THE MOMENT OF THE RED STEW

desperateSome years ago when I was job hunting I sent applications to various firms that I lost count of . I had been looking for a job for a long time so I became very desperate. It was becoming almost unbearable just sitting at home especially with bills pilling and taking care of daily needs. Although some firms had offered me employment, I wanted to work in a media firm or at least somewhere that would encourage my career in writing but when I became desperate I didn’t mind if I got a job at a resturant! I wrote several tests and attended numerous interviews. The responses were positive but I didn’t get any letter of appointment or any calls asking me to resume work. Maybe my patience was also too thin to wait!

Few months later, I decided I was going to just work anywhere irrespective of the pay or what the company does. Then came this small firm asking me to come head their media unit, the pay was small because it was a new firm but I jumped at it and started work the following week! As soon as I took on this job, calls started coming in from the places I wrote tests or got interviewed. I was already fully committed in this new place and had started working on some projects. Three weeks later, one of the big companies where I was interviewed called me to resume work as soon as possible because they have been trying to reach me! I could have followed up on and waited for what  I really wanted but I didn’t.

Have you been in similar situation that you really wanted something so bad that you would just accept whatever alternatives regardless of what the consequences may be later? That moment of your life that you are ready to trade off some important personal entitlement with the hope that you will get it back as soon are you are through with the phase? That moment of your life that you thought if you didn’t get that job, car, dress, house, money etc, you would never be happier. Then you got all these and nothing changed and you have given up your gold to acquire these. You cannot get it back.

Sometimes though, when one is desperate, the consequences of his/her action is not even thought about. We are not even conscious of our own desperation and some people get offended when they are cautioned to slow down. As humans, sometimes once we want something, we just want it NOW! And even when/if it will put our intergrity to question. We conclude that we can mend the repercussion later. Some people have given up important positions, names, relationships, titles in that fleet moment of desperation – The Red Stew Moment. Just like Esau in the bible.

“Jacob was boiling pottage (lentil stew) one day, when Esau came from the field and was faint (with hunger). And Esau said to Jacob, I beg of you, let me have some if that red lentil stew to eat, for I am faint and farmished! That is why his name was called Edom (red). Jacob answered, Then sell me today your birthright (the rights of a firstborn). Esau said, See here, I am at the point of death ; what good can this birthright do to me? Jacob said, Swear to me today (that you are selling it to me); and he swore to (Jacob) and sold him his birthright. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils, and he ate and drank and rose up and went his way. Thus Esau scorned his birthright as beneath his notice. – Gen 25: 29- 34

Ordinarily, birthright is a position of birth, but it could also mean a position of authority and influence. The essense of a person! Esau in a moment of hunger and desperately wanted to have stew and bread, sold his position as the firstborn. He sold his first-born blessings for STEW! He forgot who he was at the sight of stew. He gambled with what would have given him an edge over his brother and comtemporaries; he disregarded his place of authority and influence in that moment of desperation. The hunger wouldn’t have killed him had he waited to prepare his own meal or agreeing to compromise with something other than his birthright.

Sadly, some of us are like Esau, we appear to be in dire need of something and are prepared to give anything to get it without even counting the cost. That was me!

For that period I was job hunting, I forgot I was not just a university graduate but with several profession trainings in not less than three fields. I wanted just what would satisfy the moment!

In Esua’s story above, when it was time for their father to bless the boys, he gave the firstborn blessings to Jacob (the younger brother who ‘bought’ the birthright) and Esau cried when he found out. How could he have forgotten that he sold that position for just bread and stew! And that is how some of us are. We gamble with our priced possession, give it away and expect it will still be available when we need it. Then we fast, pray and attend vigils! Thank God for His mercies and His power to restore when we ask for His forgiveness and help.

This reminds me of a lady I met sometime ago. She was involved with a married man. I strongly encouraged her to discontinue the affair but she wouldn’t. Her reason was that he was paying her fees and taking care of other bills. But she didn’t even stop there; she was desperate for more and went ahead to get pregnant for him. After the baby was born, he denied her and the baby because he wanted to protect his marriage.

When we find ourselves getting desparate about something or someone, it could be an indication that our motive about that thing may not be right. Pause and take a rethink. This may be difficult too because when desperation sets in all a person wants it to get it DONE. It is also a time to reconsider WHY you want to do what you want to do and if it is really worth it. If someone suggests to you to slow down on a decision, consider the reasons seriously and weigh your actions even before you take them.

One of the biggest ills of being desperate is that it prevents you from hearing or receiving from God. It shuts out the voice of God and the possibility of Him getting it done for you; and I am sure this is not what you desire. If you feel your blessing is delayed, keep praying and waiting on God expectantly. He never fail those who trust in Him.

Just A Little Act Of Kindness

ragEarly last December, my husband and I were clearing our house in readiness for the holiday when we discovered that we had so many old stuff that we needed to do away with. We started with the children’s clothes. We were surprised to see how much children’s clothes and shoes we didn’t have need of. They were so much that they filled more than three large boxes, this was not inclusive of toys! We decided we would give them to charity but we did not act on that decision immediately. Weeks past and nothing was done. Then one day, a former colleague came visiting and told us of how things were not financially stable for them and they needed to buy clothes and shoes for their children. I thought about the shoes and clothes, even though most of them were still in very good state, I wasn’t sure if they would want used stuff. We asked if they wanted to go through these boxes and see if they could find anything that could be useful to them. Few minutes later, they selected some clothes and shoes. They left excitedly full of gratitude. Two days after Christmas, the couple came to visit us with their children dressed in those clothes and shoes. I almost could not recognise they were same clothes! Their expression drove me to tears! Those were clothes we have abandoned for at least two years. Clothes we were not sure anyone could find useful let alone use for a festive season. It even hurt the more knowing there were children I may know who didn’t have clothes or shoes for Christmas. Yet I had shopped for new ones already!

We were glad to be a blessing to this couple but it left an impression in my heart. There would always be someone in some sort of need we can meet if we really care. Most of the time that person is just around the corner, someone we probably see and maybe talk with often. And sometimes someone’s biggest need may be something that is almost irrelevant to us.

Do you still have clothes, shoes and other household stuff you no longer use? Do you have food enough that sharing with someone won’t mean anything to you? You do not need to have in excess before you can share with someone. You just need to have the heart; a mind that remembers that while you change your wardrobe nearly every month, there is someone who has never worn a new cloth or shoes. While you have much left-overs from your dinning table, there is someone who those left-overs may mean the best food they had eaten in whole year! You do not have to be rich and famous to make a positive impression in the life of someone. You do not need to have all the money in the world to put a smile on someone’s face. You do not need to have or join an NGO to show just a little kindness.

God is a giver and as His children the bible encourages us to be same. Never think you do not have anything you can give to put a smile on someone’s face. Besides giving material things, what about giving your time, a listening ear, lending a hand of help, a soothing pat, a kind word spoken in season. There is just so much we can give!

The world would be a better place if we would just keep on showing that little act of kindness.