I am not excited to tell you this. In fact I am more ashamed and totally embarrassed. I had started slipping into weariness and spiritual exhaustion. Strange that I didn't notice sloppy drift. Yesterday, a few of us were discussing about the near future plans like the annual programme and so. But my mind was bleak with fear; I was groaning inside. I could feel a disgusting darkness. I am tired of asking; I am tired of patience; Where’s the end of fear? Does this fight end? I was searching for a safe space within the corners of my destitute heart and my befuddled mind. There was nowhere I could run away from the devious doubts that had been haranguing me for a few months. I am not sure how long I had been posing a fake figure of solemn guru, with absolute restraint over all desires and problems. But everyone has a breaking point, and then I broke. There were two others in the room. There was a vibe of negativity emanating from me. One of them looked incredulously at me.
“What happened to your foresight, Bhaiya?”
That stenchy remark then puked itself out of my mouth.
“Oh! I’m tired of faith”
My audience were stoned for a while. One of them geared up a bit and advised.
“Then let not anyone know about that.”
I did not know that my faith made a trench in human lives! This was going overboard. I could faintly hear music being played from the other room. The words were clear and instructive.
I’ve known you as a Father;
I’ve known as a friend.
And I have lived in the goodness of God
When did God stop becoming my father? When did I break friendship with Jesus? I started to pry back into my history with Janpragati. In 2011, when everything was beginning, what did I think? On one of those gloomy nights, I had climbed a municipality water tank. The water tank was built tall above all buildings in that area and I could see the whole town from the apex. I sat on a cantilever beam, with my legs hanging down into a chasm of deep darkness. A voice inside asked me a question.
“Are you not afraid?’
I answered NO
“If you have such faith in a man made cantilever, why not have faith in ME?
As I returned home, the questioning voice was digging deeper than I was aware. Then I had to raise Rs.2000 for Vinay’s salary; I knew God would provide. As if a miracle of sorts, my cousin called me up and asked me whether she could support me with Rs. 2000. God was already at work. I just had to trust him.
The journey of faith continued. The work of JP expanded. More people joined JanPragati. My heart would pound a beat more, but I was never tired. Every appointment was an added expense, it was the next act of faith. The salary rose from 2000 to 16,000 to 50,000 to 1,30,000 to 3,00,000!- but I was never tired of faith. But 2019, we began hitting the bottom. As the months passed by, I became weary and tired. As December blew its cold winds, I was just dead frozen to faith.
And all my life You have been faithful, oh
And all my life You have been so, so good
With every breath that I am able
Oh, I will sing of the goodness of God, yeah!
The short sweet slumber was so refreshing to my soul. I had forgotten the goodness of God. I went home yesterday evening, with a strong craving to be in the presence of God.
In the night, as I kneeled down in prayer, I was so angry. I had felt so deceived by God.
“This is my family, God. I need to provide for them.” I raged.
“Is it right for you to be angry for them?” A voice replied.
It was the same voice that spoke to me on the tall water tank in 2011. I knew that the same question was asked to someone else in the Bible. I turned to the book of Jonah.
Then God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?”
And he said, “It is right for me to be angry, even to death!”
But the Lord said, “You have had pity on the plant for which you have not labored, nor made it grow, which came up in a night and perished in a night. And should I not pity Nineveh,
Jonah was weary of the intricacies of faith! He knew God. God had uncanny methods working through the faith of frail men. But Jonah wanted his prophecy to come true: to maintain the status quo. He wanted a steady God; pitched on immovable stringency, predictable, and can be relaxed on! But he wouldn’t get that; neither will I! Yes, I am tired. But I want to let go of my grip and lose control of the whole affair. I will always remember the Cantilever question: “If you have such faith in a man made cantilever, why not have faith in ME?
Faith is sustained by just loosening your fist.