Living Right, In Time

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It goes round, and comes around.
Our days are fleeting and by time, bound.
Every moment can be filled with meaning,
When every gesture and hustle, simple or significant, is,
A strive to be better, for oneself and others;;
A strive to bless, one and all.
Yet these efforts
Are only truly meaningful
When it is offered by a life
That is transparent and authentic –
Constant, in private or public.
Time goes round, my birthday comes around.
My days are fleeting, so to authentic living I am bound.

The above is an expression of the life I am striving to live. An authentic and meaningful life, that is unselfish and people-centered,

God helping me.

This, I believe,  is what living right is all about.

What kind of life you will you like to live? Kindly describe.

 

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Eager, Tired Or In Between

 

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‘There is a great deal of difference between an eager man who wants to read a book and the tired man who wants a book to read.’

These are the words of Gilbert Keith Chesterton (popularly called G.K.Chesterton), the Englishman who never went to college but became one of the most prolific writers of all time. He excelled as a poet, historian, philosopher etc, but I prefer to refer to him as a great Christian apologist (excuse my bias).

He was no mere wordsmith – he had a way with words. An example is the play of words in the statement above.

What I understand this genius to say is, the motivation to read can stem either from:

  • the desire to learn, or
  • the want for leisure.

On the former, an individual seeks to engage his thoughts, and develop his mind and intellect; the latter, he/ she just wants to pass time or engage in an activity that will take his mind away from that which made him tired.

Though there is a world of difference between the two, it is not a case of either-or. One is not better than the other. Just as it is beneficial to read for the purpose of learning, it is also beneficial to read as a pastime. On one hand the mind is developed, on the other the body is rested and the mind entertained.

Usually, the two motives for reading in Chesterton’s statement come to play at different times in an individual’s life. I can relate. Many times, I have been an eager reader seeking to learn. At other times, a tired reader who just wants to unwind with a good book. There are also those times when I experience the ambivalence of seeking the two.

As a result, I coined the word, Eagired.

Life is checkered! There is no one activity that is so good that every moment of our time should be spent on it, literally. It is said that variety is the spice of life.

Solomon David, the sage exhorts:

‘There is an opportune time to things, a right time for everything on the earth.’ (Ecclesiastes 3:1, The Bible)

The secret is to know when to engage in any activity or endeavor. For that you and I need wisdom.

James points us to the source of superior wisdom,

‘If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.’ – (James 1:5, The Bible)

Mostly, what’s your motivation for reading? Knowledge or leisure?

 

The Kernel That Blooms

 

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popart

 

I always marvel at it. Anytime I see it, I cannot help but consider the kernel it once was. The image that comes to mind is that of a flower in bloom.

I am talking about the fluffy white delight, that is arguably, the world’s oldest snack. Popcorn!

From my research for this article, I learnt that a kernel of popcorn contains water or moisture surrounded by soft starch. The starch is capsuled by the outer covering we see, called the hull. When popcorn is subjected to heat, the water within heats up. As temperature increases the water becomes steam and turns the starch into a gluey substance. Because of the hard hull, pressure mounts up inside the kernel. However, at 204 to 238 degrees Celsius, the hull bursts open spewing out the gluey starch which cools immediately to give us the funny petal-like shape we are familiar with.

The transformation of popcorn from seed to snack is fascinating.

 

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popcorn.org

 

Watch it in slow mo:

Wow! Amazing right.

From this wonder kernel that blooms, one can draw inspiration:

  • Popcorn needs heat to pop, or better still, bloom. Tough times are necessary for bringing out the best in us. ‘Aha’ moments usually come when we are in a quandary.  Take James’ advise,
     Dear friends, is your life full of difficulties and temptations? Then be happy, for when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So let it grow, and don’t try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete.” James 1:2-4 TLB
  • Popcorn in bloom is much bigger that its kernel. It is said that a kernel can swell to 40-50 times its original size. You may seem dwarfed by lack of money, heartbreak, poor self-esteem, academic failure, addiction of any kind., or handicapped in any form. Don’t belittle yourself. You are more than meets the eye. You are bigger than the difficulties you are facing.
  • There are four main types of corn, Dent corn, Sweet corn, Flint corn and Popcorn. Only popcorn pops. This is mainly because if its hull which helps the kernel withstand pressure of heat until the right moment. A moment too soon, there will be no bloom. Even for popcorn, when the temperature is too low, no popping; if it’s too high the kernel burns.
    In life people respond to difficulties differently. Some avoid problems or give in too soon, consequently they don’t bloom. Others, consciously or unconsciously, deny the reality of their situation and eventually get destroyed by it.

Life is imperfect. Difficulties are inescapable. Be glad for them. God has placed a great potential in you. Allow your challenges to pop them out. You will be the better for it; others will be beneficiaries of your invaluable contribution.

Whatever, you may be facing today, the best way to respond is to, ” Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7 (NLT)

How do you deal with difficulties?