Outside the box

    As a young boy growing up in the suburbs, I always heard a story about a small African city, hundreds of years ago, there was a small business owner who owed a large sum of money to a loan-shark. The loan-shark was a very old, unattractive looking guy that just so happened to fancy the business owner’s daughter so he decided to offer the businessman a deal that would completely wipe out the debt he owed him. However, the catch was that he would only wipe out the debt if he could marry the businessman’s daughter. Needless to say, this proposal was met with a look of disgust because he was quite ugly.

   The loan-shark told the businessman that he would place two pebbles into a bag, one white and one black, he’s daughter would then have to reach into the bag and pick out a pebble. If it was black, the debt would be wiped, but the loan-shark would then marry her and If it is white, the debt would also be wiped, but the daughter wouldn’t have to marry the loan-shark.

   Standing on a pebble strewn path in the businessman’s garden, the loan-shark bent over and sneakily picked up two black pebbles. Whilst he was picking them up, the daughter noticed that he’d picked up two black pebbles and placed them both into the bag. He then asked the daughter to reach into the bag and pick one.

   The daughter naturally had three choices as to what she could have done:
1, Refuse to pick a pebble from the bag.

2, Take both pebbles out of the bag and expose the loan-shark for cheating.

3, Pick a pebble from the bag fully aware it was black and sacrifice herself for her father’s freedom.

   So she drew out a pebble from the bag, and before looking at it ‘accidentally’ dropped it into the midst of the other pebbles. She then said to the loan-shark;
“Oh, how clumsy of me. Never mind, if you look into the bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I picked.”
The pebble left in the bag was obviously black, and seeing as the loan-shark didn’t want to be exposed, he had to play along as if the pebble the daughter dropped was white, and clear her father’s debt.

    You see’ It’s always possible to overcome a tough situation through out of the box thinking, and not having to give in to the only options you think you have to pick from. However, i am not trying to promote rebellion but you don’t always have to conform to societal norms, be you and be smart. 

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DESTINY HAS NO COMPETITION

   I was jogging this morning and I noticed a person about 1/2 a kilometer ahead. I could tell he was running a little slower than me and I thought, good, I shall try to catch him. I had about a kilometer before I needed to turn off. So I started running faster and faster. Every block, I was gaining on him just a little bit. After just a few minutes I was only about 100 meters behind him, so I really picked up the pace and pushed myself. You would have thought I was running in the last leg of an Olympic competition. I was determined to catch him. Finally, I did it! I caught and passed him. On the inside, I felt so good. “I beat him” Of course, he didn’t even know we were racing, as Dr Ben narrated. 

   After I passed him, I realized I had been so focused on competing against him that I had missed my turn. I had gone nearly six blocks past my turn and I had to turn and go back. 

    Isn’t that what happens in life when we focus on competing with co-workers, neighbors, friends, family, trying to outdo them or trying to prove that we are more successful or more important? 

   We spend our time and energy running after them and we miss out on our own paths to our God-given destinies. The problem with unhealthy competition is that it’s a never ending cycle. There will always be somebody ahead of you, someone with a better job, nicer car, more money in the bank, more education, a prettier wife, a more handsome husband, better behaved children, etc. 

    But realize that “You can be the best that you can be, when you are not competing with anyone.” Some people are insecure because they pay too much attention to what others are, where others are going, wearing and driving. Take what God has given you, the height, weight and personality. Dress well and wear it proudly, you’ll be blessed by it. Stay focused and live a healthy life. There is no competition in Destiny. 

      Run your own race and wish others well.

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