Lesego Otlhabanye is the founder of Rising Tswana. Enjoy!
2017 began on an interesting note for me. After doing some work, behind the shadows I was all of a sudden catapulted in to the limelight. I was taking up more leadership roles, aggressively working to ensure I performed at work and doing all that I could to stay ahead in every area of my life. This of course came with recognition from friends, to acquaintances to complete strangers. I imagine sometimes, one might perceive me as someone who has “made it”. In fact I might as well believed it for myself as well.
I have come to since realise that, that’s the mistake we make. We believe the hype that we have formed for ourselves or the hype people have created around us is something to hold on to.
The hype is great no doubt but can be quite dangerous because it’s not the true depiction of who we really are as people.
What do you I mean by this. Whilst people were admiring my perceived achievements and recent success, they do not realise that I spend most of my time on my own with a really ordinary routine and sometimes end the day with a dinner of noodles and chicken necks. I still live in Kanye, and in as much I have come to appreciate being here it is not the metropolis of Gaborone that I grew up in or the buzzing Kuala Lumpur I have also resided in. Behind the titles I have come to acquire are countless emails that are being sent, mostly administration and quite frankly drudgery because out of one moment of glory is countless hours of just tedious and mundane work of making it happen. Behind running a blog, is managing a team with its ups and downs, constantly fighting to have content and ensuring and learning new ways to improve because this is not my field of expertise.
For every moment I spend “succeeding” I spent even more time, working late, committing to a craft day in, and day out, meeting deadlines, submitting articles, making mistakes then trying again and not watching youtube videos (because honestly that’s all I really want to do).
I also have people I look to and admire, but I wonder what they are giving up to get all that hype.
So, behind the hype, there is so much that goes on and sometimes, it’s at the cost of many other things. My observation about the hype is mostly two things,
1.Without work, there is no hype
Whilst I am the ambassador of the anti-busyness campaign, constantly telling my friends to not be busy, it’s without a doubt that nothing worth noting can be achieved without putting in the effort. The book of Proverbs shares some insight into this.
Proverbs 6:6-10 New King James Version (NKJV)
6 Go to the ant, you sluggard!
Consider her ways and be wise,
7 Which, having no captain,
Overseer or ruler,
8 Provides her supplies in the summer,
And gathers her food in the harvest.
9 How long will you slumber, O sluggard?
When will you rise from your sleep?
We speak of achieving many great things, for ourselves, at work even for the Kingdom but lack the tenacity and grit to recognize that work has to be put in. I did not realise that I would have to put in more effort and consistency in order to accomplish certain tasks. I had hoped it would be easy, and that I could pray the work away but that has never been my story. I wish I could say it was just serendipitous that certain things happened in a certain way in my life but I can not. I had already been gathering food for the winter and when summer came I was ready.
Preparing for war in times of peace means then that there is never a moment to waste. In my relationship with God, whilst the Master orders my steps and I believe is working in my life to perfect me into the likeness of Christ, it is not without work.
Salvation is free, but we work towards sanctification. I have worked with many different people, and while some were brilliant in their ideas, how they spoke or how they believed things should be done, I am more likely to speak well of those who simply showed up. Those who did what they said they would do, those who replied emails, people who declined when they couldn’t take up a task rather than take on what they could not handle. Those who do not hit you with the blue ticks. I am trying to be this person as well and it is not easy. The ant offers the lesson that it is wise to do the work rather than not.
2. Don’t believe the hype, believe Jesus
So, you have the hype, you have been doing the work and it is your time under the sun. That was me, feeling all that and more. However, I had to come to terms with the fact that I was also running on E. That sometimes, whilst there were accomplishments, I had a lot of disappointments as well and my identity went through a crisis when I was not doing well or being in hype season.
I had not realized it, but the hype was starting to look like an idol in my life.
I had to take my focus off the hype, and put it on Jesus. I go through moments of complete distress feeling like I have failed or wondering why some things have not come together yet and the only assurance I have is in Jesus.
When I take time to spend time in the Word and seeking His Will I am better equipped to deal with whatever challenges or overwhelming feelings I deal with.
I have to daily choose to lean not on my own understanding, but rather trust God even though it’s my default setting to do the opposite (Proverbs 3:5).
So, let go of the hype, and hold on to the hope of glory that is Christ.
With Love, LBO.