Obeying God's Laws
The Book of Deuteronomy says in chapter 28 that if you obey God and follow His commands, enemies will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven. But if you disobey God and do not follow His commands, you will come at your enemies in one direction but flee from them in seven. I didn't fully understand those words of wisdom till I reflected on what happened to me at the University of Nairobi (UoN) in April 2011. Okay, let me tell you the full story.
As I pointed out in my previous story in this blog, I dropped out of JKUAT in 2009 where I had been pursuing a BSc. degree in Electronics & Computer Engineering. The following year, around September 2010, I applied for admission at UoN to pursue a B.A. degree in Political Science, History, Economics & Public Administration. I was accepted.
Matriculating at UoN turned out to be a good decision because I came to love and enjoy my new course which expanded my intellectual bandwidth. The subjects I enjoyed most were those in the field of Political Science. Like I learnt how some African dictators impoverished their nations by stealing from government coffers and stashing the money in overseas bank accounts.
I also formed some lasting friendships at UoN. Among the numerous friends I made was Jeremiah (I only remember him by that name) who later on helped me produce a song that didn't hit. And then there was Gaetano Lovins Muganda, a nice guy with a pleasing personality who inspires me these days with some of his Facebook posts.
But the problem with me matriculating at UoN in 2010 was that I did so without thinking where my fees would come from. My father really struggled to pay my first semester fees because unlike when I was in JKUAT, this time I wasn't on a government scholarship. We paid my first semester fees in instalments, and when my father was unable to pay the whole amount by the time we were sitting for end-of-semester exams, I had to dig into the loan I had received at JKUAT to settle the fees.
That first semester as my father struggled to raise fees for my university education, I vividly remember seeing one of my classmates with a pay-slip indicating he had paid fees worth Ksh. 100,000 which made me wonder whether I would ever afford such an amount. Well, I did try to look for alternative sources of funding my university fees. Like I talked to my then home-town councillor called Peter Munene who gave me a small amount of bursary which came too late. I also approached a number of friends for help but none came through to my aid.
Perhaps as a result of that frustration in raising fees, I woke up one morning, around March 2011, and messaged my family that I would never go back home again. This alarmed them and they began searching for me. They tried reaching me via phone but I ignored their calls and text messages even when my father texted me that my mother was crying. I can't really tell what was going on in my head as I ignored those calls and messages. All I can say now is that I was behaving foolishly, and very foolishly indeed.
After a few days though, my family caught up with me with help from Safaricom, the leading mobile-phone service provider in Kenya. And after they found me, they forcefully took me to the university's clinic where I was admitted for several weeks. I am sure the doctor who admitted me to the clinic must have been told of my previous hospitalization when I was at the university in JKUAT. For how else can you explain I was admitted at UoN for the same reasons I was admitted at JKUAT.
The evening I was discharged from UoN clinic, I felt terribly guilty as I walked home. It was the kind of guilt that makes you feel the whole world is laughing at you. On reflecting about that guilt, I am of the opinion that it was God's way of punishing me for disobeying His law by causing grief to my father and mother. For as the Book of Proverbs says: "A foolish son brings grief to his father and bitterness to the one who bore him."
I had disobeyed God for shizzle and failed to follow His commands as the Book of Deuteronomy puts it in chapter 28. And as a result, "enemies" came at me in one direction and I fled from them in seven, and one of them was feeling guilty.
By the way, a few months in 2011 after getting discharged from UoN clinic, I stopped seeing my doctor and taking the medication he recommended. Over the years, I have sought healing in writing, music and prayers. And these days, I am striving to walk in obedience to God's Word. That's all I am saying.
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story of mine on obeying God's laws, you might also enjoy another one I wrote sometimes back on "The Doors God Closed For Me". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.
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What Happened When I Repeated Class
When I went back home in 2008 after messing up at JKUAT where I was pursuing a BSc. degree in Electronics & Computer Engineering, my family prevailed on me to return back to the university to continue with the course. I yielded to this pleas. So when the university re-opened in May 2009, I reported back to repeat my second year that I had failed to finish the previous year. And this was my first time in my life to repeat a class ever since I started schooling in 1993.
I regularly felt lonely when I reported back to JKUAT in 2009 because I was surrounded by new faces. And I missed my former classmates who had moved on to third-year. It made me regret why I had messed up the previous year which led me to repeat my second year.
Before messing up in 2008, I used to be an active and motivated student. I loved contributing in class discussions and chatting with some of my classmates. But when I returned to JKUAT in 2009, I lost my vitality. I am sure the feelings of loneliness and regret, plus the medication I was taking, played part in my loss of vitality.
As a repeating student, I found myself in the same class with a guy called Greg. He was a bit talkative and funny. Seeing him in that nature reminded me of how I was before I went astray the previous year because, as I have told you, I used to love taking part in class discussions and chatting with some of my classmates.
So demotivated was me when I repeated my second year in JKUAT that I sometimes used to doze in class. A certain lecturer who taught us Material Science was fond of asking me to wake up during class. And when we did our first CAT in the subject in which I got a mediocre score of 16 out of 40, the lecturer wrote "Wake Up!" next to where he had written the score.
Because of my lack of motivation and probably also because of the medication I was taking, I found it hard to understand and absorb the concepts we were learning in engineering. Somehow, I managed to get by in classes by copying assignments and cheating during some continuous assessment tests (CATs).
Well, during my second year in 2008 when I was still an active and motivated student, I had come to love Abraham Lincoln's letter to his son's teacher in which he said in school, it is far more honourable to fail than to cheat. But I found it difficult to follow that Lincoln's advice when I repeated my second year in 2009. I just assumed a don't-care attitude by copying assignments and cheating during some of the CATs.
When exams neared in that semester in 2009, it suddenly dawned on me that I would fail them badly. And because students at JKUAT were closely monitored during exams by strict invigilators, I saw the only way out was to seek help from the Dean of Students. So a few days before the exams commenced, I approached the Dean, an understanding gentleman called Dr. Mbogo, and informed him I was having suicidal thoughts.
To tell you the truth, I was an unhappy young man but I never at any one time contemplated suicide. I just told Dr. Mbogo I was having suicidal thoughts as a way of seeking sympathy. And the trick worked because I was referred to JKUAT hospital where the psychiatrist in charge had me admitted in the hospital for several weeks thus making me miss the exams I dreaded.
As I have told you, I was a very demotivated student when I repeated my second year at JKUAT in 2009. I felt lonely in my new class, missed my former classmates who had moved on third year and found it difficult to understand and absorb engineering concepts.
What I have found ironical is that even in that pitiable state I was in, some of my new classmates took notice of me and became good friends of mine. Among them were Patrick Weru, Jeremiah Nzioka and Francis Mwangi. They sometime used to check on me when I was late for class. And they visited me when I was admitted at JKUAT hospital after I presented myself to the Dean as a suicidal young man. I have always wondered what good the new classmates found in me that merited me to be their source of concern but I appreciated it nonetheless.
After I was discharged from JKUAT hospital, I went back home where I started thinking of what else to do with my life now that I had permanently dropped out of JKUAT. But that is a story for another day. Adieu!
RECOMMENDATION: If you have enjoyed this story of mine on what happened when I repeated class at JKUAT, you might also enjoy another one I wrote sometimes back on "What Freedom Entails". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.