Being a member of Team Christmas Decorations - 2008 was an most wonderful opportunity to serve Him in His Mission that deepened the devotion and commitment to love and serve fellow men, echoes Bruce Kintz from Region 8, California, United States about the God Given Opportunity...Read on...
Posted at 11:36:01Hrs. IST on 11 Dec 2009
I received a call in March 2008 from April Skrobiza asking if I would like to be part of the Christmas Decorations Team for the 2008 Christmas in Prasanthi Nilayam. Swami is calling me! Yes!!! I was to be a member of the Construction Team and of course the installation of our decorations. For the next 8 months there were many meetings for planning, designing, procuring and shipping. As all this was progressing and we were nearing our departure I was feeling so grateful to Swami for this opportunity!
My wife and I left on Dec 6 for Prasanthi Nilayam, with other members of our team on the same flight – that was very nice. Swami took care of everything, literally, and that became more and more obvious to me during the whole experience. He was doing it and me! Every day I noticed that I had no anxiousness or mental agitation about anything. Swami put me where He wanted me and I just followed the inner moment to moment guidance and it’s still going on by His Grace!
Back to the ongoing play (Swami’s leela). We started in earnest as a group on Dec 11 and went to work at Shed 32 every day until the 22nd morning when we began the installation. What a beautiful experience working with this group from Region 8 and many others from Iran, Russia, Holland, Australia, Germany, and other countries as well! We worked together in Harmony, and Unity, what an experience it was and so very impactful and expanding the love in my heart.
One day early on in our process, I had gone back to my room to get a tool and I was walking back to the shed, and I noticed a Seva Dal standing by a lane which goes back through a gate to the School and Orphanage. A lady approaching from the opposite direction asked the Seva Dal, “Swami coming?” I heard that and spun around and asked the same thing! He nodded and the lady walked across the road and stood waiting. I decided to cross over also (and she moved a distance away from me to keep the protocol appropriate regarding men and women standing together). I took note of that and was appreciative as I was only thinking of Swami, and the Love I was feeling for Him was growing as I stood waiting. Shortly after, the gate opened and Swami’s car slowly came down the lane, and here we were the Seva Dal, another man, a lady, and me, that’s all!! Swami passed the lady looking straight forward and then His head turned and He looked directly at me with a very wide eyed look. There I was, beaming back at Him with all this love and gratitude, it was a precious moment in time!
On the 22nd morning after 10 a.m. we started bringing the decorations over to the Sai Kulwant Hall. We were very organised, many thanks to our leaders!!! On the 22nd eve, after 7 p.m., we really got going on the installation of the decorations. About 9:30 that evening while I was working on the Verandah area, someone reached over the brass rail and tapped me on my shoulder. I turned around and it was my oldest son, he just arrived in India for the first time and also the first time he would be seeing Baba. He was able to walk right in and greet me, what a leela! I knew he was coming and I had worked it out with the leaders for him to join the group, so he participated during the whole installation and took care of working all around the hall and Swami’s house and guest house. What a blessing for him to be able to go places that none of us could ever set foot. I told him that we were walking on very sacred ground and it was an incredible blessing for us all to be so happily and lovingly working in this whole Mandir and Residence area!!!!
The next day we again brought more decorations down to the Kulwant Hall after morning Darshan and again after afternoon Darshan. We were making progress but it was an epic undertaking from my perspective! (I am a Building Contractor and I do many large and small residential construction projects).That evening we got word that we could work until 2 a.m. At about 9.30 that night, I was getting tired so I walked back to the shed to rest a bit and get some food. How thoughtful of our group to think of providing an evening meal and it was so good. I rested for about an hour debating within myself if I could hold up till 2 a.m. I caught a second wind (Swami) and worked enthusiastically till 3.30 a.m. We know who the doer is.
We accomplished so much that it was incredible. So on the 24th morning we again went into the Hall and Swami’s residence area after morning Darshan and finished the installation of all the decorations. We did it by Swami’s Grace and we all knew it was only due to His Grace that we could accomplish such a task!
Christmas Eve we had special seating as a group and had a wonderful Darshan! Christmas Day we went to the afternoon Darshan as a group and again had special seating. A couple of our leaders came up to another group member and me and said that they had arranged for some of us to sit on the Verandah, as a special Grace from Swami and from our Group as a whole! We were disciplined all throughout our Seva, and our leaders did such a service for us and we greatly appreciated their roles! So here I was with several of our group sitting in a very nice position on the Verandah!!! It was and is such a blessing. Swami gave a Discourse that day and it was a pivotal moment for me, a deepening of my Devotion and Commitment to Love and Serve my fellow men.