Benefits of Having a Hobby
A True Story
on Sep 29, 2023
I love reading the "Sunday Nation", a Kenyan newspaper. Last Sunday, I came across in the newspaper an article that talked about the benefits of having a hobby. Though short, the article was so enlightening that I cut it out with a pair of scissors and filed it for future re-reading.
According to the article, having a hobby helps slow down the ageing process. It also reduces depression and creates higher levels of happiness. Furthermore, a hobby makes us feel in control of our minds and bodies, find a purpose in life and competent in tackling daily issues.
That enlightening article has inspired me to continue engaging in my hobbies each day and find a way of earning money from some of them. And what are my hobbies, you ask.
My most enjoyable hobby is reading. I read anything I can lay my hands on: books, magazines and newspapers. And on the internet, I read blogs and the devotional articles I receive in my email every day.
Even though I read a variety of materials, I have a particular fondness for books. I love buying books and stocking them up in my room. To me, reading good books is like having conversations with the finest men who ever lived.
Perhaps because I read a lot, I love writing as well. Well, I sometimes find writing to be challenging when ideas are not flowing in my mind. But I enjoy it nonetheless. Writing is fulfilling and emotionally satisfying, as all writers can testify.
Since I started writing original stories in 2016, I have often been amazed by how much I know. There have been times I have remembered an idiom or a vocabulary whose meaning was vague in my memory, only to find out from my Oxford dictionary that I had its meaning right. I owe that wealth of knowledge to my passion for reading.
My other hobby is composing hymns, though it's even more challenging than writing. It has been hard for me to come up with tuneful melodies for my hymns and lyrics that rhyme. How I wish I had the musical talent of Beethoven and the poetic skills of William Shakespeare! But with practice, I am hoping to become a hymn-writer of note.
I usually share the stories I write and the hymns I compose on this blog. And constructing this blog has been a labour of love. Boy, haven't I enjoyed coding some of the functionalities that make this blog unique!
While some have criticized this blog for being unresponsive on mobile devices, others have praised it as lovely, beautiful, uncluttered and easy to navigate through. As for me, I view this blog as a masterpiece. It shall therefore remain this way.
Besides reading, writing and composing hymns, my other passion is walking. I revel in going for walks to my hometown of Kiserian every evening, come rain or shine. Some Kiserian residents have noted my passion for walking and teased me about it.
If there is anything I have learnt from my evening walks, it is that walking is fun when you have a clear conscience. But if your conscience pricks you by reminding you of past sins and offences, then walking can be burdensome.
That insight has motivated me to lead an upright life and to think positively of myself. It has also made me want to forgive those who have wronged me, especially the arrogant swines who have spoken rudely to me or treated me harshly.
Yes, my hobbies are reading, writing, composing hymns and walking. I believe I will continue engaging in the hobbies till old age, God willing, for I am confident that "He who began a good work in [me] will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." (Phillipians 1:6)
My beloved reader, I exhort you to also pick a hobby and do it regularly. Not only will engaging in a hobby bring you joy, it can also enrich your life financially. I know of some ordinary folks who became wealthy beyond their wildest dreams by pursuing their hobbies. So why not pick a hobby today?
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed reading the above story on benefits of having a hobby, you might also enjoy another one on "Doing What We Were Born To Do" which I wrote a few years ago. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.
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Proud of My Catholic Roots
A True Story
on Sep 24, 2023
My mother belongs to a local church group known as Catholic Women's Association (CWA). Yesterday, the CWA members converged at our home for a mass. Some of the members arrived in the morning to prepare meals and clean our living room where the mass was to take place.
At around 1.50pm after all preparations were done and dusted, the CWA members gathered in our living room for the mass. They sang, talked and prayed with a zeal I would wish to emulate in my Christian walk.
Well, I didn't join the women for the mass because I thought it unwise for a young man like me to be in a group of old women. I just sat in my room, meditating and reading "Our Daily Bread" devotional book (2022 edition).
As I enjoyed the flow of my thoughts while meditating, I was moved by the Catholic songs I heard the women sing. The songs reminded me of my Catholic days.
My parents did a fine job in bringing up my brothers and I in the way of the Lord. They had us attend church every Sunday at our hometown Catholic church. When my younger brother Symo and I were little, I remember hearing Mum complain that one of us was crying too much in church.
Despite that crying, we all grew to be nice boys. My eldest brother Joe Kagigite set the standards for us when he began serving as an altar boy during Sunday masses in the mid '90s. Bob and Paddy, my other two elder brothers, followed suit.
My younger brother Symo became even more religious. I will never forget the Saturday he attended a healing mass with a broken arm. That was way back in 1998. In the course of the mass, he claimed his broken arm was miraculously healed.
Elated by the healing, Symo went to share the news with the then church catechist, a good-natured man named Josphat Karanja. I am not sure if Symo's arm was really healed. All I know is that he never again wore the bandage a doctor had swathed on his broken arm.
As for me, I started having the eagerness to attend church in August 1997 when an opportunity opened up in the church for me to learn how to play the piano. After that, I was always in church every weekend. And all the nuns, priests and seminarians I interacted with were men and women of integrity.
In 1998, I enrolled for a two-year catechism course that children in my church were required to attend for them to be permitted to receive the Holy Communion. The main aim of the catechism classes was to instil us with biblical principles but for me, what I liked most about the classes were the beautiful girls I got to mingle with.
After successfully completing the catechism course, I was in April 2000 approved to be taking the Holy Communion during a Sunday mass in which we boys were required to dress in white shirts and black trousers. The day before the mass, I was fizzing with excitement at the prospect of receiving the Holy Communion.
Being allowed to receive the Holy Communion meant that I could now serve as an altar boy like my elder brothers. I did serve as an altar boy on several Sundays but I can't really say I enjoyed it since I found it difficult to understand the minor details that went with assisting the priests in the mass.
All in all, I miss the splendour that were my Catholic days. Even though the memories of those wonderful times I sat in catechism classes memorizing the Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary have faded from my mind, I appreciate the belief in God they inculcated in me.
My strong moral principles, my passion for learning and my love for godly music can be traced back to my Catholic upbringing. The church did indeed lay a good foundation for my life that has served me well in life so far. That's why I am proud of my Catholic roots.
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed reading the above story on how proud I am of my Catholic roots, you might also enjoy another one on "Salvation is Free Folks!" which I wrote about five years ago. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.