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When life seems overwhelming

Two days ago, I was at my wit’s end. I was a couple of hours away from home en route to a hallowed temple feeling content that I had addressed an unending series of maintenance jobs when the phone rang. It was the new watchman saying the taps had gone dry. And he didn’t know which buttons to press to start the motor. After a telephonic tutorial I waited for news. No luck.

It was probably an airlock. Tried calling a couple of plumbers but they were unavailable. I was ready to tear my hair. Why was God putting me through this just when I thought the drudge jobs were behind me and I was headed towards a place of worship?

I decided that it was best to retreat into a shell. When things get overwhelming, patience is key and silence as well till clarity happens. I was not even in a frame of mind to speak to family who called me from overseas.

Then the words of aBiblical quote I’d read flashed in my mind’s eye .”God is not a God of confusion but of peace”. He is not one who enjoys putting us throughhell.

These happenings are just the play of life that we should face with equanimity and detachment. The focus should be on expanding our consciousness, strengtheningourselves spiritually and looking for what we can do in the situation.

Maybe there is a plumber who needs a day’s work and wages. Maybe this could be to test and hone my patience levels so that I am ready for bigger challenges. After all, what do we do when the printer acts up or the laptop doesn’t boot? We wait.

Kicking and screaming don’t help. We turn off the gizmos and start again. What looks like the last straw that can break your back, when handled well gives you hope for the next time you are in a dire situation.

And looking back you’re amazed at how the hurdle was overcome. To hark back I zeroed in on a plumber who agreed to take a look the next morning. Woken early by a power cut I was making up the sleep deficit when the phone rang.

It was the watchman announcing that after a second try and letting the motor run for a bit longer, water was flowing through the taps.

(Published 15 October 2023, 19:59 IST)

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