February 9, 2020 by Kgalalelo
God is teaching me to be patient with myself and the lesson is harder than I thought. Someone like me, a perfectionist, wants to get things right the first time and in the right way every time. The desire to be on top of your game always is difficult as you put unnecessary pressure on yourself, like I did.
There are things in life that will humble you and truly make you see that you don’t know everything nor are you in control of your own life. Life belongs to God and He turns it in the direction that He wants to. The bible says, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord,
Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes” (Proverbs 21:1).
God does things in His own way and time and even if you can pray hard enough, you simply can’t force His hand and make Him move. He knows the end from the beginning and vice versa and everything in between. It can take time for Him to put things together for you or answer your prayers because He knows best. Sometimes you need to walk the walk before you receive what you have been praying for.
You can’t always know when God will move on your behalf especially how He is going to do it, just accept and know that He will know the perfect way to do so. In that way, He keeps His glory intact and nobody can ever claim it.
I was involved in a project that took me literally seven months to understand how I was supposed to do it. I took it for granted that as soon as I began, it would be a breeze. I commenced with incredible advice from my supervisor but every time we came together for evaluation, I was not near cracking it and it required re-doing. I was moving around in circles and even though I thought I had the expertise and wisdom; I couldn’t figure it out.
I came to a point of really feeling frustrated one afternoon after a meeting with him and I wanted to quit, give up the project all together and find something else to do or take time to recoup. I was at my lowest in years.
One thing I’m grateful for is the ability to keep track of my emotions especially when I feel dejected, and in that particular instance I knew the last time I had felt in that manner; a place where I felt like quitting and everything seemed to be falling apart. I could identify the emotions that I was feeling at that time.
I remember telling myself soon after my mother’s passing in 2014 that I would pay attention to my emotions as I go through that painful experience. I knew that there was a line I couldn’t cross otherwise I would spiral into depression. Honestly speaking, you need to study yourself, “Know thyself”, an ancient Greek adage says.
I was sitting in my car after the encounter with the supervisor and didn’t feel like going home. I needed someone to call and vent and called a few friends for comfort but still that didn’t help much. I was at one of those worst places in life and trying hard to shake the feelings off.
It felt like I had been running in the jungle the whole time and was lost, not knowing where I began with my journey and where I needed to go. A few days later, while at home, I received inspiration to start in the beginning and watch a video on the internet about how to accomplish that specific project and steps to follow.
As I was listening, I realised that I had been in a hurry to finish the project which I never took the time to understand how to complete. I thought I knew it all but realised that I knew nothing at all. I had little information about how to execute it and needed to learn about the various components that made up the project.
I literally had to start from scratch and be patient with myself. I realised that I had been observing other people as they carried on with their projects, submitted and received great reviews. I realised that mine was different and the way I had to fulfil it was completely different from the other people.
They say if you want God to help you, you need to humble yourself and come to Him as someone with zero knowledge that He may feed and educate you. You can’t assume that you have all the knowledge because you don’t. You need to approach the throne with confidence to receive grace that you need (Hebrews 4:16). I needed grace to be able to begin afresh and rebuild the project from the beginning.
If you think you know, there’s no place for God to pour the new into you. He watches you as you run around in circles until you get tired. When you are worn-out and call unto Him, that’s when He will hear you. Approach God empty handed that He may fill you up.
It turned out that the seven months were not wasted at all. The project was muddled though it had the right components and these had to be rearranged in the correct order. I had to understand the processes of bringing everything together before I could start and that is the step I had been missing.
I never took the time to understand how to put all elements together. It is like assembling a puzzle without looking at the picture you have to create in the first place. You get excited to start working on it and as you move along you realise that you are doing it the wrong way because the pieces don’t fit. You get frustrated and dismantle the whole thing and start all over again and still get it wrong. Albert Eisenstein once said that “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result”.
I had to look at the picture first before assembling the pieces of my puzzle together, meaning, I had to do the spadework first and visualise a complete project and then read steps on how to do it.
If the picture of your puzzle is the sea with the beach, you need to put the pieces of the seashore aside, that is, the sand and then get to the blue sea pieces. My project if it had to be visualised as a puzzle looked like I had some pieces of the sand in the middle of the deep blue sea. All pieces were there but incorrectly set up.
This brings confusion to whoever is looking at what is supposed to be the completed picture. My supervisor never waited for me to finish when he examined my project because it was all jumbled up and needed reworking.
This work was a representation of the both of us, he as the overseer and me as the executor. It was ‘our’ project though authored by me.
I had to learn everything I needed to about the project and then begin putting it together. I had to disregard the time that had lapsed as the quality was more important than the time I had intended to finish. I needed to produce a masterpiece and this takes time.
For people to behold the project and say well done, it had to be worth the effort.
At the ultimate end, 1 Peter 4: 11 says, “If anyone speaks, he should speak as one conveying the words of God. If anyone serves, he should serve with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen”.
Everything is for the glory of God including every good project.
1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God”.
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.
Kgalalelo Saane Mphephuka
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