Sunday, April 21, 2013

One Year, 10000 Views!!!

It may make me sound very ancient, but when I first started exploring the cyber space there was no such thing as YouTube - now, the third most visited website and something which has become a part and parcel of our lives. Everything – from music, to movies, to sports, to news, to bloopers, to random videos – everything is there on YouTube! A few years back I also joined the bandwagon and opened my account. Today I want to share about one of my videos, which is not the most viewed in my channel, but which stands out to be a special one for me. I’ll get back to more details about it shortly.

Let me take you to 30th March 2013. It’s a Saturday evening, the one before Easter. I decided to go to my parish church and help out with anything I could for the midnight Easter Vigil Mass. During the few hours that I spent there with the youth from the parish, I realized that each one of them was so gifted, so talented. Some could sing amazingly well, some play instruments so professionally, some compose such soul-stirring songs, some are artistic and good at decorating, some good event managers....... And I stood in midst of them, just dumbstruck at all the talent that surrounded me!

I personally feel, believe and know that I do not have any talent in me. When I was in school, I did win some competitions, but all that vanished soon. I went into a shell and didn’t even have the courage to look at people's face and talk. And that’s when God intervened and changed my life upside down! I don’t know when or where, but I remember sometime during those first few years of my walk with God - our Father, I came across a phrase which was an eye-opener for me: “God doesn’t always call the qualified, but He always qualifies the called.” And trust me, this has been so true in my life!

Those who know me, know how terribly I sing. But there have been days when people would come to me and tell, “You sang that song so well” and there was one day when I sang in a choir in front of thousands. I do not know pure Hindi especially when it comes to Church related terms, but there have been days when I had to do a real-time Hindi translation of a session being taken by an international speaker, and I did that so seamlessly that many came and appreciated me for that. The best part being the fact that I spoke words which I never knew before and which I didn’t remember right after the sessions! I got a chance to act, to dance, to speak, to write, to click pictures, to compose songs all of which I know I cannot do on my own. And I got to makes videos as well!

Coming back to the story about the video I mentioned in the first paragraph. Well some time during Lent last year, I had this immense inspiration to make a video on one of favourite songs and upload it on YouTube. I’m not a professional at making videos. I don’t have any technical skills. When I started making it, I realized how difficult it was. I didn’t have the right software, the one that I had didn’t work with the format in which I had the video clippings, wasn’t able to synchronize the sound and to add to that I had a pathetically slow internet connection which made it all even worse. During those days I had crazy workload at office. But the inspiration, the urge was so strong that I couldn’t help but make the video. I had to upload it before Easter and I was working night and day to prepare it by that time. Once made, I couldn’t upload it for days due to the slow connection. Finally, I had to go to an internet cafe and upload it. Throughout those days, I could see God leading me so well, with the right resources, right insights, right help at the right time. I remember somewhere during the initial few days of uploading I very casually said to God, “It would be great if in one year this video could get 10,000 hits.” And I left it at that. I absolutely forgot that statement, but I guess God didn’t. I remembered that statement, which I so casually told God, early this month. I uploaded the video on April 3rd 2012 and on April 2nd 2013 it had received 10, 487 views!! Praise God!! This is the video I’m talking about: 

If you watch it, you would realize that it is not the best video you would have seen, it is not the most professional video, it is not the most viewed video, not even in my channel, but it is this video, and the comments left by the viewers, that reminds me that God qualifies the called!

The next time you think that you are not talented, not capable, not qualified enough for anything, think again. Moses was a stutterer, but God called him to show His people the Promised Land. Rahab was a prostitute, but God called her to save His people and to help give them victory. Jeremiah said, “Lord, I do not know how to speak; I am still young”, but God called him to speak His words to the most difficult audience. Isaiah was a man of unclean lips, but God called him to prophecy about the coming of Christ. Peter was an illiterate fisherman with no social stature, but God made him stand in front of thousands including the most qualified men at that time and speak so strongly that they were surprised and they realized the power of Jesus. Saul, was busy persecuting those who believed in Jesus, but God called him to be His chosen instrument. Renamed as Paul, almost half of the New Testament is written by him. Augustine was a rich, highly educated, spoilt lad with infamous past, but God called him to be a Saint, a Doctor of the Church, whose writings have greatly influenced philosophy. AnjezĂ« Gonxhe Bojaxhiu, was a timid young girl from Southeast Europe, but God called her to travel almost half-way around the world to show the world the most radical way of caring for the sick, the unwanted, the unloved, the dying and in this way become Blessed Teresa of Calcutta.

The list carries on and on, the names are innumerable. If God has worked in them, He surely can, in you and me. No wonder St. Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

So all those who think you do not have any talents, give whatever little you have to Him and see Him work wonders. And those who have, I don’t know what to say to you guys, except that: “YOU ARE BLESSED!!!” Realize this blessing, thank God and use it well.

God Bless!!

Monday, April 15, 2013


The Holy Week got over a couple of weeks ago. Throughout the seven days, we remember many of the major events which took place during the last few days of Jesus’ earthly life. These days are a roller-coaster ride when it comes to emotions and feelings they invoke. From the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, to the touching act of washing His disciples’ feet and having the last meal with them on Maundy Thursday, to the sorrow of death of Jesus – the Messiah – on Good Friday and finally the victorious Resurrection on Easter Sunday which fills us with everlasting hope and joy.  But have you ever wondered what makes the joy of Easter so meaningful, so memorable and so precious? I believe it’s the sadness of Good Friday which precedes it.

You must be wondering why am I telling you all this. Well, during the lent, I took a commitment to memorize one Bible verse each day and throughout the 40 days I could see God speaking to me amazingly through the scriptures. And one of the verses I came across, which spoke to me strongly was: “Happy are those who patiently endure trials, because afterwards they will receive the crown of life which the Lord promised to those who love Him.” – James 1:12. Within a few days of I reading this verse, I came across many who were suffering: an office colleague who fell ill, a friend who lost his family member, problems in my own family...... But this verse acted as a consolation to many.

What struck me most about the verse was the word ‘afterwards’. It clearly pointed out that it is ‘afterwards’ that we receive the crown of life. Many a times in our lives we come across problems, trials, failures, sickness, sufferings. When we are going through it, it is the most painful experience for us, but when it’s over we look back and see the purpose behind it, we understand that it all happened for a reason.

It reminds me of an eaglet learning how to fly. When the right time comes, its mother makes the nest uncomfortable, shakes it and drops the eaglet from a great height. It falls down helplessly towards the earth, but just before it is about to crash, the mother comes and lifts it up and after soaring high, drops it again. This process goes on and on, till the eaglet finally learns how to fly. During the process, the eaglet would be shocked to see how such a loving mother could become so cruel, it would be afraid, scared, pained at what’s happening to it. But once it’s over, the eaglet will realize that it all happened for a reason. Similarly, a grain of wheat, when it falls on the ground and dies, only then does it give birth to another sapling which brings forth many more grains.

From my own personal experience, I’ve understood that all sufferings are a blessing in disguise. During my first eighteen years of life, I had gone through a lot; I spent many days and nights asking God why did I have to face all these problems, pain, suffering. But now, when I look back, I thank God for all those sufferings, because that made me what I’m today, and that made me realize the amazing love I experience from Him and my family. I understand now that it all happened for a reason.

No matter what problems come in our life, no matter how hard our life can become, no matter how much of pain and suffering we have to go through, no matter if we come across failures more often in our lives, no matter if things don’t go as per our plans, no matter if we face issues in our family, at work, with friends; lets realize that it all happens for a reason and that afterwards we would understand the purpose behind it. So, what do we do when we go through it? We should ‘patiently endure’, trusting in God’s plan for us, knowing that God, our Heavenly Father, knows what’s best for us.

Let’s not forget that before the joy of Easter, comes the sorrow, the pain and the loss of Good Friday. And just like Easter, let’s believe and experience that though the sorrows may last for the night, but His joy comes with the morning!! (Psalm 30:5)

Yahweh says, “I will turn their mourning into gladness. I will give them comfort and joy for their sorrows.” (Jeremiah 31:13)

God Bless!