It’s been a few months since my last Sentimental Saturdays post. In fact, the last time I posted was on January 9th, as I delved into 10 things that any family would consider to undertake on the weekends if given a chance. And then before that was in November, where I discussed about two songs that have impacted me of late, Newsboys’s “Guilty” and Rachel Platten’s “Stand By You”, and how both these songs have ministered to me in both a personal and interpersonal way as each of these artists have given the reminder to boldly stand firm in beliefs, even if others don’t stand alongside. So…2 Sentimental Saturdays blogs in 5 months. One may think there’s something wrong with my writing style, others may think I may be losing passion for these types of blog posts. Yet there is the other train of thought, realising that often, life just gets in, and sometimes, even if we want to write something of value, time just seems to not be on our side, and every time we sit and want to write a blog, or review an album, we realise that it’s time for bed, and then the cycle of work/eat/sleep repeats the following day. While I may not have planned for the gap between Sentimental Saturdays posts to be that humungous, it nevertheless was so.
So which brings me to this question- have you ever wondered what life could’ve been like if we made different choices? If our lives we were living was much simpler than the lives we’re living now? If we chose A instead of B, if we didn’t venture into this work opportunity and instead pursued another avenue? If we went to a different high school, lived in a different country, or even hung out with a different group of friends? There’s something sentimental and nostalgic about how and where we grew up, and who we grew up with; yet I’m sure it has crossed everyone’s mind, mine included, about the endless possibilities of life and all its facets if we took different roads and made different choices than the ones we made to bring us to the men and women we are today.
Work has been exciting, tough, gruelling, grinding, exhilarating, life-changing, sometimes monotonous and demanding, and often enjoyable and rewarding, sometimes all in the same day. Yet there has to be more of a reason to it all, instead of just doing the daily grind. Sure work is work and you work to earn money, yet if all we’re doing is the same things each day and never making any difference, albeit minute, to ourselves and those around us because of our work, then all we’re doing is living life, never reaching our purpose and what we were created to be- vessels for Christ and the catalyst for positive change in the cities we’re in- influencing and infecting the world with the love of Christ by how we act, who we interact with, the demeanour we put on each day, and whether we are happy no matter what, or whether we let our circumstances determine where our joy is from. All these things lead us to the fundamental question- are we living a life where we can look back and be pleased with it all and say ‘yes, I made an impact in this person’s life- it may not be much from how I see it, but I’m sure it made a difference to them!’? I hope I can say and believe that. Because from where I’m sitting, if and when my work becomes stale and I’m just working the daily grind just like the next person, then it’s time for God to lead me on to another area in my life. I hope I can influence the world with positive change, but only from a cheerful and joyful heart. My motivations have to be right, and my heart has to be in the right place, if I’m going to go to work each day and provide a service to customers.
Sure life was simpler in times gone by, but that doesn’t mean that it would’ve been good to stay there. Every moment in our lives has its purpose, and as of right now, I am a full time worker. I no longer have the free time that I used to acquire and love on a daily basis. And I have to be cool with that change. To be sentimental about our past and be nostalgic about our years prior to this one we’re in ought not to be a shameful thing. It’s ok to think and be amazed how life has transpired, and to conjure up fond memories of our own past and interactions we have had with people along the way. The danger is when we somehow believe that life could be better if we made different choices- and weren’t where we are today. Because when we believe that, we believe that what we have to offer in the moment we’re in isn’t worth the difference we want it to make. It is when we believe the lie that what we have isn’t good enough to make a positive change in the marketplace we’re in on a weekly basis. When we let the devil, Satan, the Father of Lies, determine what we can and cannot bring to the table of what we can offer to people around us, instead of letting God show up and change the outcome. Once we’re at that stage, may those closest to us pray the prayer we hopefully don’t want them to even pray- may God shake us and break us until we realise that what we have in our hands, however big or small, is enough for Him to use and make, to mould and shape, to impact the city, the nations and the world. Because it’s true- what we have isn’t too small for God to impact the world. We just need to believe it ourselves.
It’s good to think about the past. It’s good to be sentimental. But also know that God has placed us where we are to do the good work that only we can do at that moment. We are where we are to influence the world we’re in, no matter how small. What we say to a customer or to our workmates matter. How we act and how we show God’s love to those around us will say a lot about whether or not we truly believe it ourselves. Sure, that may be a harsh reality, but it really places things in perspective- are we really living in the moment and utilising what God has intended for us right from the start, or are we sometimes selling ourselves short, wondering the ‘what if’ instead of grabbing the opportunities with both hands and jumping in with no fear, letting God take the reins and leading us into the unknown? Tricky things to think about, but necessary things nonetheless. Til next time.