Friday, October 24, 2008

The St. Paul I know...

As this is declared as the year of St. Paul, during the Church feast i wrote this essay for competition... read

As I go back my memory lane, the first time I ever heard of St. Paul was in my fifth std, when my friends and I had participated in a bible quiz competition in school. The quiz was different as we didn’t have to learn anything from the bible, my teacher would tell us a story and ask question from it. Sounds simple? yes. She told us the story of the conversion of St. Paul and the question she asked me was where was Saul heading to? pat came the answer from me “Damascus!”

Since then life has seen so many situations, happy ones, difficult ones, adventurous ones and challenging ones. However, the words of St. Paul to the various churches that were blooming at that time are both encouraging and apt to our daily life even though 2000 years have elapsed! The first time St. Paul’s words that touched me was when my best friend left the school and I was felling lonely and I thought my parents loved my younger sister more (you ask her she would say the same he..he..he..) At this juncture I had to attend my first retreat in school. In the retreat they spoke of God’s love and in particular St. Paul’s words to the Romans “Nothing can separate us from the love of our God” (Hardships or sword nor power…. can separate us from the love of our God. Rom 8:35-39) helped me to reconcile with the fact that my friend left and I accepted it with joy on finding out how much more my God loves me

From then on I was regularly attending the annual retreats at school, after 3 retreats I was a little disappointed with myself, as after the retreat I would slip into my old ways. This time it was the Vacation Bible School that came to my rescue, where we had an exercise in which we were to dress one of the group members with the armor of God. St. Paul is urging the people to clad themselves with the armor of God to escape the Devils trick! (Be strong in the Lord….. Eph 6: 10-17) Also my catechism teacher at school taught us about the Holy Spirit who helps us to pray to God when we are weak (For we do not know how we ought to pray… Rom 8: 26) both these words taught me to live (though not always) without falling into my old ways.

I am sure most of us would have heard of the reading with church as one body and made up of many members/parts in the mass, though I’ve heard it several times, it never had any significant effect on me, or I didn’t understand it.

But once while I was coming back from college by bike, I had a small accident, when an auto brushed past the sides of my right palm and small finger and it was scratched and started swelling. I didn’t think it was a big deal and went home, only when I went to college the next day I realized I could not write! couldn’t take class notes, couldn’t submit records and all this for one week. Then these words of St. Paul to the Corinthians made sense to me. (If one part suffers, all other parts suffer with it, if one part is praised, all other parts share its happiness. 1 Cor 12:12-31) This insignificant side of my palm, taught me a lesson that everyone of His creation are equally important and has a part to play in His master plan, however, big or small they may be and that all of us are one in Christ.

Apart from these, when I was young, whenever my sister or I refused to help my mum in household chores or fussed over it, she would say it is written in the Bible that whoever refuses to work is not allowed to eat. Latter when I grew up I learnt it was also one of St. Paul’s exhortation to the church in Thessalonica. (2 Thes 3:10-12).

Though St. Paul was not one among the twelve, he is special to me because the twelve apostles were ordinary people who became extraordinary men after a Christ experience, while Saul was a fierce opposer of the followers of The Way, who with divine intervention became an ardent follower of Christ and an exemplary missionary! Today God’s reaching out to us, are we ready to change like St. Paul?

Monday, October 20, 2008

MGM DIZEE WORLD.... really made me go spinning..yuck

Gone are the days when every summer, we got to go to some theme park and have fun with our visiting cousins. These days to get a holiday on the same day for my hubby and me is a miracle! So we decided to go to one of the theme parks and it was my choice to go this MGM Dizee World... i really dread this awful choice i made. The reason was i never gone in the famed RANGER and ROLLER COASTER! and so on day the nation celebrated the birthday of the father of our nation by watching interviews of glam girls and blockbuster movies(the TV people can be more creative!!!)i took a better bet of refreshing our minds rather than burdening it by sitting in front of the idiot box.

now that day we had a small obligation at church which held us till 9 in the morning and by the time we left it was 10 or so and we reached this place a little before 12 noon. now even we before reached the place we were put off! thanx to the chennai city traffic police. now i should say that my hubby is a careful driver and follows all road rules to the dot. We were going in 65kms/hr, and we were caught for overspeeding! my hubby tried to reason out saying that the permitted speed limit was 80kms/hr on the ECR and he was immediatedly snubbed by a stout cop saying 80kms/hr was outside city limits and that we were still inside city limits!!! Our trip meter shows that we have driven 45kms away from home and we are still inside city. Anyways we had to pay the 400Rs fine as we were given little room to explain. What was worse was that the Hondas,Sonatas, Chevies and Toyotas were speeding till then and slowed down when they saw us?! felt like scape goats....
and we started to go to MGM and we started and immediately arrived!!! looked like we got caught a few hundred meters... well i hated this, so folks remember MGM is inside the city and a hop, skip and jump from our doorstep!!!

And after an eventful forenoon we arrived at our fateful destination, we didnt know that yet. We got the tickets for Adults and it costed a bom for just three of us (oh did i forget to mention? my sister was also with us)and at the entrance itself it was mentioned that the RAINBOW was not working! and that the ROLLER COASTER would be operated only between 12 - 2pm. Since my main reason was to go on this ride, so we headed straight to the ride and found there was no one to operate it! Along with a another group of friends we also waited for a full half hour with no sign of the ride coming to life. So i went around hunting for an official of the campus and found one too... his reason was there was no power and the other rides were going on Genset and soon those rides will be stopped and the energy routed to this ride... so again went and waited for 10 mins and suddenly we all thought it was foolish of us to wait for this one particular ride as we were planning to leave by 4.

so we went in the Ranger and other rides and had good time for the next one hour and returned to the Roller Coaster again... now there was power and hardly two rounds was over they stopped it saying its 2 O' Clock! I said ridiculous! if they had started on time there is a point in him saying "Its time up" but he started just 15 mins ago... but the operator turned a deaf ear to all the crowds and left. It was not the isolated event, most of the rides didnt have operators!!! sometimes as we stood in front of some rides wondering if it ever worked and the campus cleaning staff would say, yes it does work and the operator is running another ride and so we have to go and bring them ad say operate this ride for us... half our time was spent searching the operators!!!

I really want to make a point thro this post, when we were given admission at a minimal fee and we can choose the particular pay ride... it was good you pay for what you play... but now they collect all the money at the entrance and dont care for the customers! now they really don't care if you enjoy the ride or not, even though you have paid for it.And very easily they have given a disclaimer saying entry fee once collected will not be refunded! This is nothing short of fraudulence!!! For if i want to go on the Giant Wheel and the Carousel i might as well go to the Exhibition on Island Grounds! I will never forget day i came back for the third time without going on the ROLLER COASTER!!! My sis on the carousel and my hubby and i while waiting for the roller coaster...