Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Trivializing the Important

Two instances

1.  Marriage Ceremonies

People these days show up at the wedding reception to greet the newlywed couple, to give wedding presents and to take part in the marriage feast. But quite a lot of them do not bother to attend the church when the couple take their marriage vows. This saddens me. I’m not married but the vows never fail to amaze me. Isn’t it strange and beautiful that two persons are joined as one and that the partners take a vow before God and other people:

to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.

What human relationship can be deeper than that? But we fail to realize the importance of such vows and even trivialize it, treating it as a formality. If couples really mean those words when they utter them on their wedding day, divorce rates will nose dive and love will not stop to blossom. When Christ reconciles us back to God, he also reconciles us one to another and the deepest of human relationships is the bond of marriage.

2. Baptism

Last Sunday after morning church service, a girl was baptized. All the heavens rejoice when a single person comes to believe Jesus Christ and confess him as Lord and Savior. But majority of the church members left and didn’t stay back to rejoice with the heavens. The significance of baptism goes deep down to the core of Christian faith. In baptism, we are declaring before God and people that our old selves with all our sins have been nailed to the cross. And with the resurrection of Christ, we rise as new persons. When the girl came out of the pool, my heart rejoiced and I shook hands with her, ‘welcome to the family’.

What are of immense value, we have trivialized while we bicker and make important the secondary things. Sociologist and Theologian Tony Campolo in one of his talk shows shared a childhood experience:

One night, he and his friends broke into a store. They didn’t steal anything but just to play a prank on people, they changed the price tags of all the items. The next morning, those who turned up at the store were in for a real surprise. Things that are of immense value were selling at a few cents while items which aren’t worth much were sold at such heavy prices.

That’s what the devil has done in our times. The price tags are all changed so that the things that we should value are made to look worthless and we value things that are not of any lasting value.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Why I Write

It’s been a while since I posted anything here. There has been a lot going on in my mind but I’ve not been able to do much:

First, I need to write (typing actually) on care for the natural environment.

Then, I have a plan to write something on Science and Religion; that they are not antagonistic but are complementary. But before that, I need to read two books.

Also it has been on my mind for a long time to write about the need for in-depth knowledge and not simply superficial collection of information… something like someone’s statement that American spirituality is a mile wide but only knee deep.

I want to write more newspaper articles on health. I also have a request to write something on epidemic prone diseases for a local radio program reader.

I have an audio of a wonderful story I recorded from Pungro about a man who was beaten to death and buried three and half feet underground, but rose again the next day. I need to convert the interview into a story.

By the year end, I want to start to write a book with some friends. The details are top secret.

There’s a newsletter I edit every month. It’s not easy to collect materials, edit, find sponsor, print, and distribute, but I hope the effort will pay off in invisible ways, that some people benefit from reading it.

I’m not a writer. I don’t have a book. I don’t have any published journal articles. All I have is a handful of newspaper articles and this blog. No one assigned me to write any of the above plans I have. I don't always enjoy writing. It's hard work and I put off half baked works for days and months. I have the liberty to discard it all and say goodbye to writing.

Yet like a fool, I struggle, suffer and push myself to turn every experience and everything I learn into written words.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

No one can visit the same place twice

No one can visit the same place twice. You have changed. The place has changed. IT IS NOT THE SAME. I felt this way as I made another trip to Thanamir village, Kiphire district on 27th April, 2012 with the NRHM team. It was my 3rd visit to the last village in Nagaland bordering Myanmar. Trekkers of Mount Saramati stop here to prepare for the climb. The villagers provide guides and potters. Also the village has become popular for its SARAMATI APPLES. Apple festival is organized annually from 2010.

On my way, I can’t help but think of my first visit which was better by miles. And I protested inside to see that IT IS NOT THE SAME. I fondly remember my first visit each time I see the pictures and I relive them again. And I want to keep those memories alive. I don’t want anything to change. But IT IS NOT THE SAME anymore. It all seems polluted now. Now, when I think of those first fond memories, images of the subsequent visits come in and distort the vivid sequence of eventful memories I enjoyed.

The first visit was challenging, frightening, inspiring, and it was a daring thing we did; just to embark on the journey. There was the excitement of the unknown and every move we made was a risk we took. But in our last visit, we sat in our vehicles which took us there. There was no adrenaline rush except to rue that IT IS NOT THE SAME. I want to keep my first memories as they were but it’s now forever changed. IT IS JUST NOT THE SAME ANYMORE.

But I should not protest so loudly. Because someone maybe making his/her first memory as I did mine a couple of years ago.