Cowards aren’t we ?

Cowards are said to be the yellow livered scamps that take flight at the slightest indication of fear or trouble. Their surmise is based on the understanding that if they flee trouble then trouble and its woes will give them a wide berth. How wrong.

In this life that I have lived on this earth I have learnt that running away from problems might defer their bite but like the proverbial demon, they always come back seven fold. I have learnt that postponing what I can do now is basically upping the price that I will eventually pay when I get the courage to do the avoided task.

Cowards are not the only people who pay the price for our cowardice. Even those we are supposed to reach out to , those we are supposed to free by apologising to , those that we are supposed to forgive etc., all suffer untold pain because we are cowards scared of taking the bold steps and make things right.

At times we run miles , run up serious bills , cause irreparable damage when all we could have done is be courageous enough to eat humble pie and apologise. Instead we build legal facades, stonewall, hedge ourselves and build ourselves into an imploding summit that will eventually bury us.

At times we prefer to talk about people than with the people. We are so cowardly that we will go ten miles to discuss the woes of a neighbour whose ails just need our shoulder to cry on and a prayer to sooth their pain. And we boldly attest to being brave!! Cowards aren’t we?

We watch relationships die, marriages die and all we do is talk and gossip about what we see instead of walking across and sharing the pain and providing answers. We are scared of sitting down our troubled brothers but will rack up bills talking them down to our transatlantic kin. Cowards aren’t we?

We watch our friends die and we can’t offer to take them to a test station but we will gladly stand up to offer an obituary and tearfully and accurately state all the stages of their demise. We watch kin burrow themselves into alcohol and drugs and we marvel at how clean we are.

In this life I have lived I have learnt that one that will not speak to me about their concerns is a coward. Life’s cowardry is drawn from the fear of facing ourselves. It is centered on the fear of rejection or repulse, but I rather be rejected and repulsed on the basis of a courageous truth than to be welcomed and adored for plastic and fake loyalty.

Cowardice and pretense do not only affect the actor but also the poor soul being misled. Show me a man bold enough to bell the cat and I will show you a man who goes to bed with a clearer conscience.

Cowards. Aren’t we??

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.

Let this cup pass my father

Faced with the ultimate understanding of the weight upon Him, the Lord made this declaration. In it was the acknowledgement that the cost of the situation was taxing His handling capacities. On Him lay the fate of nations; He was the determinant factor to what our state of relations with God was going to be.

The price was also beyond Him, it taxed His deity to the extent that He had to let the Father know. The Father had to understand that as much as the Son had come on His own volition, the weight of what He had to undergo in order to salvage the world was overwhelming  Him to the point that the ultimate decision had to come from the Father and hence ‘—- not my will—‘.

The cup of course was not taken away. The agony was not deferred or cancelled. The good book states that He was in agony of pain to the extent of sweating drops that were like blood (Luke 22v44). The pain could not be taken away because it was part of the course that was to birth universal redemption. The cup could not be taken away because a lot hanged (no pun intended) on the cup running its course. The cup was the cost of keeping a promise.

The consolation seen is the angel dispatched from the heavens to strengthen Him (v43). There was no postponement, no alteration of the terms and no reduction of the cup’s volume, no promise to delay or rethink. The strength was to boost the resolve and refocus Him at the business at hand, that is the Cross and for sure, He arose from there and walked the path of the cup and the rest is history.

Many cups portend us this day, cups that call to our deeper recesses and drain our innermost being. Many cups stand at our doors to breakthroughs. At times we have run away from handling the taxing tasks, pain, sacrifices in the hope of short-circuiting our way to achievement only to discover that we fooled none but ourselves.

Many of us commit to promises but refuse to drink the cup when the time to deliver comes. A commitment will only come to fruition when one puts their hand on the plough and they till the land to produce the promise. This calls for agony, sweat, labour, pain, sacrifice, determination and courage. When the Saviour went through all these, all His abilities and senses were taxed beyond His ability to bear but the strength that kept Him going was the result of His suffering (salvation for mankind)

What cups face you today? What sweat runs down your face today? What pain wears you down today? Whatever it is, do not drop the cup or spill the contents, you are a step closer to fulfilling the pledge. One more painful step, one more painful trudge, one more taxing resolve and the breakthrough will flow. Hold on.

As the sun rises tomorrow, face the cup, recall the promise, defy your screaming nerves and press on toward the agreed goal and say ‘— yet I want your will to be done, not mine—‘Luke 22v42b.

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.