LIVING IN ALTERNATE REALITY

With the advent of Star Wars and Star Trek series and other sci-fi books and movies, words such as parallel universe, alternate reality, other dimensions, different history and multiverse have become commonplace. Theories authenticating and validating both the existence and non-existence of such entities do proliferate.

According to space.com, the concept known as a “parallel universe” suggests that there could be other universes besides our own, where all the choices you made in this life is played out in alternate realities and this is a facet of the astronomical theory of the multiverse.

The Chronicles of Narnia” (1950-56), a C.S. Lewis book series features several children who move between our world and the world of Narnia, where there are talking animals.” C.S.Lewis was one of the first people to popularise the idea of parallel universes and in his books there are pools that acts as portals to a great many different worlds where things are very different from our own – the wardrobe itself being considered a portal to another world. Alternate realities are worlds that exists next to, in parallel of, or in place of our own.

Reality is what we experience as human beings and is determined by way of our senses. These sensory inputs, plus some special processing of sensory information by our brains ensures that we have a rich flow of information from the environment to our minds. Our entire experience of reality is simply a combination of this sensory information and our brain’s sense-making mechanisms of that information. It stands to reason then, that if you can present your senses with other information, your perception of reality would also change in response to it.

Now the Bible cites people who perceiving something beyond the normal. It showcases many instances where people comprehended beyond what their natural senses dictated. Their reactions and action where then an outcome of this perception. The input from their natural senses was layered over with input from another real sense called faith. This enabled them to live in an alternate reality that’s different from the normal one.

For example, an old man, Abraham, who along with his wife, had lost the ability to bear children, ‘against all hope believed in hope that he might become father of many nations’. His reality was not shaped by natural senses or practical or common sense, but by his faith.

Moses refused the privileges of being part of a royal house and chose a hard life with God’s people rather than an opportunistic soft life with the oppressors. His reality was shaped by his faith that allowed him to see ‘the One no one could see’ and the reward that was He gives.

Jesus, the ultimate man, walked on water, healed lepers, raised the dead, turned water into wine and allowed Himself to be crucified and buried because He allowed His reality to be forged by faith, empowering Him to see past the obvious to the imperceptible.

These are but few examples, but there are others who also did the unthinkable, the unimaginable and the impossible. They were able to do this because their reality was created, coded and colored by faith.

Faith was the sense that enabled them to live in alternate reality, a realm that superceded the natural reality shaped by their normal senses. The perks of living in this alternate reality is that, something which seems impossible in the latter becomes possible in the former. This alternate reality is over, above and beyond the natural reality.

The choice is yours to decide which reality you will be part of!

*Definitions of reality from https://www.vrs.org.uk/

*Pics from Google imagew

Small Town Things

Dad was transferred to Tiruvarur on promotion as it’s police head. We joined him during vacations at the end of the school year.

One of the five traditional capitals of the Chola Empire, this town’s life in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu revolved around a famous temple and it’s water tank. We were privileged to witness the temple car festival and the temple tank float festival, the two major events of the town.

Dad lived in one of the four streets that bordered the temple tank. Every night Dad would unwind with a swim round the temple tank. He never missed a day.

*To know more about the town you can access the link https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thiruvarur
*Friday Fictioneers is talented group of enthusiasts penning down a story, a poem, a prose, etc., expressing their heart about a photo prompt © C.E.Ayr

CHRISTMESSY

My daughter, who is good at play writing, writes, directs and stages, along with her husband, a play for her church’s Christmas celebration every year. This year the title of the play was Christmessy and it portrayed how everything was truly a mess on that first Christmas.

Confusion reigned right from the very way Jesus was conceived (virgin birth), the confusion census that forced his parents travel to Bethlehem, the lack of accommodation there that made a stable his birthplace, the sudden appearance of supernatural beings to simple shepherds, the arrival of wise men from the east led by a star, the mayhem caused by Herod in his bid to kill a child who he feared would someday usurp his throne and to the resulting flight to Egypt.

You would think that when God sent His Son into the world as a baby, things would be in order and everything would go smoothly. Yet it was not so! The play’s concluding message was that God dramatically stepped into this world and invaded time to be part of a world that was not perfect, but in fact, quite messy!

The world we live in, as the world then was, is a mess. Just watch the news or read the daily paper or talk to someone. You would know that people, relationships, nations, events, nature and happenings all getting more and more topsy-turvy and muddled. There are no clear-cut guidelines or guardrails or reference points. There is tremendous chaos and confusion, with the life getting messier and messier.

Yet God chose to walk into the mess of old on that Christmas day as the Messiah, the One Who would deliver from all distress and disorder, both inward and outward. He did not come into a world of harmony and order, even though he created it to be so, but he came to bring restore order and work His creative miracle once again. He came the message of good tidings of great joy that He was giving us a second chance.

Today also, He is calling out to those who feel helplessly entangled in Cimmerian shadows to come to the light of His love and grace. Just as in the beginning when He sent light into the cosmic darkness and ruin, God sent His Son as the only true Light to dispel the Stygian blackness of sin and sickness of this world.

He, the babe born on that eventful day 2000 years ago, died on behalf of all mankind to pay the price for their freedom. He has given all the call to trust and believe in His sacrifice for sins. He stretches out His hand to all who are weary of the mess in their life or the mess they have made of their life. He is inviting each and everyone to become His child and live life under His care

He is coming back to be united with His family and be with them forever. He is coming back to bless all who follow Him with long life. He is coming back to judge the darkness for destroying the most beloved of His creation.

It is up to us to lean forward and grasp His hand to he raised from murky to stand stable on the rock. It is our choice to move from darkness to light, from bondage to freedom and from death to life everlasting.

Christmas is not about tinsel and tree, gifts and galas, turkey and biriyani, cakes and parties, etc. It is about God stepping into our mess, picking us from our messed up state and making us clean and free of that mess, forever!

*Pics courtesy unsplash.com

Déjà vu

Déjà vu is a feeling of having already experienced the present situation. The expression is derived from the French, meaning “already seen.” When it occurs, it seems to spark our memory of a place we have already been, a person we have already seen, or an act we have already done.

Every year begins the same way – an euphoria at the newness of it all, an excitement at the fresh start, a celebration of new life, a joy at the glimpse of great possibilities and a sense of hope at the vision of new horizons. We dance drunk, renewed vigor at the momentary glance at what can be. The future is in our hands and the world is at our feet. All this for just a day or at the most just for a week. In the case of 2020, it may hold till the 5th of Jan, after which we face the first full week of life and work!

Suddenly reality seems to step in to glaze our eyes with a film of distress and discouragement. A sense of deja vu sets in as we begin to do the same tasks, shoulder the same burdens, face the same challenges, pay the same same bills and field the same questions of life.

We begin to see the world again with jaded outlook and our shoulders begin to droop as we realize nothing has really changed. No magic hand has swished it all away with a wave of its wand. We have to go through the same seasons, go through the same motions and experience the same happenings. Our enthusiasm drains away as our rosy picture starts getting brushed over with fifty shades of grey.

At this point, life just seems to be a cycle of whatever will be will be. A sense of futility and fatality begins to cloud the clear sight we had on that first day of the year. What is the use, we sigh, it was just a mirage of newness and freshness, a momentary spike in excitement!

Yet, even though life seems to be an endless cycle of same things occurring in the same way over and over, again and again, like a wheel, let’s remember one thing. A wheel has two motions viz., a rotatory movement around its own axis, but also a translational movement on a horizontal plane. Even though it seems to go round and round the same circle, it also accomplishes progress from point A to point B – it’s cyclic process enabling its forward movement.

Life is not a rocking chair that has a periodic motion but no simultaneous forward motion. Life is not static, but dynamic and marches on with pulsating changes towards a new normal, constantly. The redeeming feature of the repetition of same things day after day, month after month and year after year is that it enables escalation and advancement. It is by the consistency of reoccurrences that humankind advances relentlessly inspite of deterrents to its progress.

As we stood in the first day of the new year, many of us may have experienced a déjà vu, a feeling of I have been here, I have done this before and it is the same beginning of a year. There may have been a sense of boredom at the tedium of occurrences and a sense of weariness at the monotony of happenings. Yet it is crucial to realize that it is this very iterative process that enables concrete construction, like the consistent laying down of bricks in a line day after day to build a house.

Let’s take heart to also remember that this uniformity of life is what undergirds it with stability. It’s the very humdrum of life that enables us, by and large, to assess what we may expect and plan accordingly. It is this very uniformity that gives life solid foundations to build on, never fearing that the world will suddenly be turned topsy turvy.

Let’s know that King Solomon the Wise, after examining everything points out that: Whatever happens or can happen has already happened before. God makes the same thing happen again and again. Eccl 3:15 GNB

Let’s take heart that the Bible promises As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease. (Gen 8:22 NIV)

Let’s remember that there is something fresh to look forward each day: Because of the Lord ’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lam 3:22‭-‬23 NIV)

Let’s not forget, in the midst of this sense of déjà vu, that a constructive application and accomplishment is being achieved, daily.

Let’s have a sense of the big picture and wait another 365 days before we give up on life!

*Images courtesy google.com

LOVE, WHAT IT IS

Love is not just an emotion or an act of the will,
Love is the very being of God Himself!
Love is not just an option or a choice,
Love is just being human with poise!

Love is operating in the nature of God,
Love is being filled with the presence of God!
Love is what makes us go the extra mile,
Love is what helps to do with a smile!

Love is what makes the world go round,
Love is what makes joy to resound.
Loves is what makes it fully versatile,
Love is what fills it daily with new life!

Love makes the routine a thrill,
Love embellishes the mundane with a frill.
Love makes the normal a work of art,
Love enflames the natural with a spark!

Love is what made Him pay the price,
Love is what caused Him not to think twice.
Love will help us go on even when it’s risky,
Love will enable us to trust even when it’s not easy!

©Sabina Tagore Immanuel

*Photos courtesy: https://unsplash.com/

IF SOMETHING IS OF HIM

If something is of God,
He’s committed to see it through.
Though it may seem delayed,
Yet it won’t ever be denied!

If something doesn’t really fit
I’d rather stand with Him in tryst.
When He’s shown me its His will,
I know He wants me to be oh still!

If things don’t seem to go very well,
I find it hard to sit quiet and just be still.
When I know I can get it done so well,
It really strains me to be resting, not run pell mell!

If things seem to go awry or bust,
That He’s still in control not what I distrust!
Its people’s lethargic ways I cannot digest,
Father, give me grace to walk in childlike trust!

If everything seems fine and naught to dread,
I still care not to rush where angels do fear to tread.
God’s in heaven there’s nothing to be worried,
He will take care to see everything is in good stead!

God’s timings are always very perfect,
Though it often seems impossible to be true.
He’s always on time in what He needs to do,
He won’t disappoint but always come through!

©SABINA TAGORE IMMANUEL

It’s so liberating to say, “Lord, I don’t know what to do but my eyes are on You & I’m going to watch You work it all out.” #JoyceQuote #SeekHim

*Pic courtesy https://unsplash.com/

CARING FOR THE UNDERDOG

There was this guy who asked to be in my team for two reasons. One, he wanted to be part of the task we were handling. Two, he desired to be part of the team since few of them had become his friends. If people chose to be part of my group and request to be part of it, I generally will accept. I will check with their previous group head for an assessment, but will still take them in considering it a privilege that they chose to be under me. I may have reservations about them, but would wait to see their progress.

Now this guy did not come with great recommendations or experience. He quite new to it all and I was told that he may not measure up to standards. When I interacted with him, however, I sensed that he was one who had potential and content. I saw him as a raw recruit who could go either way and I would need to go the extra mile to train him. If he did not disapprove others’ negative report, I could end up with a question mark against my leadership. He was a risk to undertake.

Yet, I took him up and made him part of my team for two reasons – one, he was not tricky type of person but one with pure heart; two, I love a challenge, especially where everyone says it can’t be done. Call it my perversity if you want, but if it is said this is impossible, that’s when my hackles rise. I will take up the dare just to prove otherwise, more so if it is regarding a person!

It was not easy handling him for he was a live wire, very enthusiastic with high level of energy that would often exhaust me. Keeping him in line without getting unduly upset or angry was a challenge. To correct without breaking his spirit, to encourage experimentation without damage to others, to rein in his high hopes without destroying his outlook was an additional task over and above the project demands. What kept me going was the fact that someone chose to do that for me, paving the way for to be recognized as a leader.

It is very easy to take a top dog and polish him up or display him or her as a trophy of your skill. That is what is usual everywhere and leaders generally tend to be wary of the underdog. It doesn’t take much to polish a diamond with the right shaping and setting, but it tests your mettle to recognize a coal can be made into a diamond and be the furnace that would bring that transformation. It is easy to take a student with 80% marks and give the teaching and training to achieve centum, but to take a 50% or even a just pass case and make them achieve 90-100% is costly and time-consuming.

We often take the easy way for that is the seemingly smart thing to do. Yet, if the Lord had thought of any of us like that, we wouldn’t be where we are today. A story is told of Michelangelo, the greatest sculptor and painter of all times. His teacher presented his class with a piece of exquisite marble and asked them what they saw. Everyone commented on the texture, shape, size, its pristine colour and other aspects/attributes of the stone. Michelangelo said, I see an angel in it. His master’s reply: Go and release it!

That’s what confronts us when we meet people or are given a team to lead. To become a master craftsman is to have insight to see through the exterior of words, conduct, appearance and shortcomings and penetrate to the core. It is to draw out the hidden talents of the person, give room for errors, take responsibility for any damage that ensues and patiently endure even ridicule from your peers. It is a patient carving of a soul through the chisel of correction and the soft tapping by the mallet of discipline, taking care not to damage the costly marble – the precious human spirit.

David, the shepherd boy, was an underdog in the family. Born in a family of 11 (his father Jesse had 8 sons and 3 daughters), he was given the most in important task of all – acting for the sheep. When there was an important occasion, Prophet Samuel’s visit to his home, he wasn’t even considered important enough to be called home to be part of the feast. Samuel had to specifically ask for him before he was summoned. Yet this one who was considered the most insignificant of all was the one God chose to become king over the nation.

Beloved by God, the Psalmter of Israel, he became the forerunner of the true Shepherd of Israel, Jesus Christ. Slayer of a giant, Goliath, a mighty man of valor, worshipper par excellence, he rose to be the best ruler of all and henceforth, to be known as of his lineage was considered an honor and a privilege.

God saw the underdog and picked him up to be His own shepherd for the nation. Through him the country became consolidated and a power to be reckoned with. God saw his heart that was oriented towards Him and passionate for His glory and he earned the divine favor.

A leader must be sensitive enough to be able to look beyond the outside to recognize the potential within. A leader must develop intuition and discernment to be able to pick a gem hidden in a covering of dirt and then work hard to scrape away until it’s worth is seen. A leader must not reject, but be quick to identify, single out and nurture the underdog.

The guy I was speaking about rose to the occasion and proved his accusers and doubters wrong. He grew to be worthy of a team and I recommended him to be made a leader. What touched me much was his willing submission, ability to listen to reason, take correction and bounce back even from confrontation with renewed vigor and strength. He is one whom I consider a feather in my cap and I am always proud to refer to him as an example of what acceptance and care can do.

To identify potential and input for it to be released is exhilarating!

To care for the underdog is any day rewarding and refreshing!