As we go through the avenue of life it becomes less enjoyable, void of peace and very complicated. It was not meant to get like this. God created man last with the clear intention for creation to be enjoyed by man. That intention hasn’t changed. Interestingly we are created with an interesting characteristic. We love keeping the things that fracture friendships in the dark. To keep unpleasant things hidden in the dark is not just socially accepted but also preferred. What does this have to do with enjoying life? Keep reading. The world teaches that our strengths can overshadow our weaknesses and thus the quest to know ones strengths is a proposed key to success. If I remember my team building lessons well, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. This is telling. In real terms it doesn’t matter how much you feed your strength for your weakness will be your undoing. Hence I propose we are better placed focusing on our weakness for therein lies the key to viewing our life with eyes void of blindness. Normally we learn it’s not socially capitalising to front ones weakness as it erodes the confidence others have in us. Nothing could be further from the truth. Humans by nature are drawn to the needy for us to help. Or we are drawn to the weak so as to exploit. Pick your poison. It’s amazing how we understand the same thing completely differently, that’s how messed up we are. The truth won’t change because I see it differently. I digress. All along I have thought myself great at many things, however life was becoming pretty dull and tasteless. It doesn’t make sense how things that look good don’t feel as good. What could be missing? To my horror I begun to discover my weaknesses and quickly learnt how to hide them in the cloak of strengths. This only forces one to become an actor. A good actor gets a social Oscar, a bad one is called a hypocrite. Regardless how good an actor one is they can’t deceive themselves , not through out anyway. To do away with the conflict the remedy is simple. Put it on the table, let people know. When I started telling those close what my weaknesses were, something strange happened. Gradually those around me begun to actively contribute into the areas of my weakness. I am pretty foolish when it comes to dealing with people. Once I tell guys this, I get overwhelming support through information or issues that point me in the right direction. For this reason I started seeing people from a different perspective. The very same people I was clueless about yesterday are the ones I view with pleasure today. A good example is its easy to forward an audit report with exactly what you’ve found on the ground. However could it be possible you didn’t see the whole picture? For this reason I am learning how to see things from anothers perspective and hence I now post findings that have wider acceptance. Clearly there’s more to this life than just what I think. Through my weakness I have learnt to depend on others. Nothing pleases a human than knowing so and so depends on me. It has largely contributed to others seeing me as a normal person and warming up to me. I can be pretty hard and cold so this has really helped. Uncovering my weaknesses has given me access to the resources lacking that are in others. The more I learn to depend on them in my weakness, the better life looks as they give me access to what I need. When I say when I am weak then I am strong, it now makes sense. In my weakness people rally to me to prop me up. Why hide things under the table when you can put them up there and get helped ? We were created to enjoy His creation. I can’t enjoy those around me unless I allow them into my life through exposing my unpleasant things. Sounds crazy? Not to me.
Today I decided to take a walk round a multi-national compound. As it happens, the place was where senior management lived before the area was vacated due to administrative changes. I have seen beautiful but derelict houses. Walking round I pictured the family enjoying the houses and the compounds. Their relatives and friends visiting and admiring the opulence displayed and so on. To those present at that time all looked pretty long term. To those living in the homes it must have seemed the only way was up. Sadly the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. We all know when one move’s from a company house there are a variety of consequent possibilities. The move necessitated by a job change would usher one to another house. If it was because of a job loss, the consequences are more uncertain. You may have heard of someone that left employment that underwent severe challenges the rest of their lives. What all this brought to my mind is what legacy would I like to leave behind? For the longest time I thought, a nice home would be preferable for the family as well as some money or money related assets. The more I live this life the more I realize just how fickle my dream was. When I look around the thoughts I have are challenged. There are so many stories of families in court contesting a will or lack thereof. If the dead person could have known they probably wouldn’t have amassed so much. In essence we have no control over what is done with the tangibles we leave behind. I recall the story of King Solomon in the bible reading like he was the richest man ever. What of his is still around? Probably only his descendants. What happened to all the gold and stuff? Read the bible, it’s not a pretty story. If King Solomon’s legacy went poof with the wind, who am I to think of leaving a tangible legacy? For that reason I am no longer interested in leaving a tangible legacy. The bible however says that a good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children. What does this good man leave? I suggest to you the bible isn’t talking of tangible things. If it was, then it would be apparent in itself that loss of tangibles is something to be shunned. However regardless of how you read the bible, I doubt you will ever get this impression from it. The bibles focus isn’t tangibles, it’s something else. This other thing is much more valuable than any tangible found anywhere in the universe. What could it be? When God asks us to make as our priority the quest for His Kingdom the hope is we shall trust Him. Sadly the thinking most have of that wish is God is just being excessively sentimental. It’s something good to possess when you have time, kind of thing. In His Kingdom reside invisible things whose value far surpasses anything I can think of. Can you imagine if you had the ability to do right, each and every time? Wouldn’t that beat a great movie? Living the perfect life I call it. Picture a life of peace regardless the circumstances, wouldn’t that be such bliss? Finally can you imagine joy/laughter emanating from the core of your being that warms you from the inside out? That would make life so enjoyable, wouldn’t it? God promises us things we really long for but are unable to manufacture. He assures us if we purpose to search for them we are guaranteed to find them. They are only found in His Kingdom. Nothing can be a suitable replacement of that which he offers. On this discovery I am coming to the conclusion that what my daughter needs as an inheritance isn’t tangible. What she needs is to be pointed to the one that is the giver of the invisible things that out last any tangible out there. If she has the righteousness, peace and joy of the Lord then the rest will easily follow. I do not intend to focus on leaving any tangible legacy, however I hope that I can point people to the one that can cause this life to be as enjoyable as it should be. If I manage that for even a few then my life will have been worth it. If God chooses to allow the rest of the things to follow that will just be icing on the cake.
I started practical lessons on grace a few years ago. We keep saying that it’s the unmerited favour of God. What’s merited and what’s unmerited ? Ideally if you’ve worked for it then that’s merited. Grace then is favour extended to an undeserving person. The world has pushed us to work so that we become deserving. The harder, smarter, longer and whatever else can be done is the mantra of success. Contrary to this is grace, enjoying something for nothing. We generally hate grace. The reason is, it gives no glory to the recipient. If someone gave me a diamond today I am immediately robbed of an opportunity to show off with it. I can’t say I mined it or purchased it. Where’s the glory in saying I was given? People would rather just work for it. I didn’t think of grace this way until I had to learn about it. To enjoy grace one has to be needy, otherwise you can’t recognise it. We’ve heard that time and chance happens to them that win races, fights etc God is in the business of extending His grace for us to enjoy. This grace comes in all shapes and sizes. Very few people see this grace, one has to have an eye for it. The chances that come up are fairly many and we need to know that they all come with a duration and expiry. So this week a girl hints you go for lunch and you laugh it off. That could have been the lunch that changed your single hood forever, but since you didn’t take it seriously that chance is withdrawn forever. Most successful people understand the value of the time/chance combination. When the two are in synch they unashamedly lunge for it. This brought a greater understanding of what ‘Since the days of John the Baptist the kingdom suffers violence and the violent take it by force’ means. When God presents us with that thing we don’t deserve we need to move quickly to get it. The reason is he doesn’t like us gloating. One has a very hard time trying to gloat over something they did nothing for. Can you imagine a begger gloating over his takings at the end of the day? Only a warped mind can glory in such. Time is a very critical aspect of grace. Grace does not come with an eternal expiry date. If one does not grasp it within certain timelines it’s lost. Not too long ago I got an offer of a shoe and because I am much wiser I moved with haste. My friend that made the offer couldn’t fend me off, I followed the issue until I walked away with my shoe. Getting grace is exciting. Anyway the following week my friend was forced to move away to activities that would not have allowed him to fulfill his promise. Ever been made a promise that you thought was bankable only for you to be disappointed weeks later? It’s also called expired grace. Even if someone makes you a promise push to get it. So much happens after one makes a commitment. Many times the circumstances are out of one’s control. So yes I made the promise but am now unable to fulfill it. Can you really compel someone to give you something you don’t deserve ? There are two evident downsides to grace, we don’t like it and it’s time bound.
Becoming successful is a deliberate and painstaking affair. One has to be clear where one wants to end up and develop clear steps that will be used to get one there. After this one has to get it going, also called implementation. This is what being a visionary/missionary is all about. Chances of success are high when one keeps at it.
That generally is the story being peddled by they that ‘know’. If only they would introduce the God factor. This is God’s world, he usually does what he wants. If he wants guys dead in a bomb, boom ! Just like that. He can use a deranged person or an accident, bottom line people dead. He can bless whoever he chooses. There are some people that go from one level of success to the next so effortlessly and from our knowledge of them we can clearly see Gods hand…
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I remember when I was young and rough in the edges (only difference now is am old), when teachers would wind up their argument (ok, lecture) with these words, ‘change your attitude!’. How many times have you heard this ? It’s very easy to notice someone with a bad attitude, clearly they must change it or continue to have a difficult time. What no one says is how to change it. Are there shops one can exchange the attitude or better still buy a new one? How does one do it? Who likes complaining, grumbling or just being a bad sport ? Life is pretty unsavoury when one has a bad attitude. It’s like being asked to do what you already want to do but can’t. So I joined the don’t worry be happy group after many encouraging talks, unfortunately it’s so unreal. The acting got to me after some point. I want to be happy inside not on the surface. It’s kind of the same with the school of fake it till you make it. Isn’t that just being superficial? So can I convince you, that if you knew in your heart what the right thing or the peaceful or the joyful thing was, you would have a better attitude? The reason the issue of attitude is so difficult to address is because we all know this, only the individual has access to the space where change takes place. That place where change takes place is a strange one. It’s dark and anything horrible can form and come alive in there. Most times we don’t know what’s forming in there. It’s only until it’s too late that we realise with shock. I used to think people who kill others should hang, until I learnt from others and gave it some thought. Hatred forms in the recesses of that dark place. When it comes alive it can only perform one function. i.e. kill. By the time one comes to their senses to find a bloody knife in their hand the horrid deed is already done. To my dismay the issue of temporary insanity may have a basis after all. The point is all those so called vices form in our hearts and come alive in our lives. Without intending to, we find ourselves doing the most unimaginable things. That’s how you find a priest that uses the pulpit to enrich himself or a government official that steals land from a widow. Most times no one wants to be involved in dark deeds. So yes, shit happens. There’s only one solution for darkness, do I need to explain? Once the light comes all that is associated with darkness has no option. The light makes plain that which has been ‘invisibly’ residing inside. Once one sees what’s inside it’s sufficient incentive to allow the process of attitude changing. Most times the problem looks like its with the others, but alas. Yes, it’s not Satan. Satan however knows much about darkness and ensures that we are clueless of its existence. Hence the reason most of our solutions are oriented from the outside to the inside. If the problem is inside it should be solved from the inside to the outside. To cut the long story short there is a solution that enables attitude change. It begins by one accepting they are dark inside.
Some thing’s just have to be said plainly for one to be provoked enough to think. I am pushing for the deep end. Men are generally indecisive and ladies really have a hard time with it. It’s not that we don’t like committing ourselves it’s a male condition we all have to live with. Remember the boyfriend that couldn’t decide whether he loved you or not? The consolation is there are many ladies that have gone through that experience. It’s not personal at all. With all the options we are faced with, one doesn’t want to make a mistake that will affect another adversely for a long time. In our indecision, we are thinking about the other person. That’s in most of the issues that arise, where other people are involved. No one wants to be the reason for anothers woes. When faced by a situation that only affects the individual, most times one would rather not rock the boat. The adage of ‘if it ain’t broke…’ holds very true for most men in many circumstances. Finally when a decision must be made it’s made at the last minute when all seems to be at the breaking point also known as a crisis. I guess this is the reason why ladies like to ‘create’ a crisis and most times it actually works.
At first I thought it’s only me that’s like this, but the more I think about it and listen around, it looks like its not just me. Is it a problem or not? It looks like it’s a problem but it’s not. When God created man he required him to rely on Him for every decision that required to be made. We were created to seek Him for answers. For that reason God knew man didn’t need to have the ability to decide on his own. However the dude called Satan isn’t called the deceiver for nothing. We are so deceived that’s why it’s clear we are doing very well on our own. Who needs the Holy Spirit to help one understand the Bible? After all the Bible is written in a familiar language,what’s there to ask ? As if that’s not enough the thing with which we make decisions is faulty. Would you believe the mind just collects data, we use our hearts to evaluate the data. Most times the analysis to evaluation process is so flawed we normally reach unusual conclusions. e.g. Most ladies have issues when their man has another lady in the vicinity. At first it seems all men are dogs, however if you recall how indecisive we are it may take an earthquake for him to make a move and then it will be too late. As indecisive as we are, even when we want to make a decision chances we’ll still get it wrong. Go figure.
There are men that are extremely decisive , how is this possible ? Every day you leave the house and go to work on the same route. However some days the traffic seems faster and others slower. There are days it’s chaotic while other days it’s peaceful. How does one respond to the changes? Some people quickly adapt while others complain regardless what the circumstances may be. Do note the days traffic determines what the ride will be like. Those that adapt know how to make the most of the situations, regardless of what the traffic is like they will make the most of it. There are some people that are able to see how the road is flowing and even where it’s flowing fastest. As they move in the direction of the fastest flow it looks like they are very decisive but in the real sense they are just very observant. What some people call gut feeling is really just being able to see what others cannot. The truth is no one can teach you how to see. Either you can or you can’t. That’s why regardless the books you read or conferences you attend the results are the same. Going with the flow can look like being decisive. When you think about it you may find most of the great decision makers know how to test flow direction. There’s that which can indicate which way things are flowing. It just depends what you’re looking for, if you can see that is. Ever wondered why data collection companies make their money? People pay good money to know what people are thinking in order to make sounds decisions. It doesn’t matter how good your product or service is, if it gets a poor rating just go with the flow.
I digress, learning this issue is pretty eye opening for it forces one to seek the one who would know. From the time I learnt to abandon myself to now I can say this:-when I sent myself I open myself up to the great and beautiful things going on around me.
Most times things seem obvious so belabouring the point is unnecessary. A man must be decisive. A man must defend his own. A man must provide for his family. These things seem obvious and the man is expected to live them out. As a man life can be such a burden when we think of all the expectations placed upon us by our world. We are expected to be strong for those around us. As life has unfolded it has become more and more evident how incapable I am. The expectations are too great for me. What do you do when one realises this ? I have been thinking all along it’s an issue specific with me. I was pretty amazed to discover the male population is carrying a burden that’s unnecessary because it doesn’t belong to them. For example making decisions is a man’s nightmare. When one is single a dilemma that arises is which girl among the many to select. Remember the day a girl asked whether you really love her ? To this man such questions are tough ones. What does she mean by love? Would I be committing myself to anything by saying yes or would this destroy the relationship? Why are we expected to make our hearts known to others? Why are relationships so draining? It all boils down to one thing, indecision. It looks like man is very decisive but at the rate we delegate this activity to our wives, all is clear. We would rather she makes the call, since there are times time is of the essence and it’s unclear what needs to be done. Ladies have all sorts of ideas on how to solve the problem while the man is yet to understand what the problem is. We are clearly operating from different levels. Is being indecisive bad ? That depends on one’s perspective. I have always felt like a lame person when faced by decisions, I just can’t make my mind up. I have always considered this such a flaw until recently. It was such an undesirable weakness. In my weakness I discovered God has an opinion in light of my dilemma. When in a position of great need he is able to point one in the right direction. Without this weakness I would never bother seeking his face to hear his opinion. If he guides my decision what are the chances I could go wrong ? One can’t go wrong if they follow God’s leading. Last year my contract at work ended and I was back on the unemployment stage. In my confusion I asked God what next, he told me he was not through with me in that institution. Would you believe four months later I was back to my old job ? My former colleague called me asking what I was up to. I told them I was at home doing nothing. They asked whether I would mind if she told the same to my former boss. These days I don’t mind being needy, so I asked her to go ahead. That’s how I got back my old job. When God tells me what way we’re going it’s clear what is needed as the story unfolds. So yes when I am weak then I am strong. For his strength is made evident in my weakness. It is difficult when we want to live out the expectations of those around us. Most of these are as a result of great deception. Which man can protect his family from an attack by thugs wielding weapons? Unless God intervenes he is done for. The needs of the family don’t diminish yet the man is required to provide. Which man wouldn’t want to provide the families needs? Unless God does it the man is undone. That is the long version of what the Bible means when it says in Psalms ‘Unless the LORD builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the LORD protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good’. God deliberately creates us with weaknesses so that we can rely on him. The world however teaches us to focus on our strengths as they will overshadow our weaknesses. Why then won’t it be difficult to focus on God ?