There was once a young boy in a certain village,who was given the duty to watch over sheep.One day this boy shouted, “Wolf! Wolf!”… People came running towards him only to realise that it was just a joke.The boy kept doing this until one day,a real wolf appeared and when he shouted, “Wolf!Wolf!” no one appeared. They thought it was his usual joke…You can guess what happened to his sheep right?…What life lesson do we learn from this timeless folk-tale?…Liars are hardly believed when they tell the truth so this implies, maintain Integrity no matter the cost.Gathirwa Ndaigiri in his book, ‘The Art of Better Living’ states, “Do not only try to make something for yourself try to make something of yourself”…Reputation.
Life lessons…this is where I am heading with this write up today. They can present themselves in a number of ways from day to day.I learnt a few I thought I should share with you,from a camp I went to this past weekend…but first there is a quote that really captured the essence of what am about to share,by Joybell C, ” The only way we can live is if we grow.The only way we can grow is if we change.The only way we can change is if we learn.The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it.Throw yourself.”
- Take a risk
The very first step that eventually leads to living is this,as quoted above.Hiking,which we did at camp was a risk,there was no guarantee that we would return safe and sound.Would you like to venture into business or nurture your talent,follow your passion?…Throw yourself! Just take the risk! Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths”… Taking a risk is part of life,that is why we are admonished to commit our ways to God and trust Him for He shall direct our paths.
…Do it!Throw yourself!
- Life is in phases, friends can be seasonal.
” Oh,it doesn’t sound right!” You might be thinking…It actually is right and is okay,very okay.I learnt this lesson from an activity that involved mingling and forming groups of two,three to five people. There are people you will need to help you ‘push a bus out of the mad’ and you won’t need them to ‘pack your bag’ or ‘site see’ and sometimes you just need to be alone. C.S Lewis has a very interesting quote on friendship.He says, “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy,like art.It has no survival value;rather,it is one of those things that give value to survival”…Let your friendships/relationships add value to your life.In Scripture,seasonal friendships were there as well…
- Elijah and Elisha:In 2 Kings Elijah had to part ways with Elisha.
- David and Jonathan: In 1 Samuel 20,Best of friends, infact,they made a covenant of friendship with each other, but after David killed Goliath,they went their separate ways.
…Friendship gives value to survival
Point to note:You cannot walk alone, you will always encounter someone ready to pull you up or someone you need to pull up,just like David and Jonathan or Elijah and Elisha.
- It is not about how fast but how smart.
The activity that brought me to this conclusion involved random alphabets and numbers placed on the ground that one had to step on in order,failure to which one restarts.Ecclesiastes 9:11 rubber stamps this… “I have seen something else under the sun.The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong,nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favour to the learned;but time and chance happens to them all”…Coming from King Solomon who had all that money could buy,fame,women,wisdom!…This is worth taking note of.The faster you drive or walk,the higher your chances of getting involved in an accident/tripping respectively… Slow down,breathe in and out and take life a step at a time.
- Pain and Hardship is part of life.
While Hiking,I tripped severally,slid,thorns dug into my flesh too…but I had to keep moving but this time round,more carefully and cautiously. Pain and hardship sharpen an individual if you choose to see the glass half full.Resilience, persistence and faith in God will get you through life’s hardships and my goodness!… PRAY PRAY PRAY,this works wonders. Let’s look at James 1:2-4, “Consider it pure joy my brothers,whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.Perseverance must finish it’s work so that you may be mature and complete not lacking anything.”
We were instructed to come up with a group name, a chant and a dance and use a kindergarten song that no other group sings and in case a group does the other group had to think ‘on its feet’,of an alternative song.I learnt that in life you cannot afford to be rigid,technology itself screams spontaneity and flexibility!Hem and Haw of Who Moved My Cheese can attest to this!…One thing that is permanent in life is change.No two way about this.Is there flexibility and spontaneity in the Bible?…Oh yes!…
Look at Mark 1:16-18,Simon and Andrew are fishermen,that is what they are familiar with and Jesus calls them out and tells them, “Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men!”… They did not question Jesus,they just left their nets and followed Him!…See the impact these two had!…Flexibility/spontaneity worked wonderfully well for them. Paul Kagame the 6th and current president of Rwanda says, “Let no one think that flexibility and a predisposition to compromise is a sign of weakness or a sell-out”
Jesus Christ Himself compromised His divinity for the sake of humanity. He became man yet divine for our sake…He bore our shame,took our pain,back shredded because of us!…It is at the cross that the burdens of our hearts were rolled away,it was at the cross that darkness eventually turned to light and while we were yet sinners Christ died for us(Romans 5:8)Halleluyah!…I break every time I think about the old ragged cross.There is a song that goes,“Instead of me,He took the blame,the misery,suffered silent agony and in that final breath He died a sinners death…”
As I conclude let me share one more life lesson I took home from the camp:
- Sensitivity to The Voice
In a competition there are voices screaming and cheering their team member(s) on!One has to learn to minimise competing noises and listen to that Voice that will lead you to the next step and even as you listen, do what you are instructed to do.James 1:22, “Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves.Do what it says”
Do I have to wait for thunder and lightning or hear a loud voice to know He is speaking?… No you do not.He speaks in our day to day living, through His Word(The Bible),friends and circumstances.
Question is,are you listening and how do you know His voice?…Accept Him into your heart,let Him be your Shepherd,because it is only His Sheep(His Children) that hear and know His voice.John 10:27-28, “My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me,I give them eternal life and they will never perish and no one will snatch them out of my hand”
How assuring it is that as His child, you hear His voice,He knows you and His protection over you is guaranteed!
Let’s walk this journey together!
Instead of me He took the blame,the misery, suffered silent agony and in that final breath he died alone a sinners death.
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