A fortnight ago, as I join other Ugandans in mourning Doreen Tashobya, the girl who died in a gruesome accident in Entebbe recently, and think of all the great things she was yet to achieve, I am forced to think about myself, and what will be considered my last message.
What will I really be remembered for? I know I am a story teller, but what story will you remember me best for? Whichever day it is, when my time on this earth is done, of all the stories I have told, or of all the stories I am yet to tell, there is one story that if I took with me to the grave, I would not rest easy….
The story of my greatest friend. You may have come across my friend at some point of your life, He’s
actually everywhere so it’s pretty hard to miss Him. But then again, He does not call attention to himself, so it could be easy to sort of pass Him by.
So… anyway…about this friend… My friend is known by many names. The most curious name I think is
Word. I think I will call Him by that name here because that is the name that was used at the very beginning.
My friend and his Dad created everything that we know, and lots of things we are yet to discover. What I find most amazing is that they created you and me to be like them in all ways and They even breathed their own breath into us, imagine that….only that, we are not all “Them” all at once because I don’t think one person could possibly carry all that awesomeness alone.
The only challenge with this is that since we are so awesome, unlike all other things my friend created, we can make our own minds up and sometimes we make up our minds to do really stupid things, things even we know we shouldn’t be doing.
But my awesome friend and His Dad already had a plan to deal with this…. Right at the beginning, my friend agreed to be born in the body of a puny, little, helpless baby and live like us and then die.
By dying, He was able to take all our wrongs…anything we could ever conceive of doing…….He owned it all……so that in exchange, we could be all He ever is, awesome. The only thing we needed to do to get full advantage of this offer is BELIEVE!
1 Believe and accept. That was all. By doing that, one earned the right to become a son of His Father…and take on a new identity and citizenship. For very long, I didn’t understand my friend! I couldn’t possibly understand how doing ‘nothing’ could earn me such a big, big thing.
You never get anything for nothing, right? You have to work hard for everything! So I did lots of things. I changed the way I acted, tried to say the right words only, associate with the right people, and not do the wrong things.
But at the end of the day I am only human so naturally, some of those bad habits come back to haunt. Sometimes I felt so bad about everything that I stopped bothering to try!
But my friend kept following me around because He knew where my heart really is. One day, this friend of mine made sure I get hold of a certain book by a woman I admire who had struggled with believing and becoming His friend.
The more I read, the more I understood…..my friend just needed me to believe in Him, accept that He is all in all, that He has it figured out, that He wants to be there for me no matter what. He wanted me to understand like this woman I admired that once I am His, it doesn’t matter how weak I am, because He has my back.
He wanted me to understand that once I am His Father’s child, I am always His Father’s child. He wanted me to let go so much that He deliberately showed me something He had revealed to someone who believed in Him. Eventually, I decided to believe Him and I took hold of those words which I brandished at Him every time I felt uncertain.
I follow my friend till today, Not blindly but doggedly. I keep falling, but I keep following and He keeps telling me all sorts of things that help me understand Him better and follow Him closer. He has watched me make the uttermost mess of things, yet when I come back to Him, He takes me back.
We have the sort of relationship I have with my own daughter –unconditional love. With time I have come to understand that just the same way I want my girl to come to me regardless of what mess she makes and trust that I will help her sort it out and that I still love her no matter what….He wants me to come to Him because He loves me no matter what.
I am gradually learning more about my friend, His Dad and the Breath they breathed into me. Sometimes I am ‘slow’ and it takes time to get things through my head, sometimes I pick up very fast and we don’t have to repeat the lesson. It’s a really loving relationship we have.
There is no fear involved, just total acceptance and genuine goodwill on His part. Of course there is discipline involved, but it’s not about the discipline, it’s more about the love. If today was the last day of my life, forget all the other stories I have told you.
Forget the gifts I have given you or kind words I have said to you. Please, please, forget the wrongs I have committed against you. Whatever you do, remember this story I have just told you, and next time you come across my friend, allow Him to be your friend too.