Tuesday, September 28, 2010

When life happens first

Has it ever occurred to you that you let life happen before you let God happen? I woke up one morning with that realization nagging at the back of mind and I suddenly discovered the reason why I had been going through a seemingly boomerang Christian walk for some time. There were highs and lows that I thought I should have gone beyond.

I still felt like a child learning how to walk and it was beyond frustrating because I knew I should have been running by now, my feet pounding through the hallways and hands raised in childish delight. But that wasn’t the case; I found myself flat down on my face too many times to count and at a point I threw up my hands and said to myself ‘well maybe I’m not cut out to be a Christian!
It didn’t help that some of my close friends seemed to have no problems with their walk with God. They seemed to be having a ball. There I was, immersed in fears and doubts and worries…there I was, wondering if God heard me when I prayed…there I was wondering if I was one of the chosen ones…there I was…letting life happen to me first…

The Christian that lets life happen first is the one who wakes up in the morning and jumps to his feet without as much as a ‘’good morning’’ directed in God’s way. The Christian who lets life happen first is the one who is more concerned about getting to work on time then he is about asking God to direct the course of his day.

The Christian who lets life happen first is the one who remembers to pray only when problems are staring him in the face and all the educational knowledge and technical know-how he has doesn’t seem to cut it. The Christian who lets life happen first is the one who barely has the time to study the word and who has to dust off a fine film of dust from his bible every Sunday.

Sounds familiar? That’s probably because I just described you and me! I became a Christian and still did things the way I used to and expected awesome results! Who was it that said when you do the same things over and over again and expect a different result, that’s insanity? I forget, but the point is the moment you become a Christian, things don’t automatically line up!

Problems don’t instantly faint and die because your spirit man just got renewed! No way! You have a whole lifestyle of self centeredness to deal with and only getting into the word of God can help you overcome that.

That’s why Paul was quick to say ‘be not conformed to the image of the world but be transformed through the renewal of your mind’ (Romans 12:2)
With God, the game is different and so are the rules. As a growing Christian, God should happen first in your life and in order for that to happen; you have to pay attention to the word of God and prayer.

If you don’t have a buildup of God’s word in you, when trials and other problems come (and trust me, they will!) you won’t be able to handle it one bit. You will be pulled under as easily as a child who doesn’t know how to swim. But when the word is strong in you, you can withstand the tides of life that roar at you. Stay blessed!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Opportunity costs of life

Often times as humans beings, we underestimate the depth and breadth of the human wonder called the mind. My mind travelled down a dark maze last week and strayed from snaking path to snaking path until it nearly drove me mad. I ran from one end of the maze to the other and screamed until my voice got hoarse; but no one heard me; no one heard me because all the while that I was screaming in that maze, there was a huge smile plastered on my face. I laughed at the same jokes, cracked the same jokes and did the same things I did each day I got to work in the morning. I suddenly realized that I had become a creature of habit and I didn’t like it one bit.

This dark time in my life made me realize that there are countless of people lost in their own personal mazes, trapped in their own nightmare; their emotions twisted and their feeling frozen in a sheet of ice; but no one hears them thudding beneath the surface because they have mastered the art the enemy has gotten us to master in a very unconscious way. The art of projecting a facade

The world around us is becoming one mass of swarming humanity moving in the direction of desperate self satisfaction and lofty goals of attainment and wealth. Some people may call it a progressive society; I call it a self centred one

In the pursuit of our dreams, we have taken our gaze off the intricacies of the process involved in the true attainment of these goals and have placed too much emphasis on the end process itself.

I got into a nearly violent argument with a good friend of mine when he told me he had been responsible for getting some married men hooked up to some of his clique of girlfriends who were simply looking for a good time and a wad of cash to spend.

These men are married I pointed out to him. Why oblige them? His response? The married men simply want to have a good time themselves and are ready to spend the money to get it. My friend says that there are some things that you have to do if you want to get where you are going. Apparently, these married wealthy men are prominent men in positions of power and it pays to be able to maintain more than a nodding relationship with them.

If you have to lose yourself in the pursuit of your dreams, then you are going about it the wrong way. There are many of us losing a piece of ourselves to our so called goals and dreams. We don’t get to see our kids take their first step, we don’t get to know what they like or dislike, and we don’t get to make out time to make our marriages thrive. We don’t get the time to check up on old pals, we don’t get the time to give our time and our resources to hurting and needy people around us...we don’t have the time for God.

The sad thing is that most of us are barely happy doing the things we do but we do them because we feel that we need them to define who we are and what we are supposed to be in life; but the fact of the matter is that we can only know these things when we slow down long enough for God to tell us. He created us so he is the one who knows who we are and what we were created to do.

‘Call upon me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things which you do not know of (Jeremiah 33:3)

But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all other things will be added on to you; fear not little flock, for it is your father’s pleasure to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:31&32)

Like all things in life, we have a purpose and that can only be found in seeking out God and his ways. God is faithful; the more you seek him, the more you walk in the things that he has prepared for you.

The greatest form of deception is self deception. You can deceive everyone around you but the minute you deceive yourself, you lose a great piece of yourself. If you are feeling stirrings of dissatisfaction with the false nature of your life and you desire more than the rigorous routine of living, take a step by spending more time with God. He made you, he knows your path and that simply means he will show you how to live a life full of meaning and purpose.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Whose side are you on?

I don’t think it’s easy to serve God. Some people make it sound like once you start walking with him, everything falls into place. They forget to mention that for things in your life to fall into place, some things have gotta give and others have to be moved around a bit. So it’s not surprising that once you have turned your life over to God, all hell seems to break loose...literally.

You’re no longer comfortable with the things you used to do before. Your thought pattern is challenged in most painful ways, and then, you’re expected to act in a way that seems to tear the very flesh away from your bones. For me, it’s been one hell hole after another but I can confidently tell you that while I feel pain so intense that I have to hit my head on the wall to stop from committing murder, I won’t have it any other way. At the end of the day when all is said and done, I would rather be on God’s side than to be against him.

Have you taken a good look at the enemy’s curriculum vitae lately? It’s amazing!! He has managed to increase crimes like rape and murder to numbers that practically shoot through the roof not to mention the fact that he has successfully brainwashed generation after generation of people into believing that they are masters of their own destiny. Don’t get me wrong, they are masters of their own masters that is but don’t think for one minute that the devil is going to let you know that!

There are quite a number of things that he has done but my point is, when you look at God’s curriculum vitae in comparison, being on his side is the wiser choice. So, why aren’t people on his side more you would ask?

I would like to think it’s because they are terrified of the notion of handing over their lives to an unseen entity. For many of them, it connotes a powerlessness that they are not willing to concede to and I can totally relate to that. I used to be scared that the instant I gave my life over to him, he’d have me married off to some man I didn’t want because it would be his will or he would make me do something I didn’t want to do...I still have those fears from time to time but the more I get to know him, the more I know that I can trust his choices for my life. And besides, do we honestly think that we know what we want more than the one who created us? That’s like saying a Toyota car suddenly saying ‘I don’t think I was made for driving; I was made for flying’!

What I’m trying to say in essence is that serving God comes with a lot of pain and sacrifices. I’ve made a few sacrifices and gone through pain and I know I haven’t seen the last of both. Jesus sure didn’t promise it would be easy, after all he did say if you want to follow him, take up your cross. But I rest assured on the knowledge that as long as I am treading the path God has out me on, I will have the peace and strength I need to carry on. The world’s a battleground folks and that is the truth...Question is, whose side are you on?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pulled back from the edge

I’d been smoking pot and having wild sex for the past ten years without an iota of remorse and it was all fine by me until I ran smack into T-boy. Now, he wasn’t what you would call good looking but he had that appeal that made you want to get close enough to find out what was on his mind all the time. He had that gentleness that made you want to prove that he was nothing but a fraud. He had that patience that made you want to test it until the monster you were so sure was inside him came out raging and looking for blood.

He made me want to be good when all I had ever been was bad and that infuriated me. I pushed him away from me with a violence that was nearly as breathtaking as it was brutal. But he kept on coming right back. I had my male friends give him a beating that put him in a hospital. I had my female friends throw themselves over him in a shameless display of wanton lust...I screamed at him in public and slapped him more times than I care to remember...but he didn’t budge. He kept coming back, brown eyes filled with a love and understanding that made me want to run out of my own skin. ‘I believe in you and I can’t give up on you because God hasn’t given up on you’, he would murmur, even after I once emptied the plate of okra over his head. I believe in you.

When I couldn’t take it anymore I finally asked the one question that had been nagging me all along. The one question I had refused to ask out of sheer stubbornness. Why? Why do you believe in me so much when I hardly believe in myself?

My father didn’t believe in me, why should you? My mother didn’t believe in me, why should you? Why would a total stranger believe in me when my family thought I was born to be a slut?

And with the question came the memories I had buried. The pain I had shelved. The rejection I had hidden under the layer of artfully applied make up and a well toned body. Like a broken dam, I stood with everything gushing out of me. And like a sea he took it all in.

That’s how I got saved. That’s how I discovered who I really was and what I was made for; T-boy didn’t wave a huge bible in my face the way some people did to me sometimes. He didn’t tell me I would burn in hell if I didn’t repent like the choir mistress once told me when I wore my favourite tight miniskirt to church. He didn’t spit at me when I walked past and he didn’t snicker at me when I put my hand up in church to ask a question. I wanted what he had simply because he lived it.

Too many people spend their time judging people and making them feel worse than they already feel; all that only drives them further away. When you have Christ, you love more and judge less. The world has a lot of hatred and judgement already and they are looking for something different. Love is different and it makes you stand out.

That’s why Jesus said you are the light of the word. In a world where the hate has cast clouds so dark and thick, love is the only sun that can pierce through the darkness.

What are you doing today? Loving? Or condemning?