Time and tide waits for no one

 

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About a week or two ago, a good friend of mine messaged me on Whatsapp to catch up on things. During our conversation, he asked if I had stopped blogging as he had not seen new posts in a while. That same week, another friend asked me if I had lost my way after going to the moon or overshot and ended up going beyond it, in a reference to my last post back in July, “To moon and beyond“. A few days back, my wife wondered aloud as to what happened to my blog and if I had run out of interest with it.

I think I told all of them something along the lines of, yes, I have stopped for the time being but it is just temporary, a mere pause. It is not that I had nothing to say. On the contrary, as always I had a lot to say about any number of things. The fact is, since my last post I have been tied up with one activity or the other. I just could not set aside time in an effective manner to put my thoughts down into a post. My wife can attest to that, considering that she takes the brunt of listening to me articulating my thoughts on anything that I fancied about.

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Source: Pexels

When I posted for the very first time (“Ahh…that first post“) on this site back in April, I was sure that I will post something worth reading, at least once a week. I suppose like everything else in life, on hindsight it was a nice goal to have but a difficult one to keep, what with all the things that I had committed myself to or contrived myself to be involved in. This of course is on top of trying to be a doting father, loving husband, a filial son and much more, all of which are in no particular order by the way.

So, I decided to set some time aside from what seems to have become the new daily grind for me and give my wife a respite from my thoughtfully melodious voice. I converted the energy usually expended on sound, while voicing out my thoughts, to the mostly kinetic kind with a smattering of sound, by typing out this post. As I was tapping away on the keyboard, I recalled something I learned the hard way, working as a software engineer and later on as a manager, managing deliveries. Time, is precious and more importantly finite. One had to manage time wisely, lest the project fails to be delivered as expected. Time was one thing that I will not be able to conjure in tiny amounts, let alone in abundance, to rescue my project.

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Souce: Pexels

Similarly, when looking at the bigger picture of life, the one resource that we all have, regardless of how wealthy or less wealthy we are, is time. How successful or unsuccessful we end up, depends very much on how well and efficiently we use the God-given precious resource called time. Over time I realised what has been working well for me thus far, was to simply reflect on what I wanted in life, figure out what I had to do, prioritise them, determine how much of time I was going to spend on each of them and  then as Nike is fond of reminding us, just do it.

Along the way, it is absolutely important to periodically review how we are faring in order to make necessary changes. After all, what was important a few months ago, may no longer be important or the top priority, today. By not reviewing and restrategising as needed, we may be wasting the very thing that we are trying to save and use wisely, time.

It is equally important that while doing all of this, we bear in mind that we also have to juggle the various roles we play in life, from that of a child to our parents, a partner to our significant other, a parent to our child or as a Uber driver to the masses, just to name a few. As time is finite, if we don’t strive to spend it wisely, we may never get the chance to play the roles that we want to, let alone as well as we would like to. Sadly, by the time we are ready to play our role, the other party may have moved on with time.

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Source: Pexels

My own journey in life over the past one to two years has been pretty interesting, from my point of view. I made certain decisions and acted upon those decisions. These are decisions and actions that I certainly would never thought I would do 10 years ago or even as recent as 5 years ago. As I mentioned above, it is very interesting how perception about what is important in life, changes over time. This is especially true when looking at it from the perspective of how precious time is and even more, when we realise that we don’t know how much more of it we have left with us.

For a start, I made a choice with regards to my career. A decision to leave what most if not all that I spoke with for advice, considered as a good job with a good MNC, to do something on my own. Along the way, what I want to do has remained the same but how I am going about achieving it has evolved. Then there was a new and important role that I found myself taking up. The role of a father to a wonderful little man with a big personality, who has changed the lives of my wife and mine, drastically but for the better. Sixteen months on, in the role of a father, I have no regrets in making the choices that allowed me to play this role as I have done thus far.

Being a parent myself, was a gentle reminder of how I may not have paid as much attention to my own relationship as a son to my parents or even as a partner in life to my wife, in recent times. The realisation that time rarely is on our side, has made me rethink and allocate how I spend time with my parents, wife and family. The arrival of my son after years of waiting was also a reminder of the amazing ways my maker is present in my life. I took it as a sign to prioritise my time to review my relationship with God and do what is needed to deepen my understanding of my faith further.

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Source: Pexels

Coming back to my keyboard and post, I think it is about time I put the final touches and wrap it up. To my dear readers, especially those who had enquired over the past three months, I will definitely come up with more posts, more frequently. With so many things going on out there, there will always be something or the other that needs to be talked about. Now that I am done with this post, I better get started on the next item on my list and play whatever role is needed to accomplish it. After all, time and tide waits for no one, does it not? Oh….. and just in case you are wondering, no, I am not a Uber driver driving people to their destination, at least, not yet.

God and I – Part 2

Note: This is part 2 of an earlier post titled “God and I – Part 1“.

Throughout my childhood and then adolescence, my faith and how I prayed to God started off as ritualistic routines. At home, I would diligently pray when I woke up in the morning and then again in the evening. I went to the temples regularly and prayed there, just as I was taught as a child. I sang the songs that I had learned, silently. I tried to learn new songs when I could. I  would try to meditate at home and at the temple. Without fail, each time I went to the temples, I would wish for any number of things ranging from wanting to ace my exams to being able to live a very comfortable life.

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Image sourced from Pexels

As I continued with these practices throughout my teenage years and later as an adult, I begun to realise and learned some important facts about my faith. I gained some understanding on what I was doing faithfully. I, started to speak with God. Between the turbulent days of navigating life as a teenager and then beginning a new chapter in life as an adult, I found myself turning to God for help and support, sincerely. In battling with all the conflicting opinions of self, parents, friends and well-wishers, I found myself asking God for guidance. Whenever there was a doubt or confusion in my mind of which there were many, I found myself wanting to go to the temple, to speak with God.

So I would, go to the temple when I could and as often as I could manage. I would sit down and talk to God. Talk as I would speak with another person, silently. I would still ask for any number of things but more importantly, I actually spoke to God. Depending on what I spoke about, God played different roles, from that of a father, a Guru (a teacher), a friend, a mother and more.

At times, I spoke for what seemed like mere minutes but at times i spoke for what felt like hours. I poured out my feelings, emotions, problems and conflicts that were jostling in my mind. I spoke about the challenges that I was facing. I told God about how difficult life was, not realising that my life wasn’t really that difficult in comparison to what others were going through. The granite stone idol sitting in the temple was not just an idol or a mere representation of God to me. God’s presence was real. I felt as if I was speaking with someone who was physically sitting there.

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Image sourced from Pexels

God spoke back. At least, that is what I felt. After speaking with God, I begun to feel a sense of warmth and calmness settling on me. My mind and body seems to be awash in a beautiful white light. My worries did not disappear, immediately. My problems were not obliterated into oblivion, at once. My burdens were not reduced, instantly. My conflicts were not resolved, straightaway.

Yet, the feelings of helplessness, confusion and dismay were no longer shrouding my mind. The worries, problems, burdens and conflicts, slowly but surely dissipated. They did not go away entirely but they did evaporate slowly, just as surely as how dew forms daily, early in the morning only to evaporate later under the bright and glorious morning sun. Sense of hope, confidence and believe returned and took roots in my mind. I knew that I, was in control of my life, with guidance from God.

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Image sourced from Pexels

I now understood that all the rituals learned during my childhood and then practised diligently, were a just a beginning. The rituals alone would not be sufficient to carry me throughout my journey in life and inch closer to God. They were a way to help me calm and tune myself, condition my body and mind, allowing me to understand my faith better.

I know very well that there is much for me to learn about my faith as I continue in my journey through life but one fact is simply clear. God was, is and will always be there, guiding me in life, as long as I allow God to do so. This fact has carried me thus far in life and I faithfully believe, will carry me on further in life until I find my way back to God. So, continues the journey of life with God and I.

P.S.: The featured image of this post is sourced from Pexels.

God and I – Part 1

When we are born, our religious affiliation is labelled according to that of our parents, at birth. If both parents are from the same religion, then on official papers, we would have been affiliated with our religion smoothly. If both parents are from different religions, then our fate on official papers with regards to our religious affiliation, would depend partly on the laws of the land. In short, our religious affiliation is set upon us at birth and we pretty much have no say on this matter. Simply said, we are born into our religion.

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Image sourced from Pixabay

A Hindu, is what I was born as. Having parents who were religious themselves, ensured that I was exposed as much as it was possible to the religion, as a child. I attended religious classes at a temple on Sunday mornings, from as far as I can remember. These classes were held for a duration of between two to three hours. We were taught religious songs that were originally sung by saints who graced this world many centuries ago. We were told stories of the lives of these saints. We were regaled with the various tales that showcased God in all his glory. The teachers took great pain to simplify and explain what the songs and stories meant. At home, my parents would make sure that I prayed daily, singing the songs that I had learned during my classes. Between the religious classes and the guidance from my parents, the concept of God took roots in me.

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As a child, I was also exposed to other religions. My old neighbours and family friends were devout Christians. On occasions, they would bring me along to join in their weekly prayer meetings. In fact, I can still remember parts of some of the hymns even today. They come back to me in bits and pieces when I attend services at the church during either a wedding or a funeral. Then there were the neighbours who were Buddhists. As a child, I would go with them, along with my parents, to the nearby Buddhist temple on Wesak Day. There, we would join in the long queues of devotees to offer our prayers to Lord Buddha.

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Image sourced from Pexels

Being a Malaysian, I was also exposed to Islam. In school, I was partly exposed to Islam during the recitation of the “doa” (prayers), during school assemblies. Then there was the exposure from the daily Azan (the Muslim call to prayer) as well as the chanting and prayers that were broadcasted via the speakers from nearby mosques. There were also the broadcasts on the television and radios during the different times of the day when Muslims would pray. Then there were the various programmes on the television and radios that talked about Islam. During my days in the university, I had the opportunity to follow my friends to the Sikh temple on some occasions. Of course, besides offering my prayers, this also came with the added benefit of a delicious and warm meal.

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Image sourced from Pexels

The sum of all this exposure was that the concept of God was reinforced in me. It gave me the advantage of awareness and understanding that, there were more than one concept of God and various paths about how we are to live faithfully, in this world. God has one and many names. God seemed to have taken forms and is formless. God was present everywhere yet nowhere to our naked eye. God spoke in many ways but could not be heard by our ears. God’s presence can be felt in everything and everywhere on Earth yet we struggle to feel the presence of God within us. God seemed to be an amazingly complex omnipresent contradiction or was it just the way I had understood God?

Note: To be continued further in the next installation titled, “God and I – Part 2“.

P.S.: The featured image of this post is sourced from Pexels.