Babble Without a Pause

September 22, 2008

In HIS time :)

It had to happen …. she knew it, I knew it. Our friends knew it. Only thing was, because of a few setbacks along the way, we had begun to forget that it would. We started to doubt it would ever happen. But therein lies the beauty of faith. Of unconditional hope. Sometimes a little faith can go a long way. Way back in September last year, SHE had been offered a chance to go onsite. For whatever reasons at the time, SHE was unable to, since her visa approval didnt get done in time. The position went to a colleague of hers, DESERVING or UNDESERVING, I’m not the judge of that. For a woman this strong, this dedicated and this sincere, better things lay ahead. I knew it, never doubted it for a second and I tried everyday for the next 1 year to convince her she deserved better.

But the human spirit does stretch stronger than the flesh does, than the physical form does. And although the human spirit is the stuff of fabled legends, hers, and in a sense mine, was beginning to wear thin i felt. Yet, in the midst of an uncertain looking future, here was God throwing us a lifeline. It is all well and good to talk about faith, and the need to trust God, but when you’re at your lowest ebb, in your toughest days, sometimes it feels that bit harder to reach out and grab that lifeline. But WE did, and together, WE held on tight to that lifeline. As the days went by, the lifeline grew stronger, a symbol of a promised change, a deserved reward for a long time of toil. I’ve never missed her this much like I did in these last 2 weeks, knowing that it could so easily be the mirage we thought was an oasis so often in the past, knowing she was this close to making it happen.

The past 2 days were one of intense prayer and collective intercession. Amongst my close friends and loved ones, I asked everyone I knew to pray for the matter at hand. I’ve prayed before for things I wanted, but more so alone than in collective effort. More often than not, they were left wanting. This time though, I knew I needed more faith, more prayer and more earnesty. God answers prayer they say, and he stuck true to his word. I surprised myself in church this morning, when instead of my usual prayer, “Lord do this”, or “Lord, please help me achieve this”, I said the same prayer over and over as i sat in the front pew …. “Lord whatever be your plan for HER life, let YOUR will be done”. Maybe it was the fact that for once in my life, I realized that having brought HER, and ME this far, He wouldnt let go.

2 days of fasting brought with it a lot of hunger, but the thought of receiving that call from HER made it all worth it. At the end of it though, it was the perfect way for me to show that there were things other than food that mattered in my life. God is good ….. all the time. And today, he showed me yet another example of just WHY He is so good. Because that is the beauty of God ….. he does what he feels is best for us at that point of time in our lives.Today, He showed ME, and HER, another instance of that. HE MAKES ALL THINGS BEAUTIFUL, IN HIS TIME.

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September 9, 2008

The legend lives on

As he watched the desperate last-ditch forehand from Andy Murray sink low into the net, one can only imagine the avalanche of emotions that must’ve flooded Roger Federer’s mind as he fell to his knees in celebration. The flashbacks of the total surrender on the clay dirt of Roland Garros, the heart-wrenching epic battle loss on the hallowed lawns of Wimbledon, and the semifinal disappointment to Djokovic at the start of a difficult year. Yet, in that one fleeting second, he was back on top, where many still believe he rightly belonged. In that single instant, redemption was bought, all was forgotten, the game suddenly made sense and all was well again in Roger Federer’s world again. The months of intense speculation, the annoying comments and questions asked of the man would have driven any other mortal player to introspection, soul-searching, and eventually a downward spiral from the top. NOT FEDERER.

For 1 whole year he toiled away, with nothing significant to show for it. He suffered the humiliation of 12 losses all season, the most losses he’s ever had in a single year since 2003. Most of them came against journeymen, players who Federer had no right losing to. They were players either well past their prime and ageing (case in point Radek Stepanek), and some who were bursting through the ranks, brimming with talent and confidence, some as young as 21 (case in point Andy Murray). Yet, in a bedazzling display last night, under the bright lights of Flushing Meadows, Roger Federer played as only ROGER FEDERER can. For a player whose biceps and suddenly muscular frame were highlighted and splashed across major tabloids, and whose build was compared favorably to Rafael Nadal’s bulging sinews, Murray showed a surprising lack of muscle in the finals. Coming into the tournament, he was the most successful hard-court player on the men’s roster this season, with 3 hardcourt titles, and a favorable 2-1 record against the man himself. Yet, when it came crunch time, Murray showed he has a while before he can seriously threaten to win a slam.

There are a sizeable throng of naysayers out there STILL believe Federer wasn’t seriously threatened and would have lost, had Nadal been in the finals, or that he had luck on his side, a favorable schedule and fresher legs for the finals. While all that could be true, it is more of a wishful thinking. If you’re not a Roger Federer fan, chances are you’re still not convinced. Well, my point here isn’t to attempt to convince you. The match spoke for itself. The point is, THIS ISN’T OVER. One bad summer doesn’t suddenly make Federer a player on the decline, just as one extraordinary almost Federer-esque season doesnt make Nadal the best player in the world. On the contrary, it has showed everyone that he is infact human. Not a ferocious forehand-swinging racquet-wielding automaton who demolishes opponents with nonchalance. And it is in this show of heart that Federer has won more hearts. Without going out of his way to convince his fans and supporters that he’s still THAT DAMM GOOD, he has silently gone back to doin the basics right, and focussing his sights on the grand slams. In the process, he has won over many many more fans, who’ve identified in themselves, and in their daily struggles, a close bond with him. And that “is the best compliment a player can ever hope to get”.

The upcoming year holds significant promise that Federer would once again kickstart his campaign to surpass another legend, Pete Sampras in his quest for 15 Grand slams. It also holds enough mouth-watering suspense for a highly entertaining post-season of tennis. The Australian Open next year would set the tone for Roger’s revitalized campaign, just as it did this year. Andy Roddick and several other players have joked this year saying “I’ll definitely take his bad year any day of the week”. But the way he pulled himself out of the “decline” showed us that he still has the passion and hunger to keep going without feeling the need to prove himself to anybody. This year, he ONLY reached 2 Grand Slam finals, ONLY won ONE, and was ONLY a semi-finalist in the other. In winning the US Open, Roger has silenced the mob of boisterous detractors, self-help-quacks and quick-fix-doctors who were on his back throughout the course of the year, dishing out all sorts of advice on his technique, mental strength and ability to win. He even jokingly quipped at the post-match conference …

I mean, I’m a bit disappointed. Sometimes to a point a bit annoyed, because all sorts of crazy people started writing me and trying to reach me, telling me I need some help either mentally or physically. (Laughter) You’re laughing but it’s the way it goes. People come out of closet and think they can start helping me now. It’s just a pain.For me, this sort of puts them to rest a little bit, and calms down the phones at my parents’ a little bit, which I’m happy about.

Michael J. Gelb, internationally renowned author, speaker, and consultant says “Champions know that success is inevitable; that there is no such thing as failure, only feedback. They know that the best way to forecast the future is to create it. ” Genius cannot and should not be questioned. Mortals like us can only watch the Gods, and reminisce when we’re well into old age ….. that we had the privilege to see this craftsman weave his magic in his prime.

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