Like me, you may discover that some of the things and the people who are stopping you from finding time for yourself are not even worth having or pursuing…
A few Fridays ago I told my wife that I wanted to have a day by myself. We agreed that the following Saturday would be fine since she planned to spend it at the salon with our daughters. I decided to go to Resurrection Gardens in Karen and packed my Life Planner – a book in which I write all my thoughts, plans and goals. Recently I wrote a personal five-year strategic plan.
I also took with me the Bible and a motivational book. Although I had decided it would be a no phone-day, I took my phone with me since I have downloaded a few motivational talks that I planned to listen to as I drove to the venue. I later switched off the phone and did not speak to anyone for the rest of the day – truly refreshing. And it helped that at the Resurrection Gardens there are tens of inscriptions warning you to observe total silence.
First things first, what had driven me to want a day by myself – even away from my wife and kids? Well, I had reached a point in life where I felt I was not at my best. I was just living but not thriving. My universe and dreams were shrinking instead of expanding and to a point where I was losing focus on the purpose of my life. Even my faith had begun to get affected. Then I remembered the words of the blind visionary Helen Keller who once said, “What I’m looking for is not out there but within me.” I knew the only person who could get me out of this situation was me. I needed a dialogue with myself.
So, my day alone consisted of reading the Bible and a motivational book and reflection. What resulted from just that one day of time away from the world was nothing short of epic. In my quiet time, I ran through my past, my childhood aspirations and adulthood dreams. It also occurred to me why I had seemed to lose focus in the last few months and why I was drifting away from my purpose. When I sat under a tree thinking about just me, I felt my batteries recharge and energy flowing all over me. By evening, I had written down all the bad habits I had formed and relationships that were dragging me away from my purpose. I also made a few resolutions that since then have set me so free I feel like I can fly. Behold I am a new creature.
And it is true what the Bible says: “Be still and know that I am God.” For during my time in solitude, I felt God talking to me and encouraging me to rise and walk. His presence was all over me again and I asked Him to take away my sins – of omission and commission. I recognised God as the source of my good longings and of my purpose and recommitted to Him again. I had been set free. It has been a few weeks since that wonderful experience and I must tell you that it was worth every second.
This month I beseech you to find time to be alone. Stop and ask yourself whether the road you are travelling in is the right one and even if it is, whether you are travelling in the right direction. Do not say you have no time. Do you know that a week has 168 hours? What do you do with all of them? You see, saying that you cannot find time to reflect upon your life is like failing to refuel your car because you are too busy driving. At some point the engine will stop and it might be very far away from a fuel station. Find time now.
Like me, you may discover that some of the things and the people who are stopping you from finding time for yourself are not even worth having or pursuing. One of the resolutions I made was to break relationships that I realised during my reflection were not adding value to my life and were dragging me off my focus. I am a better person without them. They are not bad people; no, it’s only that our paths are different.
Find time to let God reveal Himself to you. I discovered that Saturday, that the noise we live in – the Television, loud meaningless music, friendly chatter and so on – often times out-shout God’s voice. In matatus we listen to useless talk shows and very loud music; in the office we gossip about colleagues, spouses, and friends and also complain about our pay. On our way back home we put on our phone radio or iPod just to get home in time for the telenovelas. And the cycle is repeated for five days a week.
When will we ever allow God to talk to us – to whisper His warnings or blessings and to guide us? Live an examined life in God and you will have lived the rest of your days with great satisfaction.
After my day of solitude, I wrote in my Life Planner (you need one) “Today is the first day of the rest of my life.” Take the challenge my friend and spend a day away from the world – you will thank me for it.
By Christopher Maina
Published in November 2014