The brevity of life

Indeed, the thread of life is slender. Soon, the labour is done.

In the meantime, may my heart to other hearts grow ever more tender;

For life is short.

~Maranatha

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Fortify Me With Memories

An afternoon of cheer spent cooking with sisters,
Friends finally tying the knot,
A brother who is witty and caring,
A day oh so productive and a book so captivating;
Flowers to be gathered and adored.
Fortify me with memories, Lord.

A moment of rare understanding with a friend on the phone,
An hour of high excitement when a letter brings wonderful news,
Celebration of a new born baby;
That momentary walk through nature with my preferred one.
Oh, help me to remember it, please…
Fortify me with these memories, Lord.

In-between the rush to meet a deadline,
Or the dull spell of sickness.
When he is upset or discouraged.
When she is disappointed it never quite worked out.
Gird us with the shining moments, God.
Fortify us with memories.

There are moments when all these things
Seem to shout and sing within me;
To merge into something almost too beautiful,
Like a sunset or a symphony –
Fused into some instant hour of perfection.
Sometimes life seems almost too wonderful, Lord.
At times I scarcely can bear it, this beauty, this benediction.
Still, I pray…
That You would fortify me with memories.

Help me to realize during the pain and the petulance,
That life in You is truly wonderful,
And it takes the grim moments to enhance the ecstatic ones.
Fortify me with memories.

Time is so precious;
Don’t let me fritter it away on futile, silly things.
Yet, don’t let me drive myself so hard that I don’t enjoy it.
Oh Lord, fortify me with memories.

 

“There is a glory and joy in the ordinary things.”

allthere

Finding Rest: Of paper-houses and vanity races

“Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee”

Hey friend,
Before I set the “tea” on the table, it might be of help to spur you to thought with a few words: contentment, rest and trust. I hope you contemplate on those words and how they apply or mean specifically to yourself as you read along. Who knows, we might just help each other reason, understand and learn. I particularly have had an extraordinary week mulling over them as I (providentially) have passed through the testing of each.

 
I recently traveled out of town for a very impromptu reason and being a lover of travel, it was a rather much needed change of environment and a break in routine. I had earlier mentioned to a few of my friends how I felt so exhausted and restless, that I wouldn’t mind getting away from the city for a bit. Well, here it was. The chance. And with all the excitement, I packed up every travel essential I could remember to, came up with a ‘to-do’ list of my two-day itinerary and was all set. Needless to say, it was a worthy trip…that didn’t quite achieve what I initially had hoped it would, at least not in that way (haha).

 
While away, I finally began to understand the true meaning of rest – the most important kind of rest, not the vacation-getaway kind of rest. We did short devotions with my host in the evening(s) and as providence would have it, she read from Matthew 6:25-34 on the first day. In a world where our perpetual restlessness is perceived as more or less normal, we tend to assume that our lives are supposed to be a series of struggles to achieve “closure”. This closure, in worldly eyes, sets us to comparison, competition, worries, frustrations, envy, greed, lust…the list is quite lengthy. We subconsciously reset our minds to hitting deadlines, seeing quick results, gaining more and more materially, outdoing each other, making headlines, breaking records and basically just trying to hold it together when it all feels paper-house crumbly and brittle. “My heart is restless until it is satisfied at the end of this effort.” Vanity races.

 
“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” (v31)

 
Unless you have a good book to read and are not in a hurry, Nairobi traffic jams are just an example of the few things that can be a test of patience especially when you are tardy for an appointment, meeting, work or interview. I am learning that there is a divine gift of rest even in such times, and it is learnt in stillness and trust. Trusting that God did intend for you to be there at that time, learning to calmly acknowledge that He is in charge of every detail of your life and that everything happening to you is courtesy of the hedge of His love. Back home, I was sharing this with a dear friend with regards to anxiety over decisions, constant bends-in-the-road, what-ifs …and we came to the conclusion that contentment is indeed satisfaction with God’s will, with what He has gifted us, resting quietly in His hands, trusting Him to take care of the rest.

Rest.png

So while I did get to reflect, relax and regroup for a new week, I am grateful that this trip achieved much more for my weary and restless soul. I learnt that life will throw curve balls at me, sometimes problems will seem to have no answer, and fear will gain the upper hand. What should I do? Trust. Holding to the unchanging truth that God is good and absolutely faithful. It sure is amazing how clear things become when we are still before Him, not complaining, not insisting on quick answers, only seeking to hear His Word in the stillness, and to see things in His light. In our moments of weakness, may we cling to Psalm 56:3,

“When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.”

Wind beneath my wings

soar

“The special gift and ability of each creature defines its special limitations. And as the bird easily comes to terms with the necessity of bearing wings when it finds that it is, in fact, the wings that bear the bird— up, away from the world, into the sky, into freedom—so the woman who accepts the limitations of womanhood finds in those very limitations her gifts, her special calling—wings, in fact, which bear her up into perfect freedom, into the will of God.”
~Elisabeth Elliot in Let me be a woman

This past year I have learnt to trust, mostly God’s leading. I have grown to understand that when you take some paths, risky as they may be, if in obedience, you will find solid rock beneath you – and markers, evidence that someone has traveled this route before. The written word has been and is my direction. I pray to trust it. To obey it. I am loved immeasurably, and beneath these wings are the everlasting arms…hence, now we soar.