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“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t
see the whole staircase.”
~Martin Luther King, Jr

Have you watched or read the news lately?

Have you checked your pulse rate afterwards?

A good portion of news items can make you fearful, angry,
stressed and uncertain.

From the gang-rape of a schoolgirl, cases of
student deaths in schools, substance abuse, chaos
in our transport sector, insecurity and crime to the
recent terrorist attacks in Nairobi and Mombasa.

That’s not all.

Most of us are facing disturbing news
at a personal level, either first-hand or from family
and friends, including job loss, relationship
breakdown and illness.

Trying to make it through
the day, while handling our national and personal
news can be overwhelming and depressing.

The result is that our self-talk, the conversations we
turn over in our head when we are alone, becomes
negative.

As misery loves company, we end up
voicing our anxiety to others and generally
increasing the negativity quotient in our immediate
environment.

But what to do, you say.

Life is what it is, and if it is bad, it is bad.

The truth is that life is 10 per cent what happens to
you and 90 per cent how you respond to it.

I’ve been thinking about that lately, what with security
alerts on possible terrorist activities we have been
receiving and forwarding to each other.

Avoid crowded places, most of the alerts warn.

And so i have.

Problem is, those alerts have come in the way of
my life.

I have kept away from the supermarkets
until my pantry is at dangerous empty levels.

I have kept away from entertainment places and
gathering with friends.

I have even contemplated
keeping away from church.

I have looked over my
shoulder at everyone, wondering if they perhaps
have a grenade or wish me any form of evil.

And you know what, this is not the life I was born to live
or the one I signed up for.

It is not the life any
Kenyan should be living, yet it is what is happening
to us.

We know the government has a duty and obligation
to protect its citizens, even though we fear that
they may be too busy playing politics that they lack
the focus and resources to do so.

And yet we must not stop doing our part, insisting
daily that the government and its security forces
be accountable and do more on this issue, looking
out for our neighbours and giving up criminal
elements in our midst.

None of the above makes us any safer.

If anything,it seems pitifully small against the magnitude of
what we face.

That’s where the 90 per cent of how
we choose to respond comes in.

Consider this: most of us were chilled to the bone
and justifiably outraged following reports of an
attack on the Joy in Jesus
Church in Likoni,Mombasa.

The story of baby Satrine Osinya,
who lost his mother in the attack, gripped the
nation and galvanised churches and individuals
across the country to pray for him.

One of the dailies even had a prayer on its front page.

With their usual philanthropy, Kenyans began to send
donations.

That was faith in action.

This past week, baby Osinya underwent brain
surgery to remove the bullet in his head and we
heaved a sigh of collective relief.

The doctors had
performed a delicate surgery and it was successful.

A little bit of faith and just one piece of good news,
amidst all the bad, made the difference.

It was on that day that I made a choice to bid fear
farewell.

To respond to the painful circumstances
and harsh realities in this country with faith
instead.

To be vigilant, yes, but not to allow those
whose desire is to perpetrate terror win.

We need to return to our way of life, to Church and
the supermarkets.

We need to keep doing what we do to build the
nation in our little way.

And regardless of how
bleak the road ahead seems, when the choice is
faith or fear, I pray you take the high road.

Choose faith.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

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