Visiting My Relatives
Last Saturday, my parents were scheduled to visit a relative of ours called Kaguma (an uncle to me) who was hosting a party in his home. The party, known as "itegi" in Kikuyu, was for the families of Uncle Kaguma and of his future in-laws to get to know each other. I hadn't purposed to attend the party but when I came back home from an energizing one-hour walk, I contemplated going. So I enquired of the Lord, "Should I attend the party or not?"
Shortly after enquiring that of the Lord, I became convinced that it was proper for me to attend the party so that I could interact with people and know my relatives. I therefore made up my mind that I would visit Uncle Kaguma together with my parents.
When time for leaving home reached, it started raining heavily which made Dad doubt whether it was wise of us to go. But when it stopped raining, he phoned a certain taxi driver who came home immediately. On seeing the taxi drive into our home, I went inside the house to pick my bag in which I had packed my Bible for reading during any idle moments that might arise. I also uttered a short prayer for journey mercies and for delightful interactions with people.
We left home at around 1.00p.m. The sky was cloudy as we headed to Uncle Kaguma's home. And there was a hint of chill in the air. Thankfully, it was pleasantly warm inside the taxi. And whenever the taxi got stuck in traffic, I read in the Bible the story of how King Solomon built the temple of the Lord.
When we reached Runda Estate where Uncle Kaguma lives, we passed by a posh mansion - the kind I would love to own - and thought to myself, "Now, when will I ever build such a house?"
While in Runda Estate, we had trouble finding the street on which Uncle Kaguma's house is located. But after asking for directions for about six times, we finally reached our destination. We found guests lining up for food. I too lined up and served myself a couple of dishes.
As I feasted on the dishes, I struck up conversations with a number of people including Uncle Kaguma. I also listened to the songs that were playing in the background. And I particularly remember one Kikuyu song that said there is a God in heaven who never embarasses those who put their trust in Him.
Because we had to visit my brother Paddy who lives nearby, we didn't stay at Uncle Kaguma's home for long. So I didn't get to know and meet Uncle Kaguma's family and his future in-laws. We left his home at around 5.35p.m. And as we were heading to Paddy's home, I saw a rainbow majestically curving across the sky. I marvelled at the sight of the rainbow and motioned Mum to have a look at it too.
At Paddy's home, I was impressed with the way my nephew Nathan has grown into a playful, energetic ball of shiny muscle. He kept running around the house while shouting like the siren of an ambulance. And he was talking a level of English I wouldn't have expected from a two-year old. Like when my mother asked him where butter-nut was, he replied, "I don't know!"
As we were in Paddy's house, Nathan started kicking a ball to his dad (Paddy, that is). Everytime he kicked the ball to Paddy, he would turn to me and triumphantly say, "I did it!" And once when he kicked the ball and it bounced into the kitchen, he yelled to Paddy, " Go for it!"
If my nephew Nathan stays on that trajectory of speaking intelligent English, I foresee him becoming a great author and speaker. I really was impressed with his talking.
We also didn't stay at Paddy's home for long because it was getting dark. So after Mum finished the meal that had been prepared for her in the house, we began our journey back home and arrived safely at around 9.15p.m. When I got back home, I thank God for the journey mercies and for the delightful conversations I had had with my relatives. He had answered my prayer.
All told, last Saturday turned out to be a well-spent day for me. And I will strive to create more such days in the future.. So help me God.
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story of mine on visiting my relatives, you might also enjoy another one I wrote sometimes back on "A Trip to My Ancestral Land". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.
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Overcoming the Past
As you may have deduced from the stories I post on this lovely blog of mine, I go for a walk everyday to my hometown of Kiserian, which is about three kilometres from where I live. I go for walks to keep fit and to control my weight. And to make the walks fun and enjoyable, I usually meditate and observe my surroundings while walking.
Early last week while walking in Kiserian, I spotted a young man lying by the roadside near a certain petrol station. He was lying on his stomach, so I didn't get to see his face. Nobody seemed to mind the sight of the idle young man, even the motorbike riders who were seated nearby waiting for customers. As I passed by, I thought of how pathetic the young man's life must be for him to lie by the roadside doing nothing during the day.
A few days later while going for my daily walk in Kiserian, I saw a young man near the same petrol station talking loudly to no one in particular. He was dirty and unkempt - the kind of ruffian that would scare a little innocent girl away. As I passed by him, I guessed he was the same young man I had seen lying on his stomach by the roadside a few days before.
Then last Sunday during my walk in Kiserian, I saw a small crowd milling around the stairs of a certain building in the town. Out of curiosity, I went to see what had attracted the crowd to the spot. And when I went near enough, I saw that it was the same young man I had seen talking aloud a few days before. He still looked dirty and unkempt. And he was talking angrily to the small crowd as a man interrogated him. The whole scene resembled that of a mob beating a small-time thief.
I didn't hang around and find out what had attracted the small crowd to the dirty and unkempt young man. Instead, I turned on my heel and continued my walk back home, finding it wise to mind my own business.
Later on while mulling over the fate of the young man who had appeared on my radar screen last week, I wondered what kind of a woman had given birth to him. I mean, which mother would permit his son to grow into such a miserable wretch as he?
Then I thought of what would happen to the wretched young man if he reformed into a good person. He would certainly suffer from unbearable guilt because of his miserable past. I have personally felt guilty over what I have done and said in the past even though I haven't been that miserable. How much more guilt the young man would feel! It could even drive him to commit suicide.
Overcoming the past can be a daunting task for those of us who have been miserable. Our conscience keeps on tormenting us with guilt and shame every time we remember something wrong we did or said in the past. But it doesn't have to remain that way. We can overcome the past and lead a life of joy and peace.
One of the most effective ways to overcome the past is to acquire knowledge by reading books. Knowledge will help us put everything in perspective. It will also help us learn that we are not the only sinners. So if you are having trouble in overcoming the past, my advice to you is: read widely and wisely.
Another effective way to overcome the past is to believe in a loving, forgiving God and then confess our sins to Him. The Bible promises us that if we confess our sins to God, He will forgive us and purify us from all unrighteousness.
When I talk of confessing our sins, I am reminded of my boyhood days when I admitted my sins before a Catholic priest. I used to feel nervous while going for the confession sessions despite the fact that the priest was always seated behind a veil in a way we couldn't see each other. And I remember confessing such sins as killing an innocent animal. The priest would patiently listen to my sins and then recommend some prayers for me to recite in the church.
Even though I don't think it's necessary to confess our sins through a priest, I like the way the Catholic Church instills a penitent spirit in its followers. Such is the kind of spirit I would recommend to anyone struggling to overcome the past. Adieu!
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story of mine on overcoming the past, you might also enjoy another one I wrote sometimes back on "Slaying the Dragon of Guilt". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.