mathabelazitha/the anvil:BY ZIFISO MASIYE
A broken young lad tore my heart when he remarked in tears at his mom’s funeral the other day. “Lo and behold, why don’t you hold time still and grant us permission to live our childhood as children… The consistent ‘encouragement’ we seem to draw from all adults at such a loss is that we children must man-up, yikho ukukhula kwakhona! If this time and this experience is our baptism of adulthood, then please stop time. Leave us a lil while longer to our childhood!” My sister was herself so young. She was a significant core and epicentre of so many young people.
So many loved ones lost in so short a time. So many lives cut short before their time, lives that held so much hope for us all. So many plans left in abeyance, so many winners of family bread broken so abruptly. So many children orphaned and so many young brides ungroomed, untimely.
Our world hath flipped over and crashed around us in ways so grim and hitherto unheard of. So much gloom, so much doom. Death is proud to flaunt her glee. He lies who says “I shall see you tomorrow”, for death itself has become more certain than the promise of the morrow.
Still counting. Yet neither war has drawn this deluge of tears, nor famine visited so deep a pain, so ugly a scar and so wide a sense of hopelessness upon our lives.
Like a pummelled, yet defiant boxer amidst rounds of that flurry of relentless blows, the world wobbles on its knocked knees, up on its feet and stumbles a few steps, then is falls again and sinks into lockdown slumber.
“Good evening, fellow South Africans…” Up, for a couple more head blows, and back on the lockdown canvas again…then again! What shall we make of this untimely “Global Pause!”?
We show much bravado in our beat up courage and collective willpower as a human race, yet so intense is the cumulative power of the coronavirus that poorer and poorer are we with every lockdown count.
Unprecedented populations of freshly broken families, teenage widows and droves of Covid-orphans soon emerge in a reconfigured post-Covid-19 society.
New strain after new variant, baffled scientific insight as “fauci”-faulty and clear as mud! Neither vaccine nor msuzwane quite cuts it. The global anxiety is grinding, our collective confusion so complete… the proud aeroplanes that soared our skies lie like poisoned snakes in forlorn tarmacs, growing grass through their Covid-stricken cockpits as if to scorn science, technology and the forward surge of human development!
The folly of our vain timelines and the futility of our fragile brain lies bare. Yet the social cost is mounting, the fight is on and the final bell is nowhere in sight. Kushort uS’fiso, Asphelelanga!
Our time… it is not God’s time.
Our season of pain and rivers of tears through this Covid-19 pandemic indeed, may not be God’s joy, but if we cared to align our lives to His time, it is all predestined. Yet we know He never designed the human spirit to be confined in quarantines and human prisons. Soon, the human spirit shall, without fail, unhinge and bolt!
He says “his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning”.
Our joy is reassured in the morning, if together, we commit to bleed a while, then rise to fight again. Some of our classroom wisdom must do time in the parking lot, while we explore the workings of God’s times.
These seemingly inexplicable, sharply contrasting seasons of extremes of evil and good, of tears and joy, of triumph and tribulation… just as birth and death, they are prescribed, interdependent and inevitable alternates of our very being.
Indeed to every human mystery that baffles our minds, for these are purposed mysteries in a higher realm, there is a season and a time held within that heavenly continuum of polar extremes that is little deciphered by sociology nor fits in scientific theory. And as usual the mind of your rational “educated” is terrified by things spiritual which it can neither piece together nor control. Its comfort and safest place with divine mystery is outright dismissal.
Yet with all our intelligent endowment, as humans we have no power at all over time, both whose extremes are God’s prerogative and His sole forte.
It is the deliberate factory setting of the human faculty that precludes it from a comprehensive appreciation of certain regimes of recurrent human calamity, the nature of which brings the David the Psalmist to pronounce, that relying on the capacity of his own senses around the consuming fear, he would have fainted, except that he had believed the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. David thus implores humanity to endure our weeping in the night, to wait on the Lord, only who can make us glad according to the days such as we are in, wherein we are afflicted with death and these years wherein we are seeing evil.
We have such rabid propensity to play God, to punish ourselves by designing our own spans of life and timelines anchored on shifty sand repeatedly, by attempting to subject God’s time to our own time. Most of our tears reflect nothing more than a defiance of God’s time and our worship of human time!
We are subordinate to God’s time horizon and subject to its mysterious calibrations. His perfection is not a circular and even 60-minute clockwork. No.
Our simple responsibility is to recognise, not to challenge, God’s time and His timing. So often we act out of sync with the pre-set timing of God and the resultant discord is the equivalent of swimming against a raging torrent of the Zambezi…. it occasions fatal recurrent internal conflict and potential disaster.
The happiest amongst us, the safest even as we fumble in this shadow of death engulfing our lives, are those that deliberately seek to align themselves with God’s timing. It takes a deep search and understanding of the purpose and thinking of God around our lives. It takes an acknowledgement that our lives are a highly priced and a long purchased commodity of God that we only hold in trust, as rented lives. It takes acknowledgement that none of the painful deaths engulfing our lives in this season is out of timing, that God has made everything appropriate in its time.
Sincere condolences to all. Yet be ye wise to see the hand of God in every coffin and know it only brings forth the triumph of His chosen.
Zii Masiye (email@example.com) writes elsewhere on social media as Balancing Rocks.