Sometimes it can feel like my mind is working against me. Here I am, trying to live my life, and yet my brain won’t stop focusing on terrible things that could happen to me. I see many terrible things happening around me. Whether or not those things will happen, and there is this inner fear that it will, these kinds of thoughts are frustrating—and exhausting.
It is natural to feel like this when I see what happens to others around me. It gets more challenging when some of what others are experiencing is certainly not what I have experienced and how they must handle it under the circumstances they are placed in is even harder to bear.
Raising a family and bringing up children is a call for every parent. Our two adult sons are now 22 and 19. They continue their university education and eventually, they will begin to identify their vocations and move on in life. My friend on the other hand has an adult son of forty-one who insists on staying with the parents at home. He refuses to work, is not motivated to fend for himself as all is provided for him. The loving father, who is my friend, takes it upon himself that it is his duty to accept the son for whom he has become, doing nothing meaningful with his life. My friend’s family and friends say that he is spoiling his son and not encouraging him enough that has led the son to just do nothing with his life. His family and friends insist that the father must give the son an ultimatum and send the son out of home and my friend is troubled.
As a parent I listened. Fear entered my life. I asked myself ‘what would I do if this was me asking the question’.
She on the other hand has a terrible temper. She had no good family upbringing, she left home early in life and lived in the streets for some time until the police found her and returned her to her parents. She settled down, found a caring husband, and moved to live with him and his parents. His parents love their son deeply and the son loves the parents with all his heart. She is loved and yet she feels that the love of her husband is divided, she sees that her husband loves his parents more than her. When he expects her to fall in line with what he does for his family, she resists, she is uncomfortable and her old nature begins to show, she gets incredibly angry and abuses her husband with loud and foul language. She does not care who is listening, she does not care how their children respond to her action. She loses total control of herself, and this happens regularly. She is aware of her situation and shares her story with us, she wants to leave her husband and her family, she wants us to help her leave her family.
As a couple we listened. Fear entered our lives. We asked ourselves ‘what would we do if this was one of us asking the question’.
We learn about integrity; we know the importance of this. It is a topic in families and preached in church. The bible is truly clear about it. We have friends and family who boast about how much bribes were paid to police officers to ‘look the other way’ and not issue them with a speeding ticket. I have personally struggled with family and friends and whenever they ask for my opinion, I would say ‘no’, I express my stand in accepting my faults and paying the fine or facing the consequences.
Our son was apprehended by a police officer for speaking on his mobile phone whilst driving. The police officer requested that he surrender his driver’s license and informed him that he would issue him a ticket, the fine was USD 100. Our son freaked, it was a huge sum that he does not have, he pleaded with the officer to forgive him. The officer had compassion, asked our son to pay him $50 in cash to be pardoned, it was a bribe he was being asked to pay. Our son was in a very difficult moment in his life, and he kindly said to the officer ‘no’ and kindly requested the officer to charge him for the violation he committed. The officer was shocked, he then further reduced the ‘fee’, and our son once again said ‘no’. The police office had no choice, he issued the official fine ticket to our son. However, what followed shocked our son, the officer silently and discretely returned our son’s driver’s license, which under the law, will only be returned after the fine is paid and the proof is produced.
As we heard the story that evening, we even discussed that we could avoid paying the fine as it would go unnoticed. However, we all understood what we needed to do, and paid the fine.
A few days after this incident, a large corporation was questioned by the government for taxes they had not paid or claimed that these were not paid and issued letters to all their banks to freeze their bank accounts. The board of directors were in a frenzy, they could not let the company be shut down. They had to pay a fine (whether true or false, I do not know) and they did not have any means to pay this huge sum of money which, from what I understood, ran into a few hundred thousand dollars. The board of directors had a choice to adhere to paying the fine or pay a ‘fee’ to the tax authorities (unofficial, can we say ‘bribe’?) to close the case, which they chose to do. The company is back to their daily operations.
My feet got numb, I could not walk, my hands were shaking. My heart was beating. I was sweating. What would I do if this happened in my company? I am responsible for twenty employees; they all have families. Can I allow the authorities to close our shop, and we have no income, let everyone go home and they have no jobs? I am in a pool of sweat, I am unable to even type this blog, I am shaking.
LORD, what would I do if all of this happened to me?
How we respond is when we are in hot water. Can I with confidence be intentional and action that I will wait of my Lord, that I will make the right choices and trust in Him completely? I must. I honestly must. I will. I will. AMEN.