Saturday, April 13, 2024

Bob’s Banter


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By Robert Clements

Your Ticket and Your Phone..!
There’s so many of us who wonder why we’ve been thrown into this cruel, hard world, with it’s misfortunes, betrayals, dishonesty and more. Some shudder at hardships, depression and tough days they wearily crawl through, grey, dark and dim, with no sign of abatement.
Nanda Devi is surrounded by a ring of mountains enclosing the Sanctuary, which despite decades of attempts, no one was able to enter. In 1934 Eric Shipton, and his associates succeeded in finding a climbing route into the Sanctuary, via the Rishi Ganga gorge. Eric Shipton it was who in 1951 came upon the footprint of the ‘Abominable Snowman’ He placed his ice axe next to it for scale and took a picture, showing how huge the Yeti was.
Mount Everest was conquered by Edmund Hilary and Tenzing. They climbed from the south, from Nepal, via the Khumbu Glacier, again a route first pioneered and discovered in 1951 by a team led by Eric Shipton! What a discoverer was Eric Shipton! But here’s an interesting account by the same famous explorer, and listen to what he says, “When I reached Bergen, Norway, I found that due to some miscalculation, I had only just enough money for my ticket by boat to London and none to spare for food. In those days I had a healthy appetite, and the prospect of a two day fast was not pleasant. I grew more and more ravenous as the voyage progressed. Finally, I could stand it no more and, as the other passengers were entering the ship’s dining for the last meal, I asked a kindly looking old gentleman if he would bring some bread when he finished.”
Shipton said, “He looked at me in astonishment and asked, but why don’t you come in and eat?” I explained my plight, to which he replied pityingly, “But you don’t have to pay; meals are included in your ticket!”
Can you imagine one of the greatest discoverers, a man who discovered the Rishi Ganga Sanctuary, who found the footprint of the yeti and the route that led to the climbing of Everest, not looking closely at his ticket, to finally discover at the end of his journey, that he never needed to have gone hungry? What about you and me? Have we looked closely at our ticket called life? Have we seen that it includes all the help you and I need to face and conquer what we think is a cruel, tough and dark world? What a waste!
Start looking at that lifeline called ‘prayer’ so boldly engraved on your ticket and use it unashamedly, unconditionally and unassumingly all the time. Stop going hungry because you, the conqueror, successful businessman, single parent, brilliant mind, clever child, aren’t using your ticket! Using our ticket reminds me of last night, when I was out for dinner with friends and I’d come back late, but did what I normally do, which is charge my phone before jumping into bed and off to sleep.
This morning, I looked puzzled at a blank screen. The phone had not charged. Now, I’ve spent quite some money on getting the latest iPhone, have the best charger, and have disciplined myself, that in whatever sleepy state I am, I get to charge the phone. And yet the phone showed a dark screen. I bent down, and I guess you know by now what had happened, the charger had got disconnected from the charging point, and though I’d done all the appropriate actions to charge the phone, I had not realised the charger was disconnected from the source of power.
Maybe it was meant to be, because the first thought that struck me after that was that there was a message here on that blank screen, and through my pen to all of us:
How often, we do all the right things. We go to our place of worship, bend our knees, ring the bell, prostrate ourselves, and then come back uncomfortable in the realisation we have got nothing from the whole experience, and the whole point is that the best charger in the world, which could be the highest church steeple, the largest mosque, or grandest temple could actually be disconnected!
The charger does not reveal the power of God, the connection does. And how do people around us know whether we are connected or not? By what we reveal of the power that we get from the connection. If your connection does not show the qualities of the divine, which are, what is known as the fruits of the spirit; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, then my dear friend you are lying disconnected. If you are charged with an attitude of intolerance towards other communities, anger against people of another caste or faith, and bear ill feelings towards people who hurt you in history books, then you need to check whether your charger is connected. No spiritual charge, whatever your faith, can bring such low qualities into you.
Electricity does not flow depending on how big a charger you have. God’s power does not come into you depending on the size of your church or temple or mosque, but simply on a good connection. It’s time individuals and nations realise this; that what we are showing to the world is nothing short of a charger, huge, big and gigantic, but disconnected, and useless!
My phone, it’s screen now vibrant and bright, looks back at me, happily connected!
So there’s a ticket called ‘Life’ which entitles you to use this wonderful app called ‘prayer’, but more than the ticket in your hand, is the question you need to ask yourself, and that is, “Am I connected?” Because if you aren’t then all you have is a charger, and a useless ticket.
So, get yourself connected right now. The ticket in our hand gives us the right to do so..!
The Author conducts an Online Writers and Speakers Course. For more details send a thumbs-up to him on WhatsApp 9892572883.


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