not.

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