WOMAN, WARRIOR OR WORRIER

https://youtu.be/Frt7CxS4gXs

I have become a fan of Star Trek, Avenger and other Marvel as well as space movies such as Interstellar, courtesy of my children. I first watched them to keep abreast of my children and have intelligent (according to them) conversations with them, but became interested in the physics aspect of these films. One scene in the last Avengers Endgame movie touched me much – the scene where Captain Marvel is about to carry the sleeve of stones and all the women warriors including a female ironman join to escort her as team together in her task.

It made me emotional to see a band of women stand shoulder to shoulder, not just one of their own when she needed help, but participate in this task while the men were engaged in battling the strong man directly. Their partnering together with the band of men as a band of strong women to complete a crucial link that would turn the fight around enthralled me. Their rising up to say, here we are ready to help you as team together to preserve life as we all know. They rallied around to do their part, not content to simply stand on the sidelines as spectators, but stepped in to fill the gap that had fallen in a crucial time. What a picture of togetherness, oneness and commitment to the mission on hand!

Many women today somehow think and feel, despite being capable, like china dolls and dainty darlings needing petting, pampering and preserving. Mothers, especially, are in the dangerous profession of turning out inspid weak daughters rather than strong women capable of spearheading a family, a company, a society and a nation. Out there in society around, women are rising up to showcase their mettle, not as a challenge to or in competition with men, but as those complementing them to complete vital goals and projects.

A glance at our nation’s history throws up a number of names who, where when men either failed or were killed in action, rose up to preserve their homes and hearth. Remember Rani Laxmi Bhai, Jhansi Rani, Chand Bibi, Razel Sultan, Rani Mangamma, Velu Nachiyar and others who took up the reins when their men fell. According to history, women during the Vedic period enjoyed equal status with men in all aspects of life. Independent India has also its share of women who have been pioneers and path-breakers as well as firsts in many fields thought to be the bastion of men. Women in India were allowed to vote right from the first general elections after the independence of India in 1947 unlike during the British rule who resisted allowing women to vote.

Savitribai the first teacher, Kadambini Ganguly and Anandi Gopal Joshi the first women trained in Western medicine, Sarojini Naidu the first Indian born female president of the Indian National Congress Sarla Thakral the first to fly an aircraft, Amrit Kaur the first female Cabinet minister of India in the country’s first cabinet, Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit the first woman (and first Indian) president of the United Nations General Assembly, Anna Chandy first woman judge of a High Court, Kiran Bedi first IPS officer< Bachendri Pal first woman to climb Mt Everest, Priya Jhingan first woman cadet of Indian army, Karnam Malleswari first Indian woman to win an Olympic Medal, etc., and most recently Hima Das the first Indian sprinter to win a gold medal at an international track event all testify to the potential of the Indian woman.

In the Bible, we note the important role women played in propagation and progress of the gospel. They ministered to Jesus with their substance, were last at the cross, first at the grave, first bearers of the good news of the resurrection, they opened their homes to the apostles for the church to be established and so on. The Old Testament also has its share of women such as Deborah who led Israel into battle as a judge, Abigail who with her quick thinking saved her husband, Jehosheba who preserved the kingly line, Esther who stood up to save her people and many others who, according to the writer of the book of Hebrews, received back their dead, raised to life again. It is therefore clear that women have been traditionally, culturally, socially and biblically warriors rather than worriers.

Women of today have either a lethargic and lackadaisical attitude or a fight-for-the-sake-of-fighting feminist stance. There is a lack of of sober judgment based on sound thinking, critical analysis and intuitive discernment. There is either a clinging-on-ivy-like attitude or a totally stand-alone demeanour, both of which are neither productive nor constructive. The beauty of woman is her innate ability to nurture, motivate, bolster, affirm and build up others even at great cost to herself. Balancing this is her automatic militant reaction to any threat, not to her person, but to whatever would hurt or harm her loved ones. Watch a mother hen bristle and rise up against anything that would come against her chicks. She runs to the defence, not caring for her ownself, without any ideas for self-preservation, to take on a foe bigger and larger than herself, just so her loved ones may be safe. Nature and instinct for battle to ensure protection is so ingrained in a woman, whoever she may be!

Why then in the church do not women rise up to done the garb of a warrior to battle for those worthy of being preserved and protected! Why do we whine and cry, being a damsel in distress expecting some knight to rescue us like Queen Guinevere of Camelot who sat in her tower waiting for Lancelot to come charging! Or like dancer Sivagami who waited for the Pallava King to save her honor by waging a great war that cost many lives!

We are the daughters of the Most High fashioned to be ‘pillars carved to adorn a palace’. The Bible declares that The Lord announces the word, and the women who proclaim it are a mighty throng: Kings and armies flee in haste; the women at home divide the plunder (Ps 68:11-12). We are warrior princess, not wrestling or fighting with people, with principalities and powers of darkness that scare, torture and enslave the weak and defenceless. We are not meant to throw up the towel or cover our heads and lament with wailing and weeping. We are called to rise up and battle for our own on our knees and in our minds

One of the favorite TV shows I used to love watchin was Xena the Warrior Princess and I love the concept of capability vested in Superwoman. I love reading about Jhansi Rani, Rani Laxmi Bhai, Indira Gandhi, Margaret Thatcher, Angela Merkel, Christine LeGarde and Michelle Obama, about women who have impacted all around with strength when needed and with quietness when warranted. They did not sit around rueing their lot, but when adversity hit them, they rose to the occasion. They were not content, as the nursery rhyme Curly-locks, Curly-locks, ‘sit on a cushion and feed upon strawberries, sugar and cream‘, but rise up in action to lay hold of their destiny.

No one likes trouble or problems, but life has a way of littering our paths with thorns, not roses. It is better not to sit around worrying about what you cannot change, for worrying only saps your energy and makes you useless to tackle the issue. The better option is to use the opportunity and the opposition to our advantage, which is to put on our war mode and lash out the enemies that war against our soul, our family, our church and our nation.

It is better to be a boon than a burden or a bane to be borne or bailed by others!

*Photos courtesy the internet and google images

WOMAN ARISE

Arise, O Woman, shake off the dust,
Why do you sit with your head in your hands,?
Don’t you know you can’t allow your life to rust,
There is still work to be done before you rest!

Arise, O Woman, shake off your gloom,
Why do you rock and cry as if it is the day of doom!
Don’t you realize life is still full of newness and bloom,
There is much to be done so don’t be overcome!

Arise, O Woman, shake off the cobwebs and frost,
What do you mean when you say all is lost!
Don’t you catch that this just a wakeup post,
There is still much for you to apprehend and accost!

Arise, O Woman, don’t give up now,
Yes the battle is strong and the sharp winds do blow!
Don’t let go of what is yours and in self-pity wallow,
Be strong, our God is mighty and He won’t let you go!

Sabina Tagore Immanuel
*Photo courtesy: https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn%3AANd9GcSoZARIpBpW2FzfoLOFEEPbEP3UXVDNcURxrSuQN-zJMBa0KK81

Distractions Diffuse Destiny & Direction

The soldier who leaves the post he is guarding, or the goalie who leaves the goal he is protecting or the farmer who leaves his fields to engage in action elsewhere are all as distracted as the one who is led astray by attractions.

Distractions destroy focus by involvement in unnecessary activity. The legitimacy of any work is dependent on its focus on your destiny or goal.

Nehemiah realised this and did not allow himself to be sidetracked from the work he was doing (Neh 6:1-14). Jesus set his face as flint to go to Jerusalem and was not dissuaded from fulfilling His work. Paul did the same and in spite of knowing bonds awaited him in Jerusalem, made it a point to go there.

In sharp contrast, in I Kings 13:1-32, a prophet became distracted and ended up dead.

An athlete or a racer or any competitor will not allow themselves to succumb to distractions. They cannot afford to, for even a millisecond can make the difference between winning and not doing so.

So it is necessary to be careful to guard focus, wear blinkers, like a horse, to avoid being turned aside by distractions.

Being distracted while driving can be fatal. Being distracted while performing an operation can harm rather heal the patient. Being distracted in the kitchen can cause burns and other accidents. Distractions have severe repercussions in whichever task you set out to do.

Jesus talked about thorns that choked the good seed – anxieties of this life, deceitfulness of riches and hankering after possessions. These are distractions to the growth of the right seed that will not allow it to mature. Distractions are destructive and deterrent to growth.

The Psalmist declared ‘one thing have I desired and that will I seek after’ (Ps 27) and the Apostle Paul said this one thing I do (Phil 3). These men were able to declare that they finished the race.

We live in world where attention deficiency is a major disorder with attention span being less than 10 mins. Reason: availability of multiple options, tendency for quick fixes, insecurity that promotes constant preoccupation, fear that fuels avaricious grasping, discontentment that leads to frenzied acquisitions and finally, languorous leisure that aspires for maximum gain with minimum effort. We have become like hothouse flowers that bloom quickly and fade even more faster.

Beware of distractions in the form of legitimate actions that detract you from reaching your goal. Distractions can come in the form of relationships that are a snare to our walk on the narrow path. Your compassionate concern can entangle you with people who make you drag your feet or turn you aside from the real path. Barnabas missed the mark of high calling to partner together in the gospel with Paul by choosing John Mark. People can ride on you like the old man on Sindbad’s back.

Have single-minded focus to conserve your energy and reach your target. Throw off the unnecessary weight that would divert and delay you on the path to destination. Identify and weed out things that drain and dissipate your attention so that you can sustain strength to the end. Deal with and destroy distractions that turn you aside and make you an also-ran rather than one who won the prize.

*Photo courtesy https://unsplash.com/photos/gRsBNSKgfII

A TRUSTED TASK

Why am I given this bundle of joy,
Wrapped up in a blanket of blue,
Fumbling and faltering in a broken hue,
Who is to blame Lord, me or You?

Why must I have a burden of care,
When I see others have nothing to fear?
Why should I be the one who has to share,
The trials of pain that you had to bear?

My child you are the best I have at hand,
To place this sweet little one in this land.
No one else here can do what you’ll do,
So I have chosen to place this special one with you!

I have found you so faithful and true,
So  I entrust this little child for you to do
I have much faith and trust in you
That you’ll not fail in this my call for you!

So lift up your head and proudly dare,
A world that would often stand and stare!
Tell them that I’ve specifically called you specially for this,
To show them who they are and what is amiss!
© Sabina Tagore Immanuel

*Wrote this to encourage a couple going through the throes of a sick child.
*Pic courtesy https://unsplash.com/photos/7tGqLzHcjZ8