It is one of those days you wake up late, a normal work day but you sloth and drag through it perhaps weary of what has come or is to come. You are in that Matatu eyes shifting from ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ to the book of ‘Ecclesiastes’ reading verse one and two that focus on ‘It’s all meaningless; wisdom, folly, life, power, money… it’s all like chasing the wind.’ You wonder why you are chasing all that or rather why you are living in the first place.
You get to Facebook and the account of Hannah Nyawira Gachugi, one that you accepted a friend request a day before has it’s status reading,
Have you ever been in a place that you feel like God is dangling a carrot right in front of your eyes and just before you take a bite He moves it away?.
Don’t die there cursing God… He knows when best you should bite it. Let His will be.
I laugh uncontrollably wondering why Nyawira had to use the word ‘carrot’ Is Nyawira a rabbit? Does she keep rabbits? Is she a fan of Bugs Bunny? For a moment I think, ‘Wow, I wish she were my valentines, a plate of sliced carrots and a fork is all I would need. A whole sack of it would also act as her present.’ In my mind, I suggest for words that could replace carrot, I think ‘Pizza’ – No, ‘Chapati’ – Mmmh, ‘Bhajia’ – That would be one slice, ‘Ice cream’ – Priss and then I realize that all these items cannot dangle.
I then agree with Nyawira that the dangling item has to be a carrot but something convinces me that Nyawira is still a rabbit. So I WhatsApp her (I did not ask her, ‘Are you a rabbit?’)
Me: “You gave me a wonderful topic to write on…”
(Haters will say ati ooh, pickup line…)
Nyawira: What topic?
(Phew! I expected something like, ‘Sorry, who is this?’ – Haters, please note this down, ‘Am famous’)
Me: The Dangling Carrot
Me: I loved it!
Nyawira: Great. God bless you
(Nyawira, really? And that’s it? After a long time? You can’t say, ‘Long time no see?’)
So I continue
Me: You too
Me: Actually ☝that should be the title
Nyawira: Hahaha. I hope some one receives encouragement from that word
So her last message moves me, ‘I hope some one receives encouragement from that word‘ and I think, how a dangling rabbit, sorry, carrot, can inspire or encourage someone. By a show of hands, how many men are encouraged by this post already? By the fact that Nyawira loves carrots?
So, Nyawira will kill me, that’s accepted but all in all her post inspired me, a lot. I was on the verge of something big, something great, a major breakthrough. I was at that point where one knows that, this is it, after this, no more hassle, no more stressing about but in a flash, it was gone. After years of anxiety and no patience. After turbulent times of great hustle, through thick and thin, unless I am Bugs Bunny or Nyawira, mine was not just a carrot, I will replace that carrot with something I love most, let’s say that black, well-polished, Steinway & Sons grand. One that chooses to be warm, sustained, and muted, or bright, vibrant or strident with the placement of my stubbed chubby fingers. I imagine all that, the Steinway dangling mid air and it’s just scooped away from me and all I am left is a broken soul; one that could be refreshed by playing my beautiful pieces of Beethoven and Handel, one that could be rejuvenated by Bird’s Bepop or Strauss Waltz.
This was not the first occurrence of my dangling grand or else Nyawira’s carrot, neither was it the 10th or 20th it may be the 100th if I were to count. In all those times I have blamed God, cursing for my own life’s fate. I have hated life for what it’s worth. I have in the past switched to being an introvert, to being self piteous and low self esteemed. I worked hard, worked smart, dedicated all my time to fulfilling my goals and dreams but all was ending up in a wreck. I ended up being a wretched soul, a broken heart, no more than a fragment of a brown-black piece of a broken pot. I hated life for this, I resented life for this and all that felt the pinch was my body that became weary by the day.
It was then that I knew Christ, thanks to Bianca (RIP) and Kkrew for discipleship. I thought everything would change in an instant but no, the dangling carrot was now more bigger, more crunchy and more colorful but when I thought it was time to grasp it, it again slipped from my hands. ‘But why God? I thought your people will never lack?’ I was furious as the episodes of the dangling carrot became more vehement to date, the big difference is that I resent no more.
However many years anyone may live, let them enjoy them all. But let them remember the days of darkness, for there will be many. Everything to come is meaningless.
“I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds.
I realized that the dangling carrot was a test of my mind. God was searching my heart and was rewarding me with patience, understanding and was doing away with my anxiety. God was saying, “Son, you are not ready yet, you have to undergo more pruning so that you can be ready for this.”
The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, But the LORD tests hearts.
So how to do react as your heart is being tested? The gold might think, ‘Well, I have been through immense heat from this fire, I should be ready by now.’ But ‘who’ is the gold to decide? Isn’t the refiner to decide whether the gold is ready or not? Who are you to tell God that am now ready, give me that wealth, that opportunity or that job? Does the pot ask the potter, ‘How clumsy can you be?’
Inspired by Hannah Nyawira Gachugi
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