Tuesday, February 28, 2017

What Keeps me Going

The small voice in my head
The song only I can seem to hear
The flicker of light at the end of the tunnel
That’s what keeps me going

There are dark days and turbulent moments
There are days when all strength is drained
But the sweet assurance of tomorrow
That’s what keeps me going

Against odds and strong tides
Against expert opinion
The smell of nigh victory
That’s what keeps me going

The assurance of a gentle love
The confidence in His power
The definite plans of good He has for me
That’s what keeps me going

When the battles don’t relent
When fights lurk at every corner
The full knowledge that the war’s already won
That’s what keeps me going

At the end of it all
When I see the One I’ve served all along
When I join the saints up above

My going would have been worth it 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Going Through Changes

Everything was going right, the prime of my life
I was doing the best, I've ever done, I've ever did
Then I started going through "Changes"

Those are the opening lines to William Murphy’s Changes. I remember those words like yesterday and I get lumps in my throat. How apt they were. The world seemed to crumbling around me at what was and –please God- is no doubt the toughest period of my entire life. I had left college and had got a job almost immediately with a personal office. I looked forward to everything I could and wanted to be in life and then.. bang! The gun went off.

My point is it wasn’t a good time in my life. How could everything go so wrong all of a sudden? What was God doing? I was sure something was wrong, what I didn’t know was who was it wrong with or where was it wrong from?

So when my friend sent me the link to the song, boy did I get the message. Tess had taken every opportunity to tell me I needed to change some things about my personal life and the way I reasoned but hey, I was me. I knew what I was doing. I had it all figured out. I had an answer for every question. I attended church more than any one I had ever met. So I was very quick to shrug her off every time.

I look back now and what my life was is actually the only way God could have got my attention. I wasn’t going to stop or listen to anyone else anyway other way. For me to go through the changes I had to go through, I had to pass through what I went through.

How many times do we ignore the gentle voice that says ‘turn’? How many times do we silent the voice that says ‘change’? How many times do we insist on the power of our reason and our ‘tried and trusted’ paths rather than try the new? How many times do we play Peter and reject the uncleansed items to stay in our cozy Jerusalem and passed up on the opportunity to play Paul to go into Rome and Greece? Get the gist?

Open mindedness isn’t the most common virtues of ‘churchers’ and Christians I’ve ever seen. We know the schedule of services off by heart. We know what’s going to happen. Mehn, we even know the most anointed men of God and have preferences of who will lay hands on us (as if that’s even necessary). What if we need to change? What if the old ways are good ways but not the best ways?

Personally, I feel lucky I got God to force those changes on me but will everyone be so lucky? Why not yield so it won’t be forced on you?

Monday, February 6, 2017

.. I would have been right.

My name is Janet. I’m 36. I had my late son 15 years ago but lost him when he was 9. I’m not sure who his father is but I most likely conceived him on a drunken night out. I remember it like it was yesterday. I had looked forward to the night out with Aine and Tricia on a Friday night in 2012. Jake was meant to pick us up but we had to get a cab as he was running late. And was the night wild or what! I stopped taking note of what happened after about 1:15. I had had everything to drink. It must have been Pete who spiked my drink because I woke up in his friend’s bed the next day. It was a house shared by about five boys so they must have all taken their turns on me.
Needless to say, Sam broke up with me when he heard what happened. And Pa and Ma were not exactly there for me when they found out I was knocked up. I dropped out of school to take care of John, my baby. He was my life, my all. No guy would come near me with the intention of marriage as they knew all about my wild ways in the past. But looking at my little boy made me feel good about myself.
Then I lost him!
Now, I look back. No education! No job! No spouse! No child!  And even my family abandoned me. I wish I had listened to my mum when I was younger. I would not have been as outgoing and my life would have been way different. I wouldn’t have been popular, but it would have been right!

My name is Timothy. And this is my second year here, which leaves me with 12 years to go. I had been out with the boys. On a normal evening last year (2012). Of course my dad told me to stay indoors, but how was I going to listen to the old man who knew nothing. I wasn’t even leaving for anything bad. I was just going drinking with the boys. But then some black dude had rolled up to Sean and punched him in the face. He was way bigger than us but still, we had to fight back. Well, we did and he hence we took turns in getting our backsides whipped. But when I couldn’t take it anymore, I found a bottle lying on the floor. I smashed his head with it. Of course, I wasn’t trying to kill him. But then he didn’t move.
The rest is history!
I wished I had stayed home as Pa said. I would have offended my friends but I wouldn’t have ended up in jail. I wouldn’t have been popular, but it would have been right!

My name is Xhosa. I am a successful business executive. I have a 6 bedroom house here in Durban. And another one in Malibu. I have a beautiful wife and 2 lovely children. Jacob is in NYU and his sister will be getting into college next year. I am also lucky to have a  wife who is caring and loving. I am successful on all fronts.
But my world turned upside down when I ran into my high-school girlfriend last month. I met her when I was writing my Junior Secondary School exams in 2012.
Well, we never really lost touch, but she just moved to Durban. Now I’m having an extra-marital affair. I wish I hadn’t seen her... or no! I actually wish I had married her. I know. I know. We were different as could be. She seemed to have the special ability to get on my nerves. And many of my friends thought she was a b***h. But I’ve lost touch with them all now and after more than 35 years, she’s still stuck in my head. I wish I had flipped them all the bird and married this girl. They wouldn’t have supported me but I’ll really be a complete man today. I wouldn’t have been popular but I would have been right!

My name is Tayo. The doctors say I’m stuck in this wheel chair for the rest of my life. I wish I had just slowed down. Just slowed down. That’s all. I would have been 30 minutes late but the date would have gone ahead. I mean, she wasn’t gonna get mad for being thirty minutes late, would she? And even if she would, I would still be able to walk around on my own now. But no, I had to impress her. Well, I know I felt smart that I avoided the cops, but who’s laughing now? If I had slowed down, Tina would have been angry. Her friends might have hated me. I know I wouldn’t have been popular but I would have been right!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Siddy's Story

My name is Siddy.

I'm an eagle.

I was out of my nest a good while back at a relatively young age. Being out of the nest looked like a sensible thing to do at the time. It didn't take long for me to find out about the big bad world out there. I longed for the security and protection the nest offered but it wasn't a possibility to go back. I was facing death. The wolves. The hunters. The lions. It was bloody scary. I needed help from somewhere otherwise I was so sure I was facing up to my last days on earth. A miracle had to happen. And a miracle fortunately, did happen.

Shivering on the cold bare floor of the thick forest, I looked up and saw Zeke. I was vulnerable. Would have been well right to say my life was in his hands. He could have clubbed me to death. He could have sold me to a zoo or something. Zeke however was a nice man. He was a poultry farmer who looked like he had it in him to look after birds. Zeke took me home and I was his. He had adopted me. I danced around. I was delighted. If this God-sent man hadn't come, I wouldn't be here now. I couldn't even bear to think what could have happened. I could very well have been dead. Zeke, my saviour. He kept me in with the other birds in the poultry cages.

I didn't have to hunt. I had warmth when it was cold. I had everything brought to me. Life was easy. All the birds liked me. Zeke liked me. Who needed the guys back at my nest anyway. I had a new family here. These were my best friends. We were in synch. Our friendship would last forever. Well... that's what I thought anyway.

Recently however, things changed. Not sure exactly where Pimpi got the idea from that I was a weirdo. This guy had been my best friend all along. We had made fun of the other chickens together. First he said I was a different colour. Then he said my talons were too long. In no time all the other chickens joined in. They picked on everything about me. Boy, did it hurt. They said my beak was awkward looking. Day and night I couldn't eat. I was up at night wishing the guys would just take me back and I could get rid if these weird changes they had noticed in me. I wanted my friend back. I'd heard Zeke talk of prayers before and I decided to give it a go. I fasted and prayed. I hoped and kept faith. I was even extra nice. I just desperately wanted to be like everyone else.

Nothing changed however hard I tried. The changes in me only got worse. And the difference in us further widened.

I was sad. I was upset. I was dejected. All my efforts had been for nothing. Until yesterday though...

It was a normal day and Zeke had let us out in the field to run around. It was custom and we were all due back in our cages by 6pm. As usual, I was left by myself to roam alone. I so desperately wanted to run away. Seeing as I was alone I had no friends to keep me company so I noticed everything around me and thought in them. I looked up and saw a few hawks flying. "I wish I was like them" I thought. "Just so I can leave this place". One of them landed on a tree not too far from me and looked at me saying "What're you doing there? It's hunting season". "For what I replied". "For food, you dumbo".

"But I don't have to hunt. Zeke gives me all I want" I said a bit astonished he expected me to hunt. "What?" The hawk responded. "Who is Zeke?" "Well you hawks are wild but we chickens have owners" I said to the hawk in envy. 

"Chicken? You're an eagle..."

Then it clicked!

That why I'm different. The memories of my past came flooding back. I get it now. So I'm meant to be able to do and indeed be doing all those things I've heard Zeke say eagles can do. I'm meant to live in a mountain. I'm meant to be the king of all flying creatures. I'm meant to be a symbol of strength and courage. I'm meant to have my picture taken and have countries use it as national symbols. If I were to ever get caught by humans, they're meant to put me somewhere and have other humans pay to come see me. I should feed on meat and not corn. Damn it, these other chickens are even meant to be scared of me. Wasted bloody years in this cage!

Well.. My walk was different. I finally got it. Pimpi and his friends (not my friends anymore) still laughed at me but it made no difference. I didn't care. I couldn't get bullied anymore. I was quick to put them in their place. I could strut my stuff proudly now. I spread my wings and they got the message. My wingspan was thrice theirs. I was different and I was happy I was. I was proud to be different. It was a good difference after all and their ignorance and majority had made me believe I was less than what I was.

But herein lies my dilemma. What happens to Zeke? My loyal friend. Will he get it? Will he call me ungrateful? Will he know I'm simply being me by flying away? Will Zeke understand?

Whatever it is. I'll leave this place and fly far away to a mountain where I'll live and call home.

I'm going back home.

I wish I could

I wish I could tell
Tell the world of the God I serve
The one who took me out of darkness
And brought me into light

I wish I could show
Show the lost the way I’ve found
Tell them the narrow way leads to life
Show them the folly in their ways

I wish I could tell
Tell the Sons of God of their dominion
Tell the children of light that darkness has no power over them
So they’ll rejoice in their savior

I wish I could be
Be the showcase of His glory
Be the shining light for His kingdom
So they’ll see the life God can give

I wish I could tell
Tell Christians the value of their faith
The mountains that could move
If they would only realize

I wish I could show
Show Christians the fullness of life they pass up on
The needless pain we bear
When they take their eyes off the saviour

I wish I could tell
Tell of the victory of the word over sin
So we no longer have a continuous struggle with sin
The struggle many lose on a daily basis

I wish I could see
See the glory above
The glory for which I signed up with this army

The glory I will one day see to leave no more