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!