Mar 26, 2019 1081 Antony Kalapurackal,

Take Heed Lest You Fall!

“My heart wrenched with fear as the sound of footsteps came closer and closer. I tried in vain to find a place to hide. I was not alone. There were a dozen other students in that hall, possibly going through the same emotional experience. We ensured that all the doors to the hall were securely closed but the glass windows did not have curtains. So, it was impossible to hide. Soon after, the policeman’s face appeared on the other side of the window. He saw us as well: a group of people trembling with fear. He immediately took his whistle from his pocket and blew as loud as he
could. Beeeep … Beeeeep …

We could hear the sound of more policemen approaching.
I almost fainted.”

On that pleasant, sunny morning, it was just another day when I left for Saint Michael’s college in India. I was doing my studies there, at the reputed college in my home town. Little did I know that it would be a day I would never forget.

Classes were stopped abruptly not long after they had commenced; the college union declared a “protest” in response to a decision made by the state government. The principal declared a holiday for the college students. Those active in politics marched toward the road outside the campus’ boundaries and began blocking the public bus service.

My classmates decided to enjoy the day off and started playing cricket inside the campus’ boundaries. I joined them. That was an act of disobedience on my part—one of the strict instructions from my dad was to leave the campus as soon as possible if a protest was declared.

While we were enjoying the match, things were getting worse elsewhere. The strike turned violent. Students started throwing stones at the police and the police started using “baton charge”. Students re-entered the campus and continued throwing stones from there; police were not allowed to enter the campus.

As time progressed, the situation went out of control. A couple of police officers had serious injuries. Finally, the police stormed into the campus and the panicked students ran in all directions. We had no option other than to run! We ran toward the “Sacred Heart,” seminary near the college. Authorities tried to help us by locking us in a hallway but that was not enough.

We were caught and taken to the police station. We were charged and presented to the court. The court remanded and sent us to the sub-jail. It took four days for us to make bail and another two years to be acquitted of all offenses—during that time I had to go to the police station every week to check in. I had to be present for court hearings almost once a month.

Later, when I started my journey with the LORD, I could easily connect this incident to the way I listened and followed the Lord. The times I paid attention to Him blessings were poured upon my life; the times I did not pay attention to Him witness collectively to the temptations I had succumbed to. Here are a few lessons I learned:

◗ Disobedience Always Comes with a Price Tag: When we disobey God, we pay a price. Maybe we initially get away without any serious issues, but if we continue in disobedience we invariably end up paying a price. In my case, it was not the first time I had disobeyed my Dad. As I did not initially encounter any major issue, I continued my disobedience and ended up paying a high price.

◗ It is not the Punishment, but the Natural Consequences: “But one is tempted by one’s own desire, being lured and enticed by it”. (James 1:14) My dad never punished me for my disobedience but was trying to save me from trouble. All my sufferings were the natural consequences of my disobedience. In the same way, when I disobey God the troubles I encounter are the natural consequences and not the punishment from heaven.

◗ Disobedience Hurts Many: My act of disobedience not only caused suffering for me but for my whole family. I recovered from the initial struggle and started adjusting to prison life from the second day. Prison authorities put us in a single hallway on the second day and allowed us to play board games. We started enjoying prison life.

In my home my parents and siblings continued in deep pain until I returned home. In the same way, we quickly adapt to our painful and pitiful situation after drifting away from God with our disobedience. Heaven will be restless until we return.


Abba Father, it is my desire to be obedient to You in every single moment of my life. But many a times I fail to obey Your words. I am truly sorry for causing You so much pain. Lord, pour out Your abundant grace upon me so that I may never hurt You again. Amen.


Antony Kalapurackal

Antony Kalapurackal serves in the Editorial Council of Shalom Tidings. Antony lives in Brisbane with his wife Vinita and children Abiel, Ashish, and Lucina.

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