I Did It God’s Way

Perhaps this is my most important birthday yet. At 32 years, I perceive I have truly come of age.

In the recent past, I was involuntarily unemployed. Now, anyone who has experienced unemployment knows very well how utterly frustrating it can be. There is no glory in sleeping in; nothing to wake up to; nowhere to go, nothing to do. I went through the motions of unemployment for quite a while; throwing a pity party here, taking all conceivable measures to avoid the public eye. I became a self-imposed misanthrope. I tried to fight it but more often than not, I was the one licking the dust while the shadow of unemployment gloated over me. Perhaps this was my fault. Several jobs came my way. However, they were all ‘arranged’. An invisible hand had played in my favour and somehow, a job was offered. These I turned away. I was not prepared to work under such arrangements. My conscious would have none of it.  Nonetheless, not every day was as gloomy. It is during my stay in this valley that I truly found myself. I am not certain when but as night slowly gives way to day, so it was I realised am not defined by what I do. Nay, I am not a human doing. I am a human being. Since that realisation, my worldview completely changed.

I took up writing once again, an art I thought I had completely lost. Now two short stories of mine have appeared in The East African, a newspaper with distribution in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda (The Morning of an Important man to be and Madness as a refuge from the world) Furthermore, I have started work on a novel. By God’s good grace, the manuscript should be ready by the end of this year.

I also became acutely aware of the beauty around me. This led me to try my hands on photography. I visited wetlands around my neighbourhood in an effort to take photographs of the birdlife around me. I could be seen in a pair of gumboots wading through long papyrus reeds for a closer shot of one or another beautiful bird. One photo has been considered for publication with the Kenya Birding magazine 2015. Indeed, looking back, I now realise that God was with me during those escapades. I felt His presence. In fact, the call from Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital confirming me for a Nutritionist position came through when I was birding. I recall standing for a while with an absent-minded look on my face after that call. I did not bribe for this job. I did not have a godfather greasing a few hands here and there in my favour. It was all the hand of the good Lord and the resignation of a tired son to His will whatever it may be. Yes, it has taken a long while but it has been worth it. I now work with the most brilliant minds in East and Central Africa when it comes to Children’s healthcare.

This birthday is also very important to me because I am now married. Lucy Wanjiku Kibuthi is her name and she is a pillar in my life. I shudder to think how I would have survived those days when I was at my worst. Depressed, melancholy, sullen…are just but a few words that she never used on me even though there were moments she would have been justified to do so. Some battles are never meant to be fought alone. I am glad that in this slough of despond called earth, I am not alone. God has given me a witty, compassionate friend with whom I can trudge through it and come out victorious at the finishing line.

And now to conclude this matter, I refer to Frank Sinatra. I enjoy listening to the man. One of my favourites is his collaboration with Louis Pavarotti in My Way. At 32 years (by God’s grace many more to come) this song pretty much sums up how I feel today. I have taken the liberty to make a few changes here and there to reflect my walk with God. Here it is in its entirety.

And now, the end is near [hope not];
And so I face the final curtain [of single-hood]
My friend, I’ll say it clear,
I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain.

I’ve lived a life that’s full [almost].
I’ve travelled each and every highway [almost];
And more, much more than this,
I did it God’s way.

Regrets, I’ve had a few;
But then again, too few to mention.
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption.

I planned each charted course;
Each careful step along the byway,
And more, much more than this,
I did it God’s way.

Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew.
But through it all, when there was doubt,
I ate it up and spit it out.
I faced it all and I stood tall;
And did it God’s way.

I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried.
I’ve had my fill; my share of losing.
And now, as tears subside,
I find it all so amusing.

To think I did all that;
And may I say – not in a shy way,
“Oh no, oh no not me,
I did it God’s way”.

For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught.
To say the things he truly feels;
And not the words of one who kneels.
The record shows I took the blows –
And did it God’s way!

Yes, it was God’s way.

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