before I go any further or drag you too deep in my thought, have you noticed how crying or weeping is present at the beginning and end of one’s life? The first is said to bring joy, well at least to those hearing it. Crying is bad but if this one doesn’t happen then it signals something unusual has happened to the person being birthed. The last crying is however sorrowful you don’t do it (in some cases) but others do it for you.
If there is one thing that happens often yet is hardly talked about is death. it sounds weird just typing it later on reading it. But death is just as real as is you reading this. So maybe we should talk about it more often than we do or at least once in a while.
We resent death so much, maybe because it took someone we loved a lot or we cannot bear the thought of the people around us not been there at some point in time. If you are charismatic by religion maybe at some point you were even praying for the spirit of death to die or not get anywhere near you. Don’t get me left here in most religions in the world the activity or ritual of warding off the death spirit is very common. Now because of the resentment, we have for and towards death, we do not want to talk about it.
Our inability to talk about it increases our unpreparedness for the tragedy it carries. Death reveals what is concealed by having. This revelation makes known to us spaces that will now be empty and our inability to fill them up keep us grieving for moments and at times years past. Some of these places cannot be easily filled by something or someone. Say for example a mothers’ place in a child, husband’s or wife’s place, pretty much anything you hold close and love. Like me, if they stopped making yoghurt on the planet. If you come to think of it, it’s usually the emptiness and the thought of it that hurts and causes pain. The memories we have is of the spaces that we lose filled.
Memento mori, why should I of all things remember death? Nothing is permanent. We may have heard of the statement no situation is permanent and may have used it especially when we are going through a situation we don’t want to stay there. In using this statement, we “memento mori” of the situation. The other side of the coin is that even good things are not permanent (None Permanent Nature of things is a section in the soon to be published article ‘The art of having: what is concealed and what losing reveals’).
So remember death, and live each moment as if it is your last. Treat that friend of your nice, tell that person you love them, buy them flowers get them chocolate, buy me yoghurt. Do get me right here, just because I say live each, moment as if it is your last I don’t mean do not plan the future or see yourself in the future. do not be so focused on tomorrow that today goes by without you noticing.
Honestly, I have come to know that it is pointless to go and put flowers on a dead person’s grave when they cannot appreciate them, to make beautiful speeches and speak of the good they did. Do so now.
Remember death, for to be born one-day means to die another but until then, constantly spell evil backwards before they add a d at the end.
You have probably come across many writings, speeches, sermons or even posts and posters that have had something to do with purpose. In most times that I have had an encounter with this word, it was associated with destiny. Purpose is often viewed from a wide perspective. So wide that in some people I have talked to say once someone fulfils their purpose here on earth, that individual dies.
I am tempted to define what purpose is but then again you can google it or check the dictionary and you will find multiple definitions. If you google you will find more than definitions. One thing for sure is purpose can be many things depending on usage and the situation it is being used in. Purpose can be destiny just as much as it may not be. If used to speak of the objective which an existing thing is meant to fulfil. Purpose in its own right is the reason or why factor to ones what and how. Each time we question our action with why we are attempting to find out the purpose of the action.
There is a greater purpose, something I would call an umbrella purpose, I believe that. (You don’t have to think like me). This purpose is given by the creator or manufacturer. Take for instance electronic devices, when they are manufactured, they are made in accordance with their purpose. Some are phones, some are laptops, and tablets among others. They all possess common “purposes” but the umbrella or greater or main purpose is the one defined by the manufacturer. Let me put it in this way, no matter how much I can use a phone to type and do some work on it and even put it on my laps, it won’t make it a laptop. The reason why it will never be a laptop is that that is not its purpose. The way I use a phone is different from the way I use the laptop despite the two devices have intersecting uses. The purpose of the phone or laptop, therefore, guides my usage of it. This is important, the context of the previous sentence that is.
I am, however, not going to talk about the greater or umbrella purpose. I am more interested in the purpose that we encounter almost every day. One that determines our course of a cause and how we stick to this course of a cause. Our actions are ours, that is if you like me don’t believe that we are a simulation, and so the purpose we give them is our purpose. This makes us responsible for the outcomes of each action.
It is very important to always find out the reason and purpose behind our actions. Today, there is a lot of people going about engaging in many activities and just wasting their time because they do not know the reason why they lack purpose. What is funny is at the end of the day, they sit down and see no progress or change but have put in so much energy into some work. The moment action has no purpose, it loses its value and should at all costs not be undertaken.
In some instances, we can begin with purpose and amidst the action lose it. When this happens, we lose interest and become less concerned about the action. Certain actions are of prime importance and at times we, just out of nowhere lose focus or go off track. This happens not because we become bored but because we lose purpose. Purpose keeps us in check and in line, it guides what we do and don’t do. So While we need to know the purpose at the beginning of the action, a constant reminder of it as we get along is necessary. Write down The What: what do you want to do; The Why: Why do you want to do what you want to do; The How: How will I do what I want to do; and finally The What: What will be the outcome, and every time you feel like your interests are fading, read them to yourself.
While we can always find reason or purpose to our action, we need to also put in thought and evaluate the action as well as its outcomes. The actions that are not well thought through are often the ones that end up bearing little to no fruit or bear fruit that you may never use. Any action becomes burdensome when we lose the purpose for its existence. In this light, purpose is attached to determination or dedication to a cause.
Excuses and Purpose
Let me guess when you think of purpose all things that come to your mind are like Italian Gelato, French Gateau Fondant au Chocolat, the east African Khashat or Brownies, all sweet and good and definitely delicious. That is however not the case. Just as there is good and evil, positive and negative, there is also two main variants of purpose. For the sake of wording them, let us good purpose and bad purpose. Good purpose comes with non-disastrous consequences; it doesn’t affect you or anyone near you. The opposite stands true for bad purposes. It’s like you have a good reason for something and/or a bad reason for it. One thing that is purpose giving but usually derails us from the initial purpose or the course of our cause is excuse. An excuse is in all its worth reason to do or not do something. It is just as much a why determining factor as purpose is. This purpose usually justifies, exempts or defends our actions thereby giving us allowance to something.
Excuses are interruptions that give us purpose to not proceed. It is because of this that it is very difficult for one who is accustomed to giving excuses to succeed. They usually set up a goal with a well-defined purpose which is differed by an excuse. The excuse, in this case, gives them a superficial purpose that fades or blurs the initial one. We all want to succeed but one of the key components of success is consistency and consistency minus purpose does not exist. You may excuse yourself from excuses. Plus, excuses just make us run away from our responsibility especially when the outcome of the action were unthought-of. Let’s clear something here, there is no wrong is excusing yourself but there is something wrong with failing to take responsibility.
Aligning purpose to another purpose can help change ones’ perspective of things specifically things that have been developed with a purpose. To utilize these things, one must know and understand what their purpose is and see how best his/her purpose fits in the already existing purpose. In the event that your purpose does not match that of an already established system, actions, events, or a thing, you will have a horrible time doing that thing and will greatly resent it. Take for instance your what is a business, purpose or why is to get rich, your how is opening shops. What you will need is capital or support. If in your how school does not feature, when you are sent to school you will have a very difficult time and will likely not do it to your best abilities. Most students or employed people are often in misery due to the miss alignment of their purpose to that of the already established purpose of the system. Work then becomes hectic and school a useless thing. It is also important to ensure that none of your purposes is aiming to achieve two things that cannot collide, well at least until one is achieved.
Did I wish you a Happy New Year? Here is something you can try out this year: for every action that you will engage yourself in, no matter the size or magnitude, try finding out the purpose or giving it your purpose. you may write down resolutions or aims you want to achieve, sit down and ask yourself what do I want to do and why I want to do it. Thereafter, ask yourself how am I going to do it and what are the likely outcomes. Give purpose to your actions and see just how much progress you can make.
In my previous post, I talked about how life has many “race” and “lanes” and multiple winning points. This year, I wish while you are running your races in the lanes where you are a spectator, you can have a purpose for each step you make to reach your winning point. Happy 2021!!!!.
A lot of things happen in January. Well not for everyone but for me it does. I have to deal with a lot of things especially loss. January has had a track record of death of people I know and care about. Some family, some friends who became family and friends who mean a lot. Dealing with loss is not one of my best things. To kick off February, I will try to write something about death under the title Memento Mori|Birthed, Lived, Died.
Why should I remember death? Let me know what you think. Check my About for contact details or comment below.
Additionally, I am yet to post The Art of Having. I got distracted by exams and some down feelings. I finished my exams so expect that post to be coming soon.
How often do you ask or should I say have you ever asked yourself what would happen to you if you lost what you own? Give yourself a moment and think through. What has been concealed by what you have?
I came across a song that I haven’t heard in a long time and in it is the phrase “What’s concealed in the art of having is revealed in the losing of things.” This week, hopefully if I complete typing, we will try to see from maybe one or two examples what exactly does having conceal and what happens when we lose and what was hidden is revealed. We all have lost something before or someone and so I can only hope that I communicate and drive the point home. Song below (part of the song).
If in one unfortunate moment, You took everything that I own. Everything you’ve given from heaven above And everything that I’ve ever known. If you stripped away my ministry, my influence, my reputation, my health, my happiness, my friends, my pride, and my expectation. If you caused for me to suffer or to suffer for the cause of the cross. If the cost of my allegiance is prison and all my freedoms are lost. If you take the breath from my lungs and make an end of my life. If you take the most precious part of me and take my kids and my wife. It would crush me, it would break me. It would suffocate and cause heartache. I would taste the bitter dark providence but you would still preserve my faith. What’s concealed in the heart of having Is revealed in the losing of things.
Although the logical reasoning behind this is a mystery I may want to investigate one day, our societies have evolved and developed tendencies to label people as losers and winners. This suggests the existence of standards which apply to humans and when one falls short of these standards in life or at a certain age, one is considered a loser. Mean though this may be, the singularity of the race “Life” is suggested and implicated with each conclusion that is made one how an individual rank against a predefined system and/or other competitors.
The question we do not ask before labelling is, Is Life an Amalgamation of a Unitary Race?
The answer is NO. Yes, NO in capital letters. There is more than one race in life which concurrently manifest at different stages. To each of these races is attached a unique medal and trophy. Due to the simultaneous nature of these races, one may run and fail in one race but it is almost, if not, impossible to fail in all.
Life is like a race track with so many lanes and each lane has sub-lanes which are unique. But just as they are many sports in the world, some sports are more famous than others. The same applies to the multi lanes of the race “Life”. Lanes labelled of money, property, fame, and popularity often tend to be famous and overshadow other lanes. To fail in any of these famous races is what makes one a ‘loser’. There is stressed importance of some races over the others and this results in the differences seen in the number of spectators participating in the different lanes and races.
Competition in these races is inevitable and can at times spark great indifferences between people. To constantly desire to surpass or better someone in the hope of being the ‘winner’ has produced more harm than pigs (pun intended). There are chances that you may win especially if you put your mind to it but in winning that race you have just lost another race.
It is often a matter of perspective and situation that causes us to decide which race is more important and worth competing for. There is, however, races that are worth honouring but are according to society are not. The race for being honest, kind, calm or even not missing class when a student. When you consider social set ups and circles, these races will appear as of little to no importance. However, from a critical point of view, they are just as important as fame is.
One can by no means win everything. Even the most successful person you know, past or present, has failed in some races and may never win those races. Although the appear triumphant and take centre stage in the society-labelled important races, they are likely to fail in the ‘less important’ races in which they are a spectator. They are unable to jump the huddle, may trip, or even complain about the conditions of that race and how low and unimportant it is. In other words, prowess in one race only jeopardizes the possibilities of winning the other races. A student winning the race of studiousness is more likely to lose the races that are social-oriented, a person winning the race of fame and money is likely to lose at the race of patience.
So losers don’t exist or we are all winners just as much as we are a loser. There are multiple lanes and multiple races in life. And even in one race and lane, there are multiple winning points. Say in the race of money, although Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world, other people can be called winners in this race that are present in our community. So the stigmatization of the winner and/or loser should not be something that exists in the first place.
But what about the healthy competition?
Healthy competition has been said to motivated the best performers and encourage the underperformers to improve. While this is good for enhancing productivity, the idea of competition should be self-oriented. Because we are all running in a multi-lane multi-race life, we will be successful at one thing and fail at another. It does not make us losers or the other people winners. But if we want to win, we should win our race, check our progress, and achieve our own goal. Casting our eyes on others, even in the name of “healthy competition” is the root of envy and the birthplace of certain hate towards oneself and others (not always).
Comparing oneself to another can be devastating. We are not born with the same opportunities or chances. Some are born with opportunities that favour them to succeed in a certain lane or race. It is not their fault or your fault for not being given the same opportunities. If you can consistently work towards improving yourself, you can win. There is no reason to stop running Just Run.
We unequivocally can’t fail in and at life, not being successful in one area is just being given a chance to start training for our day of glory in the less recognized race like forgiving, appreciativeness, being good with kids. Although these are considered races of the ‘failures’, they are just as important as is the race of intelligence, fame or money.
This week, I typed what I wanted to post and was just finalizing everything when I started chatting with a friend and we talked about many things. Among them is the competitive nature we have as humans. Many people have opinions on this and some say there is “healthy competition”. We are accustomed to equating life to a race. If life is race, when or how do I know I won?
The Multi Lanes of The Race With Multi Winning Points.
The word way can have many definitions among them is a path, direction or road from one place to another. This is the definition that is likely to cross our minds when we hear of the word way. This same word can mean the state of being or the manner and method of doing something. While there are so many paths and roads marked with so many directions, to move from one point to another you have to follow the way. If you have found yourself in an unknown area or has been lost before, you probably have wondered or asked yourself the question “Where does this way (path or road) lead to?”.
There are many paths we take in life, most of which we make the decision that it is the cause we want to take. In the event of taking these causes, we have the destination in mind and we become dedicated to reaching, well unless we give up.
When you think of the way in a mannerism perspective, that is, way as a method or manner of doing something, we start looking at how we conduct ourselves. Questions like what is the way of life, nature or religion become of importance. To conceive the order of operation is something we have been long trying to do. Doctors want to know the way the body works, psychologist wants to know the way we think, even we want to know the way we are. We should know the way we are if we want to understand ourselves better.
Why have I said all things, there is always a way to everything that is progressive in life. Yes, everything, and Christianity or you as a Christian is not exempted from following this way(s). While there are so many ways, one way is more important than the others. This way is Jesus
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6
In this passage, Jesus is about to depart to heaven and he tells the disciples where he was going they knew and THE WAY they knew. Thomas then asks “Lord we do not know where you are going and how can we know the way?”
Why is the way important? There is only one way to the father, Jesus, for before knowing him we are lost in our sins and that is the very reason he came. To show us the Way from sin and death and darkness to righteousness, life and light. What is even more interesting is while we are unable to walk in this way as we may tend to forget or error, the spirit of God is there to guide us through. He desires that none should perish but that all should be saved so he constantly is looking out for all. His spirit ministers to our spirit to stay in The Way. Upon finding this way, the way of our lives changes with it. From a mannerist point of view, finding Jesus as The Way changes how we live. We no longer conform to standards of the world because our minds are renewed, we no longer live like we used to because now we have become known by God, the old is gone and the new is come etc..
Upon finding and walking in this Way, we get the guidance of the other way. A way has a purpose (destination) which it is supposed to fulfil or reach. The steps of the righteous are ordered by God so that they may walk a fulfilling life, one where they can say I have run the race, I have fought a good fight. God has a purpose and plan for us all. He also has the way for us to walk in. In every area and aspect of our lives. He has a purpose for us to be where we are, things will not always look great but all things work together for good because we are called to fulfil a purpose in our profession, our class, workplace, family, friends, country and even in the church. We must know and understand that even when on the road, we do not move at the same speed. At times we reduce the speed to prevent damage, or observe traffic rules, or fill up when on low tank or charge for my eco-friendly squad. While these actions increase the time it takes to reach our destination, our reaching there is dependent on the actions been done. The rules of the road are set by man; the rules of The Way are set by God. And to follow them He says He shall help us do so. Minus His help, we cannot do it. The order of operation is found in Him, Him who through The Way all things were made and nothing that is made was made without The Way. Therefore, all things Including the ideas and thoughts of men were purposed in The Way. He, God, is God over everything.
We have lost the Way and our way before. Let’s say you are new in town and got lost, what would you do? Ask around or Consult the map to direct you to the place you want to go or a place you are familiar with. In doing so our journey in the path we were following is revived. In other words, we have gotten back on track. But there is no Google maps or Maps to life. The only GPS we have is God himself. And we can ask or consult him for restoration if/when we are lost. What we do when we lose the way, is go back to The Way, Jesus, and find forgiveness and God revives and restores us through his grace, mercy and love. I take comfort in this that when I slack and appear in lack I can ask anything I mean anything in Jesus’ name. He tells us to walk in His way and He revitalises us as we walk. However, this should not be an excuse to sin.
How then shall we walk? I say we should walk worthily of Him who called us and when we tire and become weary and the travelling bags of life seem heavy we should “Come to me you are heavy laden and I will give you rest”.
We should know The Way, walk in the ways of The way. If we have fallen short or just feel like 2020 was so hectic, we messed up, missed a few steps then we ask for revival to say Revive Me, Lord. I believe the events that have transpired this year alone have broken many and have left most of us with questions and even doubt. But trust in the Lord and lean not on your own understanding.
In order to successfully walk in the ways of The Way and “come to the Father”, we must by no means lean on our own.
Disclaimer: I claim not any absolute in whatever form it comes. I maybe wrong and if wrong correct me. I strongly advice that you read through the bible and evaluate what is said or written herein.
Acknowledgment: All the work herein is entirely mine (the verses are Gods word) and does not express the beliefs of any organization I maybe affiliated to. The topic as well as the content are based on my understanding and on scriptures related and how I apply them. The links to the scriptures are from Biblegateway using bible versions NIV and KJV.