The Mirage of this Life

Given a choice between heaven and this world many choose what they can see. They’d rather have the bird in the hand that 9 in the bush. This world and it’s promises seem tangible. And nothing is more appealing and trustworthy than what we can see and touch. We want to live life to the fullest here and now because tomorrow is unknown. Why deny yourself for life on some cloud when you can enjoy things here and now? We are realists and we go with what makes sense to us.

But let us unpack this realism. How much of this world really is in our hands? COVID has shown us more clearly than ever that we are just one pandemic away from want and disaster. One job loss from poverty. That all you need to bring you down to your knees is a disease. Add economic breakdown and our realism changes. You are one serious illness away to hating the offer of this world. And the reality of this world is that you can’t have this world. You can only lease its temporarily joys before nature rudely interrupts you.

YOLO philosophy forgets that you can barely live down here. That what the world offers it quickly takes away. That in truth what’s before us is a mirage and as soon we get near it goes further. The world dangles life before us but it can barely breath. We spend all our lives seeking a life that is taken away in a second. We try mitigate risk, build stamina and eat well. Then one day out of nowhere the pandemic of death comes without knocking. Everything you held dear is taken away with no apology or notice.

It’s then that we revisit the earlier offer and realize we only have one true choice. That this world can’t be offered because it can’t be given. It’s already on the expiry date. Here we only get a land lease for a short while. It’s heaven and hell that is truly on offer. And the mirage of this life says we should reconsider this. That what looks far off is actually very near to us. That before the next breath the after life could be our reality. And however long it takes we will be confronted by that choice sooner or later.

When we get our reality right the offer of heaven makes a lot of sense. It becomes the reasonable choice. The one land we can get permanently to establish our roots. And because the marker of the world is trustworthy we can depend on him however unlikely it seems to the naked eye. It’s actually outrageous to stand on the ground we stand, to breathe the air we breath and delight in the blessings of this life yet term heaven too good to be true. It would seem we doubt the carpenter while in his workshop.

But where nature provides only suggestions about the reality of heaven, the Bible affirms and confirms that we can call it our home. In the eye of scripture nothing is more real and material than the future ahead of us. The call of faith isn’t at all blind for we get more than enough reason to trust in God. It says we can be sure of his faithfulness more than the rising of the sun. What he has said he will do and those who believe are already the citizens of heaven. This world is passing away and with it all it’s promises. But our future is with God and in his eternal city.

1 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.

Revelation 21. NIV

The Gospel for a Hustler Nation


One of the fears we have as a people is to imagine that either our leaders don’t know our situation or they simply don’t care. It’s double tragedy to imagine they’d careless about our fate and instead only favour their peers. It’s painful, it makes us angry knowing we put them there but hopeless when we realize we can’t change things.

So when one finally walks down our path and says I know what you are facing that in itself is great news. It says they see our plight and all they need is to show they are genuine. To make us believe the era of the Messiah has come with them. That with them in office our pain will be a sad history. That finally something will change and however big or small a change we all want it.

To know we are known and someone cares is the greatest asset for a human heart. To know our leaders knows our plight and will do something about it sells us hope and what’s more precious than hope? But critics will ask, how many times have we had this narrative before? And what makes us think this time it will be any different? Was there a politician who didn’t seem to share our plight and promise change?

Now here is where things get tricky. You see a good portion of us will lean on hope no matter what history says. It’s the last coin in our pockets and we have to treasure it. If we lose it we’d have to kill ourselves. The instict of survival in us holds on to hope when everything else fails. And if the other side isn’t selling a better deal to us then we have no other choice.

Unfortunately if we looked back we’d know better and that more blown out promises have been made by many politicians before. That a man who wants an office and desperately so will say anything our ears want to hear. A man who wants a girl has no problem going down their knee. And our history is full of the promises of politicians both those in government and in opposition.

I’m not trying to use this post to discredit a certain party or favour another candidate. I don’t want to make us feel hopeless if anything I hold to hope like there’s nothing better. But I would always say be suspicious of politicians because in truth all of them actually do know our plight. Don’t be deceived they don’t know what’s happening perhaps they may not be as invested but they all know. They’ve got foot soldiers on the ground and honestly it doesn’t take a genius to know our suffering. You just need to turn on the news. The question is how genuine is their proposal?

Unfortunately I don’t trust the ruling class or even the opposition blindly because I wouldn’t trust any man blindly not even myself. I want to look back and see consistency of care and concern. I want to see there’s some shred of honesty in a manifesto not merely inflated promises. Sometimes I think going against the grain and playing the long game instead of blindly replacing the status quo might be the key to change.

But there’s always a risk in politics that any one leader however well measured will ultimately fail us. Power has a way to blind and change people and man is not that trustworthy either. In the end we need more than someone who seems to identify with us and appears genuine. We need someone without the disease of all men that in the end cares for their own welfare. Here’s where democracy fails us because we need more than one of us for a better leader.

It’s the one who came down to face our plight with us that can truly say they know us. But it’s the one who is unlike us in our selfishness who can actually help us. One who sees our plight, puts down his pride and washes our feet. We need one like us but better than us. One who sympathises with our weaknesses but can truly help us. One who’s proved genuine and trustworthy.

Unfortunately, I don’t think we’ll find him in the next election but it means our future is guaranteed either way. It means we can still lean on hope though our choices down here are likely to fail us. We have true hope in him not in the lies from every election year. In him there’s no risk of corrupting power. We have hope in one who walked the earth and rose to rule in the heavens. One who truly saw and acted for the plight of the oppressed and is concerned with the least of us. We have Jesus who is God and man, a leader we can truly trust in. He says,

11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

John 10 NIV.

Song of Longing

I heard a voice walking down the planet
A tune that drew me close to listen
It felt like a cheer but also like crying
I think it was both,the echo of distant voices
Some wailed while others rejoiced greatly
It was like the noise of battle won and lost
But both camps took turn to rejoice and mourn


I turned aside and heard a beautiful voice
It resounded across the globe
It spoke of beauty, love and celebration
It preached about hope, peace and joy
But then it stopped and it burst into wailing
It cried of loss, danger and death
I couldn’t understand this place


I listened to their music and it was amazing
It told of the wonder of man and his beauty
The songs of men addressed to their daughters
They had the sweetest words of the world
But on the other side a father cursed his son
A mother was troubled by his daughters
There was sadness, rage and despair


What’s wrong with this place I wondered
One time I’m loving it then I’m dreading it
One sings of joy the other of pain
I longed that the echo of sadness would end
That for once the music of joy would last
I wanted a good song to play until the end
But every time it was interrupted by sad news


It was a longing shared across the planet
People wished for once wars would cease
That pain and suffering would end
And joy be the music of our days
But the dream was always cut short
Someone was too greedy
Someone always put themselves first


So these days I dream of another world
My eyes close and the cries cease
I’m taken to a distant land where peace prevails
I sit quietly and listen to a good song end
When all the reality of sin fades music lasts
Not a cry of a child abandoned or a people lost
I listen to the end of beauty and celebration


I long for this land and country
I dream of walking down it’s streets
To be called a citizen of the land of peace
Take me away from this corrupt nation
Give me the joy of everlasting peace
Oh! How I rejoice knowing it’ll be mine one day
I dream of a better country, I long for heaven


Sunday Morning Junkies

Many times when we criticize preaching and call out false teaching we have the preachers in mind. We think if we rid the country of false teachers our churches will be sound and our theology right. But there’s a great contibutor to false doctrine that we let go easy. We forget the supply is only available because the market demands it. Our minds don’t pause to imagine that the people on the pews are shaping the man infront as much as he purports to. We think the direction of flow is God to his servant and from pulpit to the congregation. In truth it works both ways and sometimes it’s what the preacher thinks the congregation wants that dictates the Sunday sermon. It’s the congregation to the pulpit and back without God in the picture. Paul warns of this in 2 Timothy 4:3

For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 

2 Timothy 4 NIV

People will come to the preaching hour with a craving not to hear from God necessarily but to hear what their minds desperately crave. They come with an urge not always for false hope but whatever makes their hearts skip a bit. Some want to hear mind blowing mysteries and conspiracy theories. A great service for them takes them around fantasy kingdom where they wrestle with demons and leave with secrets only they know. Others want to be blown away by the genius of the man of God. These might fool you with a love of the Word but they are mere intellectuals in a lecture hall. For some it’s another Churchill show and they want to laugh their lungs out. They want a sense of emotion, someone who gives them the feelings. The man of God is easily deceived by these as they seem to flow with him. In truth they are all junkies thirsty for one more jab.

But even when we value God’s Word and want the preacher to point us to the text and context we can also have unrealistic views about preaching. If we expect every sermon will be top notch however we define it, we are no different from these guys. We are still driven by the itch of our ears not what and how God wants us to leave church that day. Yes we should celebrate great preaching that points us to Jesus and keeps our nose on the text of God’s Word. But if we expect it every Sunday we demand a standard the man of God can’t meet and it says much about us not him. In truth, it’s not the best sermon every Sunday that is the mark of a faithful ministry. It’s not the best meal in a great restaurant that keeps us growing and healthy. Sometimes we need some ugali, some omena and once in a while some veggies. It’s a people committed to God and his Word even when the church next door sounds like the Spirit has come in person. It’s when we choose to wrestle with the word and sometimes get it wrong and don’t deliver the best talks that we show we are truly committed to it.

I don’t want to say we should excuse boring preaching. I don’t say we put up with mediocre preachers as long as they quote the Bible. And we shouldn’t think a church can’t be faithful if it’s lively and growing rapidly. But we need to be careful we don’t set a standard for preachers that makes them aim at pleasing us more than God. If we do that we risk the man of God answering to our itching ears and that is neither right nor healthy. Preachers on the other hand shouldn’t be removed from the congregation or merely sing by their tune. Paul advice to Timothy is to both preach the Word all the times whether people like it or not, even when it leads to persecution but also to be invoved in the life of his congregants. To know when they need encouragement or rebuke.

Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 

But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

2 Timothy 4 NIV

The mandate comes from above but it has in mind a people easily tempted, easily discouraged, oftenly forgetful and who mostly prefer the world around them. The preacher needs to remember the medicine of the Word is what they need but careful also to make the right diagnosis. But the congregation needs to be careful lest they make the Lord’s servant doubt his tools of trade. We need to ask ourselves, if the sermon was not what we expected, is it possible we had the wrong expectations? Is it possible we have a wrong view of preaching and we expect it to be a daily meal outside? But when a preacher does his job well it won’t kill us to appreciate him as much as it is his job. That man is a man like any other and there is a lot that would easily discourage and deceive him to follow in the world’s steps like everybody else. Believe you me he’s no different from you. And if you are the kind that easily falls for one criticism imagine how he’d crumble with a thousand. For faithful preaching to work the congregation needs to be on board in the good and the not so good Sundays.

Life and Death

Death has a way of reminding and awaking us to the reality of this life. That any of us and every one of us whether big or small, rich or poor, famous or infamous has a date with the small box. Death meets us all and most of the times it’s not well mannered to book an appointment. The man of God, the good statesman, the witchdoctor and the rebel all have one sure destiny under the sun. They will die. Sure their deeds will make that a day of mourning or celebration depending on who you ask but in the end they’ll be dead. It’s the thing that reminds you that men however powerful and influential are mere mortals. Death sets apart the creator from creation; the clock of life unravels man’s weakness.

We can all agree death is brutal, a ferocious enemy that attacks without warning. It leaves rampage, distress and broken lives behind. But it also tells us that how we live matters because we are not here for as long as we imagine. We need back that Gospel message that said tonight could be it for you because many have been caught unaware without it. As much as we don’t like negative vibes I think we might do with a dose of reality in our modern day. As we motivate people to live their fullest, exploit hidden potential, walk like the boss let’s remember we are here only for a while. Actually the Gospel tells us our best life, our longest life is in the future beyond the grave.

Order your house today by ordering your heart. The Bible says only those who die in the Lord are blessed that is happy and safe. For them it’s more like retirement as they finally rest from their labours. Those who lived in rebellion on the other hand, those driven by human sin, the grave is the beginning of their troubles. I know this is uncomfortable, old fashioned and you’d rather we do a better and more appealing Gospel message. Meet people where they are, pick what they love and entice them in to buy the Gospel message. But if talk of death is not relevant to us perhaps it’s because we’ve slept in for too long. In this country you can’t go past a news bulletin without it. So we may as well look into the Gospel’s verdict on the matter and do so more oftenly.

13 Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.”

“Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.”

Revelation 14 NIV.

The Heart of True Leaders

When you listen keenly to political analysts debate each other you can hear their master speaking behind them. They’ll use facts and quote the Constitution all while construing and obliquing it in ways that favour the hand that feeds them. Activists are no different though they’d like us to believe they are the neutral custodians of the rule of law and the good of the people. And you know what? We are no different either, as we listen we hear what we want to hear. We are all biased and none of us comes to these issues neutral.

Those who support the ruling class do so because they feed from that table. Those who oppose it because they are denied a share. And we are but the grass upon which the bulls fight. We receive what drops when the masters and their servants have had their share. We are bribed with tokens to shut up as they follow higher agendas. But we are no different. If anything we do the same with our jobs and resources. The natural man is driven by his stomach and when it’s full of food by his hunger for wealth and power.

We admire it though when we hear someone came to the table neutral. That he was driven by the interest of the common mwananchi though we get very suspicious of that. It’s beyond human to lay down ones interests for the benefit of others. It’s abnormal, suspicious and only love; true love, care and concern can lead a man to scale that mountain. It says greater good cannot be achieved unless one pours their heart for another and our leaders for the masses. It’s laying down ones interest, their lives, denying the religion of normal man for the sake of others. It’s godly, the thing you see with real friends and families. Only the man who loves truly serves fully.

We must then ask is that a quality our leaders possess? Do they love Wanjiku? It’s getting too emotional you say. That’s not a quality of leadership, it’s something you look for in a spouse not a governor. I think we would actually get very uncomfortable if the next MP sells a love manifesto. Choose me because I love you. Maybe it’s too much to ask? You’ll not find it in our politicians CVs. That this man has proved a love for the people and that’s his greatest achievement. But it’s the greatest quality for the best of leaders. It’s what we find in God through the Bible, it’s the CV of Jesus. Only he comes without a devious agenda, he comes with a love manifesto and that’s why he could stoop low to save us.

He came to serve and only he was driven by that agenda, see Mark 10:45. And in service he became the greatest leader that we should all emulate. But his service and humility is not the only attribute we should copy and seek in our leaders. He was first driven by love, love for the lost, compassion to a sheep without a shepherd. Only the one who truly loves can pursue our interests. If we want to emulate his strategy we need to be informed by his conviction.

Our hands must be strengthened by his heart. A heart to seek the good of the downtrodden not merely giving them the leftovers of our selfish pursuit. And unfortunately you’ll not find that regularly under the sun. You’ll only see droplets of it where the finger of God has touched the hearts of men. But that’s our eternal reality for those who believe in Jesus. May the Lord help us and anyone who pursues leadership at home and in our society to emulate him.

13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command.

John 15 NIV.

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