August 20, 2018 by Kgalalelo
We spent the Saturday morning at my daughters’ school as my youngest was participating in the hockey festival organised for various schools in the city. It was a very cold day with the morning temperature dropping to 2 degrees Celsius and rising to 16 degrees maximum during the day. We had expected the cold as it had been predicted by the weather bureau. It was a fantastic day, however, despite the cold weather and the hockey fields were jam-packed with parents who had come to support their children. It was difficult to find parking space but there were efficient marshals who ushered us to any empty space they could find, that’s how full it was. Waking up on that Saturday morning was the same as preparing ourselves during the week for work and school.
We had to be there at 8:00 a.m. and by the time we got there, the guest schools had already arrived. Everyone took the tournament very serious and we encouraged our kids to just have fun. We know how competitive some of the kids are and most of them where in the foundation phase and had a hunger to win. The event started on time and ended at 11:00 a.m. for the little ones while the intermediate phase and high school continued until 14:00 p.m. It was a fun-filled morning, with parents cheering for their children and mingling. It is what our society needs, unity, cooperation and mutual respect.
We left the school just before 12:00 noon as my children wanted a bite to eat before we departed. There were food stalls on the premises and we gave them money to purchase whatever they wanted while my husband and I interacted with other parents. On our way home, we passed by the shopping complex where I ran into a colleague of mine and I was amazed at how I never thought about work ever since I woke up in the morning. I had been concentrating on the tournament the whole time, and looking forward to going home and relax afterwards. It made me think about the importance of switching off not only for children but for the parents as well.
Kids were not focusing on their books nor parents on work but the attention of everyone was on what was occurring at that time which was, sports. It made me really believe that as human beings we can actually do what we put our minds to and achieve it. Nobody looked worried about anything; some parents were sitting under tents on camping chairs and made the event in the freezing cold work for them while others walked about waiting for matches to begin as competing teams were allocated specific time slots to play. We were all there for our own kids and when they were not playing we socialised and talked about sports in schools in general.
We had a wonderful day and it was indeed a stress-free outing that didn’t require much. Every child had to contribute only R20 to participate and the entrance was free for everyone. All we had to do was to show up with our kids and enjoy. I thought about the many times in my life when I felt lonely and miserable. Someone once told me that there is a difference between feeling lonely and being alone. We need to differentiate. When you are lonely, it’s usually as a result of something happening in your life that is, needing to be with people or a significant other. It is an emotional state that causes people to be in depression, and being alone doesn’t necessarily have an attachment to emotions. You can be alone without feeling lonely. One can be by oneself and still feel happy and satisfied without needing another to fill up the space. I had many of the lonely episodes until I was taught to identify the actual state I was in and change things around a bit and what worked to alleviate the so called ‘loneliness’ was immersing myself in activities and finding things to do. I became in charge of my life through taking action that would alleviate the loneliness and not allowing others to dictate how I should feel.
There are many things that one can get involved in, we just have to find them; in the church, the community and so forth. Most of the general dealers have noticeboards which carries adverts about activities in the community. In schools, the participation of parents in projects is always required in some form or the other which could be a source of involvement thus lessening the loneliness. Feeling lonely therefore becomes a choice whereas being alone allows you to be in control of your time. The best filler of the vacuum though, is God. He can easily fill the void in our lives quicker and effectively; however, you need to pursue Him too. The Bible says in Matthew 7:7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be open to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened”.
Once you are in the habit of committing to initiatives, time flies and you forget about some of the stressful things in your life as in, relationships, work, money, health and the like. You have a single mind and when different minds become single, more is achieved. Ecclesiastes 4:9 says “two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour”. As our level of participation increases as a collective towards achieving a single goal, the entire society is enhanced and we all benefit. I’ve learnt all of this during the tumultuous time of my life and whenever I find myself in situations that have the potential of causing me to feel lonely, I remember what I have learnt and what works and that is to keep busy with wholesome activities and put my eyes on God. As you focus on God, He shows you the way, soothes your heart and gives you assignments to consider. They suddenly appear out of nowhere including places you never thought existed. At times, they show up in places we have been ignoring all along.
When Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4 and asked for water to drink, He later asked the woman following their conversation to call her husband. She responded and said she had no husband because she had had five husbands and Jesus confirmed that indeed she was right and the man she had then also was not her husband. Having had many husbands and being with another was a clear sign of filling the void for Jesus said to her that He would give her living water to satiate her inner longings so to say. “Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst, but the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4: 6-18).
Jesus was promising the woman the water of the Spirit that would fill up the void in her life, the yearning to belong and have someone. When He comes into your life and in fact, when you receive Him as your personal Lord and Saviour, He fills up your cup, the vacuum that is in your heart that you may never feel lonely again. He fills you with joy and happiness that you may feel that you indeed have everything that you need. In 1 Peter 5:7 scripture says “cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you”. God is awaiting you to take a step and make a move. When you take a step towards Him, He goes all the way.
In the same breathe the bible says in Matthew 18:19-20 “again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them”. There is tremendous power in the collective and prayer is the tool we’ve been given to access the throne. Once we receive power from God, even a difficult task becomes effortless. God enable us to attain anything in life when we work together. “For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil His good purpose” (Philippians 2:13). We don’t have to walk the path alone, God is readily available to walk it with us as well as making the journey worthwhile for us when we are glued to Him. He is closer to us more than any other human being can be including our very own spouses, parents or children. Lean on to Him for He says “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know” (Jeremiah33:3).
Today is the day of your salvation!
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.™
Kgalalelo Saane Mphephuka
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