Time and chance 2 – the local town seers: seeing beyond the town

11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. Ecclesiastes 9:11 King James Version (KJV)

In the first episode, I discussed how Elisha defied all odds to remain focused on the goal ; his master and Elijah acknowledged that what Elisha desired was a mammoth task but if he focused and saw his master being taken, the double anointing was his. Elisha focused and saw Elijah being taken and the double anointing was his to take.

But the journey had been a long one and had taken a long journey through three cities each with fifty seers who knew Elijah was going but seemed keen only on the glee but not the benefit.

Now the sons of the prophets who were at Bethel came out to Elisha, and said to him, “Do you know that the Lord will take away your master from over you today?” And he said, “Yes, I know; keep silent!”
II Kings 2:3 NKJV
https://bible.com/bible/114/2ki.2.3.NKJV

After failing to dissuade Elisha from remaining behind at Gilgal, they then travelled 95km together to Bethel. I am not sure what conversations they had but I know Elisha would not be dissuaded to turn back.

https://www.distancesfrom.com/distance-from-Gilgal-to-bethel-Israel/DistanceHistory/39100799.aspx

But then there was another obstacle. At Bethel there were fifty seers who were in tune with what was going to happen to Elijah and they were all keen to make sure Elisha felt the grief.

But still Elisha would not be dissuaded he told them to hold their peace and focused on his master.

It was at Bethel that Jacob had an encounter where he dreamt angels of God descending and ascending on a ladder set upon the Earth but reaching Heaven.(Genesis 28v 16-19)s o the city was prominent and had eminent prophets but the seers were limited by the city history and could not see to the realm of double anointing.

The trip went on to Jericho of the famous wall toppling miracle and another company of seers prophesied Elijah ‘s departure too but still Elisha focused on what he knew: his master. The fifty seers remained in Jericho in the same manner that those in Bethel had remained.

Another crowd stood at the Jordan, another historical site of a miracle. The ever flowing river had halted and dried and the Israel family had crossed on dry ground to their inherited land. Another fifty efforts at dissuading Elisha but he remained focused on what he knew and his master.

At the end of it all Elisha obtained his goal and defied the 150 seers who wanted to only blight his joy and derail his path to a double anointing.

The seers remained seeing the events that would cause pain to others but they did not see the way beyond their towns’ history.

Elisha belived beyond the 150 dissuasions, Elijah’s discouragement and dwelling on history.

Today you can defy all the world’s reasons blocking your path to a greater purpose.

You can see the beyond the blight and discouragement by staying focused.

#betheroutinebreaker

#brokenbutnotafraid

#iamphindelasson

#watchoutforyourtimeandchance

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Your time and chance…

This blog was punctured into being by a discussion with a senior colleague this afternoon. (Thank you for the push Memory Mugwagwa.)

I say punctured because for weeks I have been haunted by the following scripture that I had read and heard so often but did not understand it the way I do now.

I returned and saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong, neither is bread to the wise nor riches to men of intelligence and understanding nor favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all. [Ps. 33:16-19; Rom. 9:16.]
Ecclesiastes 9:11 AMPC
https://bible.com/bible/8/ecc.9.11.AMPC

Everyone understands how the swift may lose the race and how the strong may be floored. We can easily attribute it to many things from human ego to human frailty.

Everyone understands that our confidence easily turns to a bundle of nerves when the unexpected happens.

But I love the later part of the scripture.

But time and chance happens to everyone….

This is my liberating moment and I want to share it with you.

Everyone has the DNA to be a champion and everyone can stand on the summit of the highest hill : If only they awaited and bided their time and chance.

Some miss their time and chance by moaning over the speed of those who have obtained their time and chance.

Some lose patience by seeing the first one hit the rope but do not realise that if they had put more energy, time and chance would have landed them a photo finish and a joint first on the podium.

Time and chance come to those who await with patience , diligence and acumen.

Elisha was a prophet in a town that had at least fifty more prophets who were tuned to the spiritual going ons because they even prophesied to Elisha the imminent departure of Elijah but despite their being tuned to the correct spiritual wavelength they missed the chance and time to the double anointing and remained the ordinary city prophets.

All they sought to do was to remind Elisha of the pending pain and loss but they did not realise that the same departure could also earn them the double portion.

When the local town seers tried to derail him, Elisha remained focused on what was going to get him the double portion of anointing :

And when they had gone over, Elijah said to Elisha, Ask what I shall do for you before I am taken from you. And Elisha said, I pray you, let a double portion of your spirit be upon me. He said, You have asked a hard thing. However, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you–but if not, it shall not be so.
2 Kings 2:9‭-‬10 AMPC
https://bible.com/bible/8/2ki.2.9-10.AMPC

Elisha’s time and chance to the double anointing was not centred on moaning, comparing, complaining or even grieving the imminent loss of his revered Master. No. It was premised on him remaining alert, steadfast and focused.

As they still went on and talked, behold, a chariot of fire and horses of fire parted the two of them, and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it and he cried, My father, my father! The chariot of Israel and its horsemen! And he saw him no more. And he took hold of his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.
2 Kings 2:11‭-‬12 AMPC
https://bible.com/bible/8/2ki.2.11-12.AMPC

….. and Elisha SAW Elijah being taken !!! Therewith the deal sealer. Therewith his time and chance and the rest is history.

Every man has his time and chance but many miss as they focus on the tune and chance arriving for others.

Focus, patience, alertness and vision will land you your time and chance.

On your marks….

#betheroutinebreaker

#brokenbutnotafraid

#iamphindelasson

#watchoutforyourtimeandchance

It’s Mothers Day

Motherhood is an interesting phenomenon. Having been born of a mother and having experienced fatherhood, I still believe motherhood is a vocation for life.

On this day we celebrate the women who took seed and incubated it and returned it to earth months later as a howling bundle that came with the parenthood mantra.

For some the issues ended the day the child was born. Some left their children with their own mothers and went away for reasons that will take days to explain. Grandmothers became mothers again. Bless them.

Some never saw their children. Fate took them as they gave birth to new life. But still they were mothers. May their souls rest in peace.

Some braved the odds, absent sperm donors ( they can’t be called fathers these), hunger, sleepless nights, fevers, custodial battles, spiritual wars, documentation issues and outright spite but they came out right.

All that counts at the end of the day is that motherhood, unlike fatherhood is indisputable.

My take is that mothers can be anything. I take it from the battles they have fought and won and the love they still retain for their children despite all odds. Nothing beats a mother’s love.

Mothers can be the world. They already have proven it.

To all mothers, irrespective of circumstances, I doff my hat for you.

Happy Mothers Day.

#iamphindelasson

#brokenbutnotafraid 10

Moses: From Prince to border jumper.

The princess told the woman, “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” So she took the baby and nursed him. Later, when the child was old enough, she took him to the king’s daughter, who adopted him as her own son. She said to herself, “I pulled him out of the water, and so I name him Moses.”
Exodus 2:9‭-‬10 GNB
https://bible.com/bible/296/exo.2.9-10.GNB

So Moses grows under the care of his own biological mother who is actually paid a royal stipend for looking after him on behalf of the princess, but that’s a story for another day.

When Moses is grown he is taken into the palace and adopted as the son of the princess and hence technically becomes a prince also and obviously benefits from the royal attributes.

I see him in fine linen, great food, great tutors and a bright future. I see him enjoying a diplomatic protection that saw him venture into Israeli territory without fear.

I am not sure what pulled him towards the Israel settlements but it is there that he committed his first murder.

He killed an Egyptian who was abusing an Israeli and thought he had concealed it. In my book it was a righteous deed as he came to the defence of the weak and he sought to correct an anomaly.

The irony of it is that the people that he was defending are the ones who outed him. When he found some Israelites in contention, he did not intervene with a murderous intent, no, he wanted to make peace among brothers but behold what he got. .

The next day he went back and saw two Hebrew men fighting. He said to the one who was in the wrong, “Why are you beating up a fellow-Hebrew?” The man answered, “Who made you our ruler and judge? Are you going to kill me just as you killed that Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and said to himself, “People have found out what I have done.” 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.
Exodus 2:13‭-‬16 GNB
https://bible.com/bible/296/exo.2.13-16.GNB

Therewith the story:

  1. Those who seek to change the routine do not depend on creature comforts to drive them. The quest for good is heart centred. Palace or no palace, Moses knew he had to right a wrong.
  2. Routine breakers have to be willing to suffer loss for the greater community to gain. Moses lost the prince status and became a fugitive in the quest to be a peacemaker.
  3. The change of circumstances for routine breakers cannot and must not change the quest to be a #routinebreaker. Moses moved from being a protected person to being a hunted fugitive, wanted dead or alive but this did not deter him from doing good and rescuing Jethro’s daughters despite being a border jumper and illegal immigrant in Sinai.

So, the vocation of a routine breaker is not subject to emotions, status or prevailing circumstances. It is premised from the heart and doesn’t stop until all good is done.

#brokenbutnotafraid

#betheroutinebreaker

#iamphindelasson

I remember my father

Every child believes their father is invincible.To a large extent I believed he was immortal till I touched his cold brow at the morgue the day before his burial. He was stone cold. I had been wrong. My father was a mortal man.

I remember my father for many things but today I choose to remember the following.

  1. My father imparted to us a reading culture. He always had a newspaper, a book or magazine near him. I recall finishing his forbidden James Hadley Chase collection with him being non the wiser.
  2. He had his strong views that he stuck to. He believed Dr Joshua Nkomo had been shortchanged and did not belive the Unity Accord thing. I know he would have had a mouthful to say in view of the exciting things happening in our country today.
  3. He did not believe that one’s spiritual level should be measured by one’s frequenting of church and the only two times he went to church was on a wedding day and they day we involuntarily took him for his funeral service !! That was my dad. Yet in all he espoused God and always humorously intimated that he had a life pass to the Pearl Gates.
  4. My father suffered no fools and took no prisoners. When he ventured his opinion he made sure it was weighted and he was economic with words hence most people thought he was antisocial.
  5. He was an intelligent man with a soft heart. All his nieces adored him and he had nicknames for everyone. Surprisingly he had a very short fuse !!
  6. He sacrificed for our education. His favourite statement was that the best legacy he could bequeath us was an education and we a really grateful to him for that.

Then one day on 24th November 2005 my father had an asthma attack and passed on before medical help could reach him. He slipped away quietly and no one knew he was gone till a neighbour turned to where they had sat him in the yard against the wall to tell him an ambulance was on the way.

Too late. He had departed.

There are many conversations I recall.

There are many incidents I recall.

His legacy lives in us.

Today we remember our father, Dickson Luke Phindela Ncube 17 July 1940 – 24 November 2005.

Fondly remembered.

#brokenbutnotafraid 9

#betheroutinebreaker Moses continued…

Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, “Every son that is born to the Hebrews you shall cast into the Nile, but you shall let every daughter live.” Exodus 1:22 ESVhttp://bible.com/59/exo.1.22.ESV

Picture courtesy of bibleatlas.org

So Joseph, another routine breaker whose story is reserved for another day, is dead and the children of Israel are in peril again. They have grown immensely and are now a threat to the Egyptian status quo and all genocide efforts seem not to be yielding the required results. In desperation, the new Pharaoh issues a rabid edict : All newly born Israeli boys are to be fed to the Nile river !! In the edict I read the following :

  1. The Pharaoh knew that while the elder ones could placidly accept being subdued, the younger generation that was being born was not likely to accept this.
  2. The Pharaoh knew that while the old Joseph had died and the current generation was content on living on the Josephian history, he was aware that the Joseph DNA had not died and was likely to arise in the Young Lions.

So the edict came out to root out all people and potential that could arise out and the King believed he had the situation under control. Little did he know…

Now a man from the house of Levi went and took as his wife a Levite woman. The woman conceived and bore a son, and when she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him three months. When she could hide him no longer, she took for him a basket made of bulrushes and daubed it with bitumen and pitch. She put the child in it and placed it among the reeds by the river bank. And his sister stood at a distance to know what would be done to him. Now the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, while her young women walked beside the river. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her servant woman, and she took it. When she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby was crying. She took pity on him and said, “This is one of the Hebrews’ children.” Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and call you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?” And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Go.” So the girl went and called the child’s mother. And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed him. Exodus 2:1‭-‬9 ESV http://bible.com/59/exo.2.1-9.ESV

Many things happened in the verses above. I will try to break them down.

  1. The journey to Moses being a routine breaker started with his parents especially his mother. The good book says she saw that he was a fine child. I don’t know what she saw as all newly born are shrivelled and not so handsome to me but she started the routine breaker gene.
  2. She made a bold decision not to feed the child to the Nile but to hide him. Routine breakers are fed by initiative. She was not prepared to give birth to a child that was going to be crocodile feed.
  3. When he became too big too hide, I guess his cries were now distinct and passers by could tell it was the bawling of a boy, she took a bold step. To the Nile.
  4. But even as she followed the edict of taking the boy to the Nile she was not prepared to surrender him to be fish food. She sought his survival where other children we being thrown in to die!!!
  5. Because she believed that her son was different Moses lived and can you belive it? Moses’ mother was paid by the Egyptian Government to look after her own son.

The woman believed that her son was going to #betheroutinebreaker and she broke all laws to ensure that. As we live this life we have the responsibility to mentor , build, save and believe in the people that will make the future.

Are you a leader? Stop throwing sons into the Nile.

Are you a parent? Start seeing fineness in your children.

Why…? You are creating the routine breakers who will stop the bleeding and cajole life into nations !!!

#betheroutinebreaker

#iamphindelasson

#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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