“…but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before…”
Welcome to the year 2013!
So we all stuffed our bellies and faces foolishly, engaged in all manner of debaucherous gluttony and excessive drinking, and spending; And we also enjoyed the heavenly spins of Midnight Mass, not to mention the screaming children at 4am waiting in vain for the fruit of their letters to poor ol’ Santa Claus! Then we gloriously marched (in the UK especially not sure about everywhere else) to “Boxing Day Sales” to rid ourselves of unwanted and disappointing gifts (Oh the plague of having too much choice!) and spend the christmas vouchers and monies we received from our dear ol’ uncles, aunts and grandparents with joyous glee! Finally, we anticipated the vain resolutions we prepared for the ultimate BOOM of the Year 2013 and met the year with Thanksgiving, Prayers, Joy and Gladness, and yes indeed, much Celebration! I think that must about summed up the last two weeks right?
Thank the Lord! But, I’m third day in to the year and I’ve already met challenges number 2013 appendix 1-3 on board this Train, ever seeking to press the buttons that echo and resemble the familiar smells of TWENTY TWELVE! Glory!
Yes, 2012,tried to rear his ugly head and manipulate my year already by weaving his ugly tentacles into the pores of my engine on board Service “2013 Express Railways of Life”. Well, no siree! This year I am determined more than ever to take creativity beyond its bounds, even with taking risks but how does one intend to progress on this journey of fruitfulness, when the robber and the thief seek to steal and destroy our crop of the present. and joy of the future by sowing the Tears of our past? How do we overcome such radical opposition to our progress?
Well the wisdom lies here echoed in the famous words of St. Paul in a letter to the ancient Greeks- the Philippians:
“…but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before…”
Yes. That’s it. Leave the Past behind. Cut the tentacles of 2012 off and Praise the Lord for the victories won in that year but as any athlete would tell you, press onwards and upwards. This means Discipline yourselfto FORGET. Pursue; Overtake; Recover all that 2013 has to offer.
So I’ve reflected. I’ve Refracted. Now, I Reform to Transform a thoughtless generation.
IT WAS MIDWEEK– precisely Wednesday the 5th December, when my curiosity got the better of me. It was as if Satan had hung the forbidden fruit in my face wrapped with pure desire to grasp my attention and funnelled me through an avenue of guilty pleasures…
Monday had seen me head to the General Practitioners for another round of blood tests as a part of ongoing investigations concerning my beautiful body. However, it was a failed attempt as the phlebotomist was visibly anxious to leave and clearly didn’t possess quailties of respect and patience for me to find my blood test form, which I only remembered I needed on arrival at the surgery. Annoyed as I was, and to be frank, quite frustrated with the Big Man Upstairs for not reminding me, or sounding some alarm to remember my form, I left to jump on the big red Bus 329 towards Enfield Town and got off at St. Anne’s/Cecil Court stop. I decided to enter the cold creature comforts of my church hall and vent out my frustration (it is quite the structural attraction as it looks like a House from outside yet, from within, its a TARDIS!! small outside and mahooosive inside!).
Within a couple of hours I was fine and my peace of mind had returned (thanks Big Man Upstairs- AKA Dad) so I headed back to my aunt’s and up to my sister’s room to catch up on some much needed rest. The walking was affecting my abdomen and had really hurt so I decided that Bed was going to be my choice option from the menu. I also had some stuff to catch up on anyway. But that’s when it all started…
I was sat up in bed when I noticed on my cousin’s bookshelf the book 50 shades of Grey. It caught my attention as I have been fascinated about the surrounding hype of the book and not to mention that I had read the blurb a while back to discover why it was dubbed recently “mummy-porn” due to the illicit and graphic nature of the book. Now many will crucify me on reading this and a thousand and one haters and self-righteous critics will look at me thinking “I always knew she was a sinner!” or “kmt! really??” (Kiss my teeth for the benefit of the abbrieviated illiterate…). I ignored it but I knew that I was going to find myself (against my holy will to resist) reading the book. I just knew. Gasp!
To be honest, I only wanted to find out what the hype and the fuss was all about, and I had been really curious to research why it was the most talked about book this year and why it was so controversial. I know, I should have resisted. I should be repenting. And guess what? I did! Well…Afterwards….!
Now, I love to read and for a long time, reading a full novel just hasn’t happened. So far, everytime I’ve started, I usually stop half-way which I never used to do. It just seemed to be the case lately. Until this book. It certainly sparked my love for reading again and it was very well written. And what killed it for me was the irony of the fact that on Sunday my Pastor was preaching on the battle of the mind and mentioned about being careful about what we read and what passes through our eyes because its the gateway to one’s soul. Well I certainly put a boot in that didn’t I?!
And dare I hate to say this, I actually found the book funny, witty, lyrical and very intensely written on all the illicit content which is all shades of WRONG!!! should only ever be prescribed for marriage…
‘Took me twosecret nights and a day to complete….my head was in a serious spin. Guilty Pleasures indeed! It was the sort of book that left you wanting to know what happened next?
For most people, they will not see a problem with this at all and thinking why the hell am I condemning myself over a book? but for those like me, who are trying to avoid treading where angels fear to treaduntil the appointed time and for me that is “wedding day“, it was an issue for me. Especially because it’s beautifully twisted. It’s lustful. 50 shades of pleasurable sin. It evoked all sorts of emotions and set all sorts of lights off in my brain and left me feeling somewhat guilty. ah yes. The after effect of giving in to temptation.
It made me see how that Old ancient Serpent’s skill at marketing had worked through sparking my interest, but also showed me God’s Grace. Because it was sin to me, in my eyes I fell, and needed to repent for that. Also, His Grace is sufficient enough to help me resist temptation. But In God’s immutable Grace and endless love, I actually found that he used the book rather to teach me this valuable lesson:
“Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.” Song of Songs Chapter 3 Verse 5
So, I realise I do have the gift of the gab! so to break away from the norm this time I just want to leave you with a thought and with some of my favourite pictures and songs to ponder over because I keeps it real:
“I’ve got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy, down in my heart! Where? Down in my heart? Where? Down in my heart! I got the joy joy joy joy down in my heart! where? down in my heart to stay!! =) these are childhood memories but they will forever remain with me as today this echoes and resounds what i feel inside!! :p you need the heart and the faith of a child to appreciate the simple things of life… I got the Rest, Rest Rest Rest down in my heart…” And above all else, you are Royalty. No amount of money or authority can change the status of who you are born to be and that is Royal. Therefore, cultivate a culture of honour, purity and Royalty because that IS who you are ~ Elected Lady xx
In today’s modern society, with secular humanism on the rise and the revival of “modernised” Spirituality- astrology,psychics, and ancient spiritual practices, what sets apart the Prophet (a true one that is…in case some false ones want to include themselves in this category) from the preening voices, whose only target to the masses is to get your money and stir a revolution of followers to a place they haven’t been yet, or if at best, possess such qualities to help humanity?
Could we make sense of the disappointing predictions that either are false, delayed or simply distorted or hard pills to swallow? How do they in any shape or form improve our lives and how can we know what’s real aside from scientific, factual-based evidence, that seems by the day, to present World dominance by so-called evidence, which at best appears to erode the fabric of an inner and deeper nature that has not yet been fully comprehended or established by man?
Why, oh why the many questions? And why the many different voices presenting answers? Why are there useless responses accompanied with trivial understanding to complex situations?
For many of us, these ultimate and deep thinking questions have plagued our thoughts from time to time over the years and for me they most certainly decided to show up today. ‘Ere I was on the bus writing this in my journal as my floating thoughts began to form a cloud and precipitate in orderly fashion onto the pages. I considered and I pondered. And I pondered and Considered. In fact I was on my way to a tuition session today when I suddenly felt the attack and bombardment of my thoughts- the deep inner questions surfaced and began to gather sound and crescendoed to echoing voices in the silhouette of my brain.
These questions that I began to ask again, I realised that I would blog about questions and I thought I’d start from the place where it stemmed from hence tonight’s title. I will not seek to attempt to answer not even half of those questions myself otherwise the torture and the most arduous process of communicating it clearly would defeat the purpose of why I write today. Furthermore, I’m probably not the most qualified to answer all the questions in the first place but the ones that I feel qualified to respond, that, I will tackle…
You see over the few short/small years I’ve been on this beautiful place surrounding me called Earth, I have found that often the search for answers was quite meaningless. See the most famous of the wisest people to ever live, Solomon himself declared “Meaningless, Meaningless…all is meaningless…” (vanity is the other word for those who are wondering) The searches have been meaningless for they often haven’t arrived at bringing resolutions to problems but rather resolved to creating a painstaking web of more questions! I also found that the search for answers was really not in the questions themselves but rather in the nature of the questions and discovering the nature surrounding the pounding mysteries that envelop our minds…
…I’ve also discovered in my deciphering of the files paged on the tables of my brain, that the key is not in seeking the answers but in seeking the Person behind the questions and behind the answers. There is something about the nature of seeking that draws on the pursuit, hunger and desire to know more. A desire to make known the sense of life and the world we live in by seeing the world through an objective eye. This nature causes us to pursue wisdom at its highest form, yet from recorded history, it has often left us flat on our faces and full of error.
Therefore, in recognising this, it begs the question- what have we been seeking in the process of looking for answers? have we been seeking the wrong thing? Has our perception formulated a distorted view and so consequently framed distorted questions? Well, I’d like to propose to you that the answer is yes.
Allow my attempt to explain further…
Let”s say, for example some of the biggest answers to life’s toughest questions have not come from political leaders or life’s greatest influences ~ I mean, come on lets be real! This is not to say that influential people haven’t had great impact and not been able to give answers but this is simply to say that the human reasoning alone has not been able to beckon the truest answer to life’s biggest and hardest questions like when a 5 year olds asks me, “Where do we go when we die?” or “where is daddy? (when dad or mum has left the family home as a result of a breakdown in family relations)” we don’t even have the answers ourselves but only what we think we merely know and so-called “common sense” tells us – which by the way is not common anymore…(sorry had to speak in Obiter…) how do we interpret that life to a kid who’s process in life and mental reasoning is as childlike as they come? huh? therefore, its suffice to say that some of the biggest answers to life’s toughest questions have not necessarily come from the top.
We have often sought the answers in things; entertainment; politics; places and even fallible people who are inept at processing completely, life’s constant complexities.
You see, our world’s methods of seeking answers is to ask questions and doubt everything. But the real way to seek answers is to seek a PERSON. No. The Person. And once you arrive at the answer, to accept is is the key. Even all hypothesis need to be proven by experiment so how about put this to the test. But what person are we or who are we suppose to “seek” – The Prophet. The Person. The personality and the person-hood of the Nazarene from Galilee.
Oh my gosh! there she goes again! her barmy self with all the religious nonsense! well really and truly its not. I’m talking about a journey. a personal relationship and a personal conquest, an adventure to seeking this prophet, who speaks truth. The Prophet, who carried the DNA of the Omnipresent One. He’s one and the same person. The second of the God-head. Yes. Jesus.
The problem with this is that mere humanity cannot begin to comprehend this, in today’s day and age, this idea. What? seek a person? no thanks I’ll rather seek the way I know how…but it provokes more questions that are set to frustrate you when not met with clear answers. They cannot seem to comprehend the analogy at all. In fact most people who read the idea of seeking a person rather than seeking questions or seeking an answer, think: what a wacko! Psychosymatic freak, waste of time who have sworn allegiance to Lunacy.
This brings me back to my earlier question – so in a world of great Spiritual Awakenings, how does a prophet and his nature differ to the tens of thousands of psychics and spiritual healers and leaders and fortune tellers, soothsayers etc?
Well here’s my brief yet honest conclusion. I’ve found that the secret of the Prophet’s difference lies in whom he’s serving and who he represents. Its in recognising that his true form is one rejected in his own environment and being the rose birthed out of a root of thorns. It’s in seeing that his nature differs significantly from the others in the fact that his need for sanctification and his deep cry for holiness and intimacy…
…It’s in knowing that because he represents the Voice of One who is most pure in every way, he can deliver answers to a generation and the people that seek to know answers to life’s biggest and toughest questions. So what has that to do with us?
We are prophets to this entire generation. Interpreting life, and interpreting our ideas of God, Spirituality and humanism, whether we be true or false is an entirely different matter. But this key difference removes the act of self from using our so-called “gift” for purposeful gain with no guarantee that one would witness the fulness of what has been communicated but puts a weight and a responsibility to carry a gift with care knowing that we can and will be heavily persecuted. Not only so, but its in knowing that the intimacy we have with our maker transforms our image and transforms us into the unique beings we were called, created and designed to be. The Ones carrying the DNA of holiness to a world writhed in depravity. The difference is in knowing that this is the true and the real and it trumps the counterfeit every time as the others still fall short of the perfect ability to transform a life in its entirety for the good.
See, a moth will never be as beautiful as a butterfly, though they are similar and have the same transformation process, One breeds life and beauty, whilst the other is standard…and brings fear ~ more people are afraid of a moth than a butterfly! What am I saying? what does this mean? It means by seeking the One who is to be known by us whilst we are known by him releases the answers that this generation so desperately needs and that we all need because we seek the person and not the question. We seek the Person and not the answer. We find Answer, when we seek the Person. This revelation takes courage to apply, so I’ll leave you with this…
“…The answer is not in seeking the question but in seeking the Person. So Learn from the Butterfly…The secret is transformation….”
As usual a song to listen to whilst you ponder… (feel free to comment)
Peace out. Keeping it Real,
The Elected Lady xx
ps: all pictures from Google images ~must make acknowledgements known…
This is probably for me, an interesting title to this week’s post as many of you who know me would know that, I haven’t got any kids of my own so may not think I’m exactly qualified to answer or respond to this question. Though its self-evaluating, I suppose it conjures up all sorts of imaginations that may not be as accurate until I actually birth kids of my own – an affair that I’m sure to dread in terms of the pain….ooo me and pain are not friends and do not work well together at all!
But I’m the elected lady so I’m gonna keep it real and tell you the journey that caused me to come up with this question. So, if many of you remember from my last blog, I said I’ve been giving private tuition to two students. In case I didn’t mention it, let me talk about it a bit.
One pupil I have is a mentee of mine- who I’ve purposed to adopt as a sister because she needs a big sister and to protect her identity I’ll say her name is Nora. She’s a GCSE student and I help tutor her in areas she struggles with in Science and Maths (yes its not my strongest subject but hey I might as well give it a go and if her grades improve then Praise the Lord God). The usual systematic process we do is we pray before we start anything and then we laugh, joke and use objects for her to understand an area or a rule that she’s not confident with. Or I simply give her work to do and she does it. We’re 4th week in and I’m seeing a change in her as she was struggling with major identity issues and slowly but surely, she’s morphing into this wonderful teen that she actually is. Often, its quite nerve racking for me to teach her considering the fact that I’m conscious of the fact that I basically have to relearn subjects I swore I would avoid as an adult – Yes for those of you who think you’ve had a lucky escape, best believe you’ll find yourself revisiting those subject enemies that you have to conquer again but this time from a totally different angle!!
Second student is a beautiful, gorgeous little 4 year old girl and to protect her identity for legal purposes I’ll call her Natalie. Gosh this girl is so intelligent! She speaks as a ten year old except limited by words and some speech because she’s 4! Moreover, she expresses her feelings and emotions so matter-of-factly that its incredible to see her with such a big personality. I stand in amazement at the beautiful creation stood before me that God used when connecting sperm and egg together to make her. Now with her, I’ve been tutoring her for 2 weeks now. This week was the second week. But how I even got this opportunity was even a miracle! it was by chance that her grandmother randomly asked me if I gave extra tuition. She had asked me after I spent time praying and ministering to her after a Wednesday early morning prayer at my church. So she asked me this question to which I replied, I do and then she hired me then and there to tutor her grandchild! Thank God that through nflame and sublime I’ve been CRB cleared so I showed that to natalie’s grandmother and met the mother later that afternoon to discuss what she wanted.
Then last week Monday, the little girl Natalie just fell in love with me and just played and was so excited about me teaching her that she wanted to show me the whole world as it appears through her eyes. So, at times it was hard to get her to settle down and I realised that teaching a little girl was going to be more of a challenge than I thought. Moreover, times when I had to discipline her to just sit and listen, I had to remember to respect the boundaries of the parent of the child so as to not put myself in any trouble. By the end of that lesson, we read a book and she sat on my lap cuddled to me, sucking on her little index finger- aww she has the cutest hands ever! Success!
So, paid I was, until the next week which was this week. And, on Monday, this time Natalie, wasn’t cute, little girl but cute, little, almost but wasn’t near a nightmare! She tried my patience but by the end of it I had more Love for her than I did when I first met her. And its so cute to hear her call me aunty, and say the three little, simple words that resonate so much power and meaning that it ricochets shivers down my spine “I LOVE YOU”. wow. let me pause here. I LOVE YOU. The three clichic words that are so overused in our society but hold no meaning. The three words that have been buried in the midst of suffering, caught in a web of hatred, lies and unfaithfulness because adults have misused these three words and perverted with Satan’s snare, the true purity of the words that people desire to hear yet hate to feel. Yes, these three simple words when heard from the lips of a babe, a child carry such healing, power, innocence and the ominous sense that this child would be affected by life’s darts that those words would take effort to really mean such things to them. These three words that need purifying everyday by God who IS LOVE to even have the deepest effect on a single human being. These three words, that when they were uttered out of the lips of this 4 year old girl shot like a spear into my heart melted every guard and annoyance I had towards her playing up determined what my actions were next. Like auto pilot, she hugged me and I picked her up and hugged her and whispered the words back, “I LOVE YOU” and guess what? I meant every word of it with every fibre of my being.
This nicely brings me to why my title to today’s blog?
Well, because I’ve been working with young people for a while, especially with the ones who’ve been coming in off the street, and now in a more close proximity setting of tutoring and mentoring, it made me think about what it means to be a parent. What are the foundations? how do you parent a child who is already being parented where you see the flaws and you want to correct knowing that that would be done to you once you have children – its almost inevitable. How do you avoid the pitfalls? How does one support a child? what does it take to be a mother? How do you discipline them? How do I do it without making a complete idiot of myself?
Then I was reminded of how God does the job of both parents to literally everybody. I realise that he demonstrates parenthood in the most unconventional way to what we’ve probably been taught parenting is about and he does that via experience. And though I’m not a parent, I am in many ways. In Isaiah 54 it says (and sorry if I’m sounding religious~ not intended to be so but its for the basis of making an emphasis on a point) “More are the children of the desolate wife than she who has given birth…” (paraphrased) I realise that the position I’ve been entrusted with to these young people and little children, is not one to be taken lightly but a privilege serving them with a faithful, loving and consistent heart. And that first stems from the root of Love and Passion for these kids. I watched, Natalie’s mother loving on her daughter and the new baby in her arms and saw that what she had was no different from what I had except probably deeper because she gave birth to them and she also lives and raises them on a daily basis. Realising this responsibility, made me feel somewhat anxious and gave me this sense of foreboding as I wondered whether I was really cut out for this and whether I was really doing a good job. Especially when it appears that there’s only little progress and not major progress. I even wondered that with the way i get on with these guys and the way sometimes I slip up, will it be more painful with my own? How would I be as a mother?
Then I remembered the words of Deborah, a wonderful Judge. who declared “I saw the desolation of my people….Until I arose a Mother in Israel”. This answered the question for me. Someone has to do the job so it might as well be me. I don’t have to qualify for the job by giving birth. I’ve been qualified simply because I am willing and I’m a woman- a man with a womb- who can carry the promises of life for these ones who struggle to navigate through life. I have had enough experience to help the little one’s pull through and I am willing to learn. But above all, I have Love. I have the Love that has been loved to me that I can love others. The LOVE that is pure that is overwhelming my soul that only has one outlet and that is to share that love. And this love is not my own but the one He Gave me. The Love I didn’t have for myself before has loved me to health and is still loving me to glory, and will love these Kids to strength.
And as usual, things like this always conjures up songs and music that connect me to my understanding and it clearly reminds me of my painting of a baby in midair that I did in GCSE Art some years ago. The first song that came to mind was Jason Upton’s When it Thunders which describes a relationship between a Father and his Child through the storm and this song has had imminent impact on my life. I’ve at times border-lined obsessed over this song and left it on repeat for 7 days. yes. call me crazy but I love it!
And also the other song by him When you were a child:
Tim Ferriss's 4-Hour Workweek and Lifestyle Design Blog. Tim is an author of 5 #1 NYT/WSJ bestsellers, investor (FB, Uber, Twitter, 50+ more), and host of The Tim Ferriss Show podcast (400M+ downloads)