Today has been usual. Nothing to write home about, until Betty nominated me for the Bible challenge on Facebook. Then pieces began falling together. I am a believer in things coming together for a purpose. Case in point:
I’m listening to that song because it’s awesome. Matt Maher is awesome. If you don’t believe me, listen to the song. I’m in this matatu that has pictures of all the vice presidents of Kenya plastered all around the windows. The four presidents are staring at us from the windscreen. The thing about Shiku nowadays is that she can only write on board stuff. Thoughts and Stuff. That’s the stuff of late. The stuff that inspires me. I honestly didn’t have content for this post but then I remembered all it takes me to come up with content is just letting my fingers do the walking.
I come from a family that prays a whole lot. We pray before leaving the house. We pray before eating at a hotel. We pray 100 times at an extended family gathering, courtesy of dad.
No, this is not about Valentine’s. Breathe out. I did not do my monthly preacher piece in January. For that reason, I will do two in February. This will be short and straight to the point.
Today I listened to the story of how Bata entered the African market.
Yesterday was my last day. My last day at the Office Park. My laptop had already closed for the holidays by early morning, freezing every one minute. And I am not exaggerating. I wrote the first part of this piece on my notebook.
There are exactly 14 days to the end of this year. This will be the first time I will be truly reflecting on the happenings of the year. The last 351 days have taken me through paths and thickets I have never trodden before. I thought it would be good to share some of them with you. Even though some of the may seem too trivial for life, they have undoubtedly reshaped my life, thoughts and the direction that my life has taken.
Someone said I should preach more on this blog. Maybe I should. I almost did not do my Saturday share but you know what, a promise is a debt, like we said when we were kids. So here goes. I have made it a habit to read Our Daily Bread (ODB) daily on my phone. I had sort of stopped doing it mostly because of misplaced priorities. I would read it daily in high school, after someone signed me up for it. I don’t know who but it must have someone in Christian Union right around my year in form one. I would read the day’s piece and fall right asleep while praying during morning prep. Lol. Yeah, I was that girl.
Paul the Apostle was arguably the most learned among the Apostles. He had thorough knowledge of the Law and the prophets, being a Pharisee, and having grown in the lineage of Pharisees and religion piety Philipians 3:5. At a very tender age, Paul was put under the tutelage of Gamaliel Acts 23:6, one of the most renowned Jewish scholars of his time, a Pharisee and head of the Great Sanhedrin (Jewish council of elders) in Jerusalem. The Hillel school was noted for giving their students a balanced education, and likely giving Paul broad exposure to classical literature, philosophy, and ethics. Koine Greek was his first language, then Hebrew, and had great knowledge of stoic philosophy.
If I were an old man, I’d be termed as old-fashioned. A man who’s time is over. A guy of the ending generation. My words would be trashed in some quarters and the ‘young’ would make merry in letting me know that the new cohort does things differently. That in the new era it is the gospel ‘industry’ that thrives. And that we should let anyone thrive in doing whatever they please. As long as they insert the name Jesus in whatever composition they make, then it qualifies to be a gospel song. Try and read this to the very end.
Sometimes, all it takes for me to spill out paragraphs and paragraphs of emotion is one simple sentence I read. It triggers so many other things. Like right now. I just read a quote that is apparently by Albert Einstein. I say apparently because you know how it is these days. You can think up anything and claim any famous person said it. Anyway, this was the quote: Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.
Kenyans have always been accused of not reading, not having a reading culture. I disagree with this premise by the way. The street vendors with sackfuls of books and others spread out neatly on the ground with people hunched over them in proof. Also, you are here reading this, you are proof. We could say Kenyans have a short attention span but then again that would be a lie. Kenyans will read long things all day, every day. They just won’t read long boring things. You want proof again? Biko Zulu. 🙂
Most of the popular websites in Kenya are content sites, news sites, gossip sites. That is all reading. Not to mention gutter press right on the streets. Kenyans love reading so much, bloggers are coming up every single day because there are people to read. Kenyans read. They just don’t read boring stuff that has no bearing whatsoever on their lives. My dad will read newspapers and educational magazines and whatever else makes sense to him. My mum will read motivational books. My brother will read some strange engineering manuals I have never even bothered looking at. My other brother will prefer the newspapers’ sports section to catch up on Arsenal, comic books and funny novels that make him laugh out aloud in the night. My baby sister, well, she will grab anything that tells her stories that she has never heard of before, story books with pictures. Of late she cannot seem to put down this particular Children’s Bible that has been handed down generations.
|Notice how dad adds the kids as they are born? LOL (And the kids added a little artwork of their own.)|
Anyway, in the end you have to do more than read. If all you do is read and do nothing, then you might as well not read. If you are reading to be in the cool crowd, the deep crowd, stop. Just like the quote above suggests, reading is not an end in itself, just like education is not. You have to get out there and do. Just like reading the Bible should not end there. Read on people, just don’t spend all your time reading and doing nothing, clicking links on Facebook and Twitter and reading all the time at the expense of your job. Priorities people. In fact, if you clicked this link and you are supposed to be doing something else, kindly pinch yourself.
Just do it!
(And before we knew it, March was gone.)
A few months ago, I wrote a post on beauty and received some significant feedback about beauty both from men and women. I knew beauty held a special place in our hearts and minds even before I wrote it and so the feedback was just a validation. It even led to a friend opening up about her beauty issues and how much they have made her do what she does.
Then recently, Lupita Nyong’o happened. Besides the fact that she acted a heart-wrenching role in 12 Years a Slave and won an Oscar, the other prevalent debate, especially on social media, is her beauty. I remember writing then that you may not be considered beautiful here but absolutely stunning in another part of the world. Lupita is your proof. I stumbled upon this beautiful speech she gives to black women here and I would urge to listen to it. She talks of a time she used to pray to God to make her a little lighter, which of course did not happen. Then Alek Wek stepped into the scene and made her start looking at herself a bit differently.
Alek Wek’s response to Lupita’s mention is just as beautiful as she is. The one statement that stood out for me: Beauty should not be culturally relevant, it should be universal.
I will be brief today. Like Lupita’s mum told her, you cannot eat beauty. You have to think beyond your external looks. Lupita would not be where she is just because of her beauty. That is a fact.
1 Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Again, I ask you: You are beautiful, but what next?
Also, listen to one of my favourites by Jonny Diaz, More Beautiful You.
So turn around you’re not too far
To back away, be who you are
To change your path go another way
It’s not too late, you can be saved
If you feel depressed with past regrets
The shameful nights hope to forget
Can disappear, they can all be washed away
By the one whose strong, can right your wrongs
Can rid your fears, dry all your tears
And change the way you look at this big world
He will take your dark distorted view
And with His light He will show you truth
And again you’ll see through the eyes of a little girl
There could never be a more beautiful you
Don’t buy the lies, disguises and hoops they make you jump through
You were made to fill a purpose that only you could do
So there could never be a more beautiful you
There could never be a more beautiful you