Matter


Matter. Do you matter? Are you important? Is your existence of any importance? Where do you get your importance from? From who? Or from what? 

It doesn’t matter why you are here- what matters is you are here. This statement is the summary of any advice you ever needed. It is the medicine to your sickness. Keep it in mind- it’ll come in handy. But worry not- we’ll repeat it enough times till it sticks. 

It doesn’t matter why you are here- what matters is that you are here. Where is here? On earth. Did you come here accidentally? Worry not- that matters not. Did you find yourself still here after countless misses with death? Still- you are here- that’s the point actually. Are you here and wandering aimlessly wondering what’s the point of it all- again, that doesn’t really count- what does is that you are here. 

The how of how you are still alive right now are not really yours to figure out. The gods can do that perfectly. What is yours to live- is today. You are here now. Living in the why, is living in your past. And that doesn’t really count- not today at least. Or the today of tomorrow. Which brings us to the other meaning of that statement. 

It doesn’t matter why you are here- what matters is that you are here. What’s here? The circumstances you are in. The situation you are in. The state of mind you are in. The point of life you are at. It doesn’t matter how you got here- what matters is that you are here anyway- deal with it. 

You made 10steps ahead in business and it all went down in one day? Let’s build up from here. You got raped and now you are forever wondering why it happened? Well- it did happen, let’s deal with it from there. You met the one you thought was the one and now you are alone? It doesn’t really matter- what matters is that it broke you- meaning you are at a broken place now- can we really deal with that?

Living in the past never really helps our now or tomorrow. Dealing with the fact that our past has brought us here is what opens up the way forward. Admitting that here is not really a good place is a good starting point. We really wouldn’t wish here on our worst enemies but we are here.  If we knew we could have worked hard or made better decisions that would not have led us here. 

But you know what? We are Here now. And that’s what matters. 

It doesn’t matter why we are here-what matters is we are here. What does here mean? Good luck. Things we didn’t work hard for but we have them. People who are so special to us we wonder how God blessed us that much to put them in our lives. The jobs we got just like that. The favours. The coincidences that ended up shaping our lives. The luck. The second chances. 

It doesn’t matter which deity bestowed favor on us, or how the universe settled upon us for that gift- what matters is that we are here. Enjoy it, own it, immerse yourself in it. Live it. Make the best out if it. Squeeze it to the last sweet droplet. Wear it on your sleeves. Forget the self depreciating remarks. Forget the excuses. Forget blaming luck. Just own it. Why? Because its not the why you are here that’s important, its the fact that you are here. 

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Happiness

Yesterday I wrote a piece on the weird problems I am facing. That i’m nervous when good times approach me. And as usual, I got the typical Kenyan response, ” get over with it”. “Just enjoy being happy”. ” Move on”. 

Yet had I posted that i’m undergoing grief, or I just had an abortion, or I broke my arms, or I lost a job, or i’m sick..I wouldn’t have gotten any of the above responses. In stead, I would have gotten long responses sympathising with me and some even encouraging me on how its going to be okay and maybe what I can do etc. 

And then today I read Ciru Ngigi’s post on Love and hugs. Were you hugged as a kid? Were you told I love you by your parents? And most answers were no for Kenyans. Rarely did our parents tell us they love us verbally. And hugs, the ladies who responded said the mums who hug them do it the church style..where there is little physical contact and only the cheeks are meeting. 

After that, I read Bikozulu’s article on Happiness. He wrote down thoughts I had been having yesterday. When was the last time you heard someone say that their business is good? That their month is really going on well for them? That their family is doing extremely well? How many Kenyans have you heard saying that they are happy? With no buts and ifs? No lakini? 

Why do we do it? Is it a wonder we are among the unhappiest people on earth according to statistics? 

Maybe you are wondering what’s the connection between Ciru Ngigi’s question and Bikozulu’s. I’ve come to realise that what you focus on grows. Like what you invest your thoughts in and your conversations in grows. What you pay attention to blossoms. 

We grew up just assuming we are loved by our parents. Going by their hardwork to feed and educate us. Did we ever have moments when we just sat down and celebrated being families? Where a parent just enjoyed your little naughty self? But these same Kenyans who were never told were loved, were spanked senseless when they wronged. Any mistake they did was punished. Any bad thing was dealt with there and then. 

Who remembers being told well done every single day? Or at least as frequently as you were disciplined? Me thinks subconsciously we picked up this pattern of thought of focusing only on the bad things. You being well behaved was expected. You being bad behaved was focused on and paid attention to. 

Now here we are as adults. When business is bad, we talk on and on about it. When we get jobs, we drown on and on about how we are just struggling with them. But have you ever had a one hour conversation on how good one’s life is at the moment? Like have you ever heard someone sincerely talking of how happy they are. Not with something. Just happy with life? 

Do we even know how to hold those conversations? We never heard them as we grew up. We heard a lot of complaining and talk of sacrifice and hardwork. Did we hear people talking of being happy, full of joy and excited about life? 

No wonder when I say i’m happy and I have no idea on how to deal with it..i’m told to move on. People don’t even know what to tell me. And they don’t know that that is indicative of how we as Kenyans deal with good times.  Do they ever talk of their own happiness? Do they ever think of it? Or do we gloss over it. 

And is it healthy for us? That a whole people rarely talk of any good times in their life. Or is it as Bikozulu says, we are afraid that when we wake up, when we acknowledge that we are happy, when we say it aloud, we might blink and find it gone? Aki happiness must be such an elusive thing for us( woiye). 

Anyway, i’m glad life has brought me to this standpoint. Where I now have to learn how to be happy when i’m happy. Where on top of equipping me of how to deal with rough times, i’m learning to also accept good times as equally equal shareholders of my life. I sincerely wouldn’t have realized all these was I not going through these lessons practically. 

Anyway, when you are happy, how do you do? Do you talk about it comfortably? 

Happiness


Yesterday I wrote a piece on the weird problems I am facing. That i’m nervous when good times approach me. And as usual, I got the typical Kenyan response, ” get over with it”. “Just enjoy being happy”. ” Move on”. 

Yet had I posted that i’m undergoing grief, or I just had an abortion, or I broke my arms, or I lost a job, or i’m sick..I wouldn’t have gotten any of the above responses. In stead, I would have gotten long responses sympathising with me and some even encouraging me on how its going to be okay and maybe what I can do etc. 

And then today I read Ciru Ngigi’s post on Love and hugs. Were you hugged as a kid? Were you told I love you by your parents? And most answers were no for Kenyans. Rarely did our parents tell us they love us verbally. And hugs, the ladies who responded said the mums who hug them do it the church style..where there is little physical contact and only the cheeks touch. 

After that, I read Bikozulu’s article on Happiness. He wrote down thoughts I had been having yesterday. When was the last time you heard someone say that their business is good? That their month is really going on well for them? That their family is doing extremely well? How many Kenyans have you heard saying that they are happy? With no buts and ifs? No lakini? 

Why do we do it? Is it a wonder we are among the unhappiest people on earth according to statistics? 

Maybe you are wondering what’s the connection between Ciru Ngigi’s question and Bikozulu’s. I’ve come to realise that what you focus on -grows. Like what you invest your thoughts in and your conversations in grows. What you pay attention to blossoms. 

We grew up just assuming we are loved by our parents. Going by their hardwork to feed and educate us. Did we ever have moments when we just sat down and celebrated being families? Where a parent just enjoyed your little naughty self? But these same Kenyans who were never told were loved, were spanked senseless when they wronged. Any mistake they did was punished. Any bad thing was dealt with there and then. 

Who remembers being told well done every single day? Or at least as frequently as you were disciplined? Me thinks subconsciously we picked up this pattern of thought of focusing only on the bad things. You being well behaved was expected. You being bad behaved was focused on and paid attention to. 

Now here we are as adults. When business is bad, we talk on and on about it. When we get jobs, we drown on and on about how we are just struggling with them. But have you ever had a one hour conversation on how good one’s life is at the moment? Like have you ever heard someone sincerely talking of how happy they are. Not with something. Just happy with life? 

Do we even know how to hold those conversations? We never heard them as we grew up. We heard a lot of complaining and talk of sacrifice and hardwork. Did we hear people talking of being happy, full of joy and excited about life? 

No wonder when I say i’m happy and I have no idea on how to deal with it..i’m told to move on. People don’t even know what to tell me. And they don’t know that that is indicative of how we as Kenyans deal with good times.  Do they ever talk of their own happiness? Do they ever think of it? Or do we gloss over it. 

And is it healthy for us? That a whole people rarely talk of any good times in their life. Or is it as Bikozulu says, we are afraid that when we wake up, when we acknowledge that we are happy, when we say it aloud, we might blink and find it gone? Aki happiness must be such an elusive thing for us( woiye). 

Anyway, i’m glad life has brought me to this standpoint. Where I now have to learn how to be happy when i’m happy. Where on top of equipping me of how to deal with rough times, i’m learning to also accept good times as equally equal shareholders of my life. I sincerely wouldn’t have realized all these was I not going through these lessons practically. 

Anyway, when you are happy, how do you do? Do you talk about it comfortably? Do you have a set of music you listen to ? Forget about moving on, is there anyone out here who actually just enjoys being happy in equal measure as being sad? With the same intensity? And depth? 

The elusive light


I’ve lived my whole life thinking that the world is dark. I fought in the dark. I fought the darkness. Then I  got used to the darkness. I made lemonades out of the darkness by learning how to see in the dark. I succeeded in the darkness. 

But there is only as much as one can see and do in the darkness. So I asked for help. Just for the deity to open my eyes. My world wasn’t dark. Its just that I had my eyes closed. 

Sounds simple? Well, that’s how my last few months have been. Specifically how my January has been. I heard someone say, that illiteracy among adults isn’t being unable to read a, b,c ,d but being unable to unlearn ,learn and relearn. 

Its sounds easy. And it is in a way. What is hard is giving myself the permission to start unlearning, learning and relearning. 

And its been an interesting journey. For someone like me who was forever chasing after life, pausing to reset and refill has been the most tranquil thing I ever did. I’ve realised that it wasn’t life I was chasing after, it was myself that I was chasing after. 

I thought I would find me in my career. Or in my profession. And as much as I love what i’m skilled at, I didn’t find her there. I thought I would me in my family. I got lost in other’s lives in the process. Then I thought, surely , I would find me in the eyes of a lover. Love is the greatest. Love can’t be overemphasized. Just to find strangers in the eyes of my lovers. I never found me. And the worst part is, I didn’t know what I was looking for. 

I just had this void in me that didn’t seem to be filled by anyone. I had this thirst that wasn’t allowing me to chase life the way I wanted. I had this heavy heart that wanted what I didn’t know, but it wasn’t agreeing to beat until I brought it what it wanted . I had this mind that was restless, that was fidgeting. It lacked a foundation. Somewhere to stand on. I was in lack. I needed something. What it was, I didn’t know. 

I travelled. I read books. I did what I thought I loved. After all, they said if you do what you love you’ll feel better. And I did feel better. Just not for a long while. All pleasures were temporary. All satisfactions only lasted me till the next thirst. 

Then I thought, why not go to the water of life? He must be able to ensure that I thirsted no more. And on top of that, the bread of life would fill me for life. 

So I gathered my now broken heart, my disoriented mind, my shattered soul, my heaving body and took them to God. Surely, my creator would know what to do with his creation. How, I didn’t know. But somehow I trusted this guy. Somehow I knew He was able. 

So I immersed myself in His word. I even preached His word. I believed His word. I fellowshipped with His people. I hang around them. I agreed with His people’s version of what is wrong and right. I tried my level best to be His good person. An example to be looked upon. I did my level best in what I thought I was to do. God knows I tried. 

What I expected in return, was for my thirst to be no more. For my mind to find a foundation. For my heart to be light. For my soul to be mended. For what I was looking for to be brought to me. It was like a bargain. I do God’s business, He’ll do mine- that’s what they told me. And I believed them. After all, they  looked like they had their thirst quenched. 

But no. Not even God gave me me. I didn’t get what I was looking for in Him. By then I didn’t know what I was looking for, but I felt shortchanged. This God who gives people mansions through faith and makes barren woman sing in joy, didn’t give me what I wanted. Yet I wasn’t even asking for much. Just for my thirst to be quenched. For my void to be filled. 

And after a restless search of looking for what I didn’t know, I finally found it. But it was the other way round. Instead of finding the everlasting water to my thirst, I found the source of thirst. 

All along, I had been looking for me. All those years man! All those marathons I did chasing after satisfaction. All those hikes I did, looking for peace. All those books I read, searching for rest. All those people I shared my heart with, looking for happiness. 

Yet, I had been looking for me. I was missing in action. And my being couldn’t survive without me. Who am I? That person is who I was looking for in God, family and lovers. And instead of finding me in them, I found me in me. 

The me that I’ve found is badly malnourished. She was on the verge of death. She’s sick. Tired. Unlearned. Filled with some toxic things in some areas. Beautiful. Broken. Scarred. Empty. Happy. Melancholic. Intense. Difficult. Stubborn. Interesting. Weird. Amazing. Strong. Frail. She is all that and a lot more. 

So nowadays, instead of chasing life, I nurse me. I laugh at my sister confusing that verse on being unequally yoked with unbelievers to mean the yoke of an egg. I teach myself how to find pleasure in life. I go out of my way to ensure that I have no way that can be said to be mine. I am free. I can be anything and anyone. I watch people’s stories on Engage Talk Kenya and I relate to stories that are way different than mine. 

I look into my world nowadays. That dark world that I was once a pro in. And I can’t recognize anything. Everything is the same yet so new. The cups I thought were cups have now turned to bells. What I used as rags were the most beautiful clothes around. And while I thought I was fully clothed, I was stark naked.

So I unlearn, learn and relearn. And its the most amazing journey I’ve ever been in. Every single day a burden gets lifted. And in its place are beautiful things. My heart is enthusiastic. It isn’t light yet, but we seem to have hit the right spots this time round. My mind is busy working, not to set a foundation, but to demolish the buildings we had made to survive in a dark world. Sometimes the light illuminates dirty corners. And me, myself and I arm ourselves and clean them up. 

I have been in the land of the living for two decades now. At some point I saw no point of living. I have died inside there. And I have been in comas and semi consciousness. I have prayed to the Almighty to not let me die but to live. I have tried all kinds of life giving things I could think of. 

And for the first time in my entire life, I am alive, I feel alive, I want to live and I fear death. 

Some people reach this point automatically in their lives( they’ve just always been alive and in touch with themselves), others reach it after countless decades and experiences, while others like me are forced by circumstances to come into life. I just hope that you get there if you aren’t there already. If you don’t know what i’m talking about, just like me a while ago, your eyes are closed, but you think the world is dark. And if you are already there, I have nothing for you..after all you are already enjoying life in its ups and downs. 

I thought my world was dark, while I was the one with my eyes closed. Now I see the light. 

Young, free and alive. 


As an adult, losing the ability to dream is easy. And regaining it is way harder. 

I was reading something on a lady doing Bikozulu’s writing masterclass, and she said something very interesting. 

When she retires in a few years time, she wants to start baking. And as of now, she has absolutely no idea on the first thing about baking. 

Think about that! Sometimes we dream, but even during those times, those dreams are restricted to what we know or have experienced. 

And I want that. The ability to dream of things I’ve never seen or heard. Of things I’ve never had an interest in before. 

I want that flexibility. Of doing un-mercy like things. When did I get so old by the way? I even have definitions for myself. Which shouldn’t be the case especially at my age with my whole life ahead of me. 

But maybe this is how one gets regenerated and renewed. A new me with a i-can-do-all-things mentality. 

As for now, I need to feel young, free and alive again. 

Life Interrupted by Priscilla Shirer

Life interrupted by Priscilla Shirer is a book based on Jonah’s life/book. 

We’ve all heard of Jonah and his adventures with the big fish that swallowed him. Its what we know of the guy. 

But in my wildest dreams I wouldn’t have thought of his life journey the way the author has been revealed to. It ceases from being some prophet-who-was-swallowed-by-a-fish-for-3-days to my story. It has opened me up and dissected my point of view eternally. 

The biggest lesson I learnt from it was this; what I consider Life Interruptions are actually  God’s Interventions. You know the way we were living life, having good days and bad days but with a routine of some sorts and a rhythm, then something happens and we start asking, Why and For how long? And for the life of us we just can’t fathom why God would allow us to go through what we are going through. It seems not only painful and hard, but also very unnecessary. Like really God?

And through Jonah’s life we see that God has divinely interrupted our lives for His own reasons. And if His word is anything to go by, then its for our own good. God loves us too much to leave us ‘like that’. Like that meaning- with our current mindsets, way of life and maturity. He desires us to mature in Him, and sometimes, that won’t happen if the status quo in our lives remain. Sometimes that change can only occur when our lives are disrupted. 

There are desert lessons we can’t be equipped with while swimming in the ocean. Survival lessons that can only be taught practically. There are aspects of God that we can only experience and prove to be true while down in pits we are not sure we’ll make out of. 

Which helped me internalize James chapter 1. Count it all joy when you encounter trials of various kinds.. I used to think that verse meant, me going through a hard patch while still having joy in my heart. Like the way patients in hospitals smile or laugh. 

But now I realise its deeper than that.  The moment you understand that trials aren’t God’s ways of punishing you but God’s refinery of molding you, then at the onset of every trial, you will count it all joy for you know that here God comes to make you a better person. 

You remember the way we used to be excited to move from one class to another? The first few weeks of first term were joyful to say the least. But after a while we got used to it. The excitement wore off. And life interruptions/divine interventions are like being moved to the next class in the middle of second term. Just because you didn’t anticipate it shouldn’t dim the joy of moving up. After all, it means your teacher(God) has deemed you learnt enough in your current class to be ripe for the next category. 

I could go on and on about this considering how I whine when I feel as if my life isn’t going the way I thought it should. But slowly God is changing my perception. 

And speaking of perceptions, the author drove her point home concerning Obedience . When Jonah was called to go to Nineveh, he went the opposite direction. Its what he felt like doing. Little did he know that the part God was calling him to play, was a small role in a really big picture. But still, it was an important piece of the puzzle. But did he know that at the time? 

Nope. And that’s us most of the time. God calls us to do something. And out valid reasons( Jonah had really valid reasons to not go to Nineveh -read the book to find out more) , we chose not to do what we’ve been called to do. Little do we know, like Ruth, that maybe that small step on our part will give rise to the lineage of the messiah. 

So what do we do? Do we ask God to show us how important what He’s told us to do is? Like He should rate it on a scale of 1-10? His ways are way above ours. So maybe that smile your spirit nudges you to share might just save a life somewhere. So instead, we should ask God to give us a spirit that yields to him. Because only Obedience is required. 

We don’t know why God has allowed some situations in our lives, but God knows. We don’t know the path our lives will take after this disrupted turn, but God does. We don’t know what God will ask of us tomorrow. We simply don’t know. But we serve an all knowing God. God knows. So as hard as it is, as risky as it does( imagine putting all your eggs in one basket?) , we have to once and for all decide whether we are in or out. 

Because God didn’t want Jonah writing a letter to the Ninevites. He didn’t want him to send one of his buddies who had better oratory skills or had been to Nineveh before. God requires of us to do what He has directed us to do, how He has directed us, when and where. Unlike in this world where the end justifies the means , here the process matters. Its in that process that we encounter God in ways we would never have if we had found shortcuts to our assignments. 

And God is God of second chances. He gave Jonah one. So we don’t despair when we realise that we were running away from God or we disobeyed Him. We ask Him to find us where we are. After all, He can take us back home. Just hope He won’t use the same mode of transport as of Jonah(hehe). 

Overally, Life Interrupted hasn’t been a good book or a nice book. It has been a transforming one. It has rebuked me and corrected me. I can’t count the number of times I’ve stopped in the middle of a page to pray. Its been an intense internal journey. 

I’ve read books that inform me, others dispel myths I had, others make some topics I never understood as clear as the daylight ( like In Christ in School of Prayer by Andrew Murray). But this one went and looked into my heart and made me face some not-so-beatiful mindsets and aspects of my heart I never realized I carried around. 

I would recommend you read it when you are in that space of asking God why. It might work better then. 

What is an effective prayer? 

Before I started reading With Christ in the school of prayer, i remember wondering, what on earth does an effective prayer look like? Like when do I say I am efficiently praying? Because I understood praying isn’t just about asking and receiving. So an effective prayer can’t be just one where you get what you asked for. And I couldn’t grasp my head around what I could call an effective prayer. 

But at least now I have an idea of what an effective prayer looks like. 

Jesus kept on repeating that if you don’t forgive your brother/neighbour, then your heavenly father won’t forgive you. Even in the famous Lord’s prayer, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. 

And that’s where our lesson comes from today. 

How effective our prayers are depend on 2 things;

1. Our relation with God

Of this many things have been said. But the most important for today is, you can’t have faith in God’s scripture/promises coming true unless you have faith in the promiser. Let us check our prayers. How do we ask for things? You know some of these things we do subconsciously. For example, before starting to read this book, when I wanted something so badly, I would go to God and try and explain my case, why I want what I want, then I would quote for Him his word that supports whatever I want, then I would insist on it again. And this cycle goes on for a while, either until i get what I want or I give up on it and move on. 

Now, imagine if I assumed I was talking to my father. Probability is that my conversation with Him would take a very different course. Why? Because how I view and relate with him is different thus how I even perceive his word is different. 

And that is why faith and prayer go hand in hand. To pray you must have some faith. Then your prayer will increase and strengthen your faith. And together they will strengthen each othe

For an effective prayer, you must at least know and understand and have a working relationship with whoever you are praying to. What is your relationship with your father, because regardless of what His word says, your prayer is dependent on how you two relate. 

2. Our relation with men

This is why Jesus said that if you are going to the altar and remember a brother who has not forgiven you, leave your present at the altar and first go and sort out issues with fellow man. That’s how important our relation with fellow men is. That God would have you get out of church to go sort out your issue with your friend/spouse/neighbour first before coming to worship Him. Its that serious.

I know we are told differently. That God comes first. Sometimes this implies leaving some our duties to go to God’s house. Well, apparently, God will forgive you as you forgive others. So is you if you are depending on “Time heals” to forgive that person who hurt you, know that your God is also doing the same to your sins. 

We try and make ourselves presentable when going to God. No wonder you hear phrases like, ” Unanitusi na Leo ni Sunday?“. We have this idea of how we should go before God. Yet when God looks at those 2 hours or prayer, He shall answer them ,not according to how much you pleaded or quoted his word , or how sincere and fervent you were, but by how you spent the other 22 hours of your day. 

I once read somewhere Ernest Wamboye was saying that the bible says that husbands will not have their prayers answered if they mistreat their wives or something of the sort. I thought it a bit harsh. Until I now encounter Jesus telling us to get out of church and first sort out any issues we have with each other before coming to God. I don’t know why this has kinda shocked me. Like how you live your daily life, how you treat those around you, will a 100% affect the reception of your prayers in heaven. Seems I have a lot of food for thought. 

Anyway, the above 2 have at least given me a glimpse of what an effective prayer looks like. Its one offered by a person right with God and right with men. 

To pray is to change.