23 February 2009

Utekefye Umutima (Hold On To It!)

The title above quotes two phrases I hear pretty often, the first is from my mom and the second from a buddy of mine.

Utekefye Umutima is a bemba word. Bemba, is my mother's tribe and language. It is directly translated as, for those who'll read this and won't know, "put your heart [down]". It is actually figurative. What it actually means is, "be patient". I often hear these words from my mother.

The second phrase is, "hold on to it". My Dad is a pastor. During communion/Lord's supper, at our church, the bread is distributed around the congregation and when everyone has gotten a piece, we eat together (at the same time). Same goes for the cup. Well, when my dad is leading communion, he always says, after giving thanks, "the deacons will now pass the emblems round, get a piece, hold on to it..." My friend loves hearing my Dad say that at every communion we have and is ever using the phrase when he is talking. He'll be like, "That's a brilliant idea! Hold on to it and I'll get back to you!" He just loves it, so I hear it, pretty much, every time I am around him.

I want to share something that my Mom always tells me that I've learned to appreciate over the past few months. I'll go to mom and tell her about my latest crush. I'll tell her every single detail and she'll be very interested of course. After we've talked she'll always say, "...UtekefyeUmutima." Then the next day it will be a new crush and I'll be so "in love" and I'll share all the details with my Mom and during our chat she'll say, "Son, you're still young, UtekefyeUmutima!"

What my mom tells me in essence is,"Son be patient, don't rush."

In other words, don't act on your feelings. Be patient, you have so much time ahead of you, there is no need to make rush decisions now.

This trait is absent in most guys these days. It is a norm that once a guy has a crush, he immediately "follows his heart". I call them crushes because they are so fickle.

I've got a friend at school with whom I share my crushes and he would always get puzzled. I'd tell him about my "crush of the week" and because the chap is not saved, he'll ask,"Why don't you go for her?" He has since realised that I don't "go" for anybody. Just because I feel alittle funny when I'm around a particular girl doesn't mean, I'll ask her to be my girlfriend. I am not subject to my feeling, my feelings are subject to me.

You should hear guys discussing their crushes, my goodness! We guys sure go crazy over girls! Girls can confuse guys without them ever knowing it. The thing about these crushes is that they rarely last, I know of very few consistent cases where a guy has a crush for 10 years. Actually I know one, write me if you want details!! Its probly love for that particular case, cause 10years...!

I mentioned earlier how I now appreciate my mothers plea. "UtekefyeUmutima, be patient."

Guys have crushes all the time. Today its this one, tomorrow that one and so on and so forth. Its normal. The mistake we make, is to act on those feelings. Most of the time these crushes are on girls we have never even spoken to, or if we have, maybe just a hi here and a bye there. Obviously it would be foolish to pursue a girl based on a crush. This is because, having a crush and being in love are two extremely different things.

The urge to pursue a romantic relationship with someone we like is strong but there are reasons why we must not. Even though I love a girl, sincerely, it would be foolish of me, a dependant, still living under my parents roof, still being fed and clothed by them, to "go" for her.

My friend and I had an elaborate conversation where we ironed out a few things, lets take his name as X:

Me: Ah, X, I like that girl very much.

X: Really? Why don't you approach her?

Me: Approach her about what?

X: Tell her what you feel for her.

Me: Why would I want to tell her I like her when I don't want to start seeing her?

X: Just tell her what you feel so that she can know. Time flies. You'll find that after months of being in the same school, she'll never know you liked her and may even end up seeing someone else. Tell her you like her so that at least she'll know where you stand.

At this point, I decided that I'd lay out my plans to X. Let me also lay it out to you.

Even though I fell in love with a girl now I'd never approach her. A relationship must lead to marriage. I will not marry until I finish school and I'm settled down and ready to take care of both myself and a woman. Until I arrive at such a state, I will not enter a relationship. If the passion burns alittle too much, well...maybe when this state of independence is in sight.

The reason is, I don't want to fail to get my girlfriend a gift for her birthday because mom refused to give me my allowance for the month.

Also being in a relationship requires a certain level of maturity. This maturity is brought about from responsibilities. A man paying bills looks at life very differently from one who isn't! And all those men who pay bills said...amen!!

When a man is independent of his parents you can be sure that he is, at the least, half ready to handle a relationship. He has learnt to manage his finances, he knows how to budget, he knows how to look for a job, he has attained certain disciplines, necessary in life for being independent.

Another reason why I cannot be in a relationship is because I am still learning how to "be a grown up".. I am still under the the "active guidance" of my parents. There are independent men under the guidance of their parents but there's is a "passive guidance". That's why the best people to affirm whether or not I am ready to be in a relationship are my parents. They know how I am doing in my growth to become a young responsible and godly man.

Also most importantly, I am not ready to marry. I'll be in a position to marry about 5 years from now and its the epitome of nonentity to enter a relationship now!

Fellow young men, as you...we fall in and out of love, always remember, hold on to it! Hold on to those feelings until the time to let them go is right. "Mwindula, utekefye umutima!"