I will share a story instead. I was to travel back after the holidays back to work. The holidays had been good. I mean after adding about 2kg, being in full control of how I expended my time, who would not have wished there were like four Christmases in the year (one every quarter)? Anyways, after the hullaballoo of the holidays, I was to travel back to resume work and chose to travel by air because of the long road distance. After packing my belongings and preparing to leave, I began to feel a little anxious, which was unusual; that is, after I had left boarding school. I really wanted to know what the problem was, so I began to probe myself.
This was the same feeling I had whenever I was to speak publicly. After questioning myself, I found out that I was nervous because I was travelling by air. I am sure the dictionary has some phobia-terms to describe this feeling. This was not my first flight, yet I was agitated. In a bid to calm my nerves, I started talking to myself; “Bambo, you took a good decision choosing this medium of transportation, you saved up for a flight and this will enable you to rest well so as to prepare for the new work week”. It was then it dawned on me that I was anxious because I have been so used to road trips all my life. I had never flown by air until just about two years ago.
My first trip, I was feeling quite well while on the tarmac until we boarded and started ascending. All my life, I have been so used to being on the ground, being on the road; moving comfortably either walking, driving, or standing. If you’re like me who has been used to this and now suddenly, a small bird-like metallic house is carrying you, you will agree that the contrast is sharp. I’ve met frequent travellers who noted that they never get quite used to flying; particularly the ascending part.
Hence, I could understand my anxiety, even though this was not the first time I was doing this. It then occurred to me that as humans, our minds have been so used to patterns, habits, lifestyles that when we try to change them, it feels so strange.
But you know what? We were not created to live ordinary lives from just the comfort of our homes, families or spaces. We are all like Peter called to walk on water. For me, one of the strongest battles I have faced is renewing my mind to think that I don’t have to see a thing before I believe and walk in it. My whole natural self has been so used to seeing from one perspective that I must be quite assiduous at the task of changing my view.
The Faith life is a call to leave walking in familiar territories and to walk in the unfamiliar. From walking on the road to walking down the aisle of an aeroplane. In our personal lives, careers, dreams and all around, we were made to walk in the unfamiliar. Come to think of it, everyone is walking in the familiar. The familiar path is filled with too many people; not that numbers are bad; however, the strange is barely filled with that many people. When faced with the strange; I’ve learnt to look beyond my anxiety to ask if it is not clearer, freer, better and more rewarding to walk there. Someone once said that Faith is not a risk; risk being that you might fail or succeed. Instead, it is a definite place where you succeed only. It is a sure foundation to fall into.
In 2020, I urge myself and you who I care about, to consider if we would rather walk in the unfamiliar with Jesus than the usual, we’re used to.
Why would you ever complain, O Ayobambo,
or, whine, Ayobambo, saying,
“God has lost track of me.
He doesn’t care what happens to me”?
Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening?
God doesn’t come and go. God lasts.
He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine.
He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath.
And he knows everything, inside and out.
He energizes those who get tired,
gives fresh strength to dropouts.
For even young people tire and drop out,
young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired,
they walk and don’t lag behind.
Isaiah 40:27-31 MSG