02 September 2009

Empty... Again

I went shopping for some clothes a few days ago, it was long overdue. Everytime I get new clothes, I am reminded of how excited I used to be about it when I was a kid. My Mom would take us shopping every once in a while as need arose. I recall how excited I would be about my new clothes. But as soon as that shot of excitement rippled through my body, a feeling of deep emptiness followed it. I knew from the many other times that I'd gotten excited about new clothes that the high never lasted. As soon as I wore the clothes, I'd look in the mirror, at the brand-new-me and couldn't help but ask myself, "Is that it?", "Is this all there is?". There was nothing there.

I always wondered why I'd feel empty because I was a Christian and Christians are not supposed to feel empty because Jesus has filled them. It wasn't only clothing, but also gadgets.

I remember when we got our first video game at home. Everyone at school talked about video games but I couldn't contribute to the discussions because I never had one. One time, my parents where going to the USA for a while. I remember how my siblings and I filled a paper with items we wanted them to come back with. I remember my column had "bow and arrows" and "water guns" among many other things. Well, my parents brought me and my brother our first ever video game instead of the things listed between us. We were ecstatic. Finally, I too could have a contribution to our video game discussions in class. Unfortunately, the video game high soon left me right where I was before. The question crept up on me again, "Is this it?". "Shouldn't there be more?".

I love food! It was always great to have visitors over because we'd have a special meal. When it was time to eat, I'd be so happy but I always over ate. I remember being very disappointed when my Mom told me it was a sin. "What?! God has too much rules," I thought, "I can't even eat my fill without stepping on his toes?!" I thought to myself. But one thing I remember is that the excitement that preceded the meal, would leave me with a sinking feeling whether I had over eaten or not. There was no lasting satisfaction. That's why I always over ate. I expected more joy, more satisfaction but the amount I ate didn't quite seem to correspond with the satisfaction I derived. In the end, I had to either go to sleep lying on my back or my side because I was too full.

I soon figured it out. As a Christian, whenever I got more excited about anything else more than about God, I felt empty. I felt the way I felt before I met Jesus. I felt... empty again. Even now, when a big soccer final is coming up and all I can think of is the game and how much I'll enjoy it, I always walk away disappointed and empty. Whether its a big event coming up, like a trip or a great new gadget I've been promised like a cellphone or laptop, if that thing consumes me so much that it fades God out, I am left empty again.

Yes, even Christians get empty again. God has put a hole in man that only he can fill. Disobeying those first two commandments is sin, but it also leaves us empty. Nothing should take Gods place in our lives. If anything does, we will be left empty... again.

You shall have no other gods before me.

You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.

~Exodus 20:3-4

01 September 2009

Final Impressions

I've just finished 90 days of work at the National Assembly and quite frankly, I've been left wondering as to its relevance. I feel it more of a liability to the nation.

Basically, all 500 employees of the National Assembly are there to serve the members of parliament who number 158 (at any given time). The members of parliament, in essence, make laws. So, you pay 500 employees to serve 158 people (who you also pay) who make laws. Am sorry but I don't get the logic. I think the National Assembly swallows a whole lot of tax money and generates an insignificant amount through the laws it makes. All 158 of them are called "honourable" when for most, not much is honourable about them. The way those fully grown men and women behave in parliament is no different from a grade 5 class. Just like their kids are being hushed at school, they are always being hushed in parliament.

Well, after working for three months, my perception has changed very little, read my initial impressions here. People get to work, read the paper or chat for an hour, enjoy a cup of tea for an hour and a half, work a little, break for lunch at 1 and pick their teeth the rest of the day. At the end of the month they demand their pay check. A lot of money is being wasted. I'm not kidding about the day to day routine out there in government. People do relatively little. I mean if you gave each employee a diary for one week to record what they have done per hour, at the end of the week, you will find that people literally work 3 hours a day.

I thought fools are only in institutes of learning as the majority there are young. Apparently, there are fools in the work place as well. People who think life is all about drinking and having a jolly good time. The first half of the week is spent talking about how wild the weekend was and the last half is spent talking about how wild the next weekend will be. These are married grown ups with kids and yet no difference from the guys I left at school. Vanity.

The infidelity was terrible. Married people, leaving wives and husbands at home, call workmates names such as, sweetheart, dear, honey, baby, sugar, my wife, my husband and so on and so forth. Would they still call their colleagues that in front of their spouses? I doubt it.

All these things beg the question, where are the Christians? This world desperately needs salt and light. I saw that for a fact while and where I worked. Christian men and women in the workplace need to be different for the sake of Christ and for the sake of this world. If you are reading this and work, stand firm as a Christian in your workplace. Do not condone sin. Rebuke them when they call each other names suited only for their spouses. Prod them to pray before they eat. Do not abide cursing and perverse talk. Be the salt and light of the earth, God knows the earth desperately needs it.

After working for three months, I have learnt one thing above all else, God is love. For how can a holy God stand the evil that has saturated this world? Tell me, how?