Sunday, December 28, 2008

Wipers in the rain

One rainy afternoon I was driving along one of the main streets of town, taking those extra precautions necessary when the roads are wet and slick.

Suddenly, my daughter, Aspen, spoke up from her relaxed position in her seat. "Dad, I'm thinking of something."

This announcement usually meant she had been pondering some fact for a while, and was now ready to expound all that her six-year-old mind had discovered. I was eager to hear.

"What are you thinking?" I asked.

"The rain!" she began, "is like sin, and the windshield wipers are like God wiping our sins away." After the chill bumps raced up my arms I was able to respond. "That's really good, Aspen."

Then my curiosity broke in. How far would this little girl take this revelation? So I asked "Do you notice how the rainwater keeps on coming? What does that tell you?"

Aspen didn't hesitate one moment with her answer: "We keep on sinning, and God just keeps on forgiving us."

I will always remember this whenever I turn my wipers on.


Passbook of love

Have you ever pondered upon those small moments of selfless love you've got from someone special throughout these years of your life?

Monica married Hitesh the other day. At the end of the wedding party, Monica's mother gave her a newly opened bank saving passbook with Rs.1000 deposit amount, and gave her a small instruction

'My dear, take this passbook. Keep it as a record of your married life. When there's something happy and memorable happened in your new life, put some money in. Write down what it's about next to the line. The more memorable the event is, the more money you can put in. I've done the first one for you today. Do the others with Hitesh. When you look back after years, you can know how much happiness you've had.'

Monica shared this with Hitesh when getting home. They both thought it was a great idea and were anxious to know when the second deposit can be made. This was what they did after certain time:

- 7 Feb: Rs.100, first birthday celebration for Hitesh after marriage
- 1 Mar: Rs.300, salary raise for Monica
- 20 Mar: Rs.200, vacation trip to Bali
- 15 Apr: Rs.2000, Monica got pregnant
- 1 Jun: Rs.1000, Hitesh got promoted
... and so on..

However, after years, they started fighting and arguing for trivial things. They didn't talk much. They regretted that they had married the most nasty people in the world... no more love... kind of typical nowadays, huh?

One day Monica talked to her Mother: 'Mom, we can't stand it anymore. We agree to divorce. I can't imagine how I decided to marry this guy!'

Mother nodded 'Sure, girl, that's no big deal. Just do whatever you want if you really can't stand it. But before that, do one thing first. Remember the saving passbook I gave you on your wedding day? Take out all money and spend it first. You shouldn't keep any record of such a poor marriage.'

Monica thought it was true. So she went to the bank, waiting at the queue and planning to cancel the account. While she was waiting, she took a look at the passbook record. She looked, and looked, and looked. Then the memory of all the previous joy and happiness just came up her mind. Her eyes were then filled with tears. She left and went home. When she was home, she handed the passbook to Hitesh, asked him to spend the money before getting divorce.

The next day, Hitesh gave the passbook back to Monica. She found a new deposit of Rs.5000. And a line next to the record: 'This is the day I noticed how much I've loved you through out all these years. How much happiness you've brought to me.'

They hugged and cried, putting the passbook back to the safe. Do you know how much money they had saved when they retired? Nobody knows. I believe the money did not matter any more after they had gone through all the good years in their life.

When you fall, in any way, don't see the place where you fell, Instead see the place from where you slipped.


The touchstone

Habits. They die hard. And therefore its even more important to be watchful of things that we keep doing without giving them much thought... this story explains further:

When the great library of Alexandria burned, the story goes, one book was saved. But it was not a valuable book; and so a poor man, who could read a little, bought it for a few coppers. The book wasn't very interesting, but between its pages there was something very interesting indeed.

It was a thin strip of vellum on which was written the secret of the "Touchstone"!

The touchstone was a small pebble that could turn any common metal into pure gold. The writing explained that it was lying among thousands and thousands of other pebbles that looked exactly like it. But the secret was this: The real stone would feel warm, while ordinary pebbles are cold. So the man sold his few belongings, bought some simple supplies, camped on the seashore, and began testing pebbles.

He knew that if he picked up ordinary pebbles and threw them down again because they were cold, he might pick up the same pebble hundreds of times. So, when he felt one that was cold, he threw it into the sea. He spent a whole day doing this but none of them was the touchstone. Yet he went on and on this way. Pick up a pebble. Cold - throw it into the sea. Pick up another. Throw it into the sea.

The days stretched into weeks and the weeks into months. One day, however, about mid-afternoon, he picked up a pebble and it was warm. And off he threw it into the sea, before the next second shook him telling what disaster he had done just now!

He had formed such a strong habit of throwing each pebble into the sea that when the one he wanted came along, he still threw it away.

Well, so it is with opportunity. Unless we are vigilant, it's easy to fail to recognize an opportunity when it is in hand and it's just as easy to throw it away