There are conversations going on around that have puzzled me. I am aware that there are challenges in the world, on my continent and in my nation. I am aware that greed, selfishness, self-absorption and many other behaviours are at an all time high. I am also aware that there are people starving and dying of hunger in nations that can feed themselves if they decide to do so. I look abroad and see how things function and then I look around Africa and listen to the conversations and get so tired of hearing lame excuses being used as reasons for these challenges that begin with or include statements like:
- ‘You know how things are around here…you have to need to facilitate the process.’
- ‘We are just like that…(tunakuwanga hivo)’
- ‘What makes you think it will be different for you? Everybody does it this way.’
- ‘What can I do I am only one person.’
- ‘Sisi ni waafrika…(We are Africans)’
- ‘This is just the way it is, we have always done it like this.’
The last few are the worst of all in my books.
Every time I hear them I want to throttle the person speaking or box them between their ears. These are allegedly ‘reasons’ why people are stuck in the place they are in but when you think about them in-depth, they are simply excuses for sloppy, careless behaviour and laziness. Just because your ancestors did something a certain way doesn’t mean it is still the best way to do things. Just because your mother told you something doesn’t make it gospel truth today or even the way you need to go. Just because no one else has done something about a situation doesn’t mean that no one ever should. If we are honest that we want to leave a better life for our children and enable them to be successful we can no longer remain the same just because our ancestors did or didn’t do something one way or the other.
One of my ancestors was a long distance trader and herbalist. He travelled for months on end from the inlands to the coast and back trading different items and learning from the people he travelled through how to treat different ailments using different herbal concoctions. He wasn’t always welcome in the village because of his eclectic life but for those whose needs he met he was an answer.
Another was a teacher, chief and community mobiliser who shifted the community by educating as many as possible and creating opportunities for the people to earn more from their coffee through the cooperatives movement. From the trader came a third and then a fourth generation of well-educated professions many with multiple degrees and professional careers taught to think and ask questions and though many accepted the ways of the past it was after interrogation.
However, not everyone in the lineage turned out the same. To each one opportunity was given but the outcome was as varied as there were people. Some say it was luck that one line turned out well and another didn’t and others say it had nothing to do with luck but hard work and commitment. I dare say that each set of people chose a few deliberate steps that produced specific results because every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
For a long time, I was just like everyone but it stopped making sense to me so I set my own questions and sought answers to them. I challenged everything I was taught, I found things I didn’t need and even if they are long held traditions I walked away. It cost me a lot to look intently at everything I had believed and become independent minded and it still costs me. I refuse to be anything or just accept a position because many think it is right; it has to be right for me and align to who I am or it isn’t useful. In the end, I have unapologetically developed my personal belief system.
Comfort, convenience and complacency don’t lead anywhere.Tweet
What makes you think that the complacent heart and lazy mind that cannot see around the next task will ever create the needed room you need to get to the next level with God? What makes you think you can sit pretty and wait for God to drop that miracle into your lap? When will you develop your faith based on your personal interactions with God that are beyond what your pastor taught you? When will you become like the Bereans* who listened to the apostles and went back to God and scripture to confirm that the teaching was accurate? When will your life tell the story of God and His goodness without you having to speak?
It takes deliberate focus to know and remain close to God. It takes choices and commitment to remain faithful to the calling no matter what so what makes you think that saying that is how I am will cut it? It takes a determined effort to rise to the top of your game or industry. It takes the choice to be different and be yourself to become ALL God said about you.
Arise and be counted as one who BECAME. Arise because the world is depending on the sons of God.Tweet
*Acts 17:11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. NIV