In January I made the decision to join Harvest Institute which is run by Worship harvest ministries. This is a yearlong school with once a month meeting and assignments, some of which are monthly and others all year. The institute is about personal leadership growth and organizational leadership with the hope that this will create transformation in our lives, for those around us and eventually spread to the entire country. The sessions and books we read offer ways of how to be intentional about living this out and in turn influence others.
There is a variety of topics covered monthly falling under four broad areas. The broad areas include 4 major topics; Personal Growth as a Leader, Leading in the Church Context, Organizational Leadership & Management, Leading in a Changing World. In the end the person is challenged to grow in all areas of life as leaders because like John Maxwell says, ‘Everything rises and falls on leadership’, in another instance he explains that ‘leadership is influence’. This is what influenced the leaders who started Harvest institute, they had a desire to grow the people attending who in turn would impact others.
I have enjoyed most of the studies and been challenged to grow. Truth is, for many years I have had the privilege of learning a lot of these things and more but somehow the cares of life cloud them out of my life which leads to less influence. I sit in most of these classes and smile remembering the last time I listened to someone teaching that topic. One of such topics was to do with Bible essentials of ‘exegesis’ and ‘hermeneutics’. I first heard of these terms about 10 years ago but I convinced myself that these are for bible scholars, surely not for me a ‘lay person’. Finding it again here got me thinking, maybe it is high time I considered growing in using these tools for myself and others.
I see growth happening in my life and more waiting to happen. I feel very stretched but I know that this growing is not for me only but also for those that I will interact with on my life journey. They will benefit more from conversations with me and will be able to learn from me as I learn from them. I welcome you on a growth journey, which will be both for yourself and for others. Let’s keep learning, unlearning and growing together for the sake of transformation of our nation and world at large.
So like most Ugandans I find myself complaining about this and that which is not proper or not working as I would like in this beautiful country. In the same breath I remind myself that there is a lot working and I should focus on that instead of complaining. Again I am reminded that it is so easy to complain and see mountains out of other peoples actions while I diminish my own actions and how they contribute to the overall functioning of this country.
I was having this conversation with ‘myself’ as I waited in a terrible traffic jam where we barely moved. As we painfully waited in the long line there were others who chose to drive past and form parallel lines which worsened the traffic jam because then the movements were paralyzed. We all know that when we maintain the one lane in a place made for one lane, the cars move faster. It was very frustrating and tempting to get out of the proper lane and squeeze into the ‘illegal’ lane so that I move faster but then God reminds me that small actions like that eventually lead to the big actions and also affect the general outlook of the country.
The best example of this has to do with trash that we find all over the place especially in the urban centers. It is very sad watching someone throw rubbish out the window of a vehicle alongside the road. Maybe they do not see how their one plastic bag or bottle, or whatever affects the face of the city and country and negatively the environment. This is the same for things to do with all sorts of pollution form personal level and business that choose to release sewage in our lakes and rivers.
I think until we question how our everyday actions fit in creating a better or worse world, we will continue to complain about what is going wrong without seeing how our own actions contribute to this. My prayer is that we make deliberate efforts in contributing positively to our world whether it be’s in how we use energy, water, food or keep our environments clean. Remember that it is easy to see how corrupt our government is and yet we oversee our small actions like paying the Askari to let us in beyond the visitation hours.
On Sunday I had a trip starting early morning and I needed to pick the client and send him off for his trip. I woke up as early as 4.30 am to finish up some work and called the tour guide at about 5.30 am to consider picking me before 6 am so that we can make it to the hotel by 6.30 am. I normally find my way to the meeting point before the trips but other issues led to my inability to travel there. Anyways thankfully we make it in time for the trip and even have to wait for the client to arrive in the hotel lobby. So I sat in there pressing several buttons on my phone until he arrived. We exchange pleasantries and were ready to enter the car and start the trip.
I requested the driver to drop me at Kati Kati – one of the locations for Worship harvest Sunday Service. I have been attending this church for a few years and I am always thankful for the cleanliness and orderliness of the place. I knew that a certain team of people comes in early every Sunday to set up and I truly appreciated them in my heart of hearts but I had never fully comprehended what they go through to set up every Sunday. Goodness, it is lots of work! I was at Kati Kati about 7.20 am and I found 2 members of the production team waiting for others to arrive. Meanwhile the rain was not relenting and so I imagined the hustle of people making it on time amidst the rain. Eventually the vehicle with sound system and children’s church items arrived after 8 am and ‘we’ had to set in such a short time. When service was ready to start I smiled knowing that most of the people attending have no idea the energy and commitment that goes into setting every Sunday.
Thank you to the the production team and guest experience team at Worship Harvest Kati Kati that is committed to work behind the scenes to give us a pleasant Garage experience every Sunday.
I am an adrenaline junkie and this partly contributes to why I do things last minute when the deadline is knocking. I have talked myself out of this habit but I am yet to succeed. I know it contributes negatively to my output sometimes but somehow I find myself back at it whenever I have a task. Some days I have felt so helpless and almost resigned to my fate but I know that growth requires me to keep on and not give up concerning an area I am convinced I need to improve. I must say that going forward I will pick up again and work towards planning and accomplishing tasks without waiting for the deadline.
Take for example assignments, I can have them for as long as a month but I will still keep pushing them aside until it’s the last day. One given Friday, the electricity was off for most of the day and night ( who makes these decisions at UMEME) and I needed to finish reading a book and a write a report on my reading before midnight. You should have seen me reading the book using the torch from my phone. This lasted up to about 11pm and later start the process of writing the report . Thankful that the computer had enough battery which allowed me work. Once the writing was complete and ready, the internet connections was playing hind and seek with me. It was difficult to attach the documents to the email. Thankfully eventually they attached and I was able to send a few minutes after midnight. The voice inside me (God) inquired why I do not consider doing all this much earlier to avoid the hassle.
And yet it is not only in tasks at work or school but even concerning travel. I usually know weeks prior to my travels and I wait until the night or morning before the trip to do the packing. This is disorganizing because I tend to forget some items which I need on these travels. It’s in times like these that I remember the advice from my dad while growing up. He suggested to me to consider packing my luggage at least one week before the travel ( this was especially in relations to school) because that way when I forget an item I am able to include it before the travel date. He even suggested that I consider making a list of the items I must pack.
Today while thinking about this I almost quickly acknowledged my weakness and accepted it as me but then I remembered that if this is not helping me be effective then I need to drop it and find ways of growing. In life if we hope to grow, we cannot allow certain areas of our being to go unchallenged but rather engage with them and come up with plans to improve them. I look forward to operate from the ‘not urgent but important’ quadrant as opposed to the ‘urgent and important’ quadrant which is draining. Which areas in your life which areas do you recognize need growth? What are you doing about it? Or are you justifying their existence instead of improving them?
1A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire;
He rages against all wise judgment.
2 A fool has no delight in understanding,
But in expressing his own heart.
3 When the wicked comes, contempt comes also;
And with dishonor comes reproach.
4 The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters;
The wellspring of wisdom is a flowing brook.
5 It is not good to show partiality to the wicked,
Or to overthrow the righteous in judgment.
6 A fool’s lips enter into contention,
And his mouth calls for blows.
7 A fool’s mouth is his destruction,
And his lips are the snare of his soul.
8 The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles,[a]
And they go down into the inmost body.
9 He who is slothful in his work
Is a brother to him who is a great destroyer.
10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
The righteous run to it and are safe.
11 The rich man’s wealth is his strong city,
And like a high wall in his own esteem.
12 Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty,
And before honor is humility.
13 He who answers a matter before he hears it,
It is folly and shame to him.
14 The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness,
But who can bear a broken spirit?
15 The heart of the prudent acquires knowledge,
And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
16 A man’s gift makes room for him,
And brings him before great men.
17 The first one to plead his cause seems right,
Until his neighbor comes and examines him.
18 Casting lots causes contentions to cease,
And keeps the mighty apart.
19 A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city,
And contentions are like the bars of a castle.
20 A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth;
From the produce of his lips he shall be filled.
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit.
22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing,
And obtains favor from the Lord.
23 The poor man uses entreaties,
But the rich answers roughly.
24 A man who has friends must himself be friendly,[b]
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
‘My take home’ from Proverbs 18
Seek knowledge. I should keep learning and never feel that I have arrived because as long as I live there is something I can learn. Growth is a deliberate choice on my side, I have to spend my resources and read books, listen to great teachers, attend conferences etc. but whatever I do I have to keep on the journey of learning.
A combination of hard work and gifting. I have to work hard knowing that this is God’s way of blessing me. I should remember that work is not a curse as some view it, because God asked Adam to work the garden way before the curse. In addition to hard work is utilizing my gifts or talents because with no hard work the gift’s effect diminishes (think of it as practicing for the athlete or musician). God’s promise is that my gift will open doors for me. I have seen glimpse of this in my already.
I need to continuously find ways of keeping my spirit alive. I have been in a place where my spirit has been broken and it is not a good place. I felt stuck and was vulnerable to all the lies the enemy threw my way. So for me this is very crucial – I have to continuously ‘protect’ my spirit and keep it alive because it’s what keeps me alive. I know it is a catch 22 but well I must figure it out. The most consistent way to keep it alive is to keep in the truth of who I am and whose I am.
The tongue is life and death. Woooohhh, I think this is deeper than we can ever comprehend. This also contributes to a man’s spirit being alive or dead. I will keep proclaiming life in whatever situation I am in. It is difficult because it goes against the status quo but this here is about life and death, maybe if I view as ‘life and death’ I will be more deliberate in what I speak in/to my life and that of others.
And that folks were my highlights from my reading today. What are your highlights from Proverbs 18? Share and we learn together.