About Me

I have done a lot of things in my life and have also worked in many different jobs to make a living and to experience life. This blog is just some of my musings, sometimes funny, sometimes inspirational, sometimes sad, sometimes angry, sometimes simple but all the time, it's just me.

Friday, January 7, 2011

A ship is safest in harbor but that ain't what ships are for

Security is mostly a superstition.
It does not exist in nature,
nor do the children of men as a whole experience it.
Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run
than outright exposure.
Life is either a daring adventure
or nothing.
                                                                               - Hellen Keller

A ship is safest in the harbor. But that is not what ships are built for.

The Titanic would not have sank if it did not sail. If it did not sail, it would not have been the Titanic.

Sometimes, we risk greatness by being safe. We dare not venture out, we do not have enough trust, and we have lots of fears.

When I was young, maybe around 4, I remember going to this playground with my dad in Butterworth. I could not fathom why we went to this park instead of a playground nearby. But this playground had a big slide, one that was gigantic for a 4 year old. It was a slide that an adult could slide on.

The steps were like a mountain to climb on and the slide drop seemed miles away and rather steep and landing not onto grass but a rather hard surface of hardened mud.

My dad helped me up the steps, like nearly 20 of them (I know I am exaggerating a little but this is what my 4 year old me was telling me). Then he told me to slide down, promising that he would catch me.

I was horrified and refused. I told him to get me down the step and even turned around. My dad just refused. And when I looked at the steps, it seemed more risky than the slide part. But I just stood there, and my dad just refused to carry me down. Other kids would climb and pass me on top and slide down but I just stood there.

Finally, I got tired, and I slid down, and my dad caught me.

This is how we sometimes relate to God. We hold on desperately to ourselves, we try to do things in our own strengths, we have our own beliefs and doubts, we struggle endlessly, we want everything to be perfect, to be right, we want to control the situation. We do not want to let go because of our doubts and fears that there will be nobody to catch us.

This is what I call surrender. Surrender is not defeat. It is letting go. My guardian has been teaching me well. I know now that if I just let go, He will catch me. He is saying, "Just let go, I promise you, I love you and I will catch you."

Just surrender to the Universe, to God and believe. You have to realize you cannot control everything in your life, so surrender and that is when you will feel peace and strength in the stressful moments.

When we cling on to our doubts, our fears, and our safe world; if we stay safe in the harbor; we will only risk greatness.

There is this story I heard, not sure if it is from Aesop fables, Birbal or even possibly a Biblical story.

A father gives his 3 sons a dollar and asks them to fill up a large room with whatever they can buy with 1 dollar.

The first son, goes out and buy as much as hay he could get and those days you could get quite a lot of hay for a dollar but still he could only manage to fill up about half the room.

The second son, he goes out and buys cow manure. Cow manure was fuel those days, so it did sell and you could buy a lot of it for a dollar. But then again, he could only fill out about three quarters of the room and it sure stank up the place.

The youngest son, both brothers considered him timid and a little too pious. He went to church, temple, mosque (either one, I cannot remember) and prayed to God. He tells God of his near impossible task that his father has asked of him. He tells God what his brothers had done. And in his prayers, he asks God to show him the light. He put his dollar in the donation bin and took a lit candle and went back to his house as it was getting toward the end of the day and it was dark.

And as he reached home, and entered the room, his father and his brothers were patiently waiting for him. And as he entered the room to tell his father that he could not find how to fill the room with a dollar, he filled the room with light from that single lit candle that he had taken from his place of worship.

God had given him the answer to his problem. He filled the whole room with the light from a single lit candle.

Sometimes a simple solution is all that is required and we crack our brains and minds and try to hang on to our stubbornness. But like the story above, if we cannot find a solution and we have reached a dead end, why hang on? Seek guidance and the answer will be provided.

Why are we so afraid to take risks? Maybe it is because we feel we will end up spending our lives like a prison sentence or doing something we hate, or perhaps we are afraid to loose it all. But what do we loose if we have nothing, if we are not connected to the vine, all we are is dead wood.

As C.S. Lewis said, we often are like children who are happy to play in mud puddles when the beauty and immensity of the ocean are just a few feet away. We get to caught up that we forget to see the wider picture.

If you look at every successful person, you will find that they all persevered through failures to be where they are. Edison did not invent the light bulb on the first try, I believe it took him more than 10 years and after thousands of experiments with different materials. Henry Ford went bankrupt five times but he still invented the Ford cars and Oprah was fired from her job as a television reported before she launched her talk show.

People who are successful had pain and failures but what they had most was perseverance and purpose converging to motivate and inspire them to move forward. The pushed through their doubts, failures and fears but also learned from them.

As Nike ads say and as Sir Richard Branson's books says, "Screw It, Just Do It!"

Things that we put off only serve to keep our lives safe, confortable and mediocre. We miss so many moments when we are not willing to break out of our comfortable pattern of least resistance.

If your days are numbered, if you had one month to live, would you not just screw it and just do it?

Just do it, let go of your fears ad let God catch you. If you are tired, if you have no answer, if you are stressed, let go and experience the security and peace. Talk to the Universe, talk to God, stay connected to the vine.

What is a risk that you believe God is calling you to take presently in your life? For me, it was writing this months blog and to reach further audiences and to finally do something I am passionate about which is to write a book.

What is the worse that could happen if you took a risk? Take a plunge and be caught.

Take care and be well.


Ser said...

Write that book that is waiting to be finished dear...Screw it, just do it. Salute.

chicks with dicks said...

I like the work that u provided to me. nice done.

Rastreator said...

Thanks for the informative. Fantastic blog. Congratulations!!!

Frangipan said...

These are very wise words, sometimes we need to be reminded of this!

vitCfar said...

Amen, sister. Amen. For in the Abyss o'Misery, thar ain't nuthin, either. Actually, LESS than nuthin, for you actually croak 24/7 eternally. Meet me Upstairs in the Great Beyond, and we'll have a beer... far away from the 33 who control our planet. Where's my Home? Heaven. I was sent here to be sent back. Actually, a couple of poor women asked me that VERY same question today in the grocery store. I pointed up toward Heaven, as I left'm some moolah. They thanked me profusely, but I sed I was only doing God a favor, as it was NOT me whom they should be thanking, but the King of Kings. Think about doing such a wonderfull deed. You'll get repaid many, many times over and with eternity. See ya soon. Love ya. God bless.

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