WHICH BUS SHOULD I TAKE HOME

A young father was spending the day at the zoo with his six-year-old son.  When they came to the tigers’ cage, the father explained how ferocious and strong tigers are.  The little boy’s eyes grew bigger and bigger till finally he asked nervously, “Daddy, if the tiger got out of his cage and ate you up…”

“Yes, son?” said the father, ready to soothe and reassure him.

But the boy continued, “If the tiger got out and ate you up, which bus should I take home?”

Source | Eva Blank and Alison Benjamin,
Jokelopedia,(Workman Publishing Company, 2013)

CONSIDER THIS

Things are not always as they seem.

ARE YOU SEARCHING IN THE WRONG PLACE?

A famous Sufi mystic, Rabiya, was searching for something on the street outside her small hut. The sun was setting and darkness was descending, as few people gathered around her. “What have you lost? What are you searching for?  Perhaps we can help,” they said to Rabiya.

Rabiya said, “I have lost my needle.”

One amongst the people said, “Well, the sun is setting now and it will be very difficult to find the needle.  Where has it fallen?  That’ll help us narrow down the area on this big road.  If we know the exact place, it will be easier to find it.”

Rabiya told them, “It is better not to ask me that question — because, actually, it has not fallen on the road at all.  It has fallen inside my house.”

Everyone started giggling as if she was joking.  Then a skeptic says out loud, “We always knew that you were a little insane!  If the needle has fallen inside the house, then why are you searching for it on the road?”

“For a very simple reason: inside the house there is no light and on the outside a little light is still there,” Rabiya replied.

The people laughed and started dispersing.  Rabiya called them back and said, “Listen! That’s exactly what you are doing: I was just following your example. You go on seeking bliss in the outside world without asking the most fundamental question: where exactly have I lost it?”

After a pause, she continues, “You have lost it inside, and yet you are looking for it on the outside for the very same reason — your senses are outward bound, your ears hear sounds on the outside, your hands touch things on the outside.  That’s the reason why you are searching outside. For a very long time, I was also just searching on the outside.  But the day I searched inwards, I was surprised.  That is where I lost it and that is the only place it can be found.”

Source | Osho, Joy: The Happiness that Comes from Within
(St. Martin’s Griffin, 2008) pages 10-11
CONSIDER THIS
Distracted by fleeting, external excitements we forget to tap into the fresh, secret waters deep within, where the Source of life and love and joy is waiting to be found.
Whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. | Matthew 6:6 (nrsv)
Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace. | Matthew 6:6 (the message)

SHE WEPT WITH HER SON

It was graduation time many years ago.   Preschool children had made a ceramic gift for their parents.  The graduation was over and the children had gone with their teachers to bring the gift of their ceramic hand to their parents.  The children all ran into the room together holding those hands as a surprise.   They were brightly wrapped with tissue paper and ribbons.   The classes had been working on them for weeks.

One small boy trying to run and carry his hand, wave to his parents, and at the same time he slipped and fell.   The surprise flew from his grasp and landed on the tile floor with an obvious ceramic crash.

The child’s first reaction was one of stunned silence but then he cried in disappointment at the broken hand.  His father who was wanting to minimize the incident and comfort the boy, patted his head and said, “Now that’s alright. It really doesn’t matter, son.  It really doesn’t matter at all.”  The child’s mother, somewhat wiser in such situations, dropped to her knees on the floor, swept the boy into her arms and said, “Oh but it does matter!  It matters a great deal!”   And she wept with her son.

Source: Based on a story told by  William Muehl in Why Preach? Why Listen
(Fortress Press, 1986) page 92

CONSIDER THIS

People need more than a pat on the head and a few words of reassurance. They need our blessing and our felt presence! When in pain or confused, people long for that someone who falls to the earth beside us, picks up our torn, broken and bleeding spirits, and says, “Oh, but it does matter. It matters eternally.”

YOU CANNOT PAINT THE WHOLE WORLD GREEN

There was a millionaire once who was bothered by two aches, one in his stomach and the other in his head! He was diagnosed and treated by a galaxy of medical experts. He consumed heavy loads of drugs, and underwent centuries of injections. But the aches persisted with greater vigour than ever before!

At last, a monk arrived at the scene of his agony. He spoke very kindly to him, and pronounced the fault to be in his eye! Set right the eye, and the head on top and the stomach below would both behave very sweetly! To improve the eye, concentrate on only one colour. Concentrate on green, he suggested. Do not let your eyes fall on red or yellow, or any other colour.

The rich man got together a group of painters and purchased barrels of green colour and directed that every object on which his eye was likely to fall be painted thick green.

When the monk came to visit him after few days, the wealthy man’s servants ran with buckets of green paint and poured it on him since he was in red dress, lest their master see any other colour and the pain in his eye would come back.

Hearing this, the monk laughed and said “If only you had purchased a pair of green glasses, worth just a few dollars, you could have saved these walls and trees and pots and pans, and chairs and sofas and also a pretty large share of your fortune! You cannot paint the world green.”

Source: Loosely based on a story found in
Sathya Sai Baba (Author), N. Kasturi (Editor)
Chinna Katha (Sai Bhavan; Revised edition,1978)

CONSIDER THIS

How often do we try to change other people, and get frustrated when they refuse to change? But how often do we take a look at ourselves? If we would just change our own outlook, change our own way of thinking, change our own actions, our change might motivate others to change as well. Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

Let us change our vision and the world will appear accordingly. It is foolish to shape the world, let us shape ourselves first.

GOD WILL PROVIDE

GOD WILL PROVIDE

A young woman brings home her fiancé to meet her parents. After dinner, her mother tells her father to find out about the young man. The father invites the fiancé to his study for a drink.

“So what are your plans?” the father asks the young man.

I am a bible scholar.” he replies.

“A bible scholar? Hmmm,” the father says. “Admirable, but what will you do to provide a nice house for my daughter to live in, as she’s accustomed to?”

I will study,” the young man replies, “and God will provide for us.”

“And how will you buy her a beautiful engagement ring, such as she deserves?” asks the father.

“I will concentrate on my studies,” the young man replies. “God will provide for us.”

And children?” asks the father. “How will you support children?”

“Don’t worry, sir, God will provide,” replies the fiancé.

The conversation proceeds like this, and each time the father questions him, the young idealist insists that God will provide. Later, the mother asks, “How did it go, honey?” The father answers, “The bad news is, he has no job and no plans. The good news is he thinks I’m God.”

Source | Perfect Illustrations for Every Topic and Occasion (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.; First Edition edition, 2002) page 218

CONSIDER THIS

There’s an old saying that we should “pray as if everything depends on God, work as if everything depends on you.” Some have switched it around: “pray as if everything depends on you, work as if everything depends on God.”   What do you think and how would you interpret this?

God is not going to bother to do for us what we can do for ourselves.

LED TO THE LAND OF LAUGHTER

LED TO THE LAND OF LAUGHTER

The Master was in an expansive mood, so his disciples sought to learn from him the stages he had passed through in his quest for the divine.

“God first led me by the hand,” he said, “into the Land of Action, and there I dwelt for several years.” Then God returned and led me to the Land of Sorrows; there I lived until my heart was purged of every inordinate attachment. That is when I found myself in the Land of Love, whose burning flames consumed whatever was left in me of self. This brought me to the Land of Silence, where the mysteries of life and death were bared before my wondering eyes.

“Was that the final stage of your quest?” they asked.

“No,” the Master said. “One day God said, ‘Today I shall take you to the innermost sanctuary of the Temple, to the very heart of God.’ And I was led to the Land of Laughter.”

Source: Anthony de Mello, Taking Flight
(Image Books, 1990) page 126

CONSIDER THIS

One day God said, “Today I shall take you to the innermost sanctuary of the temple, to the heart of God himself,” and I was led to the Land of Laughter.

God laughed and begat the Son. Together they laughed and begat the Holy Spirit. And from the laughter of the Three, the universe was born.” |  Meister Eckhart, a 13th century theologian and mystic.

COINCIDENCE OR SOMETHING ELSE?

Once upon a time an unexpected severe rainstorm erupted. Joan looking from the second story of her home, could see stalled cars caught in the flash flood.

A lone station wagon struggled through the water and headed up her street. The vehicle stopped for a moment in front of her house, then pulled into the driveway. The woman raced to the door and saw two teenage girls standing there. They were extremely frightened by the lightning, rain, and flooded roads.

One girl asked to use the woman’s telephone, explaining that she wanted to call her father to let him know she was safe. Of course, the woman let them in and prepared hot cocoa while the girls made their calls.

Meanwhile, the Edgar, the woman’s husband, paced the kitchen floor nervously. The newspaper office where he worked was flooding, and he was waiting to hear from the facility manager. His anxiety was increasing because the man had not called.

The girls completed their calls and told the woman and her husband, “My dad told us to wait out the storm here, but he was a little worried about our being in a stranger’s house. I gave him your number. I hope that was okay.”

As the woman nodded, the phone rang. Her husband answered it and returned after a few seconds.

“It was the facility manager, but he didn’t want to talk about the newspaper office.” A strange look came over the man’s face. “He wanted to thank me for keeping his daughter and her friend safe!”

Source: Heard during a conference and retold as remembered

CONSIDER THIS

For some, a coincidence  is  divine  mystery’s  way  of  remaining  anonymous.  For others, a coincidence is just a question meeting an answer in an unexpected way.

How about you? Do you believe in coincidences? How would you define a coincidence? Was it mere coincidence or divine providence that the two teenage girls randomly selected a house in which they would be safely sheltered?