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The real Christmas message…

I was at our Cape Town offices last week and the place was lit with Christmas decorations. There was so much hype in the office as people were putting up these decorations. As I stood there, looking around, I realised that there was something wrong with this picture.

I realised that we have been sold a Western notion of Christmas. I mean, look at the décor you find when you walking at the mall or when you in the shops and all you see is snow; snow men; elves; reindeers etc. I mean really, in South Africa December is one of our hottest months. Christmas also has nothing to do with elves and reindeers.

But you know what, I really don’t blame people who put up these Christmas decors, because I realise that actually, some people don’t really understand the real story behind Christmas.

Hence, it is the responsibility of those of us who know, to share the truth. Well my friends I want to begin with these words taken from the book of the prophet Isaiah:

“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders and he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of peace. His government and its peace will never end.” (Isaiah 9:6-7).

In the book of John it reads “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16)

Ladies and Gentlemen, the real Christmas message is this – Jesus Christ was sent to the world because God loved us very much. The Lord’s mandate was to restore us back to himself through the birth; death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Why? Because God’s original intention for mankind was for us to rule and have absolute dominion on this earth. With sin creeping in, we lost that privilege and only God (Christ) could establish that again.

So as we celebrate this time, remember Christmas is the glorious birthday of the King of Kings.

The paradox of remembrance…

I am going through a very uncomfortable, but interesting phase in my life. I have been praying about something’s to a point, where sometimes I continually pose questions of whether the things I am praying for will ever come to pass.

I often find myself confronted with two interesting realities. One part of me strongly says “Bongeka, forget the past mistakes which translated into bad relationship choices; bad financial decisions; lost opportunities; etc. But another part of me also strongly says; never forget how you prayed and worked hard for certain things and today you have attained those things.

There are often battles that rage within all of us…have you ever wondered why it’s so difficult to forget the bad decisions of our past, but, we often seem to easily forget our past triumph’s; past successes and God’s faithfulness.

Life is a fascinating journey…we have to understand that forgetting our past mistakes, in order to take charge of our future is important, but also increasingly important is being able to recall situations in our past that seemed really difficult and we didn’t know how we were going to get out, but a breakthrough came. As I was feeling down, I remembered situations which I thought were very difficult and I thought I would never pull through, but you know what, I did, and all glory goes to God for that.

My enjoy life tip is this – commit to having a wall of remembrance, put this up in a space you see often. And every time you don’t see a way out of a difficult situation; just look at all the things you prayed for; hoped for; and worked hard for and find encouragement that even in the impossible situation you currently in, all things will eventually work out for your good.

Have you clarified the WHY?

The terrible news of the passing away of one of South Africa’s most loved gospel artist, Sipho Ncwane, has left my heart shattered. The passing away of this young man has left South Africa and the rest of Africa in great mourning.

Social media and mass media at large have been flooded with messages and pictures of condolences. The more I think about this loss, the more I am filled with so many questions. I ask but “why did we have to lose him so soon? Had he accomplished everything he wanted to do? Had he really lived with the Why of his existence being fully clarified and fulfilled?”

In my moment of reflection, I recalled an interesting catch-up I had with my mentor earlier on and he posed a very good question to me. I was going on and on about the plans for the next phase of my life and he says to me; “Bongeka, I hear you but Why are you doing all this; Why are you so passionate about taking this opportunity?”

He then narrated to me, that as he drove to work that morning he posed the same question to himself. He began to really wonder and ask why he is a General Manager. And why he would want to be Managing Director as that seemed like the next in line position to occupy. He asked himself if this was really what he wanted and if this was part of his purpose?

He gave me an interesting analogy; he said that each day when I chose to live clarifying the “why” of my existence, is like building a house. He mentioned that the foundation has been laid already, and that foundation is the many years of my formal and informal education; my professional and personal experiences and my walk with the Lord.

This next phase of my life is just laying bricks on another corner of the house. I could be right now in a season where I have laid the bricks half way, and the house is close to completion. Every day when I live with the understanding of the “why” and taking action towards fulfilling the “why” of my existence, I am closer to finishing that house.

I am glad to say the “why” of my existence has become clearer over the years as I have sought to live a purpose driven life. I am so at peace because, I understand “why” I am on this earth for. This feeling is both liberating and overwhelming. The latter ensures that I wake up every day knowing that I cannot afford to be idle because, I have an important part to play in my generation.

Sometimes we can be so busy just being busy but, not really understanding how every activity that we embark on plays a significant role in shaping the “why” of our existence. Have you clarified the why of your existence?

 

 
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