Cherish the moment…

Cherish the moment…

So many tragedies, so many tears – from the shooting in Oregon to the flooding in South Carolina grabbing headlines the same week…ISIS is still wreaking havoc in the Middle East and at home, we still haven’t established who killed little Seya..it’s a dark world and it is easy to drown in all in sorrow, in one big heap..

But we are a people of hope…I speak as a Christian who believe that my Redeemer lives..I also speak as a mother and a wife and I believe that we must be able to cultivate our moments that empower us to overcome the sadness, the bitter world around us. It is so easy to go along with the flow and feel the negative vibes but we must swim upstream.

Many of us get through the day absorbed in what we do – often, our work. We connect to the world on our computers and smart phones and it becomes so easy to be wrapped up in our own little worlds. Can we step aside and connect with those around us? Can we spend a moment to cherish with our children, aging parents, a lonely co-worker, a neighbour who recently lost a loved one? Could we reach out to other people and maybe take some of the loneliness, the anger, the frustrations away?

It is the moments spent in the company of others that enrich our souls – that make us who we are.Too many of us hide behind our phones or our lap tops as we connect and entertain ourselves ; it is important to switch off the devices and switch on what makes us who we are – the human connections that enrich us.

Dinner table conversation is a good place to start. Teach the children to connect to one another – they are increasingly connected to devices too and sometimes, we are guilty of using the very devices as babysitters. Two year olds are entertained by iPads and by five, they don’t need company, they’ve got it all together, entertaining themselves.

Cherish the moment. Get off the computer and take your daughter or son to a walk in the park. Let not the darkness around us get in. We can light a candle in our own lives – it can and must come from us.

Just last week, we visited some of my husband’s relatives in the country – the beautiful surroundings of Dodanduwa, Hikkaduwa. The old house had been beautifully restored and the sprawling garden and a cool well was a treat to behold. Just sitting in the old verandah, doing nothing but listening to the sounds of nature, laughing and catching up with a few, many such a difference in our lives that day. It gave me a memory to cherish. I can still close my eyes and see in my mind’s eyes the fireflies gathering as the night fell, the sunset slowly coming over the greenery of many hues.

Let us not let a troubled world trouble us too. We can and must take refuge in what we do everyday -find the time to cherish moments spentwith each other.

The grand old ladies who tell grand stories…

The grand old ladies who tell grand stories…

I always love seeing the well put together, grand old ladies going to church on Sunday morning.

There’s something so beautiful, so enriching about them. They usually dress in their Sunday best and are almost impeccable as they come to worship God on the Sabbath. As they sit dignified in the pews and kneel, there are hundred no a million stories about what rich lives they might have lived and served God in their own unique faithful ways.

They grew up during the days when no one dressed in sloth , not just to come to church but for almost every occasion. There was an unspoken dress code. No one did skinny jeans and t shirts and certainly not in church. You took the time to dress, you found the time to match accessories and make sure you were presentable. They didn’t and still don’t walk in with unkempt hair ; they are as well groomed as their age and station in life allows them to.

They are well versed in the art of inter-personal relationships – otherwise known as social skills. They do not look sullen and occupied with cellphones and social media. They know how to greet and make small talk, feats by today’s standards. They are concerned for others and would usually ask after the sick and the absent.

They take their obligations seriously. They are almost always on time and do not make mockery of coming late. Despite old age and aching bones, they can be found well in time in their slots. They belong to a generation that learnt keeping time without cellphones. They probably still own old style alarm clocks that have faithfully served them over the years.

They respect other people and take pride in their knowledge – although some may dismiss it as gossip of sorts. They are not preoccupied with selfies and social media status updates. They go for funerals and remember birthdays and not because Facebook prompts. They are likely to carry little diaries with birthdays and anniversaries faithfully jotted down. Like my mother does, they read obituaries in the newspapers and know if someone’s loved one has passed away.

The grand old ladies (I won’t call them little old ladies because most of them are not little but truly grand, having lived enriching lives) have so much to share with us. I admire the fact that almost all of them can still find the time to wear sari to church, when most of us have trouble finding anything other than jeans and a t shirt. They come from a time when you wore your best to be in God’s house every Sunday. They have always dressed well for whatever the occasion – and they still do.

In their own unique way, they share with us their legacy – a sort of a remembrance of a time when life was lived on different terms. When commitments mattered and one kept one’s word in many different ways. When asking after another was the thing to do – when obligations and values were prized over self-importance and selfishness. When frugality¬†was preferred over wasteful abundance. When children had to learn life’s lessons the hard way.

So the next time you see a grand old lady in church or anywhere else, remember to go up and give her a hug – and ask yourself what you can learn from her. You will cherish the occasion.