If the almighty ever played a sport or game, He would undoubtedly give Magnus Carlsen, or our very own Viswanathan Anand, a run for their titles, even on his worst day. It’s no wonder then, how perfectly he times his move, strategizes the game-plan of our lives, and annihilates all opposition. And just like chess, while you do play for the fun and challenge of it, more often than not, it can knock down your self esteem by a couple of notches along the way!
It’s incredible how often you hear this line – ‘God has a plan for you’. Undeniable, but oftentimes, they forget to mention that God has a wily sense of humour as well! His plans may not be in line with yours! I mean, who wants struggle and strife and to boot, make it seem that all this is wondrously good for your soul!? Word has it, that the more difficult your path, the more beloved of the almighty you are. I can’t count the number of times I have felt like his most favoured, flogged child! Working with this logic, reasoning or consolation, or whatever you choose to call it, has never really done much to ease my battered spirit. His notorious interest in my well-being sometimes evades me!
Now, take for example our present situation… how many of us are on the side of this premise – that this tiny virus, floating around, may perhaps be good for the ethos of all mankind? Coronavirus confronts us all with problems of excruciating pain and grief. The suffering is immense, never afore have the cracks and fault lines been so pronounced for all humanity. At this point in our lives, this is, for most of us, perhaps, one of life’s hardest problems. This pandemic, this entirely agonizing experience, rightly makes us suspicious of simplistic answers and facile attempts to come to terms with it.
When life flows predictably and is under control, humans get convinced that somehow, we are infallible, and then it is easy to put off asking the big questions, or to be satisfied with condensed answers. But, life has, blaringly displayed otherwise! It is also not surprising, that whatever your faith or belief system, the big questions of life are breaking through the surface, demanding attention. But then, they say everything happens for a reason, and the reason, oftentimes, baffle us.
That we need struggle and striation to forge our spirit, to enhance human understanding and empathy, is surely an arguable debate. Even so, complacency has been known to create arrogance and success, giving one flight… forgetting that we do need both feet on the ground from time to time. Here, His plan is perhaps ‘Eunoia’ – an ancient Greek word, connoting, ‘the possession of a pure and well- balanced mind, which exhibits goodwill and kindness.’ Eunoia literally translates to ‘beautiful thinking.’ While humans are created innocent and guileless, pure and selfless, times have changed and so have we. From the eve of time and the innocent frolicking of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and that first bite of the apple, we crave notorious, sinful pursuits of pleasure. (Today, New York City or The Big Apple the worst hit).
Food for thought: ‘Is there something symbolic here?’ Today, in every corner of the world, life has simply ‘developed’, it has not ‘evolved’, for the human race. We are privy to all the worlds’ knowledge and information at the press of a button, but clueless to accessing wisdom or building foresight for the betterment of mankind. It took a tiny virus to bring us to our knees, and kneeling, now we pray. Catastrophe for compassion, ‘It’s chess my friend, and the move is now yours,’ He says!
We seek pastors and priests, life-coaches and counsellors to work our way into an easier life, needing helpful tips and guidelines to enhance our desires and ambitions yet, all the while, we neglect the fact that circumstances are but His mirthful creation. He truly has chalked out all those moments in your life where you will be given the opportunity to step forward, either in confidence or perhaps uncertainty. We crave knowing what’s at every turn and corner; we seek the comfort of anticipating our personal, destined, five- year plans, not for a moment suspecting that while our paths may seem smooth now, there are pot-holes waiting, like those encountered on Mumbai’s roads during the monsoons, just around the corner!
Craters dredged deeper than the size of Sahara, explicitly created to help you understand, that falling in a fallen world easy. After all, suffering and pain can only contribute to character formation… just as parents allow their child to go through painful experiences in the simple hope it will serve them well in the future. Spiritual triumph requires you to seek his assistance in navigating every road. He needs you to trust Him, not just in your darkest nights, but most, when you’re blinded by the light. Trying to interpret God’s will for you is as challenging and daunting, as looking at a two-year-old messing with a rubric’s cube, hoping to see him put all the merry colours together.
The will of god could be intentional, circumstantial or simply depending on the mood He is in! Fret and fume all you want, but god’s fathomless plan for your future is preordained. The encounters you face, the people you meet, the pause and panic buttons you hit, my dear, are forged way before you were even conceived! It’s a chess board – your life, you see, and every move co-relates to the decisions you make… moving forward or backwards – that’s the free will he grants you. But, no matter how calculated your moves or how adept your plays, remember the check- mate is ultimately His!