PLAYING SAFE

In a TED talk Sir Ken Robinson, Author and Educator, points out to children being naturally creative but we educate them out of it. He goes on to explain through a story that children are not afraid of being wrong, of making a mistake. His take? You cannot be creative if you want to play safe, which is what we educate them to be. Kids stop being creative because we educate them to be safe!

How true, I thought to myself, that we want our children to be safe rather than being who they are meant to be! The words with which we bombard our children daily are: Don’t do that you will get hurt! Don’t touch that you will get hurt! Don’t jump from there you will get hurt!… We inculcate in our children a mentality of fear of hurt, that they learn to protect themselves, first! We teach and train them to play safe!

We inculcate in them a culture of fear and then when they grow up, we complain that they are not risk takers! We nurture cowardice rather than fearless experimentation, then we crib that they don’t achieve anything! We kill their creativity and then reject them for being mediocre! We train them to play safe and then target them for lacking talents or the will to challenge the norm! We program them to be afraid of taking up challenges, then weep when they commit suicide! We adapt them to being so afraid of social stigma that they fear to be pioneers and pathbreakers! We teach them to play safe when we should be training them to take risks and break routines!

We inculcate a horror of being a stand-alone that they are afraid to break the mold to walk in freedom! We have boxed them with our insecurities rather than teaching them to think outside-the-box! We make them mindless robots sticking strictly to routine rather than imaginative researchers who delight to explore! We have cut their sprouting wings making them chickens rather than eagles that were born to fly. We want them to play safe around our feet rather than fly high and far and wide!

We need to blame ourselves for their lack of enterprise, for we have fostered in them a culture of education rather than an OS of adventurous creativity!

Don’t get me wrong, for I am not talking of lawless breaking of rules nor being a rebel of society. I am advocating instruction in ingenuity and creativity rather than confining safety!

If Edison had worried about playing safe, he wouldn’t have invented the electric bulb after ninety-nine failed attempts! Every inventor and explorer battled adversity before achieving their goal. We who laud their fulfillment forget that self-actualizing success doesn’t attract the fickle-minded but the beautifully bold!

I think of the One Who set the example the most by being unconventional and unorthodox. – Jesus Christ the Champion of the marginalized! He went about getting the captives free by tearing down confining walls, breaking out of boxing fetishes, challenging the norm and the normal. In His bid for freedom to all, He consistently broke down barriers, went past social stigmas and ruthlessly beat down the opposition as a true Liberator. Je ended up on the cross because He refused to play safe!

He never bothered being under attack for being singular, but even taught His followers to be so by life and example. His one word to the one disciple wanting to step out of the boat was a simple ‘come’. He encouraged Peter in his impetus impulse rather than stop him from adventuring into the unknown. The One Whose Word lists 365 fear-nots, one for every day, gave his apprentice a lesson in boldness. On the strength of His word, Peter walked in the water that day, experiencing a thrill that no one before or after him had, singling and signalling him to be a leader. Real leadership crowns the atypical rather than the fainthearted or those playing safe!

Paeidia, from which comes the English word Encyclopedia, is the Greek word for education. Paeidia should be to fit our children for what they have been created to be, fitted for and equipped to accomplish rather than teaching them to fear. Life should be taught as being a gift of, in and for exploration and adventure!

Education or Paeidia should be for instruction in self-actualizing rather than in playing safe!

*Thanks to lauren lulu taylor for making this photo available freely on @unsplash 🎁 https://unsplash.com/photos/vppMdk_GMo4

*TED talk link https://www.facebook.com/TED/videos/10162300976450652/

KISMET

“When the man met the woman of his dreams, he said it was kismet. ” “Perhaps it was kismet Jim won the lottery right after he lost his job.”  “If kismet does not interfere and allow someone to see the smoke signal, the injured man will die in the freezing canyon.” “So this is your fate destiny kismet you must rise up to it because no one else can take this job.” You have probably heard of such sentiments or read such statements .

The Urban Dictionary says: The word Kismet is of foreign origin and is used in Turkish, Urdu, Hindi and Arabic. In Hindi it means “fate” or “destiny” and the meaning is exactly the same in English. So instead of saying, “it is fate”, you could say “it is kismet“. According to Merriam-Webster, Kismet’ comes from the Arabic word ‘qisma’, which means “portion” or “lot.” Kismet was borrowed into English in the early 1800s from Turkish, where it was used as a synonym of fate. This was an expansion on the meaning of the original Arabic word qisma that led to kismet and one early 18th-century bilingual dictionary says it’s a synonym of “fragment.”

Kalyan Kumar, Vice-president of Human Resources at India Uniper, opines that ‘we often tend to view the word Karma through the prism of Kismet, or fate or destiny. Fundamentally, the roots of these two terms, namely, Karma and Kismet, are from entirely different cultural moorings. The word Karma is native to the Indic civilization, and is common to all of the spiritual traditions that were spawned by the Indic civilization. Kismet has its roots in the Semitic middle east, more specifically in Islam.’ According to him, ‘Karma is much more than Fate, Destiny or Kismet. The term Kismet or Destiny is in common man’s parlance that God alone determines everything. He is the creator, mover as well as the final judge! In the Karmic world on the other hand the doer alone is responsible for all the consequences arising out his actions. Karma by its very intent makes one responsible for one’s actions as well as its attendant consequences.’

In my South Indian dialect of Tamil, one of the longest-surviving classical languages in the world, the word often used to explain the inconsequential happenings of life is ‘vidhi’ – It is all her vidhi that these things happened to her. Vidhi is explained as fate, which is written on the head, and is used both positively and negatively, to deal with the unexplainable incidents of living and being.

The negative connotation of the word often results in a fatalistic and simplistic acceptance of negative conditions or circumstances found in someone’s life. It produces a passivity that accepts, with a dejected finality, even what could, with a little more will and effort, be surmounted and overcome. It is the root cause of a defeatist mentality and frequently, the impulse and impetus for suicide and self-immolation.

The positive nuance of the word, on the other hand, recently struck me as being such a help to accept what cannot be undone or unmade. It assists in tiding over the sense of defeat at the missed opportunities, lends comfort when feeling loss at the lapse of time and acts as balm to the deep grief felt for what could have been. It provides the stimulus for a positive and constructive outlook and produces a beneficial and effective attitude. A posture of acceptance and compliance is then birthed, helping to release a free flow of forgiveness. Rather than fostering negative emotions of resentment, rancour and revenge that fester into unforgiveness, it assuages the emotions of antipathy and hostility .

Able to say to the guilty, ‘it is okay, it is just vidhi (or kismet), helps pave the way for bridging the gap betrayal has created and promote relationship by offering the olive branch over the hurdle of hurt. It can create a conducive atmosphere to accept the offender, foster an understanding of the offender and enable an acceptance of the delinquent. It can also prepare the wounded and the offended to receive the one who has wronged and deceived them. It will help to view those who are especially overwhelmed by the enormity of their action or inaction and overcome by the consequences of their participation or abstinence, with the right attitude of clemency and mercy. At the end, it would help offer pardon to those who are overpowered by the guilt of their commission or omission and a way out of defeat into dignity.

The victim would be able to rise above petty feelings of retribution and recrimination to heights of nobility in thought and attitude towards the perpetrator. It would relieve the aggrieved party of rages and grudges, ensuring well-being rather than ill-health born of harboring negative emotions. Forgiveness and reconciliation are powerful restoratives of wholesomeness, both to the injured and the assailant.

It is not that the former deny or sweep away the effects of the crime or violation, but are able to put it aside and move on. It is not that they condone or gloss over the crime, but are enabled to bear with the culprit. It is not that they overlook or just condemn the transgression, but are endued with the ability to bear with the transgressor. They are powerfully motivated to not linger in or camp around the hurt, but start the process of rising phoenix-like from the ashes of their disappointment and distress to new life and being.

May be this seems to be a cop out or a denial or a disassociation, but I see it more as a coping mechanism that enables health and healing on both sides. It actually helps to come to terms with the issue, grapple with its impacts and move on to a virtuous frame of mind. Instead of squatting around wasteful emotions that tear at the soul, fracture the mind and destroy the physique, it helps build on a negative situation and utilize ‘what was meant to be evil’ to become a success, a strength and, in the end, a triumph of the spirit over animal instincts!

In today’s parlace, the word kismet conjures up pictures of a musical, a movie, a computer progam or a company, but in real life it is a lodestar of treasure. In truth, kismet or qismat in Persion, as in the story of Rumpelstiltskin, spins gold out of straw, converts dung into fuel and transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary and other worldly. Like the waves wiping smooth the ruffled sand, it smoothes the wrinkles of life and levitates normal human beings to be more like and closer to the Creator, Who causes the sun to shine and rain to fall on both the good and bad. Not surprising, since, by definition, Kismet is being sure that God is Sovereign over all and that you are under His rule!

* Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash
* https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/karma-kismet-same-kalyan-kumar/

FOR WANT OF A NAIL

Saturday 20th of July 2019 America celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing by Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. Aldrin set foot on the Moon nineteen minutes after Armstrong first touched the surface while Michael Collins remained in lunar orbit. Armstrong had the privilege of being known as the first man on the moon, Aldrin as the first astronaut with a doctoral degree and the first person to hold a religious ceremony on the Moon when he privately took communion, while Collins remains oft-forgotten and not as well-known as the other two.

NEIL ARMSTRONG MICHAEL COLLINS BUZZ ALDRIN

Armstrong was commander of Apollo 11, Aldrin was the lunar module pilot and Michael Collins command module pilot. Therefore, Collins stayed behind in lunar orbit. Aldrin was placed opposite side to the opening hatch and so to get out first, it would have been necessary “for one bulky-suited, back-packed astronaut to climb over another,” NASA wrote. Armstrong, the commander of Apollo 11, was nearest to the opening and so was chosen to be the first one on the moon. The mission was a success because each one took the position given to them and did their individual parts with care and commitment. The goal of man reaching the moon had to take and did take precedence and priority over individual preferences, desires or aspirations.

In India, in its rural areas and villages, the rustic bullock cart held and still holds a position of importance for its utility in transporting goods and people. The most crucial part of the cart is not the animals, or the superstructure or even the driver. Important though each of these are, they are less critical than a small nail that’s the pivot fixing the wheel and the superstructure as one. In races, all that a rival or adversary would need to do, is just quietly slide it out and slip away. The nail’s absence is not even felt or seen until the cart starts moving a distance as at first no change in perceptible. A short time later, the whole thing will collapse, throwing violently its occupants and causing great damage depending on the speed of the cart.

“For Want of a Nail” is a popular nursery rhyme and proverb, dating back to the 14th century. 

So also, in life, there are those who seem to be insignificant and invisible, but oh so critical and essential to a task or project. In a team, everyone, small or big,visible or invisible, recognized or not have their own role and contribution to make. A wise leader will always acknowledge even ‘the least of these’ though outsiders may not. Everyone is important for the total success of the project.

As the Apostle Paul admonished the Christians in Rome, Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you (Bible, book of Romans 12:3).If Collins had not remained in orbit, the other two wouldn’t have been able to return to the earth. Remember they were part of Apollo 11 mission, meaning that there were several missions that had been attempted before this one succeeded. Every step of a stairway is needed to reach the top.

Let’s never forget that it was just a nail that sealed the fate of a Kingdom!

*Photos: By NASA – NASA Human Space Flight Gallery (image link), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=102412*Photos: http://www.alamy.com, https://images.app.goo.gl/AHkbqH8AUV1qByHi6

BEING THE LEAD DOG

In the Arctic areas, dog sleds have been traditionally in use for transportation, hauling supplies in areas inaccessible by other methods and in the explorations of the Arctics. Sled dog teams delivered mail to rural communities in Alaska and northern Canada and even today are being used by some rural communities, especially in areas of Alaska and Canada and throughout Greenland. They are also used for recreational purposes and racing events, such as the Iditarod Trail and the Yukon Quest.

The most critical part of the team, lead dogs set the pace and keep the other dogs on the trail. They are the dogs that respond to the musher’s commands of “gee” (right turn) and “haw” (left turn). Lead dogs must be alert and intelligent so they can find and follow the trail when it is covered over with snow. They do so through smell, sensing where other teams have passed, and feel, by feeling with their feet the packed trail beneath the loose snow covering. They also keep the other dogs in the team moving by pulling the gangline taut. Some dogs make better leaders in certain weather conditions but not others.

Being a leader rests not just on the ability to lead, but also on how well you can lead, especially in times of crises. Leader is one who leads by example and has the boldness to tell others, follow me. A leader by profession is different and distinct from one who is by instinct and by nature. The former does it for a season, for a time period, at certain places, because he/she has been given or placed in a position and for a compensation. The latter is a leader, wherever, whenever, always, irrespective of whether they are given or placed in a position and granted a wage or reward. Such a person will not abandon ship nor throw in the towel, but will rather forfeit their own benefits and prioritize the interest of the whole team. These are gems, stars that shine clear and bright, rare indeed is their kind!

Leaders, who lead just because they are one, don’t look for position nor vie for it, but do what they have to do just because of who they are. They lead on and by the authority of their nature or character, rather than by the power and authority of a position, or by rules and regulations or even a following. They are far removed from petty power struggles and fighting for their rights as they are secure in who they basically are and what they are destined to do. Such leadership, though normally intrinsic and inborn, can of course be learnt and acquired, if the basic principle involved here is understood. In such a kind of leading and mentoring, being (character, nature) supersedes demanding, talking, instructing, commanding or even doing. Here the power of leadership exists in the person and in who they are rather than what they do, by virtue of an endless life than of action. This is the secret behind the seeming reason for their security in the face of adversity or opposition or even rejection.

A leader of influence needs to understand the power of non-verbal impartation over verbal communication. A simple short movie done some years ago for a competition portrayed the progress of a yawn around a group of people. One person yawning set a series of yawns that traveled quite a distance around the area. Such is the power of example and existence! Impartation is a powerful aspect of leadership that is often neglected in favor of verbal use or abuse. If you want people to follow you even when you suggest the most outrageous risks and undertakings, learn to concentrate on growing and improving who you are, rather than what you do. Do not use camouflage or subterfuge to mask your inadequacies, but learn to be transparent and forthcoming. I often listen to Indra Nooyi, not because of her position, but more because I can see that what she says is who she is. She is not mouthing fancy words or clichés because she has to, but because she has practiced what she is articulating.


A leader cannot lead his/her people beyond who he/she is or what he can do and how far he has grown.  That’s why for your leadership to be sustainable or sustained, put efforts into improving who you are through some study or training and being mentored. Actually, a leader who is not being led cannot lead others, for he is not accountable, learning or improving. A true leader will seek counsel and advice to grow, consistently expand his/her horizons, continuously develop lateral skills and constantly supplement his/her own capabilities. Such person will always be a student so as to function effectively as teacher and leader. Life with or under such a person will be a roller-coaster of adventure as they are never static and set in their ways, but dynamic and ever self-actualizing in every instance.

I love that the Bible talks about Jesus, the greatest leader who led by example, as someone who ‘began to do and teach’. Any follower of this greatest teacher and rabbi of all times who led by example and see the impact as well as reach that He has had for and on generations, will not hesitate to emulate it.

Everything you say or do as a leader will be colored and coded by who you are. The context of your words will be the content of your life and the consequence of your being, rather than the cosmetic or costume of your appearance. Even though these latter do play a part in presentation, the completeness of your self will unconsciously compliment and complement as well as complete the core of your communication and determine as well as decide the success of it. If your being doesn’t back up your doing or your saying, people will accept you or your commands because they have to and not because they want to! By virtue of their position under you, they will honor you, but once out from under it, will despise or demean you. Such leadership doesn’t last or impact with dignity, but will have to be maintained through deceit, coercion and compulsion rather thriving on willing eager submission. Leadership then becomes a burden and a duty rather than an endless delight and a compelling mission.

Be a leader before demanding or commanding as a leader!

* Photo by James Padolsey on Unsplash and Photo by Jehyun Sung on Unsplash

*Information on dogsleds from https://iditarodoutsider.wordpress.com/tag/sled-dog-positions/ and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sled_dog

MANAGING THE OVERFLOW

There was a season in our life when my husband and I faced an unusual issue of extra cash in hand every month. This was over and above our monthly expenditures and was not a normal occurrence in our life. Mostly, we would have just enough for our needs or even less than what was needed for our daily upkeep. We were faced with a serious dilemma: what to do with this excess? I was in a quandary since I was totally in charge of housekeeping and managing the family. My husband trusted me to take care of things at home fully, while he took care to earn and provide for us.

Lack was not new to me and I had become an expert in managing our family in times of need and want. Poverty was a familiar ground to me, prosperity was not! I was now in a new uncharted territory and needed guidance. As usual I turned to the Scriptures and found my answer there. What I found was THE PRINCIPLE OF JOSEPH!

In the Bible we see Joseph, a dreamer, becoming an interpreter of dreams to Pharoah, the sovereign of Eygpt. The Pharaoh has a dream of seven healthy cows being eaten up by seven lean cows and another dream of seven healthy ears of grain being swallowed up by seven weak ears of grain. With heavenly revelation and insight, Joseph diagnoses as the dreams together issuing a warning of things to come: there would seven years of extreme plenty followed by seven years of utter famine.
Joseph, not only interpreted the dream, but with the wisdom of God, born of training and experience, advised the King on the course of action to take in that season. His counsel, SAVE UP THE EXCESS DURING YEARS OF PLENTY TO TIDE OVER THE LACK IN THE YEARS OF NEED!

Thrilled with the simplicity of the answer to my question. I followed that principle and put aside the excess in a post office saving account. Just a few months later, a crisis situation rose in our family wherein we needed to have ready cash in our hand for expenses. What I had put aside helped us tide over in this very demanding time and gave us the freedom to handle it without the pressure of running around for resources!

Most often, when we are given a bonus, a raise or are fortunate to have surplus in our hands, we tend to spend it on what we have already desired to have. Surfing online shopping sites or window shopping or scanning magazines for deals has become a favorite pastime and entertainment for us. In doing so, we automatically build up a repertoire of wants and desires which we try to fulfil in the seasons we have excess or surplus. Nothing wrong in doing so when you have a planned budget to catch deals during, say a festival season; but doing it as an obsessive impulse is quite detrimental to our financial well being.
When I worked in a government office, I used to admire the thrift and saving acumen of a particular community/ people group in our nation. Any increase in salary or other benefits, they would immediately start an RD or participate in saving chit etc. They confined their needs and wants to a selected money slab and did not try to increase their lifestyle in any way, very content to be in that socioeconomic level. So when times of need came, they were well prepared in advance for that need. It was not that they did not live well, but it is that they have an inherent business and financial knowhow that is not known to many.

Even though I often faltered and did not follow the Joseph Principle, yet this lesson became a fundamental portion of my life and I have it taught it to others too. Life has come a full circle for me and now and I am again in a season of putting this into practice. Now I am equipped with wisdom to make the right decisions.

The way we handle what life throws at us is a true measure of our wisdom, maturity and understanding. We live in very fluid and unstable times and often our daily existence is standing on thin base of life, an ever-changing business environment and very uncertain financial condition. Gone are the days when a person could work at one job in one place in one organization for thrifty forty years before retiring with a sizable pension as well as savings such as PF, gratuity etc. In such perilous times, we cannot afford to build our lives, both family and individual on sinking sands of consumerism and materialism. We need to be careful managers, shrewd investors and wise planners.A note in passing: Joseph, after his wise counsel and exhibition of sharp business strategy, was appointed in charge of the very plan he mooted and became second only to Pharoah. In spite of being a foreigner and a slave in the land, Joseph was appointed administrator over the whole nation, having complete power and authority over everything. Nothing could be done without hai permission and he gained it all by the nobility of his mind. He became a wealthy man and led Eygpt to hold perfect sway even in the most dire times and made the country of his adoption to be head over all the nations around. How we handle what life throws at us is a true measure of our wisdom, maturity and understanding.
Let’s learn from ancient wisdom. Learn the art of managing a flood. Learn to handle the overflow. Live by the Principle of Joseph. Let your own wisdom pave your own path of success and honor!

*Photos courtesy unsplash.com

COME YE APART

Recently my family and I have been having a short season of total rest – son had annual factory shutdown-cum-leave time, daughter and son-in-law vacation time with us, other son successfully completed university admission procedures, hubby retired from work and I had my heart and hands full with all of these as a bouquet of satisfaction!

An unprecedented time of total tuning down caused me to truly understand how totally refreshing rest is!

Pulling back to rest, stepping away from schedule, relaxing from intensive work, moving away to new location, spending quality time together, intentional laying aside of activity and cessation from busyness are sure keys to physical, mental, emotional and spiritual renewal. Such overhauling of all systems is mandatory necessity for holistic life and living today. It is not an optional luxury in these stressful times that we live in, but a real-time urgent necessity and need. It is more commonsensical and wise to spend for and on a timeout, rather than on costly medical procedures and treatment. Prevention is surely always better than cure, and besides, this one has literally no side effects to it!

Ironically, many form and organize even a vacation into a pressurised block of time, packing it chock-full of various events and activities. It is distressing to see such folks return from a holiday more tense than ever before. Imagine making even a vacation into a strenous workout!

Most often than not, what is needed is just simple rest and good nutritional intake rather than a costly outing that strains the budget, adding to the load. Nothing is so good as a long, alarm-free sleep, bolstered with and by a lack of deadlines. Just letting go of an agenda will work wonders for many a one who is simply used to running a constant mechanical life. Even the pendulum of a clock is brought to rest to release tension and restore equilibrium. A combination of good food, good sleep and good solitude is often a surefire and simple remedy for stress!

Coming apart to a desert or desolate place truly helps in realigning priorities, weighing pros and cons of activity, weeding out the irrelevant and focusing on only needed realities. Without an intentional time of solitude and reflection, we would end up expending our energy, scattering our attention and generally getting distracted from realisitic ground necessities. That’s why attending a funeral often helps in coming to terms with real life, for it pulls us up and out of a benumbed stupor of activity and frenzied running after many things. It is pressing the pause button on our mad routine to assess the fragility and frailty of human existence. It helps take stock of and accept our humanness.

A sabbath rest and sabbatical time is the need of the hour for sustainable living and conservation of strength. Without renewal and rest we would soon, without effort, unconsciously slide into robotic existential lifestyle. We would probably soon reach an early grave.

Let’s wake up to the need for some, plain, good, old-fashioned rest. Let’s come apart before we become jaded and come apart!

*Photo courtesy: https://unsplash.com/photos/dV1ShxBfX5s

WHEN LIFE SEEMS UNFAIR – the farsightedness of God and the nearsightedness of man

As I read the story of the birth of Jesus and of John the Baptist in Matthew chapter 2 and Luke chapter 2 in the Bible, I am struck by one point, something common in both. Did both sets of parents ever wonder why their lot in life was hard, even though they were righteous people? I wonder if Zechariah’s family and Joseph’s family ever questioned why their life was the way it was – one couple had to be childless for so many years and other couple had to be so poor that they could afford only the minimal necessities of life?

God had a plan for both couples and had chosen them to carry out His plan, even though they were unaware of it! Nothing happens without a purpose for those who love Him and nothing is beyond His sovereignty and purview for them. When one is committed to Him, one can be sure that nothing happens, the best or the worst, by chance or without purpose in one’s life.

John the Baptist had to be born before Jesus and until that time Zechariah and Elizabeth had to be barren even though they were righteous and of right standing before God. They wouldn’t have understood the why of it until the right time. I wonder how many times they would have been asked why has God punished you or not answered your prayer. I wonder how many times they themselves would have asked why have we not been blessed and if they doubted the efficacy of their being righteous.
Life was unfair to them and God would seem to be unseeing. Yet they didn’t lose their faith in God nor trade in their righteousness for haphazard living. They held their course and in due time understood the honor for which they had been singled out – to be the parents of a unique child born in urgent times of history and transition.

The same could be said of Joseph and Mary, for they bore the burden of poverty and need. They seemed to be content with their lot and Jesus was born to them as the lowly son of a carpenter. He couldn’t have been born any other way except poor and be loaded with maximum number of disadvantages. It was only then could He identify Himself with all things become so for all men. If His birth and social strata in life would have been otherwise, He would have been at a disadvantage. Since He had this call to be a sacrifice for many, His parents also had to pay the price for it even when they didn’t know it or understand they were God’s choice to be the parents of the Son of God! It is however clear that they did not crib about it nor cease from following God and being righteous.

We often don’t understand or accept our lot in life, because we don’t see our lives in the context of God’s plan for all of humanity. We don’t comprehend the background of the stage in which the drama of our life is being played out. We don’t see the arena in which we live our lives nor do we realize the chain of things in which our lives play their part.

So, we either blame God or become lackadaisical about following Him. We constantly strive to better our lot without understanding His purposes for us in the context of His plans for the whole world. We are worried only about us and our plans and are consumed about upward mobility in society.

We lack the desire to apprehend and understand the big picture. We refuse to acknowledge that we are part of a bigger plan and the importance of the role we play in it as well as our contribution in it. By and large, we live and want to live selfish, individual lives that’s fashioned by minimalistic goals mostly concert tested and concerned about what we eat, what we dress, what we buy, where we live etc. We don’t acknowledge God in our lives and His plans for the world as a whole.

Even when we belong to Him we are more concerned with how to live in the kingdom of this world rather than living with the acceptance that His Kingdom, whose citizens we are, is already here. We shut our eyes and mind to the fact that this world is passing away while eternity is at our doorstep. We are like chickens rooting the soil for juicy worms rather than eagles that lifts its eyes to the heights, unaware the storm is on us.

Question is do I/you have the correct apprehension and clarity of sight. Are we short-sighted and nearsighted or long-sighted and farsighted? Are we being hampered and tempered by faulty and erroneous nearsightedness or enhanced and enlarged by farsightedness?
Whether we like it or not, assess it or not, our lives are the creation of God and our beings exist within the context of His purposes. Things happen to us as per and according to His will and shutting our eyes to it will only cause us to be like the ostrich in the desert that sticks its head in the sands hoping things will go away or change.

On the other hand, if we just accept and acknowledge God and His purposes, we will see clearly to understand that all things work together for our good within the progress of His plans and purposes on earth. We will not be tripped up in our faith nor lose our righteousness, for we will live with foresight. Indeed we will have the right combination to live as people of this era and as people with eternal destinies, as people who possess perfect 20/20 vision!

*Thanks to Elena Taranenko for making this photo available freely on @unsplash 🎁 https://unsplash.com/photos/hCUA4xtxVTA