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Saturday Situations

Wow, it’s been a minute! My last post was in October?

Right, well, a lot has been going on which I will not fill you in on, seeing as this is a public forum :), but the year seems to be ending well, with a promise of major upheavals in the year ahead. I choose to see this as a glass half full, therefore it will be. The power of positive thinking!

In other controversial news, did you know that Christmas is actually not Jesus’ birthday? Do I really want to open this can of worms? Probably not…but if you want to know more, Google “The origins of Christmas”. Not to kill your Christmas spirit though, Merry Christmas!! 😀

How random is this post! I have nothing to say, other than to comment on various issues like…what’s up with that song “Fundamendooos” anyway? Like, seriously!? Wuiii. Mungu atusaidie. “These are your things, these are my things…” I can’t even…

And has anyone noticed how complacent we as Kenyans are? We can literally be trampled on and we’ll just stand up, dust ourselves off and keep walking, with a shrug. Life goes on. Not too sure if this is a good thing, seeing as so many things go wrong in our country and many strabge decisions and laws are passed with minimal resistance on our part. Sigh…

Other random thoughts that I will not comment on are: the current trend in one in every 5 women sporting dreadlocks in Nairobi (me included), the rapid change of fashion trends making recently purchased trendy clothes worthless (and therefore having to go shopping again), the rudeness of matatu conductors to passengers, dreams that cannot be remembered clearly but vaguely disturb the person who dreamt them with elusive images that cannot be caught, and the feeling that said dream is very significant and the wonderment at why it cannot be remembered clearly.

Phew!

Have a lovely Saturday!

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Westgate

I have been bracing myself to write this post, and I am still not ready, but it has to be done.

Westgate was like a horror movie, only real. I remember sitting at home that Saturday when the news broke and thinking it was going to be a robbery and the police would charge in there and arrest the culprits and it would all be over. I also remember when the situation kept escalating before my very eyes. What I thought was a simple robbery turned out to be a grand-scale terrorist attack, and the more it dragged on and night started to fall, the more horrific the realization became.

I started frantically praying when I realized some of my friends’ loved ones were in there. I called my family and some friends to make sure they were OK. I watched the news, speculated, prayed, worried and rejoiced when I heard my friends’ relatives got out OK.

As the days dragged on, I imagined all sorts of positive things, that all the hostages had gotten out, that the terrorists had either been killed or escaped and that this was all going to come to a positive end. I avoided social media and the news for a while because whenever I watched the news or heard any reports, my spirits would sink and I could not pray.

When I came out of my self-imposed exile, I found the speculation and heated questions had grown. Everyone was questioning the government, and with good reason. Reports released were vague and ambiguous, and more so, unbelievable.

What really happened at Westgate? Who was behind the massacre and destruction? What does our Government know? What aren’t they telling us? Where are the missing people? Can we trust our security forces to protect us? Is our country safe from any attack?

Those last three questions are what have really haunted me. My realization through all this was that no one can protect me, only God can. The security guard who checks my bag when I walk into a mall can be shot dead instantly by anyone carrying a firearm. CCTV cameras can be disabled immediately a gangster walks into a “secured” building. My building could go up in flames with me inside, and no man can protect me from that; only God can.

If I died today, I am assured of eternity. Through this whole tragedy, this one thought gave me comfort. I know I have eternity in Christ. There is no fear of death. I fear dying, I’ll admit, but not the after.

I am more aware of this fact now than ever before, and also more aware that there are many among us who cannot say the same. I challenge myself and I challenge you: love someone today enough to share the good news of eternity with them. It may be their one and only chance in this fragile life we live.

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

~ Matthew 10:28

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Sunday Sit-Ins

So this book “What the Dog Saw” has taught me very profound things…and I want to share a new one today.

According to the book, there are two kinds of people in the world, well, to put it loosely: protégés and late bloomers. Protégés are young and do their best work pretty soon after they start out. They are the child geniuses…the Beethovens and Pablo Picassos of this world. They don’t seem to struggle and hassle so much to be stars; to be excellent. Most people describe the proteges’ work as effortless.

The late bloomers, as you can already tell, bloom late. They do other things first, and then realize that they want to pursue something else. They try and fail and try again several times. Their first works are usually mediocre, and most of them are known for their later works. Their prowess increases over time because they learn later and succeed later in life. Cezanne, the French artist, was one such person. His latest works were the most famous because he had finally mastered his art.

Which would you rather be?

I’ve always wished that I was a protégé. I’d have begun these great works early in life, been successful by now, been loving what I do and been great at it already. Now I’d just be saving for retirement or something (well, I am already contributing to the NSSF monthly, but that’s not what I mean).

After reading this essay, however, I’m not so sure that that would have been the best path for me. I would have taken a lot of my success and gifting for granted. I would probably have taken a lot of the learning process that life brings for granted. I may have been a success but would I have been wise?

Being a late bloomer is harder. You try a lot of things before you figure out what it is that you really want. Sometimes you know what you want to do but getting there takes longer because you need to learn so much to get there. If you decide to change your career you have to take a pay cut, have to get sponsors to support you financially, have to deal with a lot of disapproval, you get the point.

The idea of having your best work later in life however has a certain appeal for me. It shows that I tried, I honed, I worked, I achieved. It shows that I pursued my dream against many odds. It’s difficult, I know, but somehow, it makes saying veni, vidi, vici so much more meaningful: I came, I saw, I conquered.

A part of me still wishes I had been a protégé, but since I wasn’t, I’m appreciating what late bloomers go through to get where they eventually get to: a sort of refining. I can work with that 🙂

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Thursday Thinkings :)

I’ve been reading What The Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell – and getting lots of attention in matatus and elevators because of it – but I digress. I came across a certain concept that he mentions in the book, on puzzles and mysteries. Malcolm explains that there is a critical difference between a puzzle and a mystery. To solve a puzzle, you need the missing pieces of a puzzle to complete it. You need more information to solve it. To solve a mystery, however, you don’t need more information. Gathering more information is eve more confounding. What you need to do is narrow down using the information that you already have to draw closer to the truth. Sometimes mysteries cannot be solved because you may never be able to glean the truth from all the information you have.

Anyway, my point is that there is something I’ve been puzzling over and I only realised today that this is a mystery, not a puzzle. The more information I get about it, the more confused I get. I need to comb through all the information I already have, or just ask for divine revelation! God can do anything, can’t He?

Which brings me to my next point…active faith. A certain minister was speaking about faith, and he said that as Christians, we have a lot of potential energy, but rarely does it get transformed into kinetic energy. This is because we don’t have true faith. We say “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”, but then we are so scared to do anything. Ironic, isn’t it? The minister challenged the congregation by asking what would happen if we truly believed without a doubt what God’s word said. We would be powerhouses; forces to reckon with.

He went on to differentiate between small faith and little faith. Jesus rebuked the disciples’ little faith in Matthew 8, yet He applauds “faith as small as a mustard seed” in Matthew 17. This minister explained that “little” means “inadequate, incomplete”. If I have little faith that God will provide food for me today, it means I have a little faith in God’s provision, a little faith in my ability to shoplift in a supermarket, a little faith in my mother giving me the food, etc…basically my faith is mixed up with other “faiths”. But small means small in size. However, small is complete, even though it is not large or distinct. I can have small faith in that I wholly believe that God will provide my food for breakfast, and that’s where it ends. I don’t know about lunch and supper. I hope this description makes sense. So small faith, God applauds; little faith, He abhors.

A friend shared this message with me and I was so blown away! I never even knew that there was a difference between the two. It hit me: if I wholly believed that God would do all He said He would do for me, how differently would I live my life? I’d just be making declarations and be so confident and unmoved by trivialities. Would I ever fear anyone? Would I ever worry about anything? Don’t I serve the creator of the Universe? If I truly believed, my life would be so different.

So, I’m living as I believe. I declare that there will be no traffic today on my way home! Amen!

Active faith my friends, active faith!

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Into the unknown

I got a new name for my blog, and a tag line! This is a major achievement guys, MAJOR! (No thanks to you! :-P)

For those who are in the dark, my blog name was “My Life as a Rockhead” since I started it. I was a major rockhead then (listening to rock all the time), and though I still love it to bits, I am embracing the other parts of myself that exist.

“Into the unknown” embodies my walk through this life: the self-discovery, growing up (read: pains), my walk with God and with others.

I welcome you once more into the vault, the maze, the awesomeness in mind-blowingship that is my thought processes and emotions! OK that sounded more scary than intriguing…

Join me, friends!!

Road_into_the_Unknown_by_lowjacker

photo credit

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Tuesday Thoughts

I have been thinking that I need to change the name of this blog because when I started it I primarily talked about rock music but I haven’t done that in a long time. For the life of me, I can’t figure out what to call it. Maybe you can help me figure it out? Pretty please?

So apparently today is Middle Child Day, which has gone largely ignored, as is the case with middle children. How appropriate. This article highlights the “holiday”, and, to top it all off, the link to famous middle children in the article actually links to an article about first born traits. Seriously? Are they just trying to permanently wound us?

The middle child syndrome is a non-clinical ailment that affects many middle children as theyoften  feel overlooked, ignored, passed over and “unfavored” (in comparison to first borns and last borns). I used to feel like this but I got over it. I just like to wield it as a weapon when I can get away with it 😀

Another thing, what’s with apocalyptic movies these days? Is there a message being passed or are we just very fascinated by the end of the world? Did anyone know that World War Z was about zombies? Yeah, I know, the ‘Z’ should have been a strong hint, but not to me.

On the prevalent quarter-life crisis affecting my friends and peers worldwide (since today I have an opinion about everything; I mean, isn’t that why you came here, to seek my valid opinion?), I read something very interesting today: millenials, i.e. products of the current generation, are in a world with limitless options. This makes making a decision so much harder and we are often caught in analysis-paralysis, unable to make a decision. The article advised that we should do something. If there is something you are interested in, do it. If there is something you suspect you could be good at, try it. Among all the options you have in front of you, pick one. It doesn’t have to be perfect, well-thought-out-to-bits, or have more pros than cons. Honestly, I’ve wasted so much time analysing instead of DOING.

Just do it!!

 

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Prayers and Dreams

One of the scariest prayers I ever made was when I asked God to show me my purpose. I thought it would be a one-sentence answer, but it has ended up being pages and pages of of a book in which I have had revelation of who I am and who He wants me to be. I didn’t think it would be a journey, I thought it would be an instant thing. It has ended up being a meandering path that takes me back to the past and then to the present and back again, as I look at a future that gets clearer everyday. Ever heard the phrase “You can’t move into the future until you let go of the past”? It’s absolutely true.

To capture my dreams I had to go to the past and let go of all the misconceptions I had about who I am. Then after doing this (it’s still an on-going process), only then could I clearly see myself the way God sees me, and see into the future He would like me to have. With this view, I realized that the dreams I thought I had were so small compared to what He was awakening in me. God deals in BIG dreams, and He wants us to have them and trust that He can make them come true.

I make it sound so easy; it isn’t. It’s a difficult process that I had to be willing to go through and not give up (also, the ever-increasing level of discontent with mediocrity was a very strong driving force).

So today I make another scary prayer:

May I never be content with doing less that I am capable of

May I never let great opportunities pass me by

May I seek to be excellent in everything I do

May I dream, and dream, and dream some more; always, each bigger than the last

May I always be repulsed by the idea of sitting on a desk whiling away the time in a job I am ill-suited for, that drains my energy and suppresses who I am

May I never hesitate to express my creativity, even when there is the threat of criticism

May I always believe that God, the author of dreams, can make them come true…because He who begun a good work in me will be faithful to complete it

Amen