Monday, October 17, 2005

Sixteen of us where returning from Banglore (to Chennai) after attending JY National Conference 2005. Though we where sixteen we had only fifteen railway tickets. Since it was 11:45 PM there was no scope of getting more reservation tickets. So we decided to take an unreserved ticket and the “sacrifice guy” among us insisted to travel by that ticket.

But when the journey commenced I understood that the general (unreserved) compartment was too crowded and the “sacrifice guy” was silently suffering. All of us where against the idea of letting him bear the cross for us. So we decided to get a berth for him and to equally bear the additional cost incurred.

We went to meet the TTE (Train Ticket Examiner) and asked for an extra berth. He informed us that we will have to give him Rs:335(Rs:250 fine + 85 difference in ticket cost) for getting an extra berth. The original cost of the ticket was only around 150 and we already paid around Rs:90 for the unreserved ticked. This means that the cost of the journey cost around Rs:425 instead of Rs:150, i.e around 180% more. People started discussing whether or not to bear the additional cost. Seeing this TTE gave us a wonderful “offer”: “Don’t worry. I will give you the berth for just 150 . . .”.
I was first delighted to hear this. But immediately we understood that he was asking bribe from us.

(Temptation 1: I was really tempted to give in. I thought I am going to loose Rs:150 unnecessarily.

Temptation 2: To get the glory for me. I wanted to settle the deal at Rs:150 and to be a hero in front of all for talking to the TTE saving 150 rupees.)

But some how I overcame it. My friend who was with me during the conversation was also not willing to give in. So I said to the TTE that we want to do it in the proper way and that he should give us the receipt for whatever amount we pay. Then he asked us why we wanted to do it. He wanted to know why we wanted to go in the proper channel and why we where not willing to pay bribe even though it was cheaper.

(Temptation 3: I was tempted to say some answers like patriotism, ethical values, “spirit of the youth”, “annyan” movie etc . . . )

But I heard a strong voice with in me urging me to tell him the correct reason. So I told him: “We are Christians. We are not supposed to do such things. We strongly wish to live by His values. I request you to try to understand us. Kindly accept Rs:350 from us and give us the berth and the bill”. Then he conceded and took the bill book. Before writing the bill once again he showed “sympathy” to us and put forth the Rs:150 offer. But I didn’t give in.

But as he took the pen and started to write the bill he said “OK. Since you said that answer I am not imposing the fine. So give me Rs:85 and have the berth.”

We gave him Rs:85 and got the berth, and yes the receipt too J.
Praise God. Give Him all Glory.

One more time I experienced His devine providence and His love. All we need to do is just Trust in Him.

Every temptation is also an opportunity for greater merit.
God continuously draws us closer to him, sometimes through miracles, sometimes through mercy, some times through love. He does all this for our salvation out of His love.