Building Relationships We Can All Be Proud Of

Wednesday, 10 February 2016


During the Second half of 2015, I had a deep conviction to let some things go, free my hands off some loads, cut some associations loose, end some friendships and ruffle a patch of grass to see what will spring out. As I prayed hard about it, I realised that every step I took in order to hold on, drove me farther from what I was fighting to protect. I realised, in the end, it was of no use. I sat back and watched a lot of things collapse on different fronts; things I prided myself in fell right through my fingers. I watched as people I called friends moved to a place of antagonism due to the heat; a lot of close associates felt alienated. I felt as though I was the loneliest soul on the planet by the turn of the year.

Regardless of how I felt, there was an overwhelming conviction that God was in it. I remembered Joseph who decided to act differently and the cost he bore. I remembered Moses who had to be dried up in the wilderness for 40 years in order to be qualified for an assignment. I remembered David who had to be a fugitive for years, and had to fight a bloody 7-year civil war in order to consolidate the throne under him after the death of Saul. I remembered all that and said to myself, this is not the reign of Solomon; it's not the time of merry making and a season of peace.  It's time of building and establishment therefore the need to have a soldier mentality; I had to be tough. I knew I had to obey before complaining otherwise I may give in to the pressures confronting me and agree to fit in. I set my face like a flint and moved. I moved alone, but I moved fast. Moving alone did not mean I was going through life alone; it meant I needed speed to move from one location to the other, in order to catch up with the next generation of burden.

I did not know the springtime was just at the base of the precipice I was free falling off. I did not know God was overhauling me. On Monday the 8th OF February 2016, I stood awe-stricken as this amazing woman I call my Mother called me and said, ‘I trust you, because God trusts you. I will give you a single task, which is more demanding, sacrificial and yet more rewarding before God and man than any burden you can put on yourself. SHE handed me a Cross bigger, better, and Glorious than any that I could have ever put upon myself through the works of my hands.

Instantly, I understood why I had to let everything go and clear the distraction in order to see HER standing and waiting for me to ask, "Please what is God saying this stubborn and erratic young man should do?" And right after I asked HER, SHE gave me my task. She did not need years to consult; the assignment was waiting for me to come along. 

Today a lot of you are convicted to let go of many things. Many of you have a swaying press to release yourselves from some relationships, friendships,  associations,  churches, cliques and the lot. The pressure to stay, however, is so overwhelming. Sometimes, in your bid to break free, your actions appear insane, not just to others but even in your own eyes, you end up conforming. But you see, if your hands are full of granite, it's the pearls you can't have space for. The opportunity cost you bear for what you need to let go but don't want to, is the many other things you can't have. We can't be everywhere at every time and we can't have everything at every time. We do not have unlimited space, time and resources. Sometimes, we just need to make rational yet hard decisions based on a sound scale of preference, having the NOW and the FUTURE in the full spectrum of consideration. Some times for the greater cause and the sleepless nights, you need to make the blistering choices. Granite has its uses, pearls have theirs too; know when to keep which and when to let go of which. If you cannot make hard sacrifices today for a better tomorrow, it is the blights of today that will repeat themselves tomorrow.

There is a time for war and frugality; hard choices to make in the areas of finance, relationship, prayer, education, emotions and the rest. There is a time to undertake certain sacrificial measures to streamline certain aspects of our lives so the future runs better with less hitches. There is also a time to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labour. Fight prodigality, fight senseless relationships, fight wasting lifestyles, war in your prayer room, take certain educational and career decisions and fight certain associations so you can have the best kind. Somewhere in the future, you will have peace to enjoy your struggles. Life is too short so have fun, they say. What if you live to be 80 and your bank account refuses to respond to resuscitation? Life is not always short – it specialises in making itself painfully long and lacklustre for those who thought it was furiously short and fast.  

There comes a time in every young person’s life when you cannot be politically correct about the existential convictions that haunt your sleep; the deep calling and yearn of the soul to fulfil that which it feels drawn to. There comes a time a measure of madness is needed to clear the temple of traders so its original purpose would be restored. We have to be unconventional enough to stop the stoning of a guilty person to prove that we cannot always run our lives on the status quo even when we know that status quo is built on sinking sands. Captain Thomas Sankara (former president of Upper Volta, now Burkina Faso) said ‘You cannot carry out fundamental change without a certain amount of madness. In this case, it comes from nonconformity, the courage to turn your back on the old formulas, the courage to invent the future. It took the madmen of yesterday for us to be able to act with extreme clarity today. I want to be one of those madmen. We must dare to invent the future’

To invent the future, you need to make some sacrifices today; and the word sacrifice, speaks for itself. Do not eat your dessert before the main meal. Do not have fun now and fight in the future when you should be resting. Desserts only fill your stomach and create a sensation of fullness. It is the high that keeps you from the reality that you have really not eaten anything. It is the high that subsides in no time keeping you awake at night hungry. Do not be enticed; follow proper order. Know what comes first; do not confuse the décor with the actual block work. A house needs something solid to stand on beyond the beautiful façade we see in the end.

There is no time as the wrong time to rethink, re-chart and reroute the course of our lives. I sit back and I am asking....wooow.... was this why I nearly went into depression last year? Then every bit of it was worth it.

PG Sebastian 

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