Guard The Avenues Of Your Soul by Nompumelelo Simango
When I began writing this post, it had a different angle. The year was new, I was doing well, my girlfriends were sharing their testimonies on how God has come through for them. God had blessed my own ventures too, doors literally started opening in 2019. And then Lupus…
I was hospitalised 2 weeks into January. Never mind the fact that I had already had a short stint in hospital on New Year’s Eve. This time I spent a week in hospital and had a lot of “fun” activities planned out for me including a Sonar, MRI Scan, CAT Scan, FNA Test, that’s just to name a few, and as fear, doubt, anxiety and depression crept in, I remembered a quote I once came across:
“Your diet is not only what you eat. It is what you watch, what you listen to, what you read, the people you hang around. Be mindful of the things you put into your body emotionally, spiritually and physically.”
These words struck a cord and I had leafy thoughts…
As seasons go through their changes, trees react to this annual cycle. Throughout the four seasons, we only get to see a glimpse of the dramatic and majestic changes that the tree undergoes.
In spring, trees begin reacting to increasingly longer periods of daylight and warming temperatures. Cued by specialized detection cells, buds begin to open and new leaves begin to expand. Chlorophyll production begins which gives way to photosynthesis in these new leaves.
Photosynthesis produces sugars which precipitate a period of rapid growth. New twig growth extends towards the sun, while new wood is created to support the above-ground mass of the tree. Roots are also extremely active in spring, as they grow to find water and absorb nutrients to support all of the metabolic processes occurring within the plant. It’s still the same tree, just renewed; given a new strength, new vigour, new life.
I guess during the time when I was laying in the hospital bed, I came to the realisation that we are very much like trees; we remain the same but what should change is our minds and that change comes through our diet.
The newness of the new year comes from a renewal of the mind. Even Paul attests to that fact when he says, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind”. Essentially, in 2019 you may still have the same problems that you have had in 2018, battling the same chronic illness or still have the same routine; you’re still in the same job, same relationship or marriage; your favourite drink is still coffee with just a teaspoon/sachet of sugar. The newness of the year is about an intentional and deliberate switch in your mindset.
Like the tree’s roots that grow to find water and absorb nutrients to support all of the metabolic processes occurring within the plant, we too must be actively working to deepen and strengthen the relationship we have with God.
As the psalmist notes, “Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he [b]meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.” (Psalm 1:3)
“Chase God and chase Him as hard as the devil is chasing you. It’s going to be the defining factor of how new your 2019 is.” – Nompumelelo Simango
To renew our minds, we ought to guard the avenues of the soul. Throughout 2019 be cognisant of what you are watching, what you are listening to, what you are reading and the company you are keeping. Chase God and chase Him as hard as the devil is chasing you. It’s going to be the defining factor of how new your 2019 is.
Nompumelelo, aka Mpumi, is a formidable young woman who currently does Communications for the EFF party in South Africa. She is also the graphic designer at bAw, and a brave Lupus warrior and advocate along with The Lupus Drive. And she is co-founder of Peculiar People Ministry, an online based ministry which you can visit at peculiar-people.org. More than all this, she is a woman desiring to live her best life for God.
Thank you Mpumi for a simple yet profound understanding of how we can continue to grow and blossom in this new year.
Have you found a rhythm to maintaining the habits and mindset you desire for each new year? Do you also struggle to keep the momentum going in terms of your goals set for each year? Whatever your experience, please do share below.