Thuita's 1st Law of Human Nature
Truth be told, I learnt how to efficiently use a computer in 2006 at Starehe Institute shortly after I turned 18. It was at that institute where I not only got to know how to navigate through the Windows Operating System but also how to type at a reasonably fast speed and how to operate a computer without a mouse. I became increasingly fascinated by how computers work that I delved deeper by learning web design and computer programming. It was such a great learning experience - the kind that makes a difference in one's life.
When I began applying to top American universities while still at Starehe Institute in 2006, I was impressed with how the universities had used information technology to market their institutions as well as improve their application process. So impressed was me by the impact of computers in easing life that I began persuading the Starehe administration to also adopt information technology to improve the image and management of the school. I passionately aired my ideas during what we used to call Dean's Talk, a weekly meeting between teachers and students of the institute.
Among the ideas I aired were that the school creates a dynamic regularly-updated website that reflected the Starehe way of life; that the school's Form 1 application form be made available online; that the student files be converted into digital form accessible through computer networks; and that students leaving Starehe after completing their education be cleared through a computer database that kept record of all lost and damaged properties of the school.
Those who listened to me were dragooned by my ideas but strangely, only little action was taken. And when I persisted with championing my ideas during Dean's Talk, some fellow students started calling me "Systems Analyst" which annoyed me not because I disliked the title but because they were making fun of me.
Annoyance aside, I have come to think that Starehe would still be a great school if my ideas had been implemented. And when I reflected on those experiences I had at Starehe, I have formulated what I call the Thuita's 1st Law of Human Nature which states as follows:
People love change but they hate it when they themselves have to change.This law probably explains why politicians in my country come up with very compelling campaign manifestos which they hardly implement when elected to power. Like President Mwai Kibaki was elected with a landslide in '02 General Elections, uprooting from power a party that had ruled for 40 years or so. After Kibaki's victory, people were optimistic that Kenya would change for the better. Even my apolitical brother Paddy remarked during Kibaki's inauguration day that Kenya would soon overtake South Africa as Africa's most developed nation.
But alas! President Kibaki underwent hell when he tried to implement his manifesto. He faced rebellion from those who had helped him ascend to power. The nation suffered the worst violence in its history under his watch. It took him eight years to change the country's constitution which he had promised to change in the first 100 days of his administration. See?
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story of mine on Thuita's 1st Law of Human Nature, you might also enjoy another one I wrote a few years ago on "Blooming Where Planted". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.
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The Fear of God
I wrote in my previous story in this lovely blog of mine about the things I fear. What I didn't mention in the story is that I fear God as well. And to fear God isn't getting frightened of Him. (We can't see God anyway!) To fear God, as every reader of the Bible knows, is to shun evil.
Over the last four years since I became a true Christian (or, as a Jew would say, a godly man), I have come to fear God so much that I have shunned such evils as lying, cheating or taking advantage of others. Like there was a time two or three years ago when a supermarket cashier gave me excess change. I could easily have walked away with the excess change but because of my fear of God, I alerted the cashier and brought to her attention that she had given me excess change.
Then there was a time in 2017 when I found money hidden in one of the books my father had retrieved from our farmhand's room. (The farmhand had taken the books from our old wooden house and we suspected he was planning to sell them without our knowledge.) When I found the money in the book, I could have chosen to pocket it and keep it a secret. But because I feared God, I let my father know there was money in that particular book. I can't recall if I advised my father to find out whether the money belonged to the farmhand and give it to him if it was his but I tend to think that I did so.
And then there was a time this year when I received Ksh. 1,350 on my phone which had been sent to me by mistake via MPESA. The woman who had sent the money immediately called me and requested me to send back the money. (I could discern she wasn't a con-woman.) Because I feared God, I returned the money to her, of course after charging her a reasonable amount of money for using my time and energy.
Those are examples of how I have shunned evil because I fear God. And why do I fear God? Because I have this belief that if I shun evil, God will reward me with His blessings, keep me from danger and bestow me with favours. For as the Book of Ecclesiastes says, "To the man who pleases Him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness."
I beseech you to also develop the fear of God as you go about your daily life. And for you to fear God, you must believe that He exists. One way that can lead you to believe in the existence of God is to observe nature and meditate on its wonders because as someone put it, nature is the living visible garment of God. Another way that can deepen your faith in the existence of God is to study the Bible and relate its messages to what you observe in life.
When I talk of studying the Bible as a way of deepening faith in God, I am reminded of an experience I had one time in the '90s when I was a boy. That time, I heard about the Biblical story of Samuel who had a voice calling him. Samuel thought it was a man named Eli calling him. But when he went to him, he learnt it wasn't Eli.
Samuel again heard a voice calling him and thought it was Eli. But when he went to him as he did the first time, it turned out it wasn't Eli talking to him. Eli then realized it must have been God calling Samuel, so he told Samuel if he heard a voice calling him again, he lets God speak. And sure, it was God who had been calling Samuel because when he heard a voice calling him again, Samuel replied, "Speak [God], for your servant is listening." God then spoke to Samuel.
That Biblical story had a strong impression on me when I first heard in the '90s. So strong was the impression that when I heard a voice calling me in my room at home on several occasions, thinking it was Uncle Ndonga calling me, I would believe it was God wanting to speak to me after Uncle Ndonga informed me it wasn't him who had been calling me.
My dear reader, that's how studying the Bible can deepen your faith in God. Believing in God will lead you to fear Him. And once you begin to fear God, all other fears (such as the fear of failure and of loss of loved ones) will diminish because you will have this assurance that God is in control. That's all I am saying.
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story of mine on the fear of God, you might also enjoy another story I wrote about two months ago on "Growing Our Faith in God". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.