It is early in the morning and from where I am seated, I can hear the sounds of Nairobi as it comes alive for another day of busyness. I can feel the energy of the herds of people as they furiously stampede into the Central Business District in an endless stream of vehicles that sounds like the roar of a mighty river, punctuated by varying pitches of ‘peep’ sounds of car horns, and just a while ago, a loud siren of an emergency vehicle.
Sometimes when I hear that siren, I think about the anxiety that someone else might be feeling since in most cases, one who is close to them is in danger. And when I look at myself and know that I am fine and that to the best of my knowledge everyone that I know is fine, I thank God for his grace. For, what is grace? It is favor that we get despite the fact that we didn’t do anything to deserve it. I know that I didn’t do anything to deserve good health and all the benefits that come with it, or both my parent that I can see any day that I want, or the intelligence that enables me to do my work each day, or even love and peace and other states on mind that matter to me.
It is easy for anyone to see the grace of God, especially when they look for it. If you do, I suppose there is good reason for you and I to say a huge “Thank You” to God.
My friend and I were looking at the meaning of the word ‘gullible’. Apparently, gullibility is a failure of social intelligence in which a person is easily tricked or manipulated into an ill-advised course of action. When I look at the definition I cannot help but think that we are usually so guarded so as not to be taken advantage of by other people, that we often overlook the one place where we are likely to be tricked. I considered what ‘gullibility’ means, and asked myself if it applies to me. And as I thought about it, I realized that on many occasions, I have watched my mind do to me exactly what the phrase said “easily tricked or manipulated into an ill-advised course of action”.
Now, the mind is something else…it will convince you into doing something that you already know is not good for you. It lurks, waiting for your weak moments and will advance its clever arguments into making you believe that you will only feel better after you give in. If you are adamant, it will assure you that despite what might have happened in the past that this time it will be different…that you really need this…that if there is anyone who deserves to feel good, it is you. It is one of those ‘try it and you will thank me’ cons. But as soon as you do it, the mind turns against you with condemnation and accusations. And with such a negatively strong wrath that it frightens you into a corner when you have no voice of your own. Not only does it judge you for this one wrong, but it also drags out all the other wrongs from the past and that are not even related to this one, and even goes a step further to assure you that you are condemned to mess again in the future. And you want to hide your face, not so much for the embarrassment of what you did, but for the shame of being made to feel so bad about yourself by someone that you trust…that you fell for the same trick all over again. When will it stop?
But I suppose even to the man who wrestles the legendary bull by its horns in a public arena, in the privacy of his mind is where the real battle rages and therefore the only place where real triumph can be experienced. In the mind, unprecedented turbulence often means that one has reached a key conundrum and that might require time and patience to resolve. Sometimes, it feels like we do not have the resources to handle the funk, and an early exit must be the only way, but as is often quoted, God does not present to us challenges we cannot overcome. If we were to take God for his word, we might then find it prudent to ask him to provide us with the strength required to win the battles. After all, prayer is one of our resources. We might even as be so bold as to say that God is one of our resources and truthfully proclaim, “If God is for us, who can be against us!”?