Our Lives & Our Passions

I have not written a blog post in months! Possibly because I have been busy or perhaps procrastination had more to do with it. Oh well. This morning I read in the news about Pakistan’s Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti who was shot dead in Islamabad. Mr Bhatti was assassinated for his fight for a reform to blasphemy laws in Pakistan.

This news saddened me greatly firstly because he is human like every one of us who has been killed unjustly and also because I had heard him at a conference about 3 years ago. It was clear he was passionate about his cause and was willing to give his life for it. We all as well as himself knew he would some day. However we did not know when. I definitely hoped it would not be so soon.

This event got me thinking about 2 things:

Could this have been avoided? From the BBC News report, “he had complained about not being given extra protection in spite of the obvious threats he faced”. How come he was not adequately protected? Then I wondered about him and those around him – were they praying for his safety and wellbeing knowing the dangers he faced daily? When can you say you have prayed enough anyway? I know that God answers prayers and it is by His grace that we live on. Perhaps his death is all in the plan…I only know in part but I prefer people alive and fighting on rather than as martyrs. This is my preference, God knows best. Just some of the questions I had racing through my mind.

Secondly I asked myself “are you so passionate about anything, enough to be willing to give your life for it?” I believe this is passion in its highest form. Should we even develop and embrace this sort of passion? Christ was passionate about people. His love for man cost Him His life.

Where is my passion? Where is yours? I believe passion defines us and adds colour to our lives. It gives us something to live and if possible die for. This may sound somewhat morbid but the truth is this: passion births results. Every dream, value, goal and cause requires zeal, seriousness, focus and some form of sacrifice. Without these, they will eventually die. I believe Mr Bhatti was dead (in the sense of it) before he was actually killed. I doubt he would have continued in his fight had he not resolved to lay fear, doubt, complacency and the other things that usually keep us from moving toward our desired goals and expectations. In his own words (I paraphrase), he was ready to die for his cause – for the lives of minority faiths in his country.

I am not saying that whatever you believe in would cost you your life, rather that whatever you believe in or are aiming for, be passionate about it. Fight for it, run with zeal, encourage yourself, be courageous then watch the sown seeds of desire, watered by your hard-work sprout, grow and birth fruit.

I pray that God will provide comfort for the family and friends of Mr Bhatti. I hope this would bring about the change he gave his life for. May the Prince of peace dwell in all of our hearts.

Be passionate x

Push

Happy Monday to you :-). Hope you had a lovely weekend. Mine was laid back. I missed many friends but this week is full of fun for us ;-).
You may have read or heard the story of Peter Harvey- a teacher who struck a 14yr old pupil with a 3kg dumbbell in July last year. He was in the news again last week as he was acquitted of attempted murder and causing grievous bodily harm with intent. You may read his story here.
At first I wanted to write regarding some shocking comments I had heard and read about how his behaviour was justified because the pupils pushed him to it. However I came across this statement whilst reading his story again  on BBC News Website – “But in July 2009, Harvey snapped after years of taunts and abuse both inside and outside the classroom”  and it all made a little more sense to me. Prior to this event, Mr Harvey “was signed off sick for nearly five months and given counselling sessions by a therapist who told him he was too peaceful and passive and needed to let his anger out”. I realised that the trouble was not that Harvey let his anger out rather he let anger build up within him over time. I believe that Mr Harvey’s response was not to the pupil’s mannerism toward him on the day but to “years of taunts and abuse.”
Its a shame that Peter Harvey snapped and fractured this pupil’s skull in the process and I feel sad for both parties as they both have to deal with this in their own ways. However there is a principle to learn from this event. There’s the saying that a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Crucial as it may seem, it is not just the last step that brings you to your destination but a build up of every step taken – large and little.
A few days ago I was pondering over some unanswered prayers. The above story has encouraged me however to keep pressing on. I am encouraged not to give up. Every day is important. Every step towards the goal counts no matter how little.
To illustrate this, I want to tell another story (according to Jesus). Thinking out loud, I wonder if Jesus began some of his parables with “once upon a time”. Anyway, Once upon a time, there was a very horrid Judge who cared about nobody but himself. In his town, there was a very persistent widow who kept coming to him seeking justice against an adversary. Now this horrid Judge was unjust and uncaring however the persistent widow knew what she wanted and she was determined to ask until she got it. One day, the judge became tired of seeing the widow’s face and thought to himself, “I cannot bear to deal with this woman one more day. Unless I grant her request, she will be back tomorrow.” So horrid judge granted persistent widow justice (See Luke 18:1-8 I have told this story my own way but message still the same). The principle to glean from this story as well as the incident with Mr Harvey and the pupils is “if you are persistent enough, you will reach your goal”.

The pupils kept pushing Mr Harvey’s ‘red button’ and one day in July 2009, the button worked (I am not saying this was their goal). The only issue is that the result was not pleasant. Nonetheless, the lesson is timeless. We all have dreams, desires, and goals to attain , if we do not lose heart, we will get there. My siblings and I prayed for my mother to believe in Jesus as the bible says He is for many years (about 10years in total) and she did late last year. We still have other hurdles to cross so we are persistent, and I am sure we will get to the other side.
Jesus promised that He would return to earth some day, every day that goes by is a step closer to His return. Remain steadfast and do not tire in doing good. According to Him, if you are faithful to the end, you will wear the crown. So whatever good you find yourself doing, keep at it. Whatever you are asking for today, keep asking. Perhaps you need a particular door to open, keep knocking. One day, you will arrive at your destination. Every petition, supplication, thanksgiving and praise offered up counts. So don’t get up from your knees till you see your answer. Every decision, step, action towards your goal counts so don’t stop moving, crawl if you have to.

Never give up xx

© 2010 Arielle Ajibade