Why on earth are you still here??? Yes, this is a legitimate question. Why would I live in a place that the once-mighty-president of the United States (Donald Trump) called a “s…hole”? A place where the municipality is bankrupt and the “wheels” are coming off, with regular power failures and raw sewerage streaming along the main road. A place where corruption and the looting of state assets have turned a public service into a dis-service. And not to mention crime, murders, hijacks, etc, not too far from your door.
Are there not better and safer places on earth? And is it not time for me to get sober and count the cost, draw a line and just pack up and leave to one of the many attractive places “out there”?
Yes, of course, there are more attractive places “out there”. And I have counted the cost, I have weighted the pros and cons on a scale. And? I discovered that true peace and happiness is not depending on my circumstances at all! It depends solely on God’s blessings. In Psalm 133 David wrote about such a place. It could be that he was hiding from Saul in the desert at that moment. But his conclusion was that where brothers live together in harmony, “there the Lord commanded blessing – LIFE forevermore!”
Part of this blessing is that God opened my eyes to see things through His eyes, to see what REAL LIFE is about, what really matters in my everyday life. When I for example just think about myself and how I can have it good in my life, then life becomes hard and miserable. But, if I think about those around me, how to help them, how to make life good for them, how to live in harmony with them – then blessings stream down from heaven, right into my heart and mind!
New, positive and good thoughts pop up in my mind! I see those around me in a totally different light! In my everyday life I have to do with people in construction, in hospitality, administration, maintenance, gardening, security, farm workers, domestic workers and many others. The vast majority of those surrounding me every day, in my eyes are good, honest, loyal, faithful, friendly and down-to earth people. And when I go to the bank, or wait somewhere in a queue, people are open and friendly, and we make simple jokes and laugh a lot. The same with the assistant at the till in the shopping centre, the petrol attendant, the waiter, everybody! It is very seldom that I ever meet sour people!
Yes, with raw sewerage running free at places, driving past it sometimes smells like a “s…hole”. But in this “s…hole” a person, no matter what race, colour or creed you are, can look into the pram of a young woman and make warm and friendly remarks about her baby. We talk, we laugh, we joke, we shout greetings across the street, in short, we LIVE!!
If I put all of this and many, many more things on the other side of the scale, how on earth can I go away from this blessed place and precious people? Yes, maybe I can afford to leave, and maybe find a little secure and safe paradise somewhere, and then? Sit there lonely by myself and do what?
God has placed me right here where I am, right among precious people. I love them! I love South Africa, I love Africa! I am part and parcel of it. We all have our share in creating this “s…hole”, some more than others. But no man, nor power, nor authority, can hinder the Almighty God when He wants to bless. And He cares for the birds in the air, the lilies in the field and also the little insects in the “s…hole”. He looks very well after the upright of heart, those who want to do His will.
You may ask again: Why on earth are you still here??? Because I discovered God’s blessings right here! And with God’s blessings we can make South Africa a better place for all!