A True Story
on Oct 4, 2023
The Bible has wonderful promises for righteous people. It says that no harm will befall the righteous, that God's ears are attentive to the prayers of the righteous and that all will be well with the righteous. And Jesus quipped, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled."
King David, my hero in the Bible, summed it best when he penned in Psalm 37:25, "I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread."
Those rewards of righteousness as promised in the Bible inspire me to be righteous. And you may ask, what is righteousness?
Well, most people think righteousness is all about refraining from theft, murder and doing drugs. But I think righteousness is also about loving people, thinking noble thoughts, working hard in life, always telling the truth and not talking ill of others behind their backs.
Perhaps one of the best ways of testing our righteousness is by evaluating whether we are committing the seven deadly sins: sloth, greed, lust, anger, gluttony, envy and pride. Those sins are adequately discussed in the Bible.
Like I have said, the Bible inspires me to practise righteousness because of its wonderful promises to the righteous. And I have always had a hunger for righteousness since I was in my late teens. Such bad habits as masturbating, watching obscene materials and entertaining lustful thoughts in my mind used to make me feel guilty.
On December 12th 2006 (yes, I remember the date), I resolved to never again entertain a lustful thought in my mind. I managed to keep the resolution for four months before the stresses of life made me too weak to resist the temptation to masturbate.
Then in January 2007 when I reported back to Starehe Institute to finish a diploma course I was pursuing, I thought it wise to stop sneaking out of school on Sundays without permission. I therefore approached Prof. Jesse Mugambi, the then new director of Starehe, and requested him to grant me permission to be leaving the school on Sundays. Prof. Mugambi acceded to my request, thus satisfying my hunger for righteousness.
When I joined a choir at All Saints' Cathedral in Nairobi in April 2007 after finishing my time at Starehe Institute, I finally found a religion that was in tune with my desire for righteousness. The religious beliefs I acquired at the cathedral, mostly through the edifying hymns we sang, deepened my hunger for righteousness.
So much did I hunger for righteousness that I attempted to read the entire Bible in May 2008 after I reported back to JKUAT, a local university where I was studying to be an engineer. I also resolved to be waking up at 4.30am every morning, a resolution that turned out to be tougher to keep than not entertaining lustful thoughts in my mind.
Since 2008, I have sometimes backslided and committed some of the seven deadly sins, especially sloth, gluttony, anger and lust. I have overslept, overeaten, erupted in anger and viewed obscene materials on the internet. And believe me, I have also taken other people's property without their permission.
But every time I have gone off-track, I have made an effort of getting back to the straight and narrow path. I, for instance, returned some of the property that didn't belong to me. Property like a music CD I had borrowed from a fellow chorister at All Saints' Cathedral and books I had taken from JKUAT library without permission.
Now that I understand the Bible better and find its teachings relevant to leading a victorious life in the modern world, I am keener these days to lead a righteous life. The sins that I am particularly careful not to commit are sloth, lust and greed.
There are mornings I struggle to stay awake and there are times I get tempted to view obscene materials on the internet. Knowing that dozing during the day is sloth and that watching obscene materials is lust, I am always striving to resist the temptations.
As for greed, I used to think it was the same as gluttony. But I have now realized that gluttony is all about overeating. Greed, on the other hand, could also mean desiring to get rich without working hard in life. So, while I'd love to get rich, I will endeavor to acquire my wealth through hard work.
My beloved reader, I beseech you to also pursue righteousness. Love people, think noble thoughts, work hard in life, always tell the truth and avoid talking ill of others behind their backs. And who knows? Your righteousness could bring you wealth, honor and long life as King David's righteousness did to him.
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed reading the above story on pursuing righteousness, you might also enjoy another one on "The Christian Life" which I wrote more than three years ago. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.
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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.