My Bible Repaired; Yay!
A True Story
on Mar 8, 2023
As I have written before on this lovely blog of mine, I am a foodie. I love eating so much that I always look forward to my next meal, especially when it's ugali with cooked cabbages or chapatis with lentils stew. Sometimes when we have visitors here at home, I worry that their visit might delay my meals. That clearly shows how passionate I am about food, doesn't it?
I am also as passionate about the Bible as I am about food. To me, the wisdom of the Bible forms the best diet for a healthy soul and mind. I am lucky to have here in my room seven English versions of the Bible. Oh boy, don't I treasure the wisdom within the covers of those Bibles!
Of the seven English Bible versions that I have in my room, the one I constantly refer to is the New International Version (NIV). I bought the NIV Bible in 2010. After buying it, I read the whole of it in a span of eight years. And I made an effort of underlining the verses that spoke to my heart.
A few years ago, the cover of my treasured NIV Bible came out. And then the Bible started losing its first blank pages, one piece at a time, due to my constant reference to it. At times, I feared the pages with important information would also come out. So whenever I carried the Bible during my travels, I had to put it in a separate pocket in my bag to avoid damaging it further as I rummaged for something else in the bag.
Because of the deteriorating condition of my NIV Bible, I recently decided to replace it with the Revised Standard Version (RSV) as my most referenced Bible. My RSV Bible, which I bought in 2018, looked cute with its colorful hard-cover and elegant binding. And I could hardly wait to highlight in it the verses I had underlined in my NIV Bible.
But lo! Highlighting verses in my RSV Bible turned out to be a Herculean task. I gave up when I reached the book of 2nd Samuel. The Bible is just monumentally huge. Honestly, I should be proud of myself for having read the entire NIV Bible.
Before I gave up highlighting in my RSV Bible the verses I had underlined in my NIV Bible, I discovered the NIV Bible expressed biblical messages in better English than the RSV Bible did. When talking of sex for instance, the RSV Bible would say "to know someone" instead of just saying "having sex with someone" like the NIV Bible.
After giving up highlighting verses in my RSV Bible and after discovering the NIV Bible used better English, I decided to revert to my old NIV Bible and have it repaired. At first, I thought of taking it to a certain bookshop in my hometown of Kiserian for repair. Then it hit me that a cobbler was best suited for the job. So I took it to one cobbler in Kiserian last Thursday.
The cobbler to whom I took my NIV Bible for repair was a pretty woman who turned out to be as skilled as she was genial. She did a fantastic job of repairing my NIV Bible by putting on it a black cover with a zipper. Her craftsmanship impressed me.
Now that my NIV Bible has been repaired, I can't seem to get enough of it. Just two days ago, I memorized Philipians 4:8, an edifying verse that says:
...whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.That verse has encouraged me to fill my mind with thoughts of hope, love, faith and courage. It has also encouraged me to get rid of energy-sapping thoughts that breed feelings of guilt, worry, jealousy and bitterness in my soul.
The Bible is indeed a treasure trove of wisdom and encouragement. If all people were as passionate about it as they are about eating - never going a day without studying the Bible - this world would be a paradise to live in. We wouldn't be having cases of theft, murder and wife-battering that I read all too often in the newspapers.
My beloved reader, I urge you to get yourself a Bible if you don't already own one because somewhere in its pages is a verse that was written especially for you - a verse that gives insight on how to solve a problem you are facing or how to achieve a dream in your heart. Find the verse, believe it, act upon it, and God will help you live it out to enrich yourself, bless others and bring glory to Him. Adieu!
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story on how glad I am to have my Bible repaired, you might also enjoy another one on "Insights From the Bible" that I wrote two years ago. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.
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Being Patient With People
A True Story
on Mar 3, 2023
When I got into Form Four in January 2005 during my high school years at Starehe Boys' Centre, I became position 27 in the 'index' exams we had sat for at the end of the previous year. Becoming position 27 in the index exam was the best performance I had hitherto attained since I began my high school education. And I was determined to do even better in the exams that were to follow. I especially wanted to emerge the top candidate nationally in the results of 2005 KCSE exams.
In order to achieve my goal of emerging top in the results of our KCSE exams, I read a lot. Really a lot. Not a day passed in my entire fourth-form year without me reading something related to schoolwork. But guess what! In spite of my heavy reading, I didn't make it in the list of top 100 candidates nationally in the results of 2005 KCSE exams.
Later on after I did an analysis of the Starehe fourth-formers who emerged among the top 10 students nationally in KCSE results, I concluded that only those who were among the first 7 students in index exams managed to appear in that list of top 10 students nationally in KCSE results. Mark you, the Starehe index exam was done a year before KCSE, meaning that no amount of reading in a whole year could make one leapfrog from position 27 in index exam to position 1 in KCSE exams.
A year after I received my KCSE results, I noted an abnormality in the 2006 KCSE exams. There was a little difference in marks among the top 100 students nationally in the results of that year's KCSE exams. If a candidate who was number 99 nationally could have improved by only 8 marks, he would have emerged top. The results of the 2006 KCSE exams just didn't follow a normal distribution curve, the sign of a fair and well-set exam.
I also noted that some 2006 Starehe fourth-formers who were among the first 7 students in index exams didn't make it in the list of top 100 candidates nationally in their KCSE results. One of the fourth-formers was Paul Byatta who went on to get accepted at Harvard. I don't understand how Byatta, who was index 6 or 7, failed to appear among the top 100 students in KCSE results. Surely, there was something amiss with the 2006 KCSE exams and I don't know why nobody raised an eyebrow about it.
Anyway, coming back to the impossibility of Starehe's index 27 of our time topping KCSE exams, there is an important lesson we can draw from that fact. And it is that we shouldn't expect sudden improvements from our spouses, children, parents, workmates and church colleagues. We should therefore be patient with people, something I have learnt while dealing with my Dad.
Well, my Dad is a very hard-working person but organization is not one of his strengths. His home office is full of books, newspapers and other paraphernalia that are strewn higgedly-piggedly on the floor. It is really a chaotic office. And the same goes for his bedroom which he shares with Mum.
Some of my siblings have criticized Dad for his lack of organizational skills. But I think they are being unfair to him. Since Dad has been disorganized for years, expecting him to be orderly within a month is like expecting a Starehe index 27 to emerge top in the results of KCSE exams. It's impossible!
I have also been guilty of expecting much from Dad. A couple of years ago while walking in a certain mall in Nairobi, I saw a book with a cover-photo of a 74-year old man. The man, who was the author of the book, was in fine fettle with his six-pack and well-toned muscles. And his book was about staying alert and vibrant despite advancing years.
After I saw the book, I thought of buying it and showing it to Dad who sometimes attributed his age to his tendency to doze and forget things. I imagined telling Dad, in the presence of my siblings, that here was a man older than him who was still alert and vibrant at 74 years.
Come to think of it, I am glad that I never bought the book and compared its 74-year old author with Dad. Why? Because he is different from Dad. Maybe the author didn't hail from a humble background like Dad. So expecting Dad to suddenly become alert and vibrant like him is a superhuman feat tantamount to expecting a Starehe index 27 to emerge top in the results of KCSE exams.
I have therefore resolved to be patient with Dad and all the people in my life. My beloved reader, I beseech you to also do the same. Refrain from being critical of the people in your life who are below par. Be patient with them and allow them room to be themselves. As for teens and children, give them time to grow. I hate to sound redundant but again, I beseech you to be patient with people. Ciao!
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed the above story on being patient with people, you might also enjoy another one on "Gaining Wisdom in Pain" that I wrote a few years ago. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.