It has been a while since we last had our fortnight chat, hasn’t it? Well, I am here now, welcome back!
Just as a disclaimer, I have a feeling we are going to park here by the village for quite a while because I strongly believe this is a significant season that molded the Delsha that I am.
As such, without further ado, back to the village we go.
One of the things that I immediately noticed when I moved to the village is how insanely vast my network was. I was introduced to aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, nephews, nieces, grandmothers, grandfathers, fathers, mothers, and any other word in any dictionary you can find that describes a relative in any capacity. Even to some people, little me was the mother, granny, aunt, and so forth. Strange, isn’t it? Haha. This, therefore, meant that everyone was responsible for me and worthy of my respect just as much as I too was responsible for even younger humans than me and was worthy of their respect.
Another thing village life does without fail is to grow you up very quickly, not that it’s a bad thing or anything but it’s just a matter of fact. Nothing is necessarily wrong with maturing quickly, I mean the world we live in is not necessarily a cushioned couch or jumping castle so if anything, maturing quickly is more of merit than it is a demerit.
As for me, my first gigantic or perhaps perplexing task was when one of my many uncles came rushing into the hut and gasping for air as someone who had been running and said the following paraphrased magical words
Delsha, go watch over the goats and ensure they graze just in front of the garden and don’t go into anyone’s yard crops, I just want to drink some water and grab a bite of food! Hurry before they go into someone’s yard and eat their crops…
Say what? How do I keep the goats from doing that?
I solemnly promise you that goats are the most notorious of domestic animals known to me. It honestly makes so much sense why God distinguishes His born-again children and the wayward unrepentant ones as sheep for former and goats for latter. From my own experience, goats listen to nobody, mate, once they sniff the scent of prohibited food, i.e, people’s plants, they will not for a second taste the grass intended for them, they will do E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G in their power to speedily find themselves in that field, and as for outrunning them? Best of wishes. I assume you would need to read Usain Bolt’s strategy journal to figure out how to do that.
It is no surprise then that by the time I stepped into my momentary shepherd mode ever so ignorantly, the goats became exactly what they are; senseless runners. As inexperienced as I was, I kept on running behind them and, in turn, propelling them to run further and faster ahead of me, grazing whoever’s plant they met along the way during their successful sprint. Oh, how I chased those notorious creatures!
I literally left behind a trail of shouting men and women displeased with this whole act, some threatening to beat me along the way. I remember one particular one who stopped me, called me to himself, and confronted me for an answer to why I was driving ‘my’ goats directly into his field and whose child I was anyway because he wanted to now truly beat me for my sin! Mind you, while all of this was happening the goats were still running and causing whatever levels of the chaos their silly hearts desired. Terrified as I was, he threatened and interrogated me until he probably saw my clueless, terrified face and decided to let me go.
But wait…the goats, where were the goats now? I cluelessly tried to search for them in what looked like a thick forest to me at the time with no sign of them at all. I started to visualize my uncle’s reaction if I was to go back home and say I had lost the goats. That in itself motivated me to press through the thick forest seeking those goats. This ‘forest’ had a deafening silence (probably because I was just scared at the time, I’m sure there were insect sounds and many other sounds typical to that environment) and absolutely no sound of goats so, at this point, I knew I had indeed lost the goats and I too no longer had any clue where I was and how I was going to go back home which meant I had also gotten lost.
How many times do we do that? Chase things until we ourselves are lost? Cluelessly chase the idea of success, riches, marriage, peace, ‘happiness’, ‘self-love’, and whatever else until at the core of our lives we become so lost like a Delsha inexperiencedly chasing goats? How many times have you felt more terrified, more clueless, had more unanswered questions, more heartbreak, pain, and despair because of a pursuit that had been done in your own feeble strength? God guarantees us in His word that when we continue down that road, we will actually do something; NOTHING. John 15:5 says
I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me], YOU CAN DO NOTHING*.*
As individuals, we truly need to graduate from this mentality that we are capable of bringing our own success. You can if you want, but in fact, God asks us to not do that in Matthew 6:33 with the assurance that he will give us all that we have a futile propensity to chase on our own.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Well, in case you are wondering what happened next, I self-talked myself into persevering further until the terror of not knowing where home was grew bigger than the fear of my uncle. I eventually gave up on the idea of goats and started worrying about my own safety and by now you know what I did, don’t you? I prayed. Go ahead and call me the brand ambassador of prayer ministries if you may, haha! At this point, I had come to use prayer as my weapon of desperation, which is not how it should necessarily be, but anyway…
…I prayed for my safety, prayed for a way home, and kept walking until I got to this other random home, knocked on the wooden gate, and out came a visibly annoyed ‘giant’ woman (according to me then) who annoyedly asked me what I wanted and who I was. To which I responded that I was lost and wanted directions back home and answered on which ‘home’ I belonged to. She chided me for wandering alone in the woods and gave me directions home. I was excited to finally get that relief although part of me was worried about the whereabouts of the goats. I decided to go home anyway as it was now too cloudy for me to be chasing the invisible goats.
When I got close to home, to my surprise, the goats were already there! How?! Just HOW?!!! If anything people were already looking for me because according to them;
‘where were you? the goats came back already, they know their way home.’
Crazy. Those goats knew their way home? Really? No way! I mean, I still don’t believe that. I just probably think people knew whose goats they were and they kinda shooshed them towards their owner. Right? Okay, let’s say that was the actual case, the goats ”knew” their way home… I have a question for you. Do you know your way home to God when you get lost, as they did? God is our ultimate home. Does this resonate with you? Mind you, we are in this world, but not of it!
28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am [f]gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Anyway, this Delsha vs goats story reminds me of the donkey situation in the word of God (no, I’m not going to describe which story this is and whatnot, but you can find it in 1 Samuel 9 if you will) Like the donkeys, the goats were found faster than me, because they knew their way home and I didn’t. Selah…