Hebrews 12:1 ‘Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith…’
For starters, I’m really not a believer when it comes to lucky wins. Either I’m not so lucky or the system is completely corrupted; all I know is I would never spend a single dime on a lottery ticket or take the time to purposely take part in any sort of draw unless I had no choice. However I must say that my faith in these systems has been given a positive nudge this weekend (Thanks Colin).
A friend of mine won a shopping voucher in a draw organised by one of the banks here in Uganda. Since he was not going to be able to use it, it was passed down to me (Yey! Thanks again Colin). It was a trolley dash, where you’re given a very VERY little amount of time (think less than 2/3 of a minute) to dash through a supermarket and pick anything of your choice without exceeding a given amount of money. I would post a picture but I feel that might be free advertising for both the bank and the supermarket.
On second thought, what the heck. There you go. (Spot me if you can)
It was such an experience. The adrenaline rush just before you start, the bundle of nerves that you become and the speed at which it all goes by was memorable. I don’t know if it’s because it was the first time I was doing something like this; mind you I had many doubts, even contemplated just going back home at some point, but I do know I learnt a few good life lessons from it.
1. You can’t plan everything.
Matthew 6:25-34 ‘Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, what you will eat or about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more important than food and the body more than clothing? ...do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.’
And don’t think it’s for lack of trying. I’m a meticulous planner so I tried to plan for everything and I mean EVERYTHING. From the route I would take with the trolley, to what items I would put in and which ones I would leave out, to which aisles I would go through and which ones I would not, to the last pit stop. I had sufficient time to go through the store and look around beforehand. I did rehearsals with the timer on my phone, I practiced moving around with the trolley, and I even got tips from those that had been there for the event that had taken place the day before…but nothing! It still didn’t go the same way when it came to the actual thing. How many times do we plan out our lives, or the lives of our children, or every single minute of a day only to have it go haywire when the time comes? How do you react when things don’t go according to plan; do you spend the rest of your life in regret mourning your losses? Do you dedicate your life to making sure the world pays for your disappointments? Or do you dust yourself off and try again?
2. It’s never as easy as it seems
It could be either easier or harder… You know how when you watch Amazing Race, you’re always secretly looking to see if you would be able to do the different tasks the competitors are given? I usually see some of the pairs going about their duties and I’m thinking ‘why didn’t they do it like this’ or ‘why did they go that direction’ or ‘if it were me, I would definitely have done it like this’ ? Let’s just say I won’t be saying anything of that sort anytime soon, I have a new found respect for those guys. I mean we were divided into five pairs and would go a pair at a time but even after I had seen many pairs doing the trolley dash with my very own eyes, or even after I had noted their mistakes and tried to see how to avoid making the same ones, it still wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. I didn’t make all the same mistakes the pairs before me did, but I made some new ones of my own. How easy it is to judge those that have gone before us, to dismiss their work as poorly executed until we walk a quarter mile in their shoes? Have you taken the time to try it out before you claim superiority? And after the realization that it is indeed not as easy, have you taken the initiative to apologize to those whose work you undermined?
Right around the 20th second, I realized I was actually not going to be able to get everything I planned to get. I also did not really have time to contemplate which items on my list were more ideal than the rest; I barely had time to breathe! It all boiled down to either getting the items closest to you or getting the items most important to you, and even then, there still wasn’t much time to decide that either. I later settled for a bit of both ( and by one later, I literally mean one second later) but it got me thinking how it’s just the same with life. Sometimes you have to sit carefully and make hard choices/decisions. Other times, you don’t have the luxury of time so you just wing it…but don’t be deceived. Even as you ‘wing it’, you are subconsciously making a choice; you have prioritized, whether you realize or not. Are your priorities right? If you ever had to wing it, are you confident that you wouldn’t regret that decision later on?
4. Life goes on
I couldn’t possibly emphasize this enough. After we got home with our spoils, it was not even an hour later before we had moved on to a whole other issue. All the excitement, the non-stop talk immediately after, the jokes about blunders made and the recall of the whole thing just stopped. You do not even realize it until it pops up in your mind at a later time that it is already in your past. While there are those things that stay with you forever (usually as a choice of your own), life does go on, from both the good and bad. So what is it that you are holding onto that should actually be in your past? What is that thing you’re so afraid of losing, and why? Have you thought about how your life going to go on after it?
5. Enjoy the ride!
I can honestly say that by the time it was my turn to do the trolley dash, all my anxiety had evaporated and I was having a good time. Don’t get me wrong, I gave it my best, as should you, but at the end of the day, it was more of a fun time than anything else. We were laughing, and panting, and sweating and shouting over each other, each person trying to narrate their ordeal… and we were winners! Isn’t that what it’s all about? I’m sure we have all heard paraphrased versions of how life isn’t about arriving at a destination, but the journey there, I couldn’t agree more! Are you enjoying this ride they call life? What are your excuses for not? And what are you going to do about them?
Ps: Enjoy responsibly…