At 8.00 a.m. in the morning, we had to be ready for the assembly that started with prayers followed by announcements, news and prayer requests. I remember being dropped by our school bus half an hour early to the school time that allowed us to take copies from our friends to finish our homework before the school day started. There was always a sense of urgency to finish them on time as we never wanted to get those red remarks in the school diary.
At 8.00 a.m. in the morning, the entire school stood still because it was time for prayers. From a very young age, I was always attracted to a conversation with the Invisible, but standing alongside 60+ students with joined hands never gave me that feeling of being prayerful.
“Make me an instrument of your peace”, used to be a frequent song played during the prayer time. I loved this song, I still love this song – but probably I never understood the deeper meaning of it until later when I heard it on YouTube recently. It took me back to the memories of my school. Looking at where the world is heading into – constant chaos, hatred, destruction, and distrust – each of the word adds so much meaning. If there would have been something called a “World Anthem”, I would have proposed this song for the same.
Few years ago, I was in Mumbai for a business trip for a couple of days. This being my first trip to the happening city of Mumbai, I wanted to take all the opportunity to experience it and visit some of the famous churches which I always wanted to.
The first day, I visited Mt. Mary Church and lone time at Bandstand. It was enjoyable to see the families, kids and couples having a fun time together. Particularly, I was astonished to see the enthusiasm of the young people waiting in front of ShahRukh Khan’s house “Mannat” waiting to get a glimpse of him.
On the second day of my trip, I made up my mind to go to the Mahim church. I called up one of my friend to consult on the route I should take to reach there. I was planning to hire a cab or rickshaw but my friend encouraged me to take a train to Mahim. I wasn’t sure if this was a great idea being a solo traveler to which he mentioned if I was able to, it will be a great achievement.
I decided to follow his advice. I took a train with the help of other fellow travelers and successfully reached Mahim. The next steps were tricky since I didn’t know which way to go and I couldn’t find anyone who could help me with it. I decided to take left from the station and kept walking up to a point where my inner voice said this is not the right path. Immediately, I recalled the verse from Isaiah 30:21 which goes this way, “Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left.”
I started walking back and took a road straight from the station. I asked a cabman if he could drop me at Mahim church. He was kind enough to inform me that the church was at a walking distance. I kept walking until I reached a Church tower where a lady was lighting candles. Assuming this was the Church I confirmed with her. She said the church was at a different location. She paused and said if I can wait for her to complete her prayers she’ll escort me to the place. I happily agreed to this offer and observed her as she completed her prayers.
We walked for a kilometer until we reached the destination. What a peaceful experience that was having finally reached place. The lady bid me goodbye after guiding me on the way back to station. After spending a good one hour at the church, I returned to my hotel.
This simple event from my life has increased my faith and confidence in God. This depicted how close God is walking with us. No matter where we go he places his angels – in the form of a friend, cab driver or the lady at the church tower. We just have to place ourselves in his care he will take care of the rest!