As we approach the end of yet another year, I, as I normally do on most days, have taken time out to not only reflect on myself but also to look back at my life journey through 2017.
I no longer makes resolutions at the beginning of the year but instead focus on being a better me daily. I don’t always get it right but if I’ve at least grown in some way or some area of my life then I’ve at least achieved something.
This year, the growth has been in my spiritual life. As a man who grew up always wanting to be right or to have the last word, I’ve learnt the importance of being wrong and acknowledging the same. I’ve learnt the importance of being hurt but confronting it with grace. I’ve learnt the importance of being offended and more importantly, forgiveness.
Death has been on my mind a lot not in the sense of being obsessed with it but rather in the sense of leaving this world with minimal regret. On other words, if called from this Earth, would I be able to honestly say that I did my best to be my best? Did I live my life in a way that would make my Father, my God proud?
I keep thinking of The Lord’s prayer and how I used to take it for granted by merely saying it automatically without really giving thought to every word, every line until the day I stopped at “…forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” If there’s one thing I can confess its that I was never quick to forgive. Sure it’s human nature but it’s exhausting. That very line gave me so much to think about and really got me thinking about little ways I could improve myself, strengthen my faith and be a beacon of love to all around me.
Anyone that knows me will know what a big part of my life my faith is and that I am unashamed of my beliefs. That same faith has taught me the importance of acceptance when necessary and forgiveness. It has taught me the importance of righting wrongs. It has taught me the importance of relationships and lifelong bonds and why it is important to sometimes humble myself, even when right, in order to be able to break down barriers and in turn, speak to the hearts of people.
This realisation has not been easy and at times is still a challenge but, the fact that I’ve overcome and can look past so much is an achievement that I would never have dreamt of years ago. The journey itself has required sacrifice and perseverance but not once did I feel alone. I chose to place my trust in God and I will be the first to admit that there were times whereby I wanted to give up but I’ve seen prayer after prayer answered. I’ve been blessed and with each blessing came the understanding that each would come with its own set of challenges for what’s the point of being blessed continuously if you cannot strengthen yourself to overcome challenges that will prepare you for the greater blessings that lay ahead?
I don’t claim to be perfect. I don’t claim to know everything but one thing I do know is that having grace does wonders to one’s soul. Grace helps you look beyond what is petty and understand that life is too short to waste emotions on issues that subconsciously control you instead of realising that you have the power to control those situations. You just need to accept the fact that it comes down to making a decision.