November 20, 2021 by Kgalalelo
Sometimes in life you need a mind reset. I wrote a book years ago having been inspired by God and I called it ‘We live in the Mind’, that’s because I realised that every thought of mine, how I viewed things, feelings of unhappiness or anger begins in the mind. Your life is shaped by the thoughts that you think and unfortunately, we take our thoughts with us everywhere we go. You can’t escape your mind; it is yours and will be with you for the rest of your life.
Your kids will go away to university and start their lives and even when your spouse is there with you, it doesn’t stop you from thinking. Sometimes he or she is the very person who causes you in a way to think all those negative thoughts because of something they did or didn’t do. You end up feeling resentful and bitter and the thoughts are there following you. Every room you enter in the house, your thoughts are right there with you, when you go to sleep you take them with you and when you wake up in the morning you begin the thought race again.
Perhaps we need to befriend our thoughts because they are our constant companion as we can’t stop thinking. We can for a while through meditation and I have been taught to be in meditation all the time even when I am cooking but it is not always possible, thoughts just sneak in, those annoying thoughts that displeases you. The opposite of unpleasant thoughts is good thoughts, but most of us tend to lean on the negative side more. Thinking negatively is not a divine design, we are supposed to live in joy. When we are joyful, we are connected to God, the source of life.
When we are in anger, we are disconnected or misaligned. Your alignment with God is everything to you. It keeps you on the right side of the fence and the positive mindset. The Bible gives us a distinction of what it says are the acts of the flesh, meaning negative thoughts, actions, and feelings and what it says are the fruits of the spirit, meaning, our Godself.
This is found in Galatians 5:19-21, which says, “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these”. These indicate that we are not attuned to who God is and our original selves, that is, the self that is made in the image and the likeness of God.
Galatians 5:22-23 further says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law”. So, the Bible says others are acts while another is a fruit. What is mentioned about the Spirit are nine things wrapped in one. God is singular though we speak of the Trinity. All fruits are one fruit. Fruit is something that you eat; it is edible, sweet, and enjoyable.
Enjoyable according to Merriam Webster dictionary means, ‘to have for one’s use benefit, to take pleasure or satisfaction in’. So, we can have God to our use, we can use the fruit for our benefit, we can be loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good to others, faithful, gentle, and disciplined because that is who God is and in fact, what we are too.
We are all what God is, but we tend to drift away most of the time. We should take heart though because Jesus says in Matthew 18:12, “If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?” So, when we are lost and have gone astray, Jesus leaves the ninety-nine to go find us, but we should call on for help. A sheep bleats, that’s how a shepherd will find it.
In truth, everyone wants everything that is enjoyable in life and we are capable of enjoying good thoughts and emotions, we just have to try harder and work on ourselves. You can’t give up on you or on life because you have you for the rest of your life. You are the person who needs to tend to you and make you happy otherwise you will experience life as hard and difficult all the time.
There are no rules placed on the fruits hence we need to strive for fruit daily which is to pursue God. When we pursue Him, He encloses us with fruit free of charge. You can be joyful at anytime and don’t need anyone to tell you otherwise; you can be loving and kind, it is what people need. When you are peaceful your mind is at rest and it is not all over the place; you can’t place rules on peace and how you should experience it or any other person. Peace is who God is and who you are. You can’t place any rule on patience, patience Is, and when you are patient, you are peaceful and calm, and nothing can harm you nor does it bother you.
When you feel like you are going out of your mind, press the reset button. Sit in quietness and assess yourself. Ask yourself what went wrong, how did you get to where you are now and endeavour to recover your sanity through drawing close to God. Place everything at the throne of grace through prayer, tell God how you feel. He already knows anyway. Ask God to fill you afresh with all that is Godly. Ask that you may move out of the way and surrender all to God.
In Psalm 51:10, David says, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me”. Your solution rests in God and not away from Him. Find Him. Jesus says in Matthew 7:7-8, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened”. Turn to God, He will surely give you a new perspective of life, He will reset your mind.
Footnote: Scriptures taken from the The Holy Bible, New King James Version, 1982: Nashville, TN, Thomas Nelson, Inc. & The ESV Global Study Bible®, ESV® Bible, Copyright © 2012 by Crossway. All rights reserved & The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™ (2004). Holy Bible: New Living Translation. Wheaton, Ill: Tyndale House Publishers. The Holy Bible, Berean Study Bible, BSB Copyright ©2016, 2018 by Bible Hub Used by Permission. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2016 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved. The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
November 07, 2021 by Kgalalelo
Sometimes our lives can become hectic because of different responsibilities that we have.
I had to take a day off from work to accommodate my children’s school schedule one Friday. I thank the Lord that my children are in the same school otherwise I would have been all over the place. I know a few parents who have kids in different schools for various personal reasons. I also went to a different high school than my siblings’ and mine was the furthest and so, I had to use the bus. My eldest brother’s school was closer to home and thus he could walk to school while my other elder brother’s school was at a different location, a few kilometres from my school. We therefore took different busses and arrived home after school at different times.
My eldest daughter plays squash, and she had a tournament that Friday afternoon at 15:00 to 19:00 p.m. which carried on to the following day, Saturday, between 8:00 a.m. to 17:30 p.m. My youngest daughter on the other hand had a prize giving event at 9:00 a.m. on Friday and I had to be there prior. Only one parent could attend the ceremony due to Covid-19 restrictions, and I chose to go instead of my husband who had been present at the previous occasion. The school never announced how long the ceremony would take which involved four grades, three to six. Most of the learners received achievement certificates while a few received trophies and medals for their participation in other external activities where they represented the school. As a result, the programme was packed, and we had the choir entertaining the parents in-between the sessions.
Prize-giving took an hour and a half and finished off at 10:30 a.m. and we had time as parents outside the chapel where the ceremony was held to chat and congratulate our children before they went back to class. My daughter came as well, cheerful, hugged me and handed me her certificate and then told me that she had forgotten some of her books at home that she needed for class after long break. I had to drive back home to fetch the books for her, a task that was not in my schedule for the day. On returning, I left the sack with the receptionist who promised to call my daughter via the intercom as I needed to get refreshments for my other daughter at the mall for the tournament as well as dinner. By the time I looked at my wristwatch it was almost 13:00 p.m.
Since the school came out at 14:00 p.m., I decided to drive back to school and await both my children. I had a laptop with me and a good book and so could keep myself busy for an hour while I waited. All squash players had to be at the venue at 14:30 p.m. They were playing against another school a few kilometres away and so drove there immediately after school to make it on time. I had already packed extra pairs of clothing for my girls as I knew there wouldn’t be time to go home after school to change. I was well prepared with food and clothing including jackets in case it got cooler later.
I stayed at the squash courts with my daughter until all the parents had arrived with their children and because I wanted to watch her play. She had the opening game at 15:00 p.m. and just when the tournament was about to begin the lights went out. It was load shedding! Our electricity supply as a country has been constrained for years now, causing the country’s power supplier to initiate load shedding intermittently where power is cut off in some areas for a period of time while supplying to others to avoid a total blackout of the entire city. It would be a disaster if all of us had to sit in the dark at the same time. It is difficult to come to terms with the situation but until more power stations are erected according to experts, load shedding is here to stay.
Anyway, I left my daughter with her friends at the tournament and went home for a while. There was absolutely nothing that anyone could do including the organisers. Everyone had to wait for the power to return and then start the first match. My only concern was the possibility of the tournament ending late because of the interruption caused by the power cut. I was intending to go to church immediately after the tournament with my children as we had a service that evening at 19:00 p.m. I gave myself thirty minutes leeway as a minimum if all went according to plan, meaning, if the match started on time. The chances of that happening were getting slimmer with load shedding, but God works in wonderful ways.
I arrived home to find that my area was also load shedding and I had to make peace with that and so relaxed. I waited for my husband to return from work, have dinner and then went back to the tournament at 17:30 p.m. My husband was to go with friends to church at 18:30 p.m. and I would find him there whenever I could get there. The tournament was already at an advanced stage I discovered on my arrival as load shedding didn’t take too long. I sat outside the court with a book to read to kill time as my daughter’s last match was at 18:30. The games were right on schedule and it pleased me. I knew right then that as soon as she had completed her game at 19:00, we would make it to church on time for worship and it was so.
Our timing was perfect as we arrived during praise and worship as intended. The church was jam-packed and how wonderful it was to be in the presence of the Lord with brethren right until 21:30 p.m. Everything had gone according to plan and when the service had ended my husband joined us, said goodbye to friends and we went home, and my day ended.
The next day, on Saturday, my husband and I had to attend a funeral at his hometown, 65km away. A friend’s father had died peacefully at home at the age of 84. As painful as death is to those who remain behind, dying in that manner is coveted by most people. Nobody wants to struggle, in truth. Everyone wants to go quietly. So, my day started at 6:00 a.m. with a shower, then waking the children up to bath, then have breakfast and then dropping off our daughter at the tournament again at 8:00 a.m. The youngest was with us whom we left at her grandfather’s place with her uncle.
We were late and only got there at 9:15. What was key for me is that we were present. We had to do school duty before we left but were determined to travel to the funeral. The church where the funeral was held was full and we remained outside in the tent that was erected to accommodate the overflow. We stayed there listening from the outside for the remainder of the service. It was very hot on that day and the sun was blazing at the graveside. You wouldn’t manage without an umbrella which I had with me.
On the other side, even though the tournament was ending late in the afternoon, our daughter’s last game was ending at 14:00 p.m. and we had to be mindful of that pickup appointment as well, and God was good to us. He knows how to juggle everything in the air all at once. After the funeral, we couldn’t just rush without greeting everyone and so took time to do so and then went to fetch our youngest daughter who had been having a good time with her uncle. We stayed a bit with the family and left at 13:30 p.m. The grace of God was with us as we connected with everyone and then arrived on time to find our daughter waiting for us as the match had just ended. Ours is indeed a good God. He can make the sun come to a standstill while you finish everything you need to do (Joshua 10).
I’m not sure about you but funerals are exhausting, every one of them. They sap the energy up and worse if it is too hot it is double the fatigue. I’m of the opinion that the tiredness is as a result of the heavy energy of grief which drains us. Unfortunately, we cannot avoid them as we must support each other during that time. You need to be surrounded by the people who love you and whom you love. Others even argue that as soon as they eat food from the funeral, they have an upset stomach. It is probably the same thing, the condition in which the food was prepared.
Someone once said that we don’t live for ourselves alone but for other people. We live for our children, our families, friends, and every other person we have a relationship with. My weekend was about others and not about myself. It was about my children and friends and I have a wonderful companion, my husband, whom we are walking this life together to do all these things. In that way, the load doesn’t become too heavy because we have each other to lean on, but more than anything, we have God walking the path with us and guiding us.
Kgalalelo Saane Mphephuka
If you love to explore, observe and feel appreciation for God's goodness in your life, then you will feel right at home on this site.