OUR COUNTRY + OUR RESPONSIBILITY
Updated: Oct 14, 2020
A new year is already on us!
In the sixties and seventies when I was in School and College in Chennai, student strikes were almost a yearly occurrence. The College where I studied, was next to a suburban Railway station and the first thing the students did, in a strike, was to stop trains. As a student I had not given this much thought. But several years later, I was in an AC Chair car coach of the Brindavan express, in 1981, traveling on official duty to Bangalore. When the train screeched to a sudden halt, we suddenly realised there was a student agitation outside, and I could see students walking with stones in their hands ready to pelt at the slightest provocation ! I could then realise what it must be to be seated in a closed carriage with a riot outside !! For me, the shoe was on the other foot in a matter of 5 years!
As we move into the new year, I am not sure what your thoughts are. To me the year 2019 was a year when the world got to be a more and more complex place to live in. We have conflicts all around, difference of opinion on every issue, at hand ! All of us seemed to have hardened our views on almost every issue. A Gallup poll says that the people in the world have been distinctly angrier in 2019 than the previous years !
Many a time, as those who follow the Lord Jesus, we are not clear if our opinion or the way we live matters or if it makes any difference at all in the world around us. What are we as a community of Jesus followers expected to do in today’s circumstances ?
Excellence at the workplace is something that Daniel was identified with!! (Daniel 6:3-4) When the edict was passed in Susa by King Darius, Daniel was unfazed and got down on his knees to pray to the God of heaven ! (Daniel 6:10). Even when circumstances went against Daniel, God came through, even in a Lion’s Den.
These are times when we find opinions in our country and even in the rest of the world are very divisive. Can we as believers of Jesus, be the peace makers where we are placed ? Can we be the salt and the light? The economic outlook for our country does not look too upbeat, experts say. In this scenario, are we as Christians willing to go the extra mile to do the best in the jobs we are in? To us excellence is not an option – whatever we do, we do it as unto God (Colossians 3:17)
As we approach another Republic day in our country, let's commit to pray for our country and our leaders in authority. As those who observe our leaders, it is easy to be judgmental of them. But we must realise that as the saying goes “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown”.
Position of leadership is a lonely place to be in. As those who follow the Lord Jesus, it is our duty to pray for our leaders.(1 Timothy 2:1-2)
Let’s pray for peace to commit to living at peace with those around us, not being quick to be offended.
The prayer of Francis of Assisi is very appropriate at this time
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy
O Divine Master, grant that I may
Not so much seek to be consoled as to console
To be understood, as to understand
To be loved, as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
And it's in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it's in dying that we are born to Eternal Life
God bless you all.
"Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the one who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.” ~ Max Lucado
Contributed by Victor Jayakaran