Dear Restless Feet, I've Found What I've Been Looking For

[Image by Bluestar Tam]
Dear Restless Feet,

It's been five years since we spoke or wrote to each other. How have you been? How are papa, mama, and your brothers and sisters? I've missed you much in my journey around the world.

Last night, I was cooking some chicken stew when thoughts of 1996 came back to me. It was our year, Restless Feet. You won't believe I still remember how you and I would run down Alhaji Danjuma street in the heat of the afternoon, in nothing but white T-shirts, khaki pants, and rubber slippers. We'd be looking for trees to climb since our parents were not at home.

Do you remember the old Guava tree? Is it still there at the end of Danjuma? Or did someone cut it down? I hope it's still there, tall and strong. When I'm done with my journey, I want to come back and find good old Guava tree standing right where I left it.

You know, we had restless feet, you and I. We never could stay in one place for too long. We were two peas in a pod, inseparable friends running around town like Jack and Jill.

But I have something to tell you. In my journey around the world, I met someone. His name is Jesus.

I'd been traveling from one town to another, doing all manner of jobs. One day I'd be a news editor, the next a secretary, and then a lobbyist and a teacher--in fact, I did 65 different types of jobs before I found Jesus. But when I met Him, I stopped searching and dabbling in too many things. Jesus became the bread that could satisfy my hungry soul, and living water for my thirsty soul.

With Him, people can stop searching endlessly because their treasures and purpose lie at His feet. With Jesus, the restless feet always comes to rest and the search becomes centered on only one thing-- the Kingdom of God. And do you know the most amazing thing? When the search is centered on God, every other thing (like what we search for in this world) begin to follow after us.

RF, I am no longer the restless person you once knew. I've found what I've been looking for. I am a young 26-year old woman with a purpose and a strong determination to reach my destination. This letter is to tell you I'm coming home soon, and when I get there I'll tell you more.

Yours sincerely,

No Longer Restless.

(Fictional letter)

[Image by Woomie on 365 Days]
* * * * *

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and ALL these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33.

For as many as are restless right now, searching here and there for something that can satisfy, today I want to encourage you to bring your focus to one place-- Jesus. With Him, there'll be no need to search for joy because you will already have it in Him.

Are you still searching for a significant other, a friend, a job, a promotion, or anything else that brings happiness? First let your search be centered on God, and you'll find that it's only a matter of time before lines fall to you in pleasant places.

 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled." Matthew 5:6. 

You know how you're always hungry? After breakfast you get hungry for lunch, and after lunch, you get hungry for dinner-- in-between you get hungry for snacks. A never-ending cycle of hunger. Well, there's a deeper kind of hunger and it's not physical, but spiritual. It's not short-lived, but eternal. It's also never-ending, but more than anything else, it's PRICELESS. It's more filling than any of your favorite dishes.

Question for the Day: What's your priority today? God, or the material things that can fully completely satisfy? Choose God first and you'll find what you've been looking for.  

Lessons From February

[Image by Rob Shenk on Flickr]
 On the first day of this week, I stepped out of my house on my way to work, and right there before my eyes was forty degrees of warmness. I stood there in awe, almost stupefied, wondering why I had put on extra layers of clothings and a thick winter jacket. Summer is coming again. Oh, how I've longed for it! Although Spring comes before Summer, I'm looking forward to writing in quiet parks, walking by the lakeside, taking random photographs, and just the excitement that comes with the warm summer sun.

#1 Lesson Learned: My yearnings for summer made me realize that we have to treasure what we have when we have it, because just as seasons come and go, some precious times of our lives come and go. Every second is someone's destiny. Every minute is an awakening. Every hour is a time of purpose. Every day is a day the Lord has made and we must rejoice and be seriously GLAD that this day has come. Every moment counts. Like right now.

[Image by Jahpeaceful]
✪ I'm currently reading a novel, which shall remain nameless for the mystery of it. I've been reading it for the past few months now because I'm such a slow reader. I wonder if I am afraid to read the last few pages. Could it be why I'm stalling? Or is it because I've enjoyed the book so much and I don't want the last few pages to trample upon the solid memories of the gasps and joys that spilled out of me while I read the first few chapters? My excuse can't be the busyness of life. I have time to do other things, but I sit and stare at the front cover of the novel and I don't dare open the pages to finish it. It's one of the most beautiful books I've ever read, and most likely will ever read, but I can't seem to get past where I am.

#2 Lesson learned: Sometimes pausing helps us reflect on the doing. It's a good thing to PAUSE once in a while. Nevertheless we must do. It's the doing that counts. We can't pause forever. We can't stop the tasks God has given us. We must pause to reflect, but we must also get up and get going. We must have the anointing of a FINISHER. I'm going to finish the book.

[Image by OnlyAlice]
✪ Winter brought an unwanted visitor. Last week, I fell sick for three days. I hardly ever fall sick. With the harsh winter cold came coughing and sneezing, and next thing you know it spread like a wild virus trying desperately to demolish the body it was inhabiting. But after three days, it lost the battle. During that time I could not stand up to complete a task, neither could I think properly. It took great effort to walk from one end of the room to the other.

#3 Lesson Learned: There's frailty in the human body. Notwithstanding, let the weak say "I am strong" because the ultimate victory lies with God. We can overcome every hard thing that comes against us because we were given dominion when God laid the foundations of the world. In illness, if you can have the tenacity to get up and walk about the room, even when your body does not want to cooperate, do you know that your walking brings healing? That's one thing the Mr. told me, he said, "Don't just lie down, get up and walk around and you will be well." And it worked.

Question for the Day: How has February been for you? My prayer for you today is the same one Jabez prayed in 1 Chronicles 4:10, "Oh, that God will bless you indeed, and enlarge your territory, that His hand would be with you, and that He would keep you from evil, that you may not cause pain." God answered Jabez (whose name meant "pain"), and He can answer this prayer too. Have the most beautiful weekend.

On Copilots, Passengers, and Love

[Image by Katch]
Flash back many months ago:

I'm located somewhere past the security zone in the airport, and I see a couple of men walk towards the terminal. They are dressed in professional blue and white long-sleeved aviator shirts, shoulders decorated with epaulets, complete with pilot ties and properly pressed black pants. At this point, my lips break into a full-blown smile because I am certain that these men are the pilots who will be flying the plane.

They walk with absolute boldness, even though they understand the colossal nature of the responsibilities involved with flying all two hundred and seventy-nine passengers in this commercial aircraft. I admire how they give off an air of confidence, and I secretly covet such fine leadership. Men willing to sacrifice their lives for the transportation of two hundred and seventy-nine passengers from one part of the world to another. How incredible.

* * * * *

Today, I'm reflecting on copilots. A copilot is the second in command, he's what they call the "relief pilot," someone who would pilot the plane if anything happened to the main pilot (the captain). He also helps the captain in other minor duties during the flight. Many people might say we're the copilots of our lives, while God is the captain, but I disagree. In this life, we are not the copilots of the plane but the passengers.

Let me explain my views. You see, a copilot is just as finely skilled as the captain. He can read the maps and knows the terrain really well. We, on the other hand, are limited in our knowledge of the terrains of this world, and we have to depend on the Captain (God) to show us the way. And yes, one day, He'll teach us how to to become pilots of our smaller planes. But see, I don't think we will ever be copilots with Him. Nothing will ever happen that He'll lose control of the plane and we'll have to "relieve" him of his duties. He'll always be there, from the beginning to the end. So we must live our lives giving Him all the glory as the Captain. We must continue to be passengers depending on Him for our daily bread. He has given us dominion over everything on earth, yes, but He's still the ultimate Captain of our plane.

And Here's How He Loves Us:

1) He's captain of the plane but never takes His eyes off us. We can bug Him even while He's flying the plane, He's never too far away that He can't hear us or reach us. "Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy that He cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God." (Isaiah 59:1). It's not that He can't hear us, it's because our own distractions take us away from Him.

2) He sent His own Son to die for our sins. "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13). There's no love greater than the sacrifice of a life. No other love will do. And this message will never get old no matter how many times it is told, it will always resound.

3) He forgives us time and time again. Many a time, we've tried to take over the plane. We've tried to tell the Captain what turn He should take to steer the plane in the right direction. Many times, we've tried to become the copilots of our lives, relieving God of His duties when we think He can't handle it anymore. Yet, time and time again He forgives us and takes us back as prodigal children who need the love of a Father and a Pilot.

4) He speaks to us. Even in the vastness of His limitless knowledge, He does not consider it robbery to speak with us in the dead of the night or with the rising of the sun. In fact, He makes it a point of duty to talk to us twenty-four hours a day, if our ears are tuned to listen. He's always there. There are more than six billion people in the world, but He will answer to as many as will call upon His name. What greater love is there than this? "What is man that You are mindful of Him, and the son of man that you visit him?" (Psalm 8:4)

5) He will never let us go. His principle is LOVE, and His banner over us is LOVE. "He brought me to the banqueting house, and His banner over me was love," (Song of Solomon 2:4). That's the kind of love I want today. Love that isn't based on what I've done wrong or what I've done right, but is just there for me regardless. Love that chooses to sacrifice His life for my transportation in the world. Love that allows me to be a passenger in a finely-flown airplane, but also gives me the power and dominion to rule in my own regiment. I want that kind of love, every single day.

Happy VALENTINE'S DAY, readers. The most genuine kind of love involves the sacrifice of a life, and that's what Jesus did for you & I. Enjoy God's love today and everyday forever more. Amen. 

Writing in the Book of Your Heart

[Image by Purpleface]
True Story:

I remember how much I looked up to my friend, E. I still do, in many ways than one. She's a role model of a unique breed and I'm so blessed to know her.

On so many Sundays I sat behind her in church. I'd watch her open a multi-colored crispy-paged journal, and every time she enjoyed something from the pulpit, she would smile, raise her left hand to her chin, nod her head, and then scribble those words into the pages of her journal.

One day, I asked her, "How do you memorize all these scriptures and know the Word so well?"

"Just write it down," she encouraged me. "Keep writing and writing until it becomes a part of you." Just like me, she'd been curious about the same thing the year before and she had asked someone else the same question, and that was what she was told.

I've never forgotten that lesson from E.

* * *

The book of Proverbs (Chapter 7) documents King Solomon writing to his son. He wrote,

"My son, keep my words, and treasure my commands within you. Keep my commands and live, and my law as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; Write them on the tablet of your heart."

Why did he say "the tablet of your heart"? I think it's because the heart is like a journal or a book. It has a space for imprints. You can almost take a pen and write whatever you want to be imprinted on your memory.

Writing words of wisdom on your heart is an art, just like the art of writing itself which can only be built by constant practice.

I love to write because it's my passion. Words are the life-blood of my imagination, the pump-house and the core of my machinery. Nevertheless, as a writer I've realized that no art has ever been perfected in one day. Whenever I can muster enough courage to demarcate my writing time from other activity time slots and be disciplined enough to keep doing it, slowly I begin to build up the characteristics of a good plotter. The words begin to flow like a gentle stream, as though the waters have never faced a day of turbulence before. Consonants and vowels begin to match each other like good poetry on a sunny day.

So How Can You Master God's Word?

By writing it daily on the tablets of your heart. Let your heart be your journal, and let God's words fill the ink of your pen. And just as a writer gets better with daily practice, write in your heart journal every day. Soon enough, the words will come more easily. They'll begin to flow better than the first day. You will begin to master the words of the Great Author and even find yourself quoting scriptures from memory, because you spent time to engrave them in the pages of your heart.

Just Write It Down.

Question for the Day: Do you often find it hard to master scriptures? I've got a word for you: write them on the tablets of your heart, repeat God's word over and over again so that it gets engraved in the book of your heart.