A Season to be Jolly
A True Story
on Dec 24, 2019
Yippee! The festive season is here with us again. For many people all across the world, even for non-believers, this is a time to reconnect with loved ones and feast on sumptuous dishes. As for me, I have chosen to use this season to reflect on how my year has been as well as strategize and plan for the year that is to follow.
This year, I continued with my policy of taking God into working partnership in all my problems and activities. Before retiring to bed at night, I have told God all that I want to accomplish the following day. And every time God has answered my prayer, I have thanked Him. For this is what St. Paul advises us in one of his epistles: "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs and don't forget to thank Him for His answers."
Yes, the Lord - my great and awesome God - has answered several of my prayers this year. Thanks to Him, I have become a more consistent blogger this year than in any other year in the past. And the quality of my writing must have improved because I have received some donations in this blog as well as feedback messages from my readers around the world in the course of the year.
I also managed to produce three songs this year, thanks to God. Although the songs weren't as beautiful as I would have loved them to be, they were an improvement compared to my songs of yesteryears. And I valued the experience I had in composing and producing the songs.
Of course there are some of my prayers that God didn't answer because it's a fact God doesn't always fulfil all our desires. Chief among my unanswered prayers this year was not meeting my soulmate, or rather my future wife. I have a list of the qualities I would want in my future wife. And this year, I added two more qualities to that list: that is, tolerance for my foibles and compassion for others.
Adding those two qualities to the list of traits I would want in my future wife has made me worry that I am reducing the chances of ever getting into a relationship. But I have this belief that there is a woman God intended for me, and that I will recognize her the moment I see her, even without knowing whether she possesses the traits I want. That is to say, I believe in love at first sight.
There have been times this year when I became horribly impatient in meeting my soulmate. As a result of that impatience, I have spent much time on the internet searching for "The One" but my efforts have bore no fruit. I am now thinking that I should heed an advice I once came across on Facebook. The advice went something like this, "Don't spend your time looking for a soulmate; just focus on doing what you love and the right partner will find her way to you."
This year, I also didn't get financial breakthroughs from my hobbies. That has been another unanswered prayer. But I will continue working on my hobbies while praying until something happens. One of my heart's desires is to have my future children observe me earn money from the things I love to do, God willing. And the things I love to do are writing, gardening and producing songs.
The other important prayer of mine that God didn't answer this year has not been experiencing a never-fading sense of inner peace. There have been days in 2019 when I felt plagued by neurotic guilt. The guilt has led me to withdraw into my room on some days. I will continue praying for inner peace while striving to think well of myself. And hopefully, I will have a more peaceful 2020.
All told, 2019 was a wonderful year for me. I enjoyed good health. (Imagine I didn't even come down with a cold or a cough.) I didn't lose a loved one either. And I grew in wisdom, courage and knowledge. For those blessings which I owe to God's grace, I am eternally grateful.
Enough about me. What about you, my dear reader? How has you your year been? I hope you also learnt something from the blessings and challenges that came your way.
Having said that, let me wish you a blissful festive season. No matter your belief, may you find renewed strength this season. And if, like me, you will in the next few days look to a manger and claim the promise announced on a Holy Night of peace on Earth and goodwill towards all men - from the bottom of my heart: Merry Christmas!
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story on a season to be jolly, you might also enjoy another one I wrote last year on "Prayers God Didn't Answer". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.
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A True Story
on Dec 22, 2019
As I wrote in my previous story on this blog, I have so far not succeeded in growing rich enough to afford a car. That I don't know how to drive has made me feel left behind because I am sure some of my classmates in high school and university own cars at the moment. Even my younger brother Symo, who works for a blue-chip auditing firm, has been fortunate enough to spin his own vehicle.
I sometimes visualize myself driving while listening to audio books and my favourite music in my car's sound system. Also, I occasionally imagine myself taking my Mum for a drive around my home area. And since knowing how to drive is one of my heart's desires, I regularly petition God to bless me with enough wealth to buy a car. Oh, how I desire to own an automobile!
A few weeks ago as I was taking a walk in my hometown of Kiserian, I spotted a man without one leg. He was walking with the aid of two crutches. Seeing the disabled man made me realize how blessed I am. Imagine I have been feeling left behind for not knowing how to drive and here was a man without one leg. It reminded me of an ancient proverb that says, "I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man with no feet."
That has led me to take inventory of my life and be grateful for what I have now. And it has dawned on me that I currently own such precious possessions as books, a laptop, a smartphone and a piano keyboard as well as live in a mansion with electricity and running water. There was a time when I didn't have those possessions, I tell you.
Like when I was at the university in JKUAT, I didn't own a laptop. Can you imagine a university student without a laptop in this day and age? It's like a doctor without a stethoscope. Yet that's what I was. Because I didn't own a laptop in those days, I would sometimes move from room to room in the dormitories of the university looking for a computer on which to do my work or listen to music. And at times, I would find my friends busy with their computers, leaving me stranded.
Then there was a time when I didn't have access to internet in my room. In those days, I would commute to cyber cafes whenever I needed to check my email or do something on the internet. That made me spend a lot of time and money which I would have better used in other activities.
And then there was a time when I used to live in a room with wooden walls that used to let in rain water and a pot-holed floor that used to make it tedious to clean the room. Because I shared the room with other family members, I had no privacy. When I needed to bathe, I had to warm water in the fire before putting it in a basin. And when it came to relieving myself, I had to walk a distance of about sixty metres to the pit latrine of our home.
These days, I am blessed to live in a brick mansion with a ceiling, running water as well as an indoor toilet and a shower. I have a room in the mansion which I can lock either to do something private or keep my possessions safe. Whenever I need to shower, I just switch on an electrical socket, turn on the tap and bingo! Hot water sprays from the shower head for me to wash my body. Am I not blessed?
While taking a trip down memory lane, I have remembered the times I used to long for all those blessings I have now. Yet instead of being thankful for those blessings, I now feel left behind for not knowing how to drive. We humans have a weakness of never being contented. There is always something left to desire, and the last thing longed for seems to be the most necessary for happiness.
As for me, I have resolved to be contented with what I have now, even as I work on achieving more. I will heed the advice of Eddie Rickenbacker, an American who drifted with this companions in life rafts and got hopelessly lost in the Pacific Ocean for 21 days. When asked what was the biggest lesson he learnt from that ordeal of terrible suffering, Eddie Rickenbacker replied, "If you have all the fresh water you want to drink and all the food you want to eat, you ought never complain about anything."
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story about contentment, you might also enjoy another one I wrote last year on "Choosing Gratitude". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.