#brokenbutnotafraid 8

Be the routine breaker

“When the king heard about what had happened, he tried to have Moses killed, but Moses fled and went to live in the land of Midian. One day, when Moses was sitting by a well, seven daughters of Jethro, the priest of Midian, came to draw water and fill the troughs for their father’s sheep and goats.

But some shepherds drove Jethro’s daughters away. Then Moses went to their rescue and watered their animals for them. When they returned to their father, he asked, “Why have you come back so early today?” “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds,” they answered, “and he even drew water for us and watered our animals.””

‭‭Exodus‬ ‭2:15-19‬ ‭GNB‬‬

http://bible.com/296/exo.2.15-19.gnb

So Moses flees Egypt and goes to the wilderness in the land of Midian, but that is not where my story is.

I meditated on Exodus 2:19 over my last shift using a colleague’s Bible that she had left on our work desk and the story above has been with me since then.

  1. The Midian Priest had a huge problem. We only hear of his daughters and no sons. I assume if he had any son or sons they were too young to be shepherds and therefore the task fell on his girls because I believe, his office as a priest did not allow him to be out herding sheep.
  2. The second problem was obviously centered on the well that must have been the only water source around the place as it is said to have been the point for drawing drinking water and watering animals. This meant that the well was a Key Strategic Point and it therefore came with the strictures and pain such places bring.
  3. The third problem was a gender issue. The Bible says the shepherds bullied the girls and chased them away from the watering point meaning,because of the bullies , the girls could not draw water for home and to let their animals drink.
  4. The fourth problem was time. Because of the first three problems it meant that the girls had to wait until the bully shepherds had had their fun and fill before they could draw water and have their animals drink. This meant that despite being among the first to arrive , the girls were always last to leave the well. It means they always drew bad water and that their animals drank when they were at the point of dehydration and that meant that when they arrived at home they were late for their girl chores as dictated by the patriarchal society of that time.

Then enter the ROUTINE BREAKER, Moses:

  • He stops the bullies
  • He rescues the girls
  • He draws water for them to cart home
  • He waters their animals
  • MOSES BROKE THE ROUTINE

And because routine breaker arrived on the scene , the girls went home at the time they deserved and even the priest realized their return on time. Normalcy had been returned by a foreigner who could not stomach abusive and disruptive routine.
Losing fear of fear will make you see the bad things that need to be broken. It will give you a voice for the mute , it will give you anger for the oppressed and down trodden and you would gladly go to bed happily knowing that you did your bit to restore things to good routine.

#betheroutinebreaker

#brokenbutnotafraid

#iamphindelasson

……… To be continued

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#brokenbutnotafraid 7

Let the storm come !!!

The above picture is still the dry river bed of Limpopo near Sentinel Farm. But at a certain point between December and February this year the same river bank was bursting it’s seams and raging.

In its rage it carried uprooted massive trees trunks for kilometres on end and only dumped them when the storms stopped.

In the image above all the trees and scree do not belong to the river bed. They got entangled in the small islands when the storm subsided.

These are the challenges that end up on you door step and at times fear make you belive they are there for eternity…. until the next storm comes.

When the next storm comes it will find the tree trunks cracked, bored by termites and slowly breaking apart and it will take a small nudge of the powerful water to break the huge tree trunks into smithereens and none existence and the little surviving debris will be taken further down the river.

So, do not be afraid of the coming storm. It bears more strength and will sweep away the ills of the past season from your doorstep.

Brace for the storm. It will take away the rubble.

Brace for the storm. It would rather bring new challenges for newer territories.

And at the seventh time he said, “Behold, a little cloud like a man’s hand is rising from the sea.” And he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot and go down, lest the rain stop you.'” And in a little while the heavens grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode and went to Jezreel.
1 Kings 18:44‭-‬45 ESV
http://bible.com/59/1ki.18.44-45.ESV

Remember, raging storms leave clean river banks. Same story with life, all challenges bring cleaner slates, greater wisdom and more courage to walk forward.

#brokenbutnotafraid

#braceforthestorm

#iamphindelasson

#brokenbutnotafraid 6

Are you afraid?

In the above image from my sojourn on duty during the Nedbank Three Country Cycling Tour 2017, I was on the dry river bed of the great Limpopo River around Sentinel Farm.

My lesson today is short.

I took off my shoe and set it against the foot imprint of an elephant that had crossed earlier and therewith the lessons began.

  1. I needed a shoe to cross the dry river bed but the elephant feet came suited for the walk. In this I learnt that each one of us faces different odds and needs different interventions to walk the journey of life.
  2. My shoe helped me protect my feet but that did not make my feet as big as the elephant’s. In this I learnt that it is not the size that will help but a comfortable fit will help my feet take me across the riverbed of challenges.
  3. Trying to match the stride and steps of the elephant would have made me walk in a drunken maze and almost in circles so I did not. I learnt that I have to walk my own journey, patented on my footsteps and destination.
  4. My shoe would not fit on an elephant. I learnt that life is not one size fits all. Every step requires it’s own effort and leaves it’s own imprint on the sand.
  5. I cannot substitute my legs for an elephant one in as much as I might want to walk in gigantic steps. Actually, the only link to to a human being that carries a name similar to an elephant is a disease borne by a mosquito called elephantiasis or elephants foot disease !! From this I deduce that one cannot seek to walk in another’s shoes or feet and trying to do so will result in disability.

So, we must not be afraid of our footsteps. We must not envy the elephant’s feet and we must not be afraid to cut our shoes and wear them!!! We must not be afraid.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9 ESV
http://bible.com/59/jos.1.9.ESV

#brokenbutnotafraid

#iamphindelasson

#brokenbutnotafraid 5

Walk your path

My sojourn in the Shashe valley in the past few weeks still continues to reveal lessons. I am grateful to the devices that allowed me to record as many photos that are now revealing a lot of lessons to me.

In the above image that I took on the dry Limpopo River bed near Sentinel Farm there are two deposits, elephant dung and faecal pellets from an impala.

From them I made a great number of observations.

  1. Both the elephant and impala ate grass but the elephant ate many times the weight of the impala as evidenced by the dung pile.
  2. Both crossed the dry riverbed in search of water and possibly more food.
  3. Both needed, possibly at the same time, to relive themselves so as to create space for more food and water.

I learnt a lesson here. Even if the impala ate a hundredth of what the elephant foraged , they both had lived and trekked across the same expanse river bed.

Even if the impala weighed enough to be equivalent to one ivory tusk of the elephant this did not stop it walking where the elaphant trudged.

Even if the impala took twenty dainty steps for every two the elephant took it did not stop the impala from reaching the river bank and crossing over.

So, it ain’t the grass amount, no the giant steps but it is the resolve to beat the odds and keep going that wins the game.

I am not afraid of my tiny steps, I am no longer afraid of my resolve because I have learnt one great thing; Both the impala and elephant share the same amount of the gift of life.

Dainty steps, giant steps, mounds of grass, nibblings of grass, all that matters is to keep walking to cross the river bed in pursuit of greater goals.

I am not afraid to step where giants tread. I am no longer afraid of fear.

#brokenbutnotafraid

#iamphindelasson

#brokenbutnotafraid 4

Shoot me !!

The above picture is a long range photo of a monkey seating on the top of a hillock at Maramani Rest Camp in the Shashe area in Beitbridge West.

I take photography as a hobby and it has helped me have a clear introspection into life in so many ways.

I have shot thousands of pictures ever since my high school friend Knox Lollipop L Chipengule taught me how to operate a camera as far back as 1993.

Now back to the picture. Monkeys are very perceptive and respond with quick reflexes. Their lives depend on that.

I was at least eighty metres away from the fellow when I spotted him and tried to capture of him. I believed the distance was not obtrusive but was I wrong!! He had already spotted me as I raised my camera and extended my lens of the Canon SX410 IS.

All he did was extend his tail down the rock and turn slightly to the right as if in a pose. Two frames later he bounded off.

Therewith my lesson. The fellow knew his environs and was aware of what was focusing on him even if it was eighty metres away.

Because he knew his environs, he also knew what posed a threat to him. I guess little urchins have taken potshots with a catapult at him and he knew how to duck to safety but I guess because he knew of what danger is, he was aware that the camera meant no harm.

The fellow knew his environment, knew his abode and knew what would harm him hence he had no fear of the fellow at the mountain bottom.

There I learnt, when I know where I am, what I am facing and where my refuge is, I have no reason to fear.

I am not afraid of fear.

#brokenbutnotafraid

#iamphindelasson

#brokenbutnotafraid 3

Who’s got the power?

The above picture was taken by me on the river bed of Limpopo near Sentinel Farm a few days ago.

There are two apparent things, a mound of elephant dung and a helicopter.

This photo taught me the third lesson in my fear losing series.

1. A helicopter is at the mercy of an elephant as long as the chopper is on the ground. The elephant can actually crush the perspex glass and aluminium frame without breaking a sweat because the chopper is powerless on the ground.

Whoever is on a grounded chopper when an elephant comes ambling has all reasons to fear.

So, on the ground the elephant has no fear of the chopper. He can deposit a mound and release litres of urine under no threat and amble up the river bank. Safe.

2. An elephant is at the mercy of a flying chopper. I have seen helicopters coral and herd off herds of elephants in a wanted direction, seen darts shot from choppers to temporarily put the big beasts to sleep and have seen elephants shot from choppers. As long as the chopper is in the air, the elephant has all reason to worry to an extent of stopping dung depositing and river bed watering to run for cover in the Mopani foliage.

Therewith is my lesson.

The moment I learnt my place I lost fear of the odds against me.

I choose to walk and stay where I am strong and safe, after all, elephants don’t fly but rule the ground and choppers rule the sky.

So, I have the power when I am grounded. I am not afraid. I have lost fear of fear.

#brokenbutnotafraid

#iamphindelasson

Listen carefully to the toxins

A toxin is an organic poison — it’s made by plants and animals. Toxins make people sick. If your appendix bursts, toxins are released into your blood stream. Also breathing in a toxin like ricin will make you very ill.                                                                                               Toxin definition courtesy of http://www.vocabulary.com

I have since learnt a good lesson. 

I thought to share it with us today. 

In the life I have lived I have come to learn that not everyone will run the race with you. There are those who have no intention to run but will stop you from running. Life.

In the same sphere there are those who will whisper honey into you but secretly connect a poisonous drip into your system. That’s life.

I have learnt to listen to words very carefully and usually let my slow processor digest before I respond. In listening to words I have learnt a number of lessons and I list them below.

1. Listen carefully to what people say to you and about you when they are angry or emotional. It is the real picture of what they think of you. When you hear only derogatory and degrading terms thrown at you in disagreement, listen carefully. That is what that person perceives of you.

2. My English teacher at high school used to tell us that anger is a state of temporary madness. In anger people lose restraint. The same restraint they apply when whispering sweet nothings in the throes of NSFW 18 activities. So to me what you say to me when you are not in control of your emotions portrays the real picture of your perception of me.

3. Toxins are not poisonous if not ingested. I have learnt not to let poisonous people pass their toxins to me. As long as they keep their toxins to their system I am safe. The same way I am safe if I do not let a black mamba bite me and thus inject its venom into me. The mamba can keep on living….. As long as it does not entertain the idea of introducing me to its venom..

4. Toxins are safe in their place. I have learnt to know my place. My place means I will not allow the toxins to come my way. That way I am safe. Smell the toxins but never inhale them.

The next time toxins rain towards you do not listen to reply. Listen to the toxins. They will tell you more about the person and what they perceive of you.

That wisdom will help you decide where to walk and whom to walk with…

#toxicfree

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