What you are running away from, you could be running towards.
I have learnt to let go. I no longer see the accumulation of things as a measure of my accomplishments.
I think things are nice when they are new, you know, there is some satisfaction in driving out of the dealership with the latest of the top range German whip. Thats before the debit orders start coming in.
And when they break, they usually cost a pile of money to fix. And they lose their beauty and shine over time, then you have to spend more money replacing them. A vicious cycle you can find yourself in.
Even houses are not so safe. Bond payments, homeowners insurance, electricity, water, municipal charges, armed response security company, electric fence installation, geyser bursts, roof maintenance, furniture stores, swimming pool upkeep? Brace yourself.
And I would at times start some kind of DIY beautification project to create some efficiency and sparkle for the house. And I would then go down the rabbit hole of endless home improvement (remember that ‘90s show?).
Builders Warehouse is a vastly profitable business for a reason, you know?
But over the past year I think I tuned my heart to let go of things, and in my minds eye, I have become a little more content with what I have, the fewer things that get me by. No gloss. What’s also helped in the new drift towards minimalism is the realisation that things age, just like us, they break and they lose their shine over time.
So I am not as drawn or attached to possessions perhaps as much as I was before. And being in a lodging, a place that is not my own has allowed me to focus more on just enjoying what is around and within reach, on a budget.
And I have gained a new perspective on what matters. I had a major car accident in the middle of last year. I was on the highway, on the way to work minding my own business, in the slow lane and boom! It happened.
Rear-ended, just as I was in the middle of changing lanes and changing insurance companies. I was quite simply caught financially naked. A complete and utter victim to Murphy’s Law. The repair bill was huge! If it were not for a good friend’s rescue, it would have been impossible to salvage the car. And there were lessons there, looking back. I introspected a lot, while driving around in borrowed cars.
Many good relationships end when a partner cannot let go of the past.
If you are held back by previous suffering, or you always look back to older comforts, you may just miss out on the better that is coming.
Yet, there is some insight to be gained also about leaving relationships that are not good for you. Or the ones which went stale and the ones that you must still exit. Relationships can come unhinged.
And you may be better for each other apart than you were together. And thats never easy to fathom. Until it happens to you.
Lets church this..
God made marriage, which is an altogether different relationship, and He is the one that you should take all your troubles to, as the Maker and Manufacturer. It is that way divine. Just as when your car is under warranty, you take it back to the dealership and they have to fix it.
But here’s the thing. He has to have been present at the start, or got included at some point in your relationship. Your marriage becomes a 3-way covenant at that point when you oath to each other, in a manner of ways (and in particular, upon consummation).
The Manufacturer can also issue a product recall, as the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer). Noone else can fix a defect or design flaw. If you have no warranty, then your best hope is insurance. And this is true for dishwashing appliances, televisions, refrigerators and vehicles, just as it is true for relationships of marriage.
You take your issues to The Maker and ask Him to fix, and at times to replace. A marriage is a union of 3, you and your partner, and God. He holds each one of you accountable to Him and to each other. Without that accountability, you are both doomed. He is thus, your insurance, as well. And He gives your marriage a conscience.
These words come from recent observations and conversations about the coming apart of relationships, and I thought there are some lessons over the past year that are perhaps useful to share.
There is no judgement here. Only assurance that God has a future for you and yours, even when all appears to be lost.
....and without this understanding, we will chase riches and materials, yellow-bones and other such things of this world of lesser value.
--Pastor Lom Siziba
I was thinking along these lines yesterday. Time is short, physical life is temporary. I remember when I bought my first BMW in 2001, within six months l had crashed it. I was crushed, my life was centred on stuff. Immediately after this accident, I bought another one and the engine gave way just after a week or so. I then bought a VW Passat and crashed it again!
I did not realise how consumed l was by things. A friend of mine that arrived nearly the same time with me into the UK had one car accident and died, and here l was mourning material things instead of being grateful for the gift of life.
Thanks again for the timely reminder on why it is important to value what matters.
— — Sazi Ndwandwa
Good read, especially about the entrapment we may find ourselves complicit to. And, yes... We get used to things. They age first in our minds and then they age physically.
And it seems to me that there is a correlation of sorts. The things that we want to replace at a later stage and there are things that we don't want to... And these, the latter, we may think about how we keep them new in our minds.
Relationships. That’s what I’m referring to. You don’t want to replace it and yet you don’t want to stick with something old and worn out that has lost its bling! So, you have to find ways to keep it new!
In our professions, all of us know that we have to keep learning, stay abreast of the latest developments.
Somehow we don’t figure out that even in our personal relationships we have to keep developing and we have to keep learning about the other person as they also develop.
Being in a relationship with a human being seems like what might be the best opportunity for having something that never loses its bling.
It also comes as the challenge to keep developing ourselves so that we may stay interesting to the other even as they do the same. It also means that we have to study the other so that we stay attuned to them and can continue to relate.
Anyway... That got me fired up!
— — Dr D Molapo
- just my perspective:
- I like the theme of letting go of material possessions or rather coming to the realization that there’s happiness and more to life than an accumulation of material possessions obviously from a monetary perspective, but more importantly from a human growth, evolution of character and humility/humanity paradigms.
- not sure of the view expressed with regards to home ownership and upgrading, as arguments around the necessity and prioritization of a home can easily be put forward...so you lost me there 😅.
- I think you have put together a good synopsis of your thoughts or what’s top of mind for you now and it’s messages like these that can help people...
— - E Savage
I read the whole thing and my first thoughts are that it sounds typical of male mid life crisis, and not in a bad way. Our lives get too full and we have to trim, otherwise we start diluting the good stuff.
I do think we need passions in life, it's just a matter of choosing the right ones and not going overboard. Marriage and family are good passions and nothing should compromise them. But also, if you want a man/husband to keep the fire in his eyes, he needs something to pursue, whether that's cars, soccer, politics, etc. Wives often fight this stuff, but they're fighting against their own best interests. Good husbands are passionate husbands.
When I burnt out, I started shutting down a lot, and eventually I found I had a dullness, I couldn't remember actors names. I started back on the path to sharpen again, and now I'm in a better place.
— P Motubane
What I gather is that marriage is important for you and this has made me take a look back in my marriage. As you know God is the reason my wife and I got into marriage.
Therefore our lives should be centred in Him. With the busyness of life it is easy for me to drift away from a God centred life and turn my focus on other things (in my case which has had negative impact more than positive impact).
Why is a God centred life important to me for marriage? God is the reason my wife and I got into marriage.
Also, it is because in the short time of marriage, I realise that I cannot fully know, fully comprehend and completely ensure that my wife is happy, nor can she do the same for me, nevertheless we are in it together. However, God who is her Maker and my Maker and that of all things, knows her fully and so does He know me fully. Therefore, as we continue to have our lives centred in Him, He enables us to grow in love for one another and know each other better and live to serve each other.
For me, Jesus embodies a God centred life. He lives to serve God and serve others. As I follow him, I want to live to serve God, serve others even as I grow. For me, each day I have to live, is like a daily SWOP analysis and Jesus´ way of life is my best strategy. Considering your first sentence: “What you are running away from, you could be running towards” — I want to be running towards Jesus.
These are my thoughts your article triggered. Thanks again for helping us think and share our views based on the topics of your articles.