To Live

This blog is more or less dead and this is my weak attempt to sprinkle some ​water on a parched land. Looking back, I started this blog to tell myself I’m strong, creative and there is meaning to everything that is happening in life even when there was nothing positive going on at that time. Now that I’m on a memory lane thinking about the old days, writing this post is hard, I’m consciously trying to make words fit, short and meaningful.

School was hard – trying to find where I fit in especially since it was hard living a ‘Christian’ lifestyle and still remain cool; college was dangerous especially since I fit in and lived like someone I’m not, giving up on who I really was and things that mattered to me. After graduating from college with a heartbreak, it took a while for me to wear off the person I became and discover for myself who I’d want to be and do things that gave me joy and peace that was there to stay.

So here are a few things that gave me a sense of direction and hopefully may help you decide on what should matter to you:

People

I’m not really an extrovert and can’t really talk to people all the time. I need my space and prefer spending time alone with myself. Having said that, I can’t help but surrender to the fact that true joy comes from associating with people, talking to them and living in a community. We were meant to live together, create together, face the world and its struggles together – we were never meant to be alone and nobody deserves to be alone. There’s a beauty associated with giving away what I have in exchange for a smile on someone’s face. It takes a great deal of effort for me to actually spend myself for others but I keep coming to the same realization every single time; when I truly spend myself, I live a lot more, I’m much happier and live wholeheartedly. There is an African word for this, ‘Ubuntu‘ meaning ‘I exist because we are‘.

The Father chose to bankrupt heaven for our sake by spending Himself for us, sending Jesus for us. When we too live with that purpose, we become more like out Father and fulfill what we’ve been called for.

Dreaming

I love learning things, especially stuff that interests me. Ever since I was a kid, mom used to get irritated with my ‘why’ questions. I am blown away with this beautiful world, we all are sometimes. We are all capable of dreaming, asking and creating. I’ve found real happiness each time I dream and I create. I believe that in doing so, we become more like the One whose image we’ve been created in. In those moments, we find purpose in our living. Every time I’m onto something, I’m excited for the things I’m going to learn and create. Sometimes things don’t work out but I guess that’s okay; there is still beauty in our struggle and the journey in creating.

Perfection Excellence

I’ve tried developing myself into a perfectionist – for instance while playing with a band, I make sure that nobody makes a mistake and if anyone does, I would want us to start from the top till we get it right. I’m obsessed with symmetry, formatting and design. So much so that when I’m reviewing my teammate’s documentation, I give my friend a hard time. For a long time, I believed in perfection because I thought that God deserved the best of my efforts and it should nothing be short of perfect. But I keep coming back to the point that what really matters is excellence and not perfection. Excellence breeds followers and is contagious. Perfection is not forgiving, patient or loving.
I think that’s all for now. Since this post is a result of my musings, thoughts are scattered and don’t have the symmetry in thoughts I’d be happy with. But I’m past that.
God bless us all.
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Love for Nothing

He took a deep sip and said with a sigh, “So that’s how we met and she likes me a lot
Do you like her too?” I asked, looking at his sad eyes.
These writers, man! I don’t know what’s with them that draws us to them! I think I like her too but I just don’t want to give in. It may not be good for me. Besides we are good friends and I’d like to keep it that way. And her smile, I’m in love with the way how she smiles”, he said blushing.

I smiled back at him, knowing that he had it all figured out and was going to stick to his own advice. It then struck me that it’s so easy to love someone for what they are and do. If we are to assess why we love our friends and people, I’m pretty sure we’d come up with a bunch of things that we love about the person. It’s obvious that there are certain triggers about people that draws us to them and we love them for that.
This made me think, can we love people for absolutely no reason? Is it possible to love anybody and everyone for ‘nothing’?

These questions remind me about how Jesus was able to love and love. Love for no reason and for ‘nothing’. Jesus dined with the tax-collector, Zacchaeus whom the people hated for his cheating. Jesus chose Peter as his disciple and even though He knew that Peter would deny Him.

What’s even more interesting is that at Jesus’ love, all these people were shaken and couldn’t stay the same. His love caused them to love even more. Zacchaeus promised to give away half of his income to the poor and pay back four times the amount he acquired by cheating. Peter went on to become a faithful disciple who brought many people to Jesus and he chose to be crucified upside down since he told he wasn’t worthy to die like his Master.

We too have been loved the same way. “But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.”
If God could love us enough to give up his most precious Son, then how much more must we return that love to people? We never had anything that was of worth to make Him love us.

If we could have “both feet planted firmly on love, we’ll be able to take in the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights!” His love can transform us, cause us to overflow with that very love.

I’m going to make a move to start loving the people that I know and going to meet out of a no-reason based love. Even when the only emotion that I can direct to a person is hate, I’m going to ‘loveify’ that and love them. I’m going to love till it hurts, in hope that it would transform them just like Jesus’ love.

I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love”- Mother Teresa

What are you fishing today?

As I watched the movie Cloud Atlas, I could not help but agree on this particular quote that was repeated several times throughout the movie – “Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb, we are bound to others. Past and present. And by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.

All our life, we are constantly watching people, learning and picking up things from them that wasn’t there within us until we saw that something which is apparently much superior to what we possess. Then begins the great attempt to push ourselves to imbibe that something till it’s eventually a part of us. Now this element that we picked up could be anything, from being something that is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable or even excellent; or the contrary of everything that was mentioned.

According to an online source, we could meet up to 100,000 people in our lifetime. I’m talking about the ones with whom we would have had meaningful, face-to-face conversations. I figured that we don’t really have to look hard for “self-improvement” means. For me it has always been people (and quotes, and  …oh well, there are many actually. Dang. But for the sake of this post and to convey what I think, I’ll stick to people) Some people make you realize how things would have turned up if you’d have done things differently-makes me regret decisions, then there are people who scare you because they make you realize that the world is not really a wonderful and happy place, and then there are people who take everything you thought/known, turn that around and make you realize that there is so much more-they inspire you, motivate you, challenge your efforts.

This weekend I met someone who blew my mind with the amount of selfless love and goodness he carried. The way how he treated people, lifted the spirits of people around him and gifted a smile in exchange for a conversation – I could go on of things that I’ve never seen contained all in a single person. I’m not talking about his talents, just his character. It hit me then that all my life I’ve been fishing in the wrong waters, the wrong fishes and using a very different yardstick.

I close my eyes, think about what I can incorporate into me; a couple of things pop up and I decide to try them out, understand how it affects people. It’s going to be a little hard because it won’t be me but a fake version of me. But hey, if it means that I affect people positively and get them to believe that there are still good people around, that would be a cause that’s worthwhile my entire lifetime of living. This is big, this is something bigger and much more. Wow. That’d make me a really happy person eventually.