December 22, by Kgalalelo
I went into the bank quite early one morning and was surprised to find it almost empty towards month end. I'm always hopeful that I would find it that way without queues which is a rare occurrence.
I approached the reception desk first to find out who could assist me with my inquiry and was referred to the consultants at the other side of the bank. When I came near the cubicles where they were, my heart dropped when I saw clients in the waiting room.
I was fifth in the queue and knowing the bank, it could easily take more than thirty minutes assisting one client depending on the service required. I then decided to sit patiently awaiting my turn seeing that there was only a single consultant in one of the four cubicles.
I sat there looking around, took my phone out to check e-mails and when I lifted my head, another consultant was sitting in the second booth behind the computer, typing. When he called the next client, I was astounded to realise that I was in fact, the next in line. All four people that were sitting before me had accompanied the one person who was already being assisted.
I had sat there thinking that somebody would get up but all eyes were staring at me and the person seated next to me is the one who said I should go through. I was very pleased when I stood up and went to the consultant who had called. I explained that I wanted to open a savings account for my daughter and produced all necessary documentation required by the bank. The consultant took them and started punching data on the computer. As I sat there, I perceived that things are not always as they seem and assumptions are never a great way of approaching life.
The Bible says “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) and sinning is simply missing the mark. We all have shortcomings and stumble often. We make assessments and judgement about people, surroundings and circumstances.
It reminds me that when my mother passed away, at that moment, I needed to remain clear and think about what had just happened and told some people about it and asked them to give me some time to process but they took it the wrong way that I didn’t want to be comforted. When this came out later on, I was disappointment because things were not what they perceived them to be. They made assumptions without knowing the real truth of how I was feeling at that time.
They took this completely out of context and I believe that when one loses a loved one, we all handle it in different ways. Others breakdown on the spot and moan, wanting to be consoled, but for someone who was as shocked as I was, denial was the first response. We not only judge each other based on our viewpoints but also critic circumstances everywhere we go.
Accordingly, my initial reaction to the bank was that of delight and joy turned into, ‘I knew it! there’s no way I would have avoided queuing in the bank’, but was surprised that from inquiries right through to sitting in front of a consultant, took less than fifteen minutes.
Well, the consultant couldn’t help me on that day because of FICA requirements and some of my documents didn’t meet the standard but I wasn’t upset. I thanked him for his time and willingness to assist and got up from the chair and left. This was the shortest time I’ve ever spent inside the bank; hardly twenty minutes and I was out.
If we take the time to understand and begin to see things otherwise without discrimination, I believe that we would have peace in our hearts. I thought about how we all require the same services, hence the queues, whoever came before or behind me, came for the exact same thing as I was.
When we drive on the roads and are impatient about other drivers because we are in haste, I always have it in mind that firstly, I should have left home early and secondly, they too, are heading somewhere and are in a hurry too. We are all sharing the same roads and if traffic is heavy, it’s because we might all be going home after work, therefore, no need to stress or be annoyed.
It could also be that there’s an accident ahead, that is why traffic is slow, someone could be hurt as a result of anger. Things are not always what they seem. We might never understand what was going on in the mind of another while they caused that little accident that we are mad about and worse, swearing at the next driver. The poor person, could have been rushing to the hospital for an emergency or better, you could be delayed to avoid a catastrophe.
God always knows what lies ahead. We need to be reminded of the saying, ‘exit ahead push trolley now,’ as is with the travelator at the airport. God knows when we should start pushing our trolleys because He sees the exit from afar, the detour and when it is the time to yield. When you find yourself in a situation that would probably make you upset or intolerant, say a prayer. Speak to the Lord about it and in minutes, you will start feeling better.
I pray about everything, no matter how trivial it is. The good thing about prayer is that you can do it alone where no one is listening, it’s only you and God. You can thank Him in advance for a shorter queue and if it happened to be long, thank Him for delaying you and saving you from shopping and blowing all that money up in one hour. It could go in various ways.
You could thank Him for a parking spot beforehand at a mall that is always crowded. You don’t have to announce it to the world but to God alone. You can even thank Him in advance for that scarce hair product that you are using to make it available for you. The Bible says it is your Father’s delight to give you the kingdom (Luke 12:32).
Prayer is not only about big stuff and fancy words; it is a day to day conversation with God. This is how I approach it and I see results. God is always on my side and He does things for us especially when we are grateful and counting our blessings.
You will appreciate that there’s so much that He has done for you. You avoided jail time because He intervened in your situation; He said no to that promotion that nearly gave you a heart attack because He knew that if He did give it to you, you would be this prideful, arrogant person who is untouchable or even worse, it could have gotten you into trouble in the long run or the company would have gone bankrupt.
Things are not always what they seem and God knows better. When things don’t go the way that you want them to, thank God for something better, a perfect plan, a better car deal, better circumstances; your focus should always be on God for He will never let you down.
When King Nebuchadnezzar, made the image of gold and gave the decree that when everyone hears the sound of music, they should all fall down and worship the golden image, otherwise, would be thrown into the fiery furnace. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego declined and when the matter was brought to the King and the men were summoned, the conversation in Daniel 3:14-18 was as follows, “So these men were brought before the king, 14 and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? 15 Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”
16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
The three Jewish men did not relent for they trusted in God and where unafraid. They were steadfast in their faith and we can learn from them. When things are not as we hope, we should confidently declare like they did that God will come through for us and even if He doesn’t, God understands what He’s doing. He knows what tomorrow holds and the plans He has for us. In Jeremiah 29:11, He declares, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.
Put aside your judgement and perceptions because not everything is as you think it is, there could be something else in there or even bigger that you know nothing about. You could be making false assumptions and accusations; rather, whatever you are uncertain about in life, pray about it and God will reveal truth in it, no matter how insignificant it might seem.
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. he Holy Bible, Berean Study Bible, BSB Copyright ©2016, 2018 by Bible Hub Used by Permission. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
Kgalalelo Saane Mphephuka
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