Gedig vir my Vriende

Ek het hierdie geskryf op 28 Maart 2015, die jaar na ek klaar gemaak het met skool. 

 

Hoe vinnig verby is al daai dae
Van koffie, Playstation en Afrikaans.

Ek mis die eksamens – ek mis die koffie
Ek mis die “IT” – ek mis die “geleer”.

Geen meer WipeOut, LBP of Runescape
Nous dit net Tuks,
Baie werk en Inscape.

Geen meer Portal, Uncharted of Ezio
Nous dit net toetse,
My vriend – ek mis jou!

Wat het geword van ons na-toetse kuier?
Ons af-en-toe se skaak,
Ons poker en gaming?

Waar is ons Nesquik?
Die “Blou Tas”,
En die meisies?

Ai, my vriende…

Totsiens

 


 

“Koffie”: Vriend 1 het gereeld oorgekom vir koffie. Die Afrikaanse klas was ‘n pyn en tog altyd so lekker (Hy sou net iets sê van Oscar Pistorius se hofsaak, dan sou die hele klas en die onderwyseres oor dit gesels en sodoende sou ons nie werk nie).

“Ek mis die IT”: Vriend 4 sou gereeld voor ‘n eksamen toets oorkom om te leer… dan eindig ons op besig om Civilization 5 te speel.

“Geen meer wipeout”: Ek en Vriend 1 het hierdie drie games sat gespeel. Nou sit ek by Tuks en in daai jaar het hy by Inscape studeer.

“Geen meer Portal”: Ek en Vriend 2 het hierdie drie games weer sat gespeel.

“Ons af-en-toe se skaak”: Vriend 1 het gereeld oorgekom vir skaak en ligte poker.

“Waar is ons Nesquik?”: Vriend 3 het baie gehou van sy Nesquik. Net hy het geweet van die “blou tas”, wat ‘n codename was vir ‘n meisie wat ek my oë op gehad het (syt ‘n blou tas gedra).

 

 

 

Advertisements

A Short Post About My Experience of Power and Authority in School

One of the greatest (and deceptive) feelings is a feeling of authority or power.

I remember Grade 7, when I was only 13 years old. I was chosen as a prefect for my academic success and my overall personality. I actually hated it. I did not want to participate in sports and culture events and all those stuff. I actually got into trouble with the teacher in charge of the prefects for my lack of co-operation.

I never wanted to dominate others. I did have the authority to command students to do certain things, like pick up those papers, go tell that teacher this or that and similar things.

For me what I liked was the immunity from the powers of others. As a prefect myself, no one save the teachers and the four head prefects had any authority over me. I remember once when a girl that I utterly despised, also a prefect, told me to do something. I just smiled condescendingly and walked away. She has no authority over me. That I liked.

The other part about being a prefect that I liked was the invisibility it provided. Each year our school had a athletics competition. In it people basically compete so that the winners can take part in the inter-school competition.

All the prefects “had” to help at certain areas: high jump, shot put, relay, etc. While the athletes competed and the prefects helped out, the rest of the school had to stand on the stadium and dance to the songs they played. In my previous six years I absolutely hated being there.

But that year I was a prefect. I didn’t have to be there. But I also did not care for my obligations as well. So I got my best friend (still to this day) away from the stadium and we just walked around the school. After all, who would think this prefect is just abusing his position?

Seeing a student walking around would cause suspicion and the teacher would immediately command him to return to the stadium. But as a prefect nobody cared. They would simply think I was on some errand. It is this invisibility that I greatly abused on numerous occasions, though never to the detriment of others.

Even worse, numerous times me and my other best friend would have the last period off because of a teachers absence. In those cases I didn’t think twice about simply walking out of the school with my friend, way before the school came out.

Looking back I realise how wrong it was of me to abuse it so and to be so inactive with my duties. In my defense I always thought, “I wasn’t chosen for the time I have (we had to work some weekends, though I never did), for my social skills, my culture capabilities or my efficiency at exercising authority. I was chosen for my personality and academic position, so screw all of this nonsense”.

I guess that teacher who scolded me extremely regret ever giving me that position.

Three… dreams?

Listening to: Con Te Partiro – Andrea Bocelli

Should be doing: Politics

Thinking about: What I’m thinking about

There are three dreams I’ve dreamt so far that are peculiar, some more than others. I’m writing them more so don’t forget them somewhere in the future.

They concern an operation, a cat, and Jesus. Let’s start with the operation.

I have a vague feeling that I’ve shared this before on this blog, but if I had I’m gonna do it again. Why? Because it’s my blog and I decide what goes. So, my operation.

In grade 6, when I was 12, (or was it grade 7?) I dreamt a peculiar dream. In my dream I was standing in a small room. I knew it was the bathroom of a hospital. to my right was a wall. To my left was darkness (I didn’t know what was there). In front my was a sink and on top of it a mirror. Behind me was the door.

I was crying. Sobbing. I knew I was going to go for an operation and I cried and prayed to God to help me. Then I turned around and opened the door. When I opened it, I saw a kind of light. I’m not sure if I saw a hand which held the light. I mean a light as in that which a lightbulb makes. The light itself. Not the source of it.

When I saw it, I fell on my right side and I woke up. Because it was such an odd dream I didn’t forget it.

A year or two later I was going for an operation. Not that big when I think back. They had to remove a lot of teeth. Nonetheless I stressed a lot.

I went into the bathroom before the operation. It was a small room. To my left was a bath, to my right a wall, behind me the door, in front of me a sink and on top of it a mirror. I prayed and cried and as I looked up to the mirror, I remembered my dream.

I still do not know how the part of the light and me feeling fits into anything. Perhaps it has no meaning.

Now for my second dream, about my cat, Leo. I was really attached to him. Then one day, about two years ago, when I was away my mother called to say he was run over. I was devastated and I never had any closure.

Here’s a photo of him on my lap:

IMG_0068

Then a while later, it could be days or weeks, I dreamt. In my dream I held him for one last time. In my dream I thanked God constantly for giving me one last moment with him. As I’m writing this tears are coming to my eyes. I really needed that moment.

Now for the last dream which I had a day ago. This year I’ve been struggling to get to know God. I see these people at my Christian fellowship, especially one friend whom I’ll call the Godly Friend, who is so totally absorbed by Christ. Every action and everything he says is from Christ and he is so deep into the Word. He’s also human and he admits he often makes mistakes, but he so… true.

If you’re not a Christian, keep in mind the following. Everything is constantly about love. About Christ’s love for us, the church, and God’s love for the world. We are supposed to love God with all our heart, soul and mind (Matthew 22: 37). Yet I never thought of this in romantic way.

In my dream I was lying on grass. To my right were two men who also laid on the grass, but one of them talked with the other one in an intensely passionately, romantic way. I knew in my dream that the one who talked was Christ. I’m not sure about the other one. It was either the Godly Friend, or representative of the Church. It could really be both.

I remembered how I so badly wanted to be in such a relationship with Jesus as that person. It’s odd. If it was the Godly Friend, then maybe God was trying to show me what exactly he had that I didn’t. An intense, romantic, love. If that person represented the Church then I’m afraid, since then it would mean that I’m not a part of it. Or at the very least I’m missing something.

However, I’m not quick to reach conclusions. Keep the following verse in mind:

Jeremiah 29:8

For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed.

So perhaps I caused this dream on myself? I don’t know. But I can’t help but feel that there’s more to this dream than I’d like.

Giving is Selfish – On Good and Evil

In this post I both want to tell you about a question that I, especially as a Christian, are struggling with. However I know I’ll eventually get sidetracked into other things, which is fine. Why is it fine. Because I write so I can both record and relieve my feelings and thoughts.

A year ago I was still at school. I was part of our school’s chess team, though we were rather pathetic. But the people in it were great. Once a year we organize the “High Five” tournament, where a lot of people in the school play 5-minute chess games for fun.

In my team there was one guy whose name I forgot. I’ll just call him the Shallow One. Not shallow in the sense of being superficial, but shallow in the sense of being too preoccupied with facts than wisdom or reason. He was a few years younger than me.

After the game he asked if he could borrow some money, just R5 (in South Africa that’s about the price of a bread). So I gave him R10. I didn’t think more of it.

However, later I asked myself why I did it. Did I do it because I want to? If so, then I want to do it. Which makes it selfish. If I did it because I should, since it’s the right thing to do (morally and as a Christian), then I’m doing it because I’m in some sense forced to do it and not because I want to. Which one is correct?

Either you help because you want to – selfish, or you help because you should – cold and unsympathetic.

For a while I wondered about this. Then I thought, it’s about the one I help, not why I help. If he is helped, regardless of why I do it, then that is the right thing. This is the closest I come to a solution, but it still doesn’t solve my motive.

This also took my to another question, one of Good and Evil. How can a good person do evil? And how can an evil person do good? If we are morally perfect, then why do we do evil? If we are fallen from grace, sinners, then how can we do good?

Then I thought about water. Only if it is pure, no dirt in it, can you call it clear. That is good. If the water is mixed with just the most tiny amount of dirt, then it is polluted, evil. Yet there are levels of the evil. Between water with a little dirt and water which is almost entirely mud. There are levels to the evil. Yet there is still good.

That’s why I believe Christ said “none is good”. To be good you must be perfect, clean, holy. You cannot be good and do evil, but you can be evil and do good.

My Testimony – How I was born again

For years now I have considered my testimony of how I became a true Christian to be somewhat unexciting. I still think so. It’s not like I was at my deepest and most broken moment. It wasn’t like I was doing drugs or going around robbing banks and going to prison. I wasn’t even bullied at school or feeling all alone and such.

I’ve heard of great people who went through a lot. Angus Buchan was losing his family and working himself to death (watch the film Faith Like Potatoes or look for MMC videos). David Wood was a literal psychopath who didn’t have any feelings and even beat the hell out of his own father’s head with a tool (look for How I became a Christian David Wood on YouTube). Those are just two. But here’s mine.

I grew up in a Christian family. A true one. My mother was saved when she was at school and she in turn got my grandparents saved. That was long before I was born. The fact is my family were truly Christians. They weren’t the missionary type. They are more the kind who tries to live an example, though I think for a few years my mother was straying from the path, though always Christian.

I was not baptised as an infant. In the NG Church, a very prominent church in South Africa, people are baptised as babies. I wasn’t. There was some confusing about my father who was never accepted into church and all that.

When I was 7 I wanted to be baptised. I did it entirely out of my own will with no influence from any one else whatsoever.

In primary school (basically from age 7 to 13) I was a believer. I read my bible at times, even in class. I was always the obedient, smart, reserved, shy boy. I think it was at the start of my teens that things started to go a bit awry. I remember vaguely being a bit too harsh on a guy at school when I was 13.

The next year I went to High School (age 14 to 18). I guess because I became a teen I became extremely interested in sex, though privately. I frequently fantasized, and worse, I started watching porn. I watched it on and off for a year and a half. At one stage it became rather consuming, but it was never an all encompassing addiction, though an addiction it definitely was.

I was still a “christian” in these times. I knew it was wrong and I felt bad for a long while everytime I watched it. Or for a while I felt bad. There was a time where for I would go for days without praying.

But with God’s help, I prayed, I defeated it at the end of Grade 9 (when I was 15). Admittedly there were times afterwards where I fell back, it was never an addiction again. But the devil always has something else up his sleeves.

At the start of Grade 10 (age 16) I became incredibly intellectual for my age. I became interested in all kinds of debates. One in particular started gnawing at my faith: Ancient Astronaut theory. I watched the show Ancient Aliens and later I bought a book which I still have, Temples of the African Gods. Though actually a bad book, I started to question the stories in the Bible. Perhaps aliens explain the “miracles” in the Bible better than some unlikely, benevolent father figure.

At that age I also started having trouble praying. Each and every time the moment I closed my eyes to pray I would get these sinful, sexual, images in my head. I couldn’t pray.

Then came Easter. On Easter Monday we went to a church (not ours) to watch a reenactment of the crucifixion of Christ. Afterwards they gave opportunity for people to give their lives to Christ. We just had to raise our hands while we pray as we sat for someone to come to us. I remember how difficult it was for myself to raise my hand. Especially in front of my family.

We then had to walk all the way to the center of the church. It’s a HUGE church. There we prayed a type of sinners prayer. I remember when I prayed I could literally feel those sinful thoughts trying desperately to cloud my mind with their nonsense again. I could feel whatever it was trying to block out my prayer. But it couldn’t. I gave my life to Christ that day. It was an awesome clean, relieved feeling.

Looking back it didn’t change me much immediately. Like I said, it’s not like I suddenly got over a drug addiction. I was simply reborn. I didn’t really tell my friends. Only last year did I realise how I actually changed. It was a slow process. None of the things I changed of myself did I do “because now I’m a Christian”. All the things I stopped doing was simply because I didn’t want to do it anymore.

Looking back I see how that was Christ working in me, without me knowing. In the same year I gradually quit swearing. In that same year I grew more patient. In that same year I quit a hobby of mine which I’ve had since I was 5: gaming. I gave all my games away. It was such a big part of my life. I’m not saying gaming is sinful, I’m just saying that it didn’t matter to me anymore.

That’s basically it.

To come back to the introduction I’d like to say this: it feels as though God always kept a protecting hand over me. He didn’t wait for me to start having sex. He didn’t wait for me to do drugs. He didn’t wait for me to become an atheist. He simply snatched me away before I fell into any of those pits.

This is something I’ve noticed for years, on smaller or lesser scales. Like my friends, I shouldn’t have them. I was born with a cleft-lip and palate. I’m not handsome and I really struggled to speak, yet I had good friends. I was rarely made fun of. I was protected.

Though some might call this irrelevant, I’d like to point out this short story. One day at school in a cold winter morning I was standing, like everyone else, in attention area (the place we all stand to hear the announcements). Someone threw a water balloon. It hit me hart against my shoulder, but it didn’t break. I just thought, “Thanks, Lord.”. If it broke I would’ve been humiliated, wet and simply have had a bad day.

These small things happen way too often. At times I feel as though God treats me differently from the rest. As though he protects me more.

You Give and Take Away

When the darkness closes in, Lord

Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord

Blessed be Your name

You give and take away

~ Blessed Be Your Name

At this very moment I’m listening to Matt Redman’s Blessed Be Your Name. To really get the jest of this post, please listen to it. Hears a YouTube link to it. 

Four or five years ago, when I was fourteen (in grade 9 – the second year of highs school) there was a guy in my class, Martin. He was one of those kids who never did his work and who always got into fights. One of those people who you know has serious issues. He had friends, but they were just like him.

That year we had RTT. In it we basically just learned how to type on computers and how to use Word and PowerPoint. Now Martin was always scolded by our female teacher for being late. They also had fights in the class numerous times.

The only time I personally had any contact with him was when I accidentally knocked his phone out of his hands as I passed by. I got a hell of a hard punch on my arm for it, but I really didn’t take any offence.

My friend told me that on that day Martin simply came into his class, engineering, and simply said “I’m expelled” and walked out.

That night he hanged himself.

Our class, or most of it (me and my friend and a few others never knew him) was devastated. Especially one of our teachers. In fact on the funeral the whole school cancelled class. I never went, but I heard from someone else that they played “Blessed Be Your Name” there, which explains why I’m writing this.

The next day after his death, when everyone heard of it, we had RTT again. Now the teacher always called out the names of the people on her register, and we’ll simply say “here”. That day she did it again: Jake? “Here!”. Lewis? “Here!”.

Martin?