Quite by surprise and completely due to a blessing, I found myself in God’s den, the Masai Mara in Kenya. This is where God has housed his most treasured creations: animals that weigh over 3,000 pounds — yet still move like principal dancers with the Royal Ballet; pond-mates and field-mates, who aren’t the same species and don’t speak the same language; yet communicate well into the night; birds that are larger than mammals; and a place where the sun is a hot liquid that slides down mountain slopes, spills into the lakes and rivers, drips on baobab leaves, and dampens the tips of a giraffes’ ears.
Who knew there were that many variations of orange: mandarin, sienna, amber, tiger, bronze, ochre; or that hippos laughed; or that giraffes are somewhat distracted mothers and that baby elephants are so playful? When I arrived to Kenya, my brain felt crowded and overworked: busy and inefficient as the airport where I commenced my journey. But when I landed in the Masai on a dirt field, the dry grasses waved a greeting, bumping up against each other and created a sssssssshhhhhhhh sound, as if to say “Hello. Quiet your mind. Quiet, child.”
As I spent the next 5 days conscientiously soaking IT all in; I was also unconsciously figuring some things out.” I realized that God brought me there- to a place void of my typical distractions- to remind me of some old lessons and to teach me some new ones.
We Really Aren’t That Important
We spend a lot of time thinking about ourselves—don’t we? We view the world with ourselves (and our families) at the center.
For instance, unconsciously and embarrassingly, I expected when I went to the Masai Mara for the guides to drive around to show me area specific to various animals—somewhat like a zoo, no gates, but fairly organized. Quickly, I learned that I was in merely an uninvited, insignificant guest in these animals’ home. The animals didn’t even look up to acknowledge my presence.
I was no more significant to them than a blade of grass.
The world — in its pureness — will function with or without us. The sun is going to rise and set If we take that job, break up with that guy, file bankruptcy, sell the car, gain 20 pounds, wear that outfit again, or not. Life is so much larger than us.
So, relax. Nothing that you are doing or not doing is that big of a deal.
Spend some time figuring out who and what genuinely is important to you and spend your time there.
We Are Perfect
While we aren’t all that important; we are perfect. You are God’s perfect creation—one of his many masterpieces. Every species in the Masai Mara has a sense of nobility: from the wart hog to the lion. The giraffe isn’t walking around wondering if her neck is too long and the hippos aren’t concerned with their weight. The ostrich is not attempting to mimic the storks’ sound. Each creature is comfortable with who they are. That is true freedom. If in in the Masai Mara 570 species of birds are meant to be; and 60 species of mammals are meant to be; and 6,000 pound hippos are meant to be; and Zebras with coats as individual as the human fingerprint were meant to be; then me with all my quirks and you with all of yours were meant to be too. We are perfect. We are as God intended us to be.
I Understand Why People Meditate
God speaks to us all of the time. She tells us our truth; yet we are constantly agonizing over decisions. We spend countless hours talking with friends about what we should do; reading self-help books; copying what friends do because we don’t trust ourselves or our instincts. We just need to remember that inner voice is God and not allow it to get drowned out by everybody else. No one knows what is better than you do—or rather than God does. Just shut the other voices out and tune in. That’s what the Masai Mara forced me to do.
Most Things Are Simple
Time is our most valuable asset. We know this, but we spend time more frivolously than money (with people we don’t want, on causes we don’t care about, at jobs we hate, in relationships that make us unhappy) as if we have an endless supply. We don’t. The animals live aware that death is always possible and their time is limited. Accordingly, they seem to do exactly as they desire.
A lot of us spend a lot of time doing things that we don’t want to do for reasons we think are important. Ask yourself: do I have to? Do I want to? Then take all of the free time you have and put it toward the things and people that are important to you. It’s life changing. It’s simple.
Sitting in the den of God’s art gallery; listening to the sounds of Her orchestra, taught me that I am enough. Just as the every diverse creature, I am perfect. You are perfect. All that we need to do for the remainder of our journeys is to walk in the direction that we deem important and in the company of those we love. And the world will say, Amen.
My intention is for Black people to love themselves and each other. It sounds somewhat silly, I guess; but oftentimes my people are overwhelmed with negative images, bad news, and stereotyped characters about us. I’d like to flip that script. I’d like to remind us, as often as I can, how incredible we are. Read more