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MEN-AND-RESPECT

November 5, 2014

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This is such a personal story from my life. But it had to take this experience for me to learn a lesson, and to realize its importance. Please, do not judge any of the characters in the story.

I was raised by a single parent, my mom. My parents got divorced when I was four years old and for as long as I have remembered anything, I don’t remember growing up in a house that had a dad and a mom. It was always mommy doing both mommy and daddy duties.

My mom was a strong woman, very independent. She was not a beggar, nor did she need approval from anyone, or consider anyone else opinion. If she made a decision on something, it was gospel, and nothing would change her mind. If she started something, no matter how challenging, she saw it to the end. Not only was she strong in character, she was physically strong. She mowed her own lawn, occasionally fixed her own car, washed her own laundry and always believed in getting things done herself (domestic helpers never stood a chance with her). Over and above all that, she was very strict. In Setswana we say e ne e le chobolo. If she was angry she did not even have to say a word for you to realize it. But when she did speak, in her anger, all demons in hell ran away. She was loud and heavy with her words. That’s the kind of woman I grew up watching, seeing and learning from.

My father on the hand is a soft-spoken and a gentle soul. The kind of character that could make any woman fall in love with him, which is why he has gone through more than 5 marriages. Yes he was sweet, but he was a player of note. So my view of him was always negative. I never really saw his gentle side; I just chose to see the player, irresponsible side of him.

Because of my up-bringing, I never really grew up knowing how to communicate with a man, how to “gently” talk to one, and how to show them respect. I have never seen that growing up. I’ve always read it in the Bible and in male-female relationship books, but I’ve never seen it. I’ve always looked at my “submissive” friends, weak and bullied, and wondered why they accepted such behavior from their partners.

I have also seen and watched marriages fall apart because the husbands felt undermined, pressured and disrespected, and wondered why they were being so overly emotional about the matter. After all, wives took their nonsense, why couldn’t they just suck it up as well. What I knew theoretically, I never knew practically.

Several years ago my father got married to wife number 8 (or 9 or 10 -I lost count). This woman I liked. She was open minded and receptive to him, his past and his flaws, and looked like she was going to make a good wife. More-over, I just prayed that this marriage would last forever, and that he won’t have to go through another divorce. Needless to say a couple of years or so into the marriage, I started to get complaints from my step mom about my dad, and because of the past, I judged my dad before I even spoke to him about any of the complaints. I switched to my mommy-chobolo-mode, and “reprimanded” him accordingly. These events would happen repeatedly, and my dad just took in the chin, the way I expected men to from women.

Then my dad started withdrawing, not just from my step-mom, but from me as well. He would disappear and go to a house that he has in the village, just to get away. As he did this, I always used to think “Here he goes again, Oh Lord, let this man stick this marriage out and not quit it please.” Then he would go back home for a week or so, and then disappear to his man cave again. I lost all hope of this marriage seeing it through to til-death-do-us-part.

A couple of weeks ago, I went to visit my dad and step-mom. When I left my home to go visit them, I had made a conscious decision that I was not going to talk about any issues or treat him like a child. I was going to have a good day with them finish and klaar. No less than 20 minutes had I arrived, step-mom started complaining about papa. I sat there listening to her and nodding my head, as I side-eyed my dad. When she was done ranting, I asked if there had been any changes since the last time I had “spoken” to dad about all her previous issues, and she admitted that there had been changes. So it’s not that the poor man wasn’t trying.

Then my dad, in a soft low shaky voice asked to speak. It must have taken strength to ask to share his end of the story. He then proceeded to tell us how committed he is to this marriage. That he would like to have a happily-ever-after with his wife. That everything that she had asked for, she had received, and that all he wanted was to have a peaceful home. He continued to share how “verbally abused” he was by his wife, and how disrespected he felt. I really don’t know how to express it in English, but in Setswana this is what he said, “Mme o wa me, o bogale e le tota. O wa ntlhapaola. Nnako tse dingwe o omanyetsa kwa godimo, mo e leng gore baagisanye le bone ba a utlwa.” (ask someone to translate for you). He continued to tell me how he does not feel like a man in his own home, which is why now and again he withdraws and goes away to his man-cave.

As he was painfully sharing his story of being disrespected, I was teary eyed. For the first time in my life, I understood the pain of a man who is constantly disrespected and abused. I saw it in my father’s eyes and heard it in his voice. I also think it was God’s will that I experience and see that hurt from my dad, whom I held in low regard when it came to matters-of-love. I saw how human he really is, how he also feels pain, how even at the age of 80+ respect and honor are such a big requirement to men. The penny finally dropped. I was so hurt seeing that side of him, that I cried all the way back to Jo’burg, and as soon as I arrived, I had to call him and apologize for all the times that was I “rough with my words” towards him.

Paul in 1 Peter 3: 1-4 says, “Wives, respect and obey your husbands in the same way. Then the husbands who do not obey the word of God will want to know God. They will want to know God because their wives live good lives, even though they say nothing about God. They will see that you live holy lives and respect your husbands. You should not be fine on the outside only. Some women make their hair nice. They wear gold things. They have fine clothes. But you must be fine in your heart. Have a heart that is gentle and quiet. That will not wear out. And God thinks it is worth very much.” Paul was on point.

I had a short chat with a friend who is separated from his wife and told him this story, and he said to me, “Any man will do anything for a woman/wife that honors and respects him. The funny this is, unintentionally when she nags and dishonors us, we do the opposite of what it is that she is nagging about, and it pushes us further and further away.”

I have no experience in matters pertaining to marriage, but I saw and experienced what I knew theoretically. I am certain that God was speaking to me about my “bullying and bossy” nature, but I am also certain that I was not meant to keep this story to myself, and that it will be a lesson and benefit someone else.

Ladies, I know that the idea of submission scares (angers) you, but here’s a little blurb I read the other day:

“The world has perverted the idea of Biblical submission. They think it means we can’t speak for ourselves and we’re slaves to our husbands. This by the way is absurd! Submitting to your husband just means you’re following his lead. It means you’re believing in him and supporting him in his endeavors and efforts. This is what every husband needs from his wife!
When a wife follows her man’s lead, he then feels respected by her. And when a husband feels respected by his wife, he’ll generally pour out his love for her. The flip side to this is the husband being commanded to love his wife like Christ loved the Church, which is not natural for men.

By following your husband’s lead, you are laying a strong foundation for your future. When the babies come, financial pressures ensue, in-laws/outlaws meddle, tough decisions need to be made, illnesses come, etc. all enter into your marriage, you’ll have built a strong marital relationship; one that has been built on the Word of God. Generally when a wife thinks about submitting to her husband, she feels like she’s losing the battle, or giving up herself, becoming less of a person, etc. That’s so contrary to what actually takes place in your marital relationship.

When you choose to believe in your husband, support him in his endeavors, and follow his leading, you are helping him to be a better man. Or you could take the path to tear him down and let him know that you don’t support him, don’t believe in him, and think he is worthless. That’s just not a wise path to take, my friend! The choosing of that path will quickly lead to a miserable and loveless marriage. Now, I don’t think you want that, do you? So to prevent from having a rocky or loveless marriage, this is why you would want to submit to your husband.

I can’t tell you exactly how to submit to your man because that’s a heart issue.
You have to figure out if you’re wrestling with God over this command. (Or maybe you’re not fully trusting in God’s plan for your marriage? Or you’re not trusting in your man’s leadership? Or you just don’t want to die to self? These are ALL common feelings for a wife to experience, so know that you are not alone!

The best thing you can do is surrender your will to God. Do you believe His Word? Remember, God doesn’t force you to do anything. He is a gentleman. He’s given you free will. You can choose to obey Him or not. It’s your choice. And just remember that your husband needs this from you, just like you need to be loved by him. I’m sure it would break your heart if he told you he couldn’t and didn’t want to love you, right? That dying to self thing is sooo hard to do!”

Ultimately = Men Eat Respect!
A man will choose a woman who respects him over a woman who loves him.

SPENDING TIME WITH GOD

July 29, 2014

TIME WITH GOD

After the last blog, I had several people asking me what I do in my quite time. So that’s what I’m going to share today.

There are certain things in life, that even if you don’t feel like doing them, you do them anyway. You wake up in the morning, not feeling like going to work, but you get up anyway. Runners will tell you that half the time, they don’t feel like going out for a jog, but they get off their booties and go for it. I personally never feel like going to gym, but I force myself to go.

The interesting thing about not feeling like doing anything, is that once you’ve gotten into it, it becomes enjoyable and pleasurable. The first 3kms of any run for me are always the hardest, after 3kms I get into my rhythm and I go go go. Warming up at gym is always a rather painful exercise but once you’ve warmed up the body allows you to keep going.

The same applies to spending time with God in prayer and meditation. Sometimes it feels like a chore, sometimes I just don’t feel like doing it (excuse me for being honest). But once I get into it, I just keep going and find it hard to stop.

This is how I have my daily devotion time. By no means is this the wrong or right way. It’s just how I do it.

My alarm goes off. Sometimes it doesn’t because my body clock goes off before the alarm. Now I’m a slow riser. If I need to get out of bed at 5am, I have to set my alarm on for 4am so that I can snooze for 30 minutes (at least) before I’m consciously awake. So when my alarm goes off, as I slowly snooze out of my sleep, I pray in the spirit. Then it goes off again, I press the snooze button again and continue praying in tongues. Then it goes off again and I press the snooze button again and continue praying in the spirit, until I am fully awake.

From then on I “command the morning,” by declaring and speaking life, success, well-being, favor into that day. I create how the day will turn out with my words and nullify anything that may come against me and God’s will during the course of the day.

Following that I just have a heart to heart with God. Which normally starts with “Wassup Daddy! What’s happening? I made to another day. Thank-you. That means you ain’t done with me yet so let’s go change the world.” And after babbling on and on, as I child would to a father, I stop to listen. Just silence and listen to what He has to say. In my listening, I grab my journal and write down whatever He drops/ deposits in my spirit. After that I read my Bible.

As I continue to get ready for the day, I get my musical praise and worship on. (Sometimes I’m too loud, but I’ve apologized to the neighbors).

Because I’m human and I ain’t perfect, sometimes I just don’t feel like doing all that. So my easy way out is to listen to some or other preachers message either via TBN or YouTube. Or sometimes I just listen to my audio bible.

That’s how I dedicated a part of my day to God. Now we are not all the same. Some people are morning people, others are more awake and alive at night. DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU! The important thing is that you build and maintain a relationship with Him.
I used to have my devotions at night, and I was cool with that. Until I read Mark 1:35, which says “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” Since I try to be a Jesus imitator, I was like “Imma do it like Jesus from now on.”
Then I heard Joyce Meyer preaching on morning devotions and she said “Make sure that the first person you speak to and hear from in the morning is God.” And then I was like “Yo! Joyce is so on point.”

But either way, do what works for you. I don’t go to gym with the masses in the morning or evening, I go at lunch-time, cause that’s what works for me. And in that way, I am diligent in my going to gym. So when you go about it in a manner that works for you, you are bound to be diligent in giving God your time.

After all, God just wants you and you’re time. He yearns for your heart and time with you. He’s not looking for some text book method of how to spend time with Him. Spending quality time with God is important. And there are many promises in the Bible about what happens when we do this. Psalm 16:11 says that in God’s presence, there is fullness of joy. And Nehemiah 8:10 tells us that God’s joy is our strength. The devil wants to steal our joy. If he can get our joy, he knows we won’t be strong in the Lord. And we’ll lose our focus on God.

“Walking with God is the best adventure, finding God is the best achievement and having God as a companion is the best source of happiness.” – Anonymous

FRIENDSHIP: THE CORNERSTONE OF GOOD RELATIONSHIPS

July 14, 2014

the best relationships develop out of friendships

Aaaaahhh, new love! What a beautiful thing. The infatuation, the butterflies. The sweet kisses and gentle touches. Long walks in the park, endless conversations on the phone, date after date. They are the first person you want talk to in the morning and the last voice/text you want to get at night.Aaaaahhhh new love.

Then you get into relationship where you really get to know each other. The many calls and texts he used to send decrease or the cute way she used to chew now irritates you. This is the crunch-time-deal-breaker phase that determines if this relationship will make it to “happily ever after” or not. This is when friendship really counts.

If you get to the decision that this is the one you want to spend the rest of your life with, you then realize that you can’t just drift along on mundane what not’s, but you have to put in effort to make it work. You have to consciously make time to spend with your partner. You have to learn to communicate, to talk and to listen to each other. You have to speak words of love, encouragement and speak life into each other’s lives. You need to be friends!

To build faith and trust for each other, you have to be real and honest with each other. It’s a heart-breaking thing when your partner ignores you or doesn’t treat you right. The pain of being in a relationship, yet you feel like you are all alone is one of the worst kind of pains. Love, trust and longevity in relationships is built on time spent together, communication and sacrifice. You need to be friends.

Why then do we think that the same doesn’t apply to our relationship with God? Why do we think that we can just skid through life having 30 second conversations with him and expect our relationship with Him to be on point? Why do we think that He is just there for us to take take take, without giving? Why do we want to treat Him like our little skivvy when it’s convenient for us, but we don’t want to invest in Him? What kind of relationship does that make it? If you were in a relationship with someone who treated you like that how would that make you feel?

What is the state of your relationship with God and what role are you playing in it being where it is?

You may not know how to answer because not too many of us are living out the type of relationship that God has in mind when He sent His Son to die for us. God doesn’t want a relationship where you visit Him once a week on Sundays, just because it’s Sunday and it’s the thing to do. God wants to have a deep, intimate, daily relationship with you. He wants to be your friend and then some. No matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done, God loves you and wants you to know Him in a deep and beautiful way. A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24).

You may be reading this and be thinking, well I read my Bible every day and I’m not experiencing a deep relationship. Well, let me ask you, after reading this blog do you feel like you have a deep relationship with me since I wrote this? I don’t think so. It’s not that I don’t want a relationship with you, but we can’t have a good friendship if the only time we spend together is these three minutes where I “talk” and never hear the sound of your voice.

The exact same thing goes with God. If the only spiritual thing you do is reading some words written on paper, then you can’t have a deep relationship. You can know what’s expected of you as a Christian, but you can’t have that relationship. The only way you can have a deep relationship is for there to be an ongoing dialogue between God and yourself. I’m not saying don’t read your Bible. What I’m saying is, don’t only read your Bible to read your Bible. Read your Bible as part of an ongoing dialogue between you and your creator. An ongoing dialogue means that you don’t just read God’s word, but you talk with God and wait on His response. Whether it’s in His word or that small whisper on your heart. Communication is really important. You can’t read each other’s minds and the way to get to know each other is by constant communication.

A relationship with God is such a beautiful thing, because believe me, there’s no relationship like it. Just when you think you’ve got God figured out, He takes you deeper into His mystery and grace and love. God wants to be involved in everything we do. He wants us to fellowship with Him, which means communicating with Him throughout our day just like we do with someone who’s our close friend or family member.

So today, why don’t you start building a relationship that will not only grow throughout your time on earth and stretch into eternity. Talk to God not just to ask Him for something but talk with Him like you would a friend, spend time in His word, and wait on Him. Believe me when I say, you won’t be disappointed when you do.

After all He already calls you friend! “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” John 15:15

 

MAKE IT HAPPEN!

July 1, 2014

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Hello, hello hello….

It’s been a while hasn’t it? I’ve been so busy engrossed with my own life, problems and joys that I forgot all about you. I know, it’s not easy to hear that after all the love that I used to show you hey. I just made a conscious decided to back off a little because I needed space. (Those 3 sentences read like we are in a relationship ne – LOL.) Sometimes a girl needs to take a few steps back, get some perspective on life before proceeding forward, and that’s exactly what I did. For the time that I’ve been away, I will make it up to you. In abundance!

So we are half way through the year. How are your new-year resolutions/ plans/ goals working out? Are you closer to achieving them? Have you even started? Did you start and give up? I hope not. If you did, you have another 6 months to catch up. Whatever you do, make sure you get to 31 December and that entire page is scratched out. I’m proud to boast that I’m halfway down my list of goals. The funny thing is that I was extremely inconsistent in working on them when they year started, like most people I jumped off a cliff, flapped my wings a bit and by March I had fallen flat on my face.
It’s like with gym. In January it’s irritatingly packed because everyone has resolutions to live a healthier life. By March, it’s back to normal with you and the usual being regulars again, and everyone else back to their normal non-working-out lives.

How did I manage to get through my list you ask? I woke up on Sunday 01 June and reflected. I went back to my plans, and only one small thing was ticked off. I was disappointed in myself. The biggest kind of disappoint is when you disappoints yourself isn’t it? So for the 5 months that I wasted in 2014, I decided to use the month of June to catch up. If it meant sleepless nights, losing some friends and being anti-social then so be it. So I went ahead and dived into re-working what I had given up on.
Yesterday (30 June) I looked back at my list and scratched out a whole lot of things. And then the oracle hit me: “If I can do what I planned to do over 6 months in a month, how much more can I do?” I can change the world if I wanted to mos!

Goal Setting and achieving them is not as hard as we make it out to be. Here are some tips that make it easier:
• WRITE YOUR GOALS DOWN: This brings them to life!
• SET REALISTIC GOALS: It’s important to set goals that you can achieve. All sorts of people can set unrealistic goals for you. They will often do this in ignorance of your own desires and ambitions.
• BE PRECISE: Set precise goals, putting in dates, times and amounts so that you can measure achievement.
• SET PRIORITIES: When you have several goals, give each a priority. This helps you to avoid feeling overwhelmed by having too many goals,
• KEEP OPERATIONAL GOALS SMALL: Keep the low-level goals that you’re working towards small and achievable. If a goal is too large, then it can seem that you are not making progress towards it. Keeping goals small gives more opportunities for reward.

When you’ve achieved a goal, take the time to enjoy the satisfaction of having done so. Observe the progress that you’ve made towards other goals. If the goal was a significant one, reward yourself. Celebrate it!
I know people who refuse to have resolutions or set goals of any kind because they fear that they are setting themselves up for failure, but goal setting is important. It helps you:
• Decide what you want to achieve in your life.
• Separates what’s important from what’s irrelevant
• Motivates you
• And builds your self-confidence
Habakkuk 2:2 encourages us to “Write down our visions, in order to run with them.”
If you are halfway through the year and haven’t achieved what you had originally planned when the year started, it’s not too late. You have 6 months to get it done. Yes you can! After all: “You can do all things through Christ” (Philippians 4:13) and “you are more than a Conqueror through Christ” (Romans 8:37).

LOVE IS ENOUGH

February 23, 2014

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I’m no relationship expert. I give great advice based on my 35 years of life’s experiences, learning from others and reading a lot, but I am no way an expert. This is very clear in that, yes I’m able to help others save their marriages and relationship, but I can’t maintain my own. (Ya ok, so I’m being hard on myself, moving on…)

In my lack of not really knowing much, one of my favourite lines when it comes to “forever after’s” is “Love is not enough.” How many of you have heard that? How many of you have said it? When your daughter/ niece/ younger sister comes and tells you that they are head over heels in love, and this he is the one, and they are going to spend forever together. And you look at her with pity thinking “shem, so young and so naïve.” We tend to do that right?

This week I got a bit of a wake-up call, what I would like to refer to as a revelation about Love. Maybe you have always knows this, but I got a whole new perspective on the matter. Someone tweeted something about a couple getting married because they love each other, and my response was “but love is not enough.” The Holy Spirit immediately rebuked me, and I had to stop tweeting and listen. Selah.

Let’s look at what the Bible says about love, both as a noun and as a verb.

  • 1 John 4:8 tells us that God is Love.

  • 1 Corinthians 13: 3-8, (and we all know this one) in The Message reads: “Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, doesn’t have a swelled head, doesn’t force itself on others, isn’t always “me first, “doesn’t fly off the handle, doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, doesn’t revel when others grovel,takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end. Love never dies.”

Verse 8 in the New King James Version says “Love Never Fails” (I have this as a tattoo, if you don’t like tattoos, judge me its fine).

If God is Love, then when we mix the two together, this is what you get:
God never gives up. God cares more for others than for self.
God doesn’t want what He doesn’t have. God doesn’t strut, nor does He have a swelled head, He doesn’t force Himself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” doesn’t fly off the handle, doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, doesn’t revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end. God never dies.

I’m quite certain right now you are nodding and agreeing with the above because that is who and what God is.

Now, the question is, if we constantly ridicule other people’s love lives, and give our own small minded opinions then we are basically saying that God is not enough. And this is a lie. The Beatles sang the song “All you need is love,”  and without realizing it they were singing All you need is God!

I was watching the movie Mandela with a friend and my analysis of Evelyn’s vs. Winnie’s relationship with Madiba was “Evelyn was love intense, she was too emotional. She didn’t have anything more that connected her with Tata. With Winnie on the other hand, there was love, but over and above that there was purpose.” I don’t think I was completely wrong in my analysis, except I took love and turned it into an emotion. Love is more than just feelings of excitement, and butterflies. It’s more than just infatuation and intense jealousy. It goes beyond that.  Yes purpose and vision are a necessity for in relationships (Amos 3:3), but it is God who gives you purpose and vision.

So when we say “love is not enough”, I tend to think we are referring to the excitement, butterflies, the passion, and the intense emotions. Of course those will fizzle away, but it’s when all of those have settled down that the 1 Corinthians 13 kind of Love kicks in. That’s when you really need GOD to make it work.

God is Love. Love Never Fails. Therefore God Never Fails.

If God is enough, and He is all you need, then all you need is Love, and Love is enough.

Love Always
Lerato Molele

 

 

IT’S NOT HOW OLD YOU ARE, IT’S HOW YOU ARE OLD

February 7, 2014

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I generally don’t have issues with my age. I’m not that type of woman who gets all hot and bothered when asked “how old are you?” I don’t even think twice about sharing my age. Although I do try and make them guess, so I can feel a little better after they tell me I’m 5 years younger than I really, but I’m quite comfortable with my age.The issue that I’ve always had is the bodily gravitation that goes with ageing. I’m quite finicky about having, keeping and maintaining a good body. I am fussy about getting wrinkles and greying hair. As comfortable as I am about my age, I am uncomfortable about looking old.

As Murphy’s Law would have it, the one thing that runs through my family as the grey hair effect. Both my parents went grey at a young age, and both of them dyed their hair for the longest time. My brother started going grey at a young age as well, and now I’m next in line. Here I am, at 35 years of age, with grey hair. I never thought I would be that woman who dyed her hair, but here I am dying my hair black (don’t try and convince how sexy grey hair is and how I should leave it. I won’t).

Yesterday, I had coffee into a friend that I have known for over 15 years, but I hadn’t seen him in a long time. The first thing he said to me was “wow Razz, you have such a mature body now.” I was startled a bit, because I was not sure if he was calling me “big.” I asked him what he meant and he said “for the longest time you’ve looked like you were eternally 20, now you look like a woman.” That still stunned me, because I still wasn’t sure what he meant. And there I went detailing how hard I work out, how much I run, how I live on fruit and vegetables and he was telling me I look fat. Poor guy didn’t stand a chance.  After all my rambling all he could say was “All I’m saying is you look really good.” That managed to shut me up.

I was at a wedding at the other day, and the photographer took a pic of me whilst I was not watching. He sent me the picture. The first thing that went through my mind when I read it was, “Lerato you are getting old.”  I showed someone who’s opinion I value and asked them what they thought of the picture (not of me, of the picture), and he said “you look a bit angry (that’s not the point), and mature. Ekare o ausi o mongwe so.” That’s it! That’s when reality hit that I am growing older, and I cannot fight it, or try to stick to looking 20 anymore. I’m not saying I’m going to stop eating right and working out like a maniac, but I’ve decided to make peace with the fact that I am no longer part of the youth. I am reaching out to 36, and my body will naturally, move along with my age.

Then I read an article that I picked up off Facebook, and it made so much sense to me.

The link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/margaret-manning/advice-from-older-women_b_4675716.html?ir=Arts

Points 11, 12, 13, 27, made sense to me

In the words of Audrey Hepburn – “And the beauty of a woman, with passing years only grows!”

Love Always
Lerato Molele

RUN AND PRAY

February 3, 2014

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I HATE RUNNING!   That comes as a shock to you right? I used to run in school, but I was a sprinter and I loathed long distance running, and to me, anything longer than 200metres was long distance. So why do I currently torture myself with running you ask?

Several years ago I quit work (yes, it happens.) You either hate your job, or your boss pisses you off, or you just up and quit because you can’t it anymore. So I did exactly. And with quitting my job, came the sacrifices of cutting down on “a life of luxury.” I had to give up medical aid, which lead to giving up on gym, which lead to running (because I’m not the type to not be physically active). I didn’t start running because I loved it and wanted to do it. I started cause I had to.

The day I discovered that I love running is the day I was running and I stopped and started jumping up and down on the road because of a revelation that the Holy Spirit had given me. Thank God it was early in the morning and the streets were empty. (I won’t share what that revelation was, that’s not the point.)

The runs following that were always bliss (spiritually), because I had realized that my time of running was my “quite time” with God. It’s a time where the road, I and the Lord come together and talk. It’s a time when He tells me great things I do not know. It’s a time when I listen to praise and worship songs and give Him the little strength that I have and let Him give me much more. It’s a time of meditation and revelation. Many a time I have started running with questions and uncertainties and finished the run with answers and clarity. It’s a time of fellowship with the Holy Spirit. The Lord took that one thing that I hated, and turned it into something worthwhile.  Even though I sometimes still hate running, I continue to do it because there is a bigger and a higher purpose for me in it.

Isn’t just like God to take the things that aren’t pleasant in our lives and turn them into wonderful things. Beauty for ashes. Making pearls from sand. What an awesome God.

Romans 8: 28 is a promise for those who love God and the promise is that God turns everything to good, that God will somehow or other bring the best out of a bad situation for those who love him,We know that by turning everything to their good, God co-operates with all those who love him. Evil/ bad things do not have the last word. God has the last word for those who love him, and that last word is that God will turn everything to their good. Paul is certainly not denying that bad things can happen to those who love God, but he gives the reassurance that God will turn everything to their good.

 There are many examples of God turning evil to good in the lives of those who love him. One example is Joseph who was sold as a slave by his brothers to traders going down to Egypt but in Egypt he became second in command. During the famine in Canaan his brothers came down to Egypt for food and he reassured them saying that the evil they did to him had been turned to good by God because now his family would be spared of starvation through him. From the pit to that the prison, to the palace.

Every tough situation in our lives, every uncomfortable situation, and every heartbreaking situation is placed in our lives so that God’s goodness can ultimately prevail.

So even though I hate running, and even though my body wants to give it up, even though sometimes my knees want to give in, even though I sometimes feel like quitting, as I meditate on Him, I grow stronger and keep pushing. The same applies not just on the road, but in real life. As you focus more on God, the stronger you will grow for it’s when you are weak that He is strong (2 Corinthians 12:10).

So don’t give up on your race. Keep running. Feel free to become what I am “A praying runner.”

Because of the Lord, I LOVE RUNNING!

In the wise words of Harriet Beecher Stowe – “When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” 

Have a look at this amazing video for motivation:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O30oCasSoMc

Love Always
Lerato Molele