Friday, November 11, 2011

God's Mysterious Ways and Miracles

Earlier today, I went to say hello to my neighbor. She is an elderly lady, in her seventies. Her octogenarian husband recently passed on. Her name is Lucia, or Mama Kimani. The thing about her, besides being good-natured, is that she is remarkably hardworking.

As we talked on opposite sides of our farms' hedges, we both recalled how her right leg, that had grounded her for six months earlier this year, was recently miraculously cured. At the height of her pain, she could not leave her homestead, and had to painfully take a minimum of two breaks to cover a distance of just 100 metres.
Today, she walks for miles and moves around without a cane or any discomfort at all.

She remains eternally grateful to God, who miraculous healed her and cured that which doctors who handled the case often referred to as a mysterious disease with an elusive cause.

Mysterious Ways

Back in January 31, 2009, I wrote a Facebook Note titled "God Works in Mysterious Ways. And Miracles Do Happen."
It was singularly based on one of the tracks in the 'Prince of Peace' compilation gospel album featuring various celebrated artists. To date, it is my favorite gospel album.

'Prince of Peace' features great music by these accomplished artists: 4 Him, Carmen, Kim Hill, Kathy Troccoli, Carolyn Arends, Larnelle Harris, Michael W. Smith, Clay Crosse, Brent Bourgeois, Dallas Holm, Gary Chapman, Michael Card, Twila Paris, Glad, Kim Boyce, Wayne Watson and Wes King.

God Works in mysterious ways, no doubt. The song 'Mysterious Ways' by Kim Hill is an inspired and conscious reminder of that undeniable fact.
And a very relevant one, in view of what we keep witnessing in our lives.

Following are the lyrics to the song 'Mysterious Ways'.
Living in this game of chance

Driven by the wheels of circumstance

while at the hand of mercy

Balanced on a changing scale

How can life be strong and yet so frail

what is the deeper meaning?

In my feeble mind I try to find the reason

who knows why it's hard to say

God works in mysterious ways

Never show just what lies waiting round the corner

Feeling through this haunting maze

God works in mysterious ways

God works in mysterious ways

Knowing there's a greater plan

Believing still is hard to understand (I don't understand)

Uncertain things before me (I dont understand)

Dealing with the less I know

Learning that His ways are not my own

But still I keep believing

Making sense of consequences hard to fathom

Looking through this holy haze

God works in mysterious ways

Black and white could surely clear this clouded vision

But I live in a world of grace

God works in mysterious ways

God works in mysterious ways

Questions fall like showers of endless rain

Into oceans of the unexplained

Someday it all will be made known...

Freak Accident

A week ago, I was joined by my dear friend in a courtesy call for a most lovely, mutual friend, who is at home recuperating from injuries sustained during an accident that happened in early August, that saw her spend three months in a hospital bed.

Now at home, Lauryn Njoroge is still trying to understand how she survived such an accident, why it happened to her, and most important, acknowledging that it all happened for a reason.

She has emerged stronger at the broken places, and is now a changed person. A totally new person, to put it in her own words. Her story has already been documented in the current edition of Parents magazine. She is also currently putting into writing, all her experiences for the world to learn, be inspired and realize just how mysterious God's ways are. That miracles continue to happen each and every day.

This post is dedicated to Lauryn.
My dear, you continue to show remarkable strength and will power all through your recovery. Your best days are ahead of you.

I continue to wish you a speedy recovery, in the firm belief that you are headed for great things. It is in our weakness that we become strong. You are now almost ready for the awesome plans that God has for you and all those your life will continue to touch.

Cheers L.

Finally, should anyone reading this ever go through an immensely difficult time where you can only ask "Why?", just praise His Name. Thanks to the wonderful gift of time, you'll eventually find out the reason why.

The thing is, God works in mysterious ways. And miracles do happen. Period.
That is my story, and I'm sticking to it!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Wonderful Effect of Time

Taking Time to React
After Mwai Kibaki became the third President of Kenya in December 2002, I couldn't help but notice just how different his leadership style was from former President Moi's. Kibaki let his ministers actually guide policy and manage their ministries, he stayed away from the public spotlight and best of all, he took time to react to issues. In delegating and letting those under him be, President Mwai Kibaki was diametrically the opposite of a micro-manager like Amazon's Jeff Bezos.

While these attributes may come across as being stand-offish and indifferent, even bordering on negligence, there is much to learn from especially the third one, thanks to the keyword TIME.

You see, I realized in early 2003 that if the President of an independent republic would be patient and tolerant enough to take time before reacting to every thing that he had a say in, then there must be something worthwhile in the wait.

As we grew up, we were all taught  and constantly reminded to breathe in and count to ten whenever someone pissed us off, to never speak or act in anger, and that patience pays. Let us look at the wonderful effect of time in our lives.

Time is a gift
One of my favorite bloggers reckons that time is a gift. And I agree. She says,
Our Saviour has granted us a lot of gifts and one of the best is time. There are things that you go through in life: some good, some bad but what they both have is common is time.
Time does have this effect in life that we can barely understand. The passage of time changes attitudes and perceptions, makes pain go away, allows us to understand and appreciate what we couldn't before... time changes everything. In fact, we all know that time heals wounds. Inasmuch as scars may remain to constantly remind us what exactly happened, the passage of time will heal both emotional, psychological and physical wounds.

Time, and lessons learnt
Looking back, I remember some things I have said or written at a time of crisis, only to regret it after some time. Lately, I have however harnessed the wisdom of waiting it out, and saying or doing nothing no matter how much I'm tempted to react. It takes a great deal of determination to NOT DO something when you really feel that you have a right to say or do something in return.

With time, you cool down and even more interestingly, you begin to look at the same situation you were aching to react to in an entirely different way. This is the time when you realize that it was wise to not react too quickly, you have nothing to regret and should you act now, it will only be because it is necessary and you are now much wiser to handle the consequences of your actions.

Think about instances in your life when you had to resist the near-overwhelming urge to react to something. How did you manage to hold on and deal with the situation much later? Was the decision to wait a wise one? Has this made you better placed to deal with future situations and decisions that demand patience and tolerance.

Do you currently have very strong feelings of dissent about someone or something? Do you feel wronged and offended? Are you considering giving as good as you got and avenging yourself?
Well, take time and hold out. Give yourself a definite time to wait until you can deal with the situation or the person. It will surprise you how different your feelings and attitude will change after the waiting period.

Don't eat the marshmallow, yet.
In other news, success is also heavily hinged on our ability to wait. In his famous and engaging 2009 TED Talk, Joachim de Posada still reminds you to not eat the marshmallow... yet.

Have a great day.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Making Value Judgments

I have always wondered why it's never a big issue to buy someone beer or lunch worth thousands of shillings, but nearly impossible to just give him/her that exact amount in cash for no consideration at all. In fact, lending him/her that same amount as a repayable loan is rarely done so willingly.

In my thinking, the reason is partly because of the value we attach to some gestures. Giving away cash, even to a friend is in our minds not the same as buying the friend lunch, beer, a gift or any other act where you end up spending the same amount.
In other words, our judgment of value is not exactly rational.

In 2005, Dan Gilbert gave a talk at TED, where he explored our mistaken expectations. Check it out below:

In light of the above, how exactly do you make value judgments?

Have a great day.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Kindness of Strangers

Hello November :)

Punctuality is the politeness of princes, goes the adage.

I was recently discussing gratitude with one of my best friends. She had, at some point in July this year, pointed out how I seemed so grateful about nearly everything in life. Even those seemingly insignificant small things.
At the time, I felt really flattered and purposed to be even more grateful.

The good books says,

Let the giving of thanks be your sacrifice to God, and give to the almighty all that you promised.
- Psalm 50:14

Looking back, I realize that I am where I am today because countless other people have made it possible. Even more profound, most of what they did and continue to do isn't necessarily what they had to do. In other words, they simply go the extra mile for me when they don't have to.

In my own life, I have come to realize that a willingness to help someone who may either never recognize or even acknowledge your assistance is a noble, albeit rare character trait. In fact, it demands more to help such people than to help those who may not be in a position to pay back or return the favor.

And this becomes a key pillar of what I seek to adopt and nurture in my life. Being altruistic essentially takes a genuine intention to make others' lives better, it demands that one consider others before his/her self.
Have you recently done something kind for someone who may never know that you did it, who may actually not appreciate nor requite it? Do you help strangers? How did it feel? Are you still proud that you assisted or do you regret it?

Back to our polite princes, they are not duty bound to be punctual. They can do as they wish. But princes who respect the value of time both to themselves and to those who wait for them are indeed worth their royal standing. Punctuality is the politeness of princes.

Finally, kindness and the ensuing gratitude are never in vain. Here's the reason why:

Have a blessed month.


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