“Grown up in their youth…”

“Let our sons in their youth be as grown up plants, And our daughters as corner pillars fashioned as for a palace.”

-Psalm 144:12

Hey People! I hope you’re  great…I am doing fantastic, work’s been super busy but I am really looking forward to the Easter holidays and my birthday is in exactly a month! Yay!

This morning as I was getting ready for work, I watched an interview on NTV’s AM Live that got me really inspired. Hosted by Sheila Mwanyigha, Kobi Kihara and Debarl Inea, I find the show refreshing because they are… themselves! Sheila’s bubbliness gives me that extra “umph” when my mornings are dreary, Kobi is so humorous and cool and Debarl’s poise and seeming “I have it all together” challenges me. Well, this post is not a psychoanalysis of the AM live presenters. It’s about something a little more profound.

Today they hosted American Football player Daniel Adongo. A 24 year old Kenyan man standing at 6′ 6″ who recently joined the Indianapolis NFL as an outside linebacker. Pretty young considering all he has achieved so far-made me so proud. I had no idea who he was before this morning. I had only seen him on the cover of this month issue of the DRUM magazine.

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What got me, despite the young man’s obvious good looks, was his drive, focus and something he said about neglect of his talent being equivalent of “spiritual suicide”. I am yet to hear a more deep, articulate, grounded young Kenyan. He spoke with the wisdom of a sixty year old man. Truly grown up in his youth, there was just something about him. He attributes his success to God and even though he left home for the United States at the early age of 16, away from his family, he has remained determined and focused. When asked about how he has managed to stay away from drugs and other vices even amidst fame, he said that he lives in a bubble and avoids negative influence.

Now, I know you’re probably wondering why I am gushing praises for this young man but it’s really because he sort of put a picture to the kind of young man I want to raise some day. I am fully aware of the fact that he is human and that a short interview cannot give me the full picture of who he is but the snippet I saw spoke volumes and strengthened my faith.

Of all my hearts desires,one of the most earnest is that, godwilling, I will birth and raise a good and godly man. I know, I know, there is nothing novel or spectacular about having a boy as opposed to a girl- it happens all around the world, maybe every hour. I am not saying that boys are more special than girls in any way but I believe that my dream is valid (hehe!). You see, there is a quality of man that is very rare these days. A man that truly knows his purpose, embraces work and responsibility and knows above all else that he is nothing without a solid dependence and a relationship with the God who made him.

A man who knows that his assignment to this world is not primarily around pleasure and comfort but in giving back and building the lives of others through whatever God has placed in his hand. A man who bears the brunt of failure or lack in his family as opposed to only taking pride in the wins and successes.

A man who is unafraid of any obstacle that comes against him or his house, one who does not shrink back from affirming and cheering on others even when his back is against the wall. A man who is strong and not only in the physical sense but even more in his mind and spirit.

A man who like King David is relentless in the pursuit of his God and lives a life that is surrendered to him through his mistakes and short falls; who is driven and ambitious yet humble and gentle…not taking life too seriously. This is a glimpse of the kind of man I want to raise.

I do realize that all children are gifts from God and I will accept and raise well whatever child he gives me when the time comes but I know, just like Hannah of old, God had placed this desire on my heart for a reason. I know he will equip us (lol!) to raise this man if it be in his will.

Meanwhile, I challenge every man reading this, young or old, to think critically about the course of your life and the responsibilities on your lap right now. Be it your talent, your job, your relationships, your calling…true freedom comes from embracing responsibility not shirking or procrastinating. Seek God and align yourself with him to find your place of purpose and depend on him to chart your course, leaning not on what you think you know. Our world is yearning for you to step up to the plate and take up what has been long neglected. Lead, protect, provide, BE everything you were made to be. There are few things more beautiful, more relieving, more comforting than when a man is being just that. A man.

Here’s a great poem on things manhood 🙂

If: A Father’s advice to his son by Rudyard Kipling

“If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!”

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