Monday, July 29, 2013

In the Fullness of Time

I spent the better part of Saturday, July 27 with a most treasured friend, who for the purposes of this post shall only be named K.
You see, K had paid yours truly a courtesy call and having taken some snacks and amid great chatter, we together took a stroll which inadvertently evolved into an excursion - one full of adventure and amazing scenery to boot, but the hiking and climbing ultimately left us knackered.

Long after K had gone, I took time to ruminate on the engaging discourse that had flavored and greatly added color to the day.

The Element of Time

To this day, the most popular post on this blog is about time and its wonderful effect.
In this post, time is a gift, as was very well explained by fellow blogger who actually wrote:
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.
With K, we mutually observed that everything does and should happen in its own right time. This time should not be unnecessarily determined by undue cultural leanings, popular opinion or shady statistics. That said, there is no exact right time to get married, to have kids, etc.
K asserted that the right time is essentially when one is able, ready and willing to handle a particular situation, and still be in line with, and subject to the will of God.

In effect, time has the ability to change everything. It heals wounds and changes perceptions.
The passage of time facilitates change. Interestingly, our ability to remain steadfast and focused despite the passage of time and varying circumstances is a key component of success.

The Right Time

When the right time comes along, and this seemingly happens once in a lifetime, it is good to keep it going and not lose it... 

The Fullness of Time

The fullness of time means a whole lot of different things in different situations. It in most cases means "having waited long enough."
In theological circles, the dispensation of the fullness of times is well explained here.

In the Bible, the term appears in both the books of Ephesians and Galatians:

"That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him."
- Ephesians 1:10 (KJV)
"But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons."
- Galatians 4:4-5 (KJV)
In view of the foregoing, it is my considered view that the right time, not just time, is something that needs to play a central role in the conduct of our lives.
The right things, done in the right places and for the right reasons, need to happen at the right time.

Admittedly, we all too often get this combination wrong and in haste, only end up moving too slowly, and even worse, in the wrong direction. When we are quick to judge and slow to learn, we hinder our own progress.
It's time we realized that we no longer know so much. It's time we took a different road:

At some point in our conversations, we both wondered why men generally die earlier than women, despite being generally strong.
Is it because men rarely vent, and the bottled-up emotions therefore degrade the male lifespan? This would ironically make men the 'weaker' sex....
What do you think?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Grandma Transition Memorial... 2 Years On.

Two years ago today, my grandma passed on at the ripe age of 98 years.
At the time, I wrote an RIP Grandma post on The Walkabout.

Looking back, I can only thank God for all her days, which epitomized a life well lived.
At the time of her death, she was blind, highly dependent and quite immobile. I however believe that she passed on to a place where she would see clearly and no longer be subject to human frailties. As Hellen Keller said:

"Death is no more than passing from one room into another. But there's a difference for me, you know. Because in that other room I shall be able to see."

I also believe that grandma's life was a success, and in recognition, I share the following poem which is near always misattributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson.

To laugh often and love much;
to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children;
to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty;
to find the best in others; to give of one’s self;
to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation;
to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived — this is to have succeeded.

Here is a site where you can read more about who actually wrote the above poem.

For those who know me or otherwise knew grandma, please take a moment and join me in thanking God for all the days she walked this earth.
This year, she would have been 100 years old. I am however immensely glad that during her days, she was able to achieve so much, most of which some of us still living today can only dream of.

That said, kindly look back at the previous post and do the needful to make today a day well lived.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Today Well Lived

I've just come across the following poem, which I find most profound.
For me, such a chance, random read presents yet another chance to find modern truth in ancient wisdom.

Now, who am I to not share?
Be edified:

Look Well to This Day

Look well to this day,
For it and it alone is life.
In its brief course
Lie all the essence of your existence:

The Glory of Growth
The Satisfaction of Achievement
The Splendor of Beauty

For yesterday is but a dream,
And tomorrow is but a vision.
But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness,
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.

- Anonymous, 50 B.C.

Have a great weekend guys.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Life Lessons Following my Recent Birthday

"If we were consciously aware of what we really know about ourselves and others, we would not go on living as we do, accepting so many lies."
- Eric Fromm (in To Have or To Be)

I turned 33 on Saturday, July 06, 2013.
As I always do right about this time, I took time to reflect - to look back and coalesce all that I have learned in the past year - and thus draw up a road-map, albeit in my head, of what lies ahead.

Looking back at my most recent interactions, one important thing that invariably stays true is that growth can potentially herald, even inspire maturity.
Well, I happen to be no exception to the rule and as such, I am getting significantly mature and by extension wiser with every new day. Just don't ask me to prove it, such indulgence is beyond the scope of this blog post.

Following are some of the most enduring life lessons that continue to characterize my recent annual birthday reflections:

1) Be Yourself Always.

Way back in 1998, "Be Yourself Always" were the last words our High School Captain wrote me in those little books we called 'Autographs'.
At the time, I had to a considerable degree managed to avoid undue peer influence, largely guided by Desiderata's "Do not compare yourself with others" among other principles. Today, sticking to this truth has in fact saved my behind on several vital occasions...

Thing is, it starts and ends with you and you might as well be the captain of your own ship.
Only by remaining true to yourself can you appreciate, be in charge of and manage your life. Admittedly, it sometimes will suck to be honest and hurt to be real. You however, have to remain true to yourself. In fact, you should in most cases not "let the noise of other people's opinions drown your inner voice."

2) Never Lose Hope. Keep Trying and Remain Consistent.

The only thing worth trying when all else has failed is again. In the movie 'The Hunger Games' there is a line to the effect that the only thing more powerful than fear is hope. I have in the past read elsewhere that "Hope, like an anchor, holds to the unseen."

In his inauguration speech on January 20, 2009, US President Barack Obama said that "God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny." A minute before this, he had said that "there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task." That is where the trying and consistency come into play. Character cannot be built by random isolated attempts. It epitomizes a way of life, consistent honesty and hard work.

3) Long Term Goals, One Day at a Time.

I have written elsewhere on this blog that destiny and purpose do have a curious relationship.
Having, and working towards long term goals is the first step towards realizing one's destiny.

In his beautiful poem 'The Golden Man,' Alexander Nderitu writes:
"The dream becomes a goal when you start working
Towards it. Visualise your goal and start walking!"

No matter how long-term a goal is, it the constant laying of a single brick, repeated millions of times over, that results in the Wall of China.

4) Acknowledge, Appreciate and make the most of Here and Now.

Despite my initial dislike of Jigsaw in the Saw movie series, I did agree (to an extent) with his way of looking at things. In Saw III, Jigsaw famously said that "Despite Having all the advantages, many of us still choose not to advance."

Every single time I've felt that the road before me or the undone part of any task is overwhelming, these words have helped me pause, take stock of what I already have, and accordingly do that which I can presently do towards a solution.

5) Listen to what Others are NOT saying.

The famous Sherlock Holmes concept of 'The Evidence of Absence,' as was once adduced thanks to a dog that did NOT bark, is the one thing we almost always disregard. We so often fall for obvious misdirection, as Gabriel Shear (John Travolta) and Ginger (Harre Berry) so easily deceived Stanley (Hugh Jackman) and the law enforcement officials in Swordfish. The mind still continue to believe what the eyes see, and that in itself is the singular strength that's inherent in precious illusions.

I have now come to learn that people are in most cases what they appear not to be, and near always mean that which they do not say. That said, it takes a great deal of patience and hindsight to actually listen to what people are not telling you. Unsurprisingly, therein lies their clear message, sans any ambiguity.

* * *

Looking back at the slightly-over-thirty-three years that in some cases contain my shadow days, I can confidently say that "I'm a good man, with a good heart... had a rough time, got a tough start...but I've learn to let it go."

"Now I'm right here, and I'm right now
And I'm open, knowing somehow
That my shadow days are over
 My shadow days are over now."

My best wishes to y'all in every new day.


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