Tuesday, 21 September 2010

The Master Weaver

I struggled as a teenager growing up in Delhi. For those of you who have read my story in Walking from East to West, you'll know failure was writ large on my life. My dad basically looked at me and said, "You know, you're going to be a huge embarrassment to the family—one failure after another." And he was right given the way I was headed. I wanted to get out of everything I was setting my hand to, and I lacked discipline. During this time, India was at war and the defense academy was looking for general duties pilots to be trained. So I applied and I went to be interviewed, which involved an overnight train journey from the city of Delhi. It was wintertime and we were outside freezing for about five days as we went through physical endurance and other tests. There were three hundred applicants; they were going to select ten. On the last day they put their selection of names out on the board, and I was positioned number three. I phoned my family and said, "You aren't going to believe this. I'm going to make it. I'm number three. The only thing that's left is the interview. The psychological testing is tomorrow, and I'll be home." The next morning I began my interview with the chief commanding officer, who looked to me like Churchill sitting across the table. He asked me question after question. Then he said, "Son, I'm going to break your heart today." He continued, "I'm going to reject you. I'm not going to pass you in this test." "May I ask you why, sir?" I replied. "Yes. Psychologically, you're not wired to kill. And this job is about killing." I felt that I was on the verge of wanting to prove him wrong—but I knew better, both for moral reasons and for his size! I went back to my room and didn't talk to anybody. I packed my bags, got into the train, and arrived in Delhi. My parents and friends were waiting at the platform with garlands and sweets in their hands to congratulate me. No one knew. I thought to myself, "How do I even handle this? Where do I even begin?" They were celebrating, and yet for me, it was all over. Or so I thought. I was to discover later that God is the Grand Weaver of our lives. Every thread matters and is there for a purpose. Had I been selected, I would have had to commit twenty years to the Indian armed forces. It was the very next year that my father had the opportunity to move to Canada. My brother and I moved there as the first installment, and the rest of them followed. It was there I was in business school and God redirected my path to theological training. It was there that I met my wife, Margie; there my whole life changed. The rest is history. Had I been in the Indian Air Force, who knows what thread I'd have pulled to try to wreck the fabric. Thankfully, our disappointments matter to God, and He has a way of taking even some of the bitterest moments we go through and making them into something of great significance in our lives. It's hard to understand at the time. Not one of us says, "I can hardly wait to see where this thread is going to fit." Rather, we say, "This is not the pattern I want." Yet one day the Shepherd of our souls will put it all together—and give us an eternity to revel in the marvel of what God has done. Our Father holds the threads of the design, and I'm so immensely grateful that He is the Grand Weaver.
Excerpted and adapted from Ravi Zacharias's The Grand Weaver: How God Shapes Us Through the Events of Our Lives (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2007).

13 Fertilize my soul:

Dani said...

I've often as I've gotten older, marveled at God's direction and handiwork the same way...am learning to trust His guidance..as He is always right, and He knows our hearts so well...

Felisol said...

Kierkegaard said, "Life must be lived forwards, but can only be understood backwards."
Your history is a modern version of the same.
How great He is, our heavenly father.

Zimbabwe said...

I know one man from my church - when he was 10, Soviets took him to Gulag in Siberia. He survived only because the Soviet Union and Poland signed the military pact, and he had to fight in Soviet Army, against his will - he was at this time only 12. Now he is one of the eldest people in my church - everyone very respect him. I see in his heart big love to God, despite hard life in the past - I wish so big faith every Christian.

Brit. (lille meg) said...

We have a great God!
Thank you for sharing!
Also thank you for your visit in my blog!
It's a long time since I visited you, and I am sorry for that....
I hope you are doing well.

Jeanette said...

Wonderful post, Amrita! Thank you so much.

Glennis said...

Great post, sometimes life is very hard but somehow with gods help we do survive and flourish, the hard times do add to the weave in the fabric of our life and in the end make the fabric so much superior. But its not fun at the time! watched master weavers while in India, their tiny slim agile fingers working all the shuttles and things perfectly.

monsoon dreams said...

Thats truly wonderful!Everything works together for good for those whom God loves!

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello Amrita:)

Lovely photos and a very inspiring story.

When God closes one door HE opens another door which is always good for us.

I remember going for an interview after graduation to Hyderabad for an interview with Hyderabad Usha Works. I passed all interviews and I was told to wait for the appointment letter.After a long wait the works manager came and told me that he will not be able to give me the appointment letter because the committee is not agreeable to my appointment.He aggravated my injured feeling by saying the the world is wide.Needless to say I was deeply hurt and crest fallen.

Then many things happened in my life and now I am where I am after 30 years of service with AVERY,married with three grown up children who can take care of themselves.

You story reminded of my own story to earn a living and survive in this world.

Best wishes:)

Debra said...

God has certainly shaped and weaved me from the events of my life! I am thankful for the Master Weaver that HE is!

Love especially the photos of those that are weaving.

Blessings Amrita

JI said...


It's a good thing Ravi Zacharias didn't join the Air Force. He's turned out to be one of the most respected Christian apologists in the world today. I’ve seen him many times on Youtube. I've also just bought his book 'Jesus among Other Gods: The Absolute Claims of the Christian Message.' Are there any other of his books you recommend?

When I did a bit of background reading about the man, I discovered Ravi was from a line of Namboodiri Brahmins. That would mean he is from Kerala, like myself. I was pleasantly surprised!

I think God has a plan for each and everyone of us if we respond to Him.

Best wishes,

Amrita said...

Thank you dear friend for all your comments.

Thank you Mr Joseph fo r sharing from your own life experience.

Dear JI, I never knew Ravi was from Kerala, I thought he was Tamil.When I was in class 8 he came to Kolkata for a YFC Comf. I heard him there.

Amrita said...

Hi Brit good to hear from you

Amrita said...

Dear JI, I would recommend all of Ravi 's books. I have only one and some of hi s tapes an d videos.

We held a RZIM seminar cinference in our church. His team members came from Chennai and AP.