When alive, it is unnecessary to focus on death, although necessary to know that death comes unexpectedly. The greatest gift one should celebrate, in this world, is being alive. This does not matter whether one is a product of a rape case or a product of infidelity. There is no greater gift than being alive.
Being accorded with life enables a person to discover his/her true identity. The saddest thing is to die without realizing one’s identity. A person in confusion is not different from a dead person, even though alive. Having been created in God’s image, humans were never created to experience death. They were also not created to experience failure when committed to any project.
There are many projects started by humans, which never came to fruition. The reason for this is associating failure with death. After struggling with health issues, succumbing to death becomes the only consideration for affected individuals. Failure is the most dreaded phenomenon. Christian believers are sustained by hope, so as not to give up, even at the point of death.
The most renowned inventors are credited with tenacity. It is not a question of how long it takes to achieve intended targets, but how tenacious the individuals would be. The late former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, had to languish in prison for twenty-seven years before achieving his dream in the year 1994. Others did not live to witness the achievement but died with the hope that South Africa would eventually attain independence.
Relenting to failure when pursuing whatever is worth pursuing is reserved for cowards. This is due to misunderstanding the nature of humanity. An ideal human being was not created to fail. But humans are known to fail, due to the consideration of the fear of death. Any person who gives up on any project, considered worth pursuing, would be displaying faithlessness, being opposed to humanity.
Death is the most dreaded phenomenon for all humans, leading to succumbing, rather than confronting obstacles. Fallible humans are shaped according to what they fear most. Those things that are dreaded most, in this life, have a bearing on the pattern of ordinary human behaviour.
Ironically, it would surprise an observer that, in Zimbabwe, Western countries appear as dreaded most. But the same country has vastly adopted Western culture, yet claims to be independent. The country has remained sucked in colonial languages, including educational influence. Jesus said, with faith, as little as a mustard seed, nothing is impossible (Matthew 17:20).
Jesus stated the existential truth about humanity. Faith was not designed for religion, but it is an axiom that affects humanity, in general. Any human failure is triggered by a lack of faith, sustained in cowardice. The best example of conviction and tenacity can be extrapolated from David’s encounter with Goliath.
David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” (1 Samuel 17:45-47 NIV).
David displayed the original reality of humanity. When aware of having been created in God’s image, one cannot be scared of anything. The God of the armies of Israel was the “I AM,” not observed by the rest of the Israelites. This implies the reality of what was created in God’s image. David did not entertain succumbing to the towering Goliath. He was sitting on the bedrock of faith so that he could not be intimidated by anything physical.
Death is generally the most feared phenomenon. But death does not affect the “I AM”, but the physical nature. Any reason for failure is caused by the fear of death. Unlike animals, human life carries infallibility. With conviction, sustained in understanding, an individual’s idea can persist, even after the person’s demise.
Modern discoveries, including the internet, were originated by legendary philosophers of thousands of centuries ago. Those people were certain of what they believed to be true. Some of them faced stern opposition from pessimists. One of the influencers of our modern civilization, Democritus lived from 460 to 370 BCE. Only in recent years has modern civilizations adopted his philosophy.
Democritus discovered democracy, currently considered workable, yet not understood by those of his time. Those now claiming to be champions of democracy may not even be aware of Democritus being the author, whose name the term “democracy” originated. The legendary Democritus never entertained failure. He died, but his idea lives on. Faith is described as referring to Biblical historians.
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith, we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible”(Hebrews 11:1-3 NIV).
What is physically observable came from an idea, having been visible at the start. Therefore, the significance of what is seen today cannot be what would have been visible, at conception. The significance of anything visible originated with an invisible idea.
When Steve Jobs came up with the smartphone idea, not many people could have understood what he was talking about. The smartphone had not yet been visible, although the idea had been captured by the inventor. Steve Jobs is no longer available, today. But his idea is currently sustaining the entire civilization.
Steve Jobs may have not been the first to conceive of the smartphone idea. There is nothing new, under the sun. Whilst common to give credit to inventors, there is nothing uncommon to humanity, created in God’s image. Hence, Jesus said that with faith as little as a mustard seed, nothing could be impossible.
Faith is being certain of what one hopes for. The origin of problems is a result of doubt. When not certain of what one hopes for, one loses everything. This is what befell Peter, at one stage. Jesus had to rescue him from a drowning condition when he attempted to emulate Jesus’ walking upon the sea waters.
When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”(Matthew 14:26-31 NIV).
Jesus’ statement reveals that doubt is the only cause of faithlessness. One can be discouraged from pursuing studies. This happens; even when consciously aware of the desired study program changing one’s lifestyle for the better. Ordinary people can be helpless over things they could control but fail; due to a lack of faith.
Some people talk about blind faith, which is not workable when considering being certain of what is hoped for. A person of faith is certain of obtaining what is intended, as fully understanding its conditions. A person of faith can never be discouraged, when certain of what would be at stake.
Our physical nature in this world serves to block whatever a physical person attempts to achieve. Such hindrances could involve financial constraints and other unforeseen factors, curbing a person’s desire to achieve expected results.
Nevertheless, the effective use of the mind, sustained by conviction, can spur one to approach targets on a gradient scale. For instance, everything worth achieving has to be approached, step by step, until the desired target is achieved. Where financing is necessary, one could set aside small amounts, until the required funding is attained.
It could be a question of time before reaching a required target. But that does not matter, as long as the program toward the target would be in place. Some targets may need more than twenty years to achieve. Others may need less than a year. But a faithful person ensures commitment to doing what is supposed to be routinely done on a scheduled time basis.
If desiring to bring down a mammoth baobab tree, but provided with a small machete, one should not surrender in despair. One could start by estimating how many strikes would be needed to bring down the big baobab tree. Let us suppose a million strikes would be necessary to bring down that gigantic tree.
That requires about five hundred daily strikes, consistently, for the entire five year period. That would not be a difficult target for a committed person. In other words, by ensuring that each day five hundred strikes would be applied, without fail, the goal gets achieved. One would be assured that at the end of five years the baobab tree would come down tumbling.
Five years cannot be regarded as too long, when aware of the value of maintaining daily targets. Five hundred strikes can also not be regarded as strenuous, for a person who maintains the scheduling of his daily program. This is an example of what can be achievable by those keeping their daily programs in place, without fail.
There is nothing impossible for a tree, as big as a baobab, to come down tumbling with a five-year commitment to daily programming. Some people may view that as strenuous. But such a person would have been doing other things, than just focusing on the baobab tree.
He would have just been making only five hundred strikes per day, to ensure the baobab tree tumbles to the ground, at the end of the scheduled period. This is used here as an illustrative analysis of how an intimidating task is achievable, in this world.
No task can be considered unachievable because of physical limitations. Those insisting on how difficult and unachievable the tasks would be, do so out of, either lethargy or lack of faith. Jesus insisted that with faith as little as a mustard seed, nothing would be impossible to achieve.
Achievement is attached to those committed to planning and executing their programs, without fail. Such people are disciplined to keep their timetables in focus. They would be different from those aimlessly tossed by the wind, lending on destinations not having been planned for. Without proper planning, one would not be different from any implement, used in a workplace.
It takes a person of character to be an achiever in this life. Such a person would be aware of being alive and making use of that life. That is what Jesus described as displaying faith, depicting the most effective personalities in this world. Such are the people who drive modern civilizations. The rest are the effects of what goes on, whether good or bad.
Any excuse for failure to achieve or do anything, in this life, is indicative of lacking faith. That person would be found to be looking for assistance from other sources, rather than tapping from his faith. Zimbabwe is in stagnation, as governed by those maintaining that sanctions are the cause of failure. It is easy to blame those entrusted with governing responsibility.
But those in authority could not have been there without those having facilitated their ascendance to such political offices. In other words, every stupid decision that is done in the governing system resonates with the common men. This describes those who voted such politicians into those offices. The sustainable datum remains to be that nothing is impossible in this world.
Physical death is not limiting to those carrying hope, which is the only commodity that sustains the purpose of existence in this world. Without hope, there is no reason to go to school. Without hope, one cannot go to the fields for farming. Without hope, there is no reason to raise children. All hope is sustained in understanding that there is an unlimited future for humanity.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. Most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope in a simple conversational tone.
The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99