Split Second

I usually spend my idle time thinking about life. The trip this week has given me a few opportunities to reflect on life and my outlook of it. There are times when I felt that I have taken a lot of things for granted and have been ungrateful of the blessings in my life.

And as I reflected further and drilled down into the miniscule aspects of life, I realized that how great of a change just one second in time can bring to our lives.

In other words, in a split second, many things can happen be it good or bad. In a split of a second, I’ll probably be born into a life without choices – freedom of religion being one. In a split of a second, I might be in a plane crash or an accident. In a split of a second, I may die in my sleep.

As such, the first order of things for me whenever I visit a foreign land is to always be still in the presence of God and to give Him thanks for another day of life.
This is not a show of my holiness or the lack of. Infact, I am far from a holy person by any standard. Afterall, I am just a human with imperfections. It is just me believing that in all things uncontrollable, there is a God.

We tend to overthink and overanalyze things. We want to get an explaination and justification for everything in our lives. What we cannot see or touch is usually doubtful.

As we wind down for the weekend and on my flight back home, one statement came on strongly and I think it is worth sharing. I hope it puts into perspective why some of us believe in the divine.

“If we can explain for certain the randomness of death then, we can clearly define the existence of God.”

Impulsive

For some reasons, the topic of fluidity and spontaneity has been on my mind this entire week. It also brought to mind a disappointing moment in my life many years ago.

It is only human nature to remember hurtful moments the most and one particular incident when I was a young lad stuck until today. Someone once labelled me as “impulsive” and denied me the opportunity to progress further in an organization I was a part of in high school. He explained that it was an undesirable trait.

Fast forward almost 20 years later, I realized that being impulsive is not a flaw but like any other trait, it can be advantageous. I realized that many of us are procrastinators always looking out for opportunities to delay certain tasks or working towards our goals.

Being impulsive is good when one have the “do it now” attitude. Of course there are times when I looked back and regret some of the impulsive moments but otherwise, I felt a great sense of accomplishment when things turn out well.

Thus far, being impulsive has allowed me to try many things and to react faster during crucial moments especially in situations when decision making is needed in a short time frame.

I like to think that being impulsive afford me the label of being the “crazy ones” just like the quote (below) used by the late Steve Jobs in one of the campaigns. To be able to try new things without the worry of failures (we worry about that later).

Being a “crazy one”, I often look back in life and can proudly say, “I’ve been there and done that. No regrets!”

Fluid

There is a certain calmness in watching the gentle waves hitting the sand on the beach during sunset. The thought of the end of a day paves way to the dawn of a brand new day is somewhat reassuring.

But yet, nothing is for certain and we know not what tomorrow brings. The water only reminds us to be fluid and adapt in all the challenges life throws at us. Come what may.

We all need some peace at the end of the day. Just to listen to our soul for a little while and hear of its desires. A time for stillness rejuvenates the weary mind. To realign with life’s purpose and find the center once again.

Being away from the noises sure helped me recalibrate my thought process. The spirit feels good to once again feel and be in awe with the wonderful creations of nature.

Our spirit’s eventual destination is to be truly free…

Keeping Promises

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” ~ John 14:15

It was Thursday morning in the bustling city that is renown for its nightlife. Having breakfast alone before heading out for work, I cannot help but to eavesdrop on the conversation taking place at the next table between a man with German accent and a local lady. In such a setting and based on the contents of the conversation, it is very easy to assume that the lady is a bar girl the man had picked up the night before. Such a scene is very common here and from the many stories I have heard, this place is dubbed as a haven for men looking for some “fun”.

At the same time, I gazed upon my social media feed and came across a comment by a friend on the topic of prenuptial agreement.

The thought of infidelity and prenuptial agreement seemed to have collided on my mind and my thoughts narrowed down to – MARRIAGE.

With some assumptions in the first paragraph, I don’t know how people can “give themselves away” so casually. To be inside of someone or allow someone to enter into such a personal space without commitment seems too careless and negligent to me.

And on the other hand, people considering prenuptial agreement should really pause for a moment and ask themselves:

“Why even begin life together when you already have the “the end” on mind?”

I am opined that one should remain unattached (not bound legally or by contract of marriage) if they prefer to be in a non-committal relationship.

After all these thoughts and gobbling up my breakfast, I headed out to work and paid no mind to the topic anymore until…

The priest in his sermon today spoke about promises and keeping the covenant. As he brought life to the gospel, it begin to dawn on me what I had thought about mid week. In summary, he spoke about how when people keep their promises, they keep their integrity as a trustworthy and dependable person.

It is very interesting for me to personally experience thought provoking situations that later bring about good reflections through the gospel.

Often times, people are hurt due to broken promises, infidelity, unfaithfulness, and betrayal. In order for us to live up to our promises, we really ought to be wise in choosing how we should share our “personal space” and there are some things that should not be casually shared lest breaking the most valuable promises in our lives.

Containers

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine shared an article about how to win at living life. I can only summarize it as “keep going and keep growing”. I can totally relate the article to something that I had read many years ago in one of the many “self help” books during my days of self discovery. 

In that particular book, it was written along the lines that one is built to retain what he or she deserves. In other words, at any one point of our lives, like a container of different sizes, we are able to retain certain amount of riches and fortunes.

The book further gave a few examples of millionaires that bounced back after a bout of bankruptcy to be where they were before or better.

Like what the article suggests, when we grow as a person, our pot of wealth grows in parallel. No matter what happens to us, we will be able to get back to the spot we “belong” unless we shrink ourselves or unable to retain our strength to endure through the temporary hardship.

There were a few instances in my observation of the corporate world that I became very frustrated at how imbalance the hierarchy is. For example, there were times when I thought that some people in higher positions do not deserve being where they are because of all the “not walking the talks”. I do not know about you but I get really frustrated when the talkers are earning much more and having better lives than the hard workers. Being that idealistic person that I am, I feel that it is very unfair for those with valuable skills to be placed under the purview and at the mercy of those without substance. Often times, their talents go to waste under the incompetent and aimless so called “managers” (not leaders).

So, the question really is, how can the hard workers grow to eventually take over as good leaders at the top of the “food chain”?

It is probably time to be still and listen to the desires of my heart. The noises and distractions seemed to cloud my vision once again. I cannot be floating aimlessly without a direction in this river of life. Sometimes, we see with our eyes, reason with our minds but forget to listen to our hearts.

Have a good weekend…

Blank

I wish I could write something inspirational today but it is one of those days. The kind of day that it is difficult to muster some strength let alone be inspiring.

I guess saying goodbye is my biggest weakness. The news of another “transfer” came over the weekend and I think that it has finally sinked in for me.

As of late, I am finding that my role models are starting to leave my life one after another either through deaths or transfers. They sure have adverse effects on me and I start to distant myself from others. It is a defense mechanism.

My fear of losing the access to those mind provocative and intellectual challenging discussions. The peace brought about by the rational perspective in a noisy world will soon come to an end.

I am lost without that little window of time to bask in wonderment and clarity.

“Stay in Jerusalem, embrace the battles, and have the bruises and wounds as prove of victory”.

Divine Mercy Sunday: The Minimalist Christ

Every now and then, I get inspiration to create an artwork. Such a moment presented itself last evening and it became my short spiritual journey.

And this is the story of “The Minimalist Christ”.

1. As I gazed upon the cross in church last evening, a vision started to take shape. I couldn’t get it off my mind…

2. As we left church, I asked my wife to drive and go somewhere with a hardware shop so that I can get some materials…

I started to sketch in the car…

3. I came home to draw a better version of what I have sketched earlier…

4. I started “nailing” Jesus to the plank….

5. I then starting twisting wires around the nails but it just didn’t work as I expected. I wanted so much to give emphasis on the “crown of thorns” and it proved to be the hardest to shape. I kinda wondered why the people back then took the trouble making the crown of thorns…

6. The nails did not work in helping me shape the image I had envisioned so I started twisting and turning the wire using my hands. Nothing seemed to be going as planned. And in the end, something prompted me to end my work with a heart. Not a bad idea since we are celebrating Divine Mercy (Sacred Heart) Sunday.

Moral of the story is, do not emphasize on the crown of thorns but on the sacred heart instead. Love and not hate….

Mercy…

This was done using a single line of wire without breaking.

This is not the final product. I am looking for a cross that will match with the wire sculpture. I painted a cross on the wooden plank as a concept to see how the wire sculpture would look like on a cross.

I then decided to name this artwork – “The Minimalist Christ”….

7. And these are what’s left on the plank – holes from the nails. They reminded me of one of the verses used for the gospel reading this weekend:

Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”~John 20:27

This morning, I went to the hardware store to get some wood to make the cross and to complete the artwork.

8. It is done and complete.

“The Minimalist Christ”

LOVE.