I am far from perfect. Growing up, I didn’t always have the best life. I recall seeing all the kids in the neighborhood in fine clothes and with the basic “necessities” of childhood. I had an overarching urge to have nice things – nice house, nice clothes, shoes, etcetera. I saw my desires and dreams far beyond my reach. I wanted a nice life and I wanted it now. I wanted the life that my friends had. But, I was missing the point.
As the last child of my parents, I spent part of my childhood with my four siblings in a tiny house. Some of my cousins will occasionally visit, which made the house even more tinnier. I liked the outdoors. I loved to play in the sun and sand. Although anything that crawled on the ground scared the crap out of me.
Father was an accountant with a big cocoa firm industry until he lost his job then he started a corn farm. I helped him with his corn farm. I pulled weeds that were growing and competing for sunlight around the roots of the corn with my tiny hands. On harvest days, after gathering bags for the market, we gathered round a coal pot fire and enjoy a hot meal of cooked or roasted corn.
Mama on the other hand, although, she comes from a royal family, loved to work. She had a produce business. She was always up as early as four in the morning to wash and scrub her carrots and other vegetables. Oh how I loved to snack on those carrots! Her vegetables were always green and fresh. I loved how she was particular with arranging her veggies on the tray for sale in the market – she always put the carrots and cucumbers in a circle near the edges of her slightly curved tray and the cabbage, green and red bell peppers and the other veggies in the middle. I remember thinking those were the most fresh looking colorful vegetables I’ve ever seen!
Mornings were my least favorite time of the day as my first chore was to sweep the 400 sqft. backyard. The only thing that motivated me was that I got to display my “artistic” nature. The zig-zag pattern I painted on the floor with the tip of the broom awakened my imaginary creative skills. No one dares walk on my beautifully orchestrated art. By noon, the leaves of the gigantic neem tree that sits in the middle of the yard would fill the entire backyard and render my art pointless. Yeah… Very few things seemed pointless to me at that time. Having nice shoes wasn’t one of them. But I had the gift of life. I had a family. I was surrounded by the people who loved me most. Yet I was missing the point.
Very often we are caught up in wanting more that we miss the point. I was that person. To say the least, I missed out on father letting go his mansion and his properties due to family dispute, so I can be safe. I missed out on mother waking up very early in the morning so my snack a.k.a carrots will be ready to take to school. I missed out on enjoying the moment because I was busy focusing on the things that were insignificant at the time. We all at some point in our lives want something more than we have. Most people get a sense of satisfaction from doing better than others. We want that friend’s clothes, or that neighbor’s car or the brother’s life and there’s nothing wrong with that. But the moment we start focusing on that desire instead of what we have, we miss out on a great deal of what we can achieve with the “little” we have.
Everyone’s journey in life is different. No two persons look or think exactly alike – not even twins. Thus, no one will have a life just like your’s. Believe in your uniqueness and inner abilities. Believe that you are wonderfully and perfectly made in God’s image.
I found my path and I’m glad I started looking more at my strengths rather than my weakness.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me – II Corithians 12:9