Your time and chance…

This blog was punctured into being by a discussion with a senior colleague this afternoon. (Thank you for the push Memory Mugwagwa.)

I say punctured because for weeks I have been haunted by the following scripture that I had read and heard so often but did not understand it the way I do now.

I returned and saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong, neither is bread to the wise nor riches to men of intelligence and understanding nor favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all. [Ps. 33:16-19; Rom. 9:16.]
Ecclesiastes 9:11 AMPC
https://bible.com/bible/8/ecc.9.11.AMPC

Everyone understands how the swift may lose the race and how the strong may be floored. We can easily attribute it to many things from human ego to human frailty.

Everyone understands that our confidence easily turns to a bundle of nerves when the unexpected happens.

But I love the later part of the scripture.

But time and chance happens to everyone….

This is my liberating moment and I want to share it with you.

Everyone has the DNA to be a champion and everyone can stand on the summit of the highest hill : If only they awaited and bided their time and chance.

Some miss their time and chance by moaning over the speed of those who have obtained their time and chance.

Some lose patience by seeing the first one hit the rope but do not realise that if they had put more energy, time and chance would have landed them a photo finish and a joint first on the podium.

Time and chance come to those who await with patience , diligence and acumen.

Elisha was a prophet in a town that had at least fifty more prophets who were tuned to the spiritual going ons because they even prophesied to Elisha the imminent departure of Elijah but despite their being tuned to the correct spiritual wavelength they missed the chance and time to the double anointing and remained the ordinary city prophets.

All they sought to do was to remind Elisha of the pending pain and loss but they did not realise that the same departure could also earn them the double portion.

When the local town seers tried to derail him, Elisha remained focused on what was going to get him the double portion of anointing :

And when they had gone over, Elijah said to Elisha, Ask what I shall do for you before I am taken from you. And Elisha said, I pray you, let a double portion of your spirit be upon me. He said, You have asked a hard thing. However, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you–but if not, it shall not be so.
2 Kings 2:9‭-‬10 AMPC
https://bible.com/bible/8/2ki.2.9-10.AMPC

Elisha’s time and chance to the double anointing was not centred on moaning, comparing, complaining or even grieving the imminent loss of his revered Master. No. It was premised on him remaining alert, steadfast and focused.

As they still went on and talked, behold, a chariot of fire and horses of fire parted the two of them, and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it and he cried, My father, my father! The chariot of Israel and its horsemen! And he saw him no more. And he took hold of his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.
2 Kings 2:11‭-‬12 AMPC
https://bible.com/bible/8/2ki.2.11-12.AMPC

….. and Elisha SAW Elijah being taken !!! Therewith the deal sealer. Therewith his time and chance and the rest is history.

Every man has his time and chance but many miss as they focus on the tune and chance arriving for others.

Focus, patience, alertness and vision will land you your time and chance.

On your marks….

#betheroutinebreaker

#brokenbutnotafraid

#iamphindelasson

#watchoutforyourtimeandchance

Options

I saw a child playing with his toys . There was a reckless abandon in the way he handled and handed them away. It was because he had parents who could afford to replace them at the rate he broke and dispensed of.
I saw a man drive over potholes with glee. I later learnt that he cared for nothing for he had many vehicles at his disposal and he saw no need to negotiate bad corrugated roads and potholes.
I saw a parent that did not pay close attention to his many children. He surmised that at least one of them would be able to cater for his welfare in his twilight years.
But the child with one toy took all care with it. He treasured and secured it and when it broke,it broke his heart for he had no recourse to another toy. The same with the man who had one car that he diligently drove with care and trusted that the care he put into it was going to reward him with more mileage.
The parent with one child took all care that nothing happened to their only child. All their pain , strength and devotion went to the child who then grew up to reward the parents by being a trendsetter and milestone setter.
All those who  run life with the mantra of options are reckless and do not put full attention and effort to the first hand task. They believe in a right to recourse . They buy recklessly banking on the option of Repair, Return or Refund. This costs time, effort and convenience.
In this life I have lived I have learnt that options are expensive. They cost faith,time and emotion. I have learnt that to bank on options ebbs the confidence on the course you have set because you run with a mental backdrop that tells you that there is an alternative in the event things become tough.
Options cause people to leave exit gates open and not to burn bridges. This creates half devotions, poor commitment and disloyalty. Options are escape clauses that we hope to take refuge in when the furnace brings all the heat. So, options are drawbacks that make us take the foot off the pedal when it would have been better to press on.
I aver options cannot be good components of a life’s journey if it is to be run with diligence. After all hell is not Heaven’s option, is it?

closed for cleansing

Early last year I found myself having to take three different planes and spend more than twenty four hours in the air. It started as an exhilarating experience but after four stops and a cut across the GMT one can only wish that they will reach their destination and at least be allowed to sleep twenty four hours non-stop.

It was with this hope that I landed at Beijing International Airport only to learn I still had to endure another sixty minutes flying inland. This took the wind out of me and what worsened it is that I had to wait for at least two hours before my next flight.

Having my feet on the ground reminded me how tired I was and how much food and drink I had taken in the last twenty four hours of being airborne. I needed relief and off I went in search of convenience rooms.

After a 2 minute search and having made sure I had not mixed the symbols, I went into a convenience room, refreshed and relieved my tired body. On leaving the room I could not find the mechanism to flush. I could see the hand basin wherein I proceeded and washed my hands but the quandary was how then was I going to make sure my ‘business’ was sent to the repository so that the next user found it clean as I had !!

After a nerve wrecking two minutes and after confirming that no gadget was available as a flushing mechanism I decided to play villain and sneak out ( after all my hands were clean!). I surreptitiously opened the door, checked the passage, stepped out and closed the door (out of guilt).

As I tiptoed away I heard a gushing sound behind that door were I had just exited. Intrigued, I stole back and hey presto the repository was sparkling clean!!

It took me a few minutes to figure out what happened. There was no manual flushing mechanism but one had to exit the place and close the door for the flushing system to activate and thoroughly evacuate the repository. I then walked away with new found confidence that enabled me to even wave at the CCTV cameras blinking above me.

This set me thinking. So many a times we are not able to get full closure of matters that we want to walk away from because we still remain in the matter room. We still remain pondering on the emotional waste that we would have dumped without exiting the vacuum and the guilt   consumes us.

The airport experience taught me one thing. To walk away from all the past so as to attain a clean closure. To close the door on the strain and pain and walk into the corridor of fresh air. Then the clean break activates the cleansing system. At times we block the door of closure and prevent a full cleansing by constantly looking back at where we have come from and leaving a foot in the jamb.

Tomorrow, as the sun rises, I urge you to remove the foot from the door jamb and allow full closure for full cleansing. Let the sign on our emotional bunkers read CLOSED FOR CLEANSING.

overdrawn accounts

One of the things that once drove me up the wall was when a bank closed my account on grounds of ‘not enough activity’. It was of course a streamlining process meant to cull what they perceived to be now low range clients in their system. Despite much arguing, raging, venting the account was closed and I had to seek solace in a building society.

This incident came to me a few days ago while trying to put a prayer argument to God (I still am trying to let the Almighty understand things from my point of view (but I am not winning). The incident reminded me of how our emotional accounts go through all phases of transition and how we treat those transitions.

Our emotions are like bank accounts. When overdrawn, the account goes into deficit and the bank might call a foreclosure. I have learnt in my stint on earth that all my emotional postures must be carefully treaded for fear of overreacting, embarrassing or even straining one beyond recovery.

Accounts cannot be neglected. So are our emotions. One cannot open an account and not deposit of any input and hope to gain credit by virtue of a blank file in the bank registry with not a coin to support the name of the account. We should invest in our emotional well-being , we should seek to do and achieve those things that make us happy for by so doing, we are depositing in the account of emotions( for a needy day).

Accounts cannot be abused. Banks are known to clamp down heavily and penalize overdrafts, credit card abuse etc.  It is the same apparent truth with our emotions. We can scarce afford to drag them through abuse, degradation, humiliation, insults, derogation and all the pain that comes with emotional abuse. Sooner or later the accounts become overdrawn. This is when we find ourselves running on reserve with no emotional respite in sight and the result is obvious: stress, breakdown, burnout, depression etc.

The noble clients have the grace of walking up to a teller and asking to close their account than suffer foreclosure. I am tempted to think that this is where we miss it as human beings. When our accounts are at the edge and we can’t keep them open we just keep drawing (the plastic smiles, the deep sighs, the one word answers) but all these serve no purpose than to extend the pain.

I am no advocate of walking away from tough situations but if the issues constantly draw on your emotional being without replenishing you what good is it to you? If standing for your emotional well-being is not a concern to the drawing party then the good deed to do is to withdraw the drawing rights (that is what banks do when we fall afoul of our accounts!!).

As the sun rises tomorrow, how are your drawing rights? Are you not overdrawn on someone without depositing and yet expecting them to always have a good balance? How is your emotional account? It is the barometer of your emotional well-being and may your account never suffer foreclosure.