Circumstantial Humility

When you have been a vegetarian through circumstance, it’s hard to become a vegetarian by choice.

My experience with poverty takes me back to the days as a young barefooted lad in the dusty gravel roads of Limpopo, one of the poorest provinces in South Africa.

On those days, I can mildly remember, inter alia, having visitors over as being one of the best days ever. When the guests were around, we would have cold drink as a treat. The treat of cold drink made me so happy back then, that even today, I see the coca cola emblem as a luxury.

I would be so happy to have that cold drink, that I even began to perform tricks with my single cup of it. I would take a few clean sips to massage my tongue a little – then I would pour the last bits of it onto the carpet. Then I would use my empty cup to scoop back my drink and refill my joy and drink it all up to complete my trick.

It didn’t go down well with my grandmother though. No – not one bit!

But while she reacted angrily at my dirty behaviours, the guests would give out a little laugh, saying something like, “boys will be boys”…haha – and that was the point of it all anyways – to get the guests buzzed up by my presence.

In the city where I eventually moved to, you will find young men my age with modified sports cars that are too expensive for me to even dream about. And they too still do these tricks to flatter their guests. They spin the whip until the tyre threads are no more – I assume if their parents saw this, they would react just as my granny used to react to my cold drink tricks…and then you will be sure to hear, “Boys will be boys”…followed by the “haha” – I presume.

So yeah. Back to being a vegetarian through circumstance. It is normal for bad, or poor circumstances to motivate a person… Especially when those who had more used to flash it all in your face. You also want to achieve that so that you can have your moment in the spot light – spinning whips until the tyre threads are no more.

But then there’s David. The guy who used a sling to defeat and kill that giant named Goliath. David was a humble farm boy too, and prior to him killing that beast of a man – the King and leader of the army, Saul, had promised that whomever could kill Goliath would be rewarded with the King’s own daughter’s hand in marriage.

However, after David killed this beast, and it came time for his reward… David rejected this honour, saying ; “Who am I, and what is my family in Israel that I should be the King’s son-in-law?…My father’s family is nothing.”

What? Dude, this is your chance. Can you not see that you are being taken up from the drinks and carpets to the threadless tyres of the rich?

Mmmh. My mind is bamboozled! All this time I cannot even begin to imagine myself going back to those days of having a plate full of cabbage and spinach topped with a big chunk of maize meal and water to wash it down…but this man here rejects this upgrade because…

wait…why did he reject that?

The Christian bible is said to be the word of God. When we read it, they tell us, “read it to try and find the face of God”.

Mmmh. So if I can just try to make sense out of this, I guess I have to say that maybe this is how God’s face looks like. David had done that trick which got him recognised. But he rejected the reward for it because maybe he felt, or knew that he was not ready in his heart to have such an honour. After all, with great power comes great responsibility. So maybe David can teach me that sometimes my purpose and dreams have already been set for me…but I need to make sure that I have the necessary amount of control and respect for it to make sure that I do not misuse it or lose it.

So maybe one day I will be able to return to the vegetarian days by choice. But while I am still where I am in thought, will and ability, maybe I just have to be a little more patient and humble before I can go out there and actually make a difference in the world.

1 Samuel 18:17


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