Before I post this, i'd like to apologise for my last post. I was out of sorts and well i just need a bone to pick on and wham! i got one. So Spew, if you ever pass by again, here's the thing - i meant the last few paragraphs of it, the other, well i dont' have an explanation. Honestly, there's a lot more to the man / woman spiel and i'll say it first, i don't know everything...but i'm enjoying the learning experience, yeah?
Anyway...what i got below is a e-mail i sent to a few people after an overload of 'forward this or you go to hell e-mails'...thought i migth share it.
I just got a slew of e-mails telling me how I don’t have time for the Lord. Well, and so it passes that we use myriad forwards about the Lord and think we've done our part of spreading a message, which I believe is just a way of satisfying our inner voices that we've done something, even if it meant sticking the letters J E S U S in the subject line and hitting send. The thickness of it continues to amaze me. How many of us have chosen the addresses we write to and actually managed to just type out something more personal that we have felt or experienced, including the trauma of being faithful and the bliss that comes for remaining the same - faithful.
I guess no one, including me have had the guts and then we say we aren't ashamed. We all are. Let's not deceive ourselves and think otherwise. Don't use a forward and please don't preach, it's easy to preach. It's harder to relate, personalise and practice. So the next time, you receive a forward using God as an engine to soothe our nagging consciences, do yourself a favour and write something that will help the other person open their eyes and not fall into the meaningless cycle of consequence ridden religious e-mails that may have the right heart behind it, but in no ways helps the person who opens it when they stuck for actual insight.
Do I believe anyone of you will forward this to anyone? I’m quite sure you won’t. It’s personal, and it’s a testimony of sorts. No earth shattering threats, no graphics, no tough consequences of death, no change in luck, no accidents. But it does have some of my time spent, some of my pride and faith and most importantly a promise to share God in a more effective way.
Let me take the first step:
I’ve been in Dubai for over a year now, and the irony is that I’ve learnt so much more than I would have if I were anywhere else. Before anyone decides that this desert has made the difference, I will only say that it was only that it happened to be this city. Circumstances choose the venue and the time; you’re there when you need to be. Some of the darkest of times have been waged and experienced in my mind and head here. I fought God, I fought my family, I fought everyone, including myself. And when I still couldn’t see what I was doing to myself, God decided to step in and stop the nonsense.
My pain was at its highest before I landed by job here; I had left a city and life I knew so well behind, I was in and out of interviews, made subject to racist remarks and also ‘barter deals’ for my salary. But with each experience, I said no and grew a little stronger inside. Part of it was because I was so sure I would go back to Bangalore and another was because my pride wouldn’t let me. Simple. When I had reached the end of my tether and began to fray at the ends, God decided to step in. There was no blinding lights, no flashes of lightening, no thunder. It was night, I was trying to fall asleep, but I couldn’t.
I tried hard to, but all I could think of was how life was suddenly so unfair, closed and desperate. I had never felt that way in my life. I began to sob angrily, completely cheesed off with the cards I had been dealt (and blind to the good ones I’ve had throughout my life), and I moaned into the dark of the room, “What the hell do you want from me?! What did I do, WHY?!!” I never got an answer that night.
A week later we were invited to dinner to a friend’s house, hours past and after what seemed an eternity dessert was served. As I helped the process along and cleared the table for the ice cream bowls, my eye caught on a sentence peeking up at me from under the newspaper on a book. It said, “The Purpose Driven Life: What God Wants from you”. You know the rest…I read the book, and the first sentence will always stick in my mind (just like the last one from Gone with the Wind – “Tomorrow is another day”) – “It’s not about you.”
I read that book cover to cover alone and with my family (we were able restart our family prayers and we haven’t stopped since - Dad and mom you better not have stopped!). The point I’d like to make is that sometimes God doesn’t use theatrics to get a point across to us. And I can assure you he doesn’t guilt us into it either. The last thing he needs is a guilt ridden believer. I don’t believe that God will send me to hell for being forthright, experiencing life, reading a book that challenges my thought processes, deleting a religious/spiritual forward, or not taking 36 copies of a novena and placing it somewhere or listening to another’s idea of faith and goodness. It only helps me believe in Him more. I guess that’s faith for me. I’m sure each of us have something wonderful to say about our own lives and faith that would hit anyone between the eye like ton of bricks and make a larger impact on their lives.
Y’see God took his time to reveal the larger purpose and plans he has for my life, he continues to take his time and I now know the timing is perfect, because I was in a position to be completely receptive and understand what was being revealed to me. Any time sooner or later, it would have bombed…badly. Timing is everything and let’s face it no one has timing like Him.
Before you think this a right royal tirade against forwards….let me assure you, it’s not just that J, it’s also about how we can make sharing the Word a more effective exercise that a futile one. Send someone a joke, they’ll be willing to take the time and even share it with the office. Send them a forward on how Jesus changes lives…quote a few verses from the Bible and boom you’re in limbo! If you scare easy, you forward it, if you don’t you delete it.
I took the time, I’m not ashamed and I hope that this in some way helps more of us to share.
I love you all.