It is here…

It feels like a really long time since I last blogged (seems I even forgot how to ūüôā ) but¬†as this year has commenced and seeing that I am also one year older, my birthday is in January, I have to realise that things change, have changed and will definitely change. I get tired more quickly (maybe that’s because I am unfit), I have different desires and goals for my life, my friendship circle is smaller and, well, just that life has become more meaningful and more fragile to me. I’m not even sure those things come along with ageing, but if it does then I’m probably on the right track.

This year began with introducing me to some new things (let’s hope it remains that way) with my first trip up Table Mountain via the Aerial Cable Car, which by the way is one of the new 7 Wonders of Nature (proud Capetonian ūüôā ). After all these years as a Capetonian, I can finally say “I’ve done it,” no more just hiking up the mountain even though it has given me amazing memories. The trip also made me realise how sometimes I can take things for granted, I mean all these years Table Mountain has been visible every single day of my life and not even bad cloud coverage can hide it and only after all these years have I gone up via the cable car. Sure we might not all be¬†financially¬†able to do that but it if we serious about things then nothing should deter us from experiencing things in life.cable car

This brings me to main point, my next thing….

I’ve registered my own domain, so this will be the last time that I will be blogging from the wordpress.com. Why, you might ask? Why not? I might add ūüôā here’s my new url: http://www.garthaziz.co.za. Obviously the site will become more populated as time goes on but I hope that you will continue to follow me on this journey.

It’s a new year with new beginnings, let’s see what all lies ahead for this year.

new beinnings

Garth

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Time waits for no-one

There is a saying that goes, “the quickest way to move backward in a fast-moving world is by standing still.” Time really does fly and sure does not wait for anyone. Twenty years ago I was in matric (grade 12 for the newbies). Time not only accumulates things but also has a sense of making us realise what we are or have been missing. So what have you accumulated or missed over these years?

It’s a question I continually ask myself, some people might phrase it as, “are you successful?” The word successful really is a loaded word and can mean so many things to so many people. Ultimately, success should be seen as, “are you the person you are meant to be?” But how do you know who you are meant to be? How do you really know, without any shadow of a doubt that you are on the right track to becoming that person?

I listened to a speaker at chapel last week who said something like this, “sandwiched between gifting and passion lies life’s purpose.” In other words, are you living a life out of your gifts, truly your gifts and talents and not other people’s expectations and desires that have been placed on you? And are you living out your passion, that which makes you jump out of bed each morning leaving you feeling¬†fulfilled?

For me, 20 years later, I still struggle at times to get out of bed, and still do not live completely in my gifting, does that mean I am unsuccessful? I think, I am on the path to that reality and that makes me more successful than many people out there.

Ignorance might be bliss, but it robs you of the life’s journey’s experiences…

so get to know your gifting and get to know your passion

for therein lies…

One Year Later…

One year later, and I am changed!

Yes, I know we all change and a year is more than enough time for many things to change. But let me explain and put that statement into context.

Exactly one year ago I ¬†left Exclusive Books (EB) under very struggling circumstances to an unknown future. Honestly, sometimes the fear of the unknown is just so much brighter than any present circumstance and reality that we might have. Sometimes the seeming safety and security of the present can rob us from achieving greatness and satisfaction in our lives, but instead we remain with what we are familiar with. It’s like that saying rings true for so many of us, “rather the devil you know than the devil you don’t.” This was true in so many ways for me, I opted to dine with the proverbial “devil” and I settled for less than what could be possible. But toward the latter part of my stay I began asking questions, deep and honest and sometimes down right scary questions about myself, my purpose, my skill and ability and if I am found in the right place. Obviously, the answer to that question was a loud resounding NO!

These questions that I began asking led to a challenge in my belief of myself and my belief system. Now questions are not bad and neither is doubt because questions can lead to answers we never knew existed and if we do not ask, how will we ever know any different from where we find ourselves? And doubt can lead to faith, and when my present looked so bleak and dark, I could only hope and believe that God had something better in store for me and that he would catch me when I jump (or maybe I was pushed?).

And so in June 2011, my stay at EB ended and a new chapter in my life began. Just what that new chapter would offer was beyond my wildest imaginations! It’s alot like the Habakkuk 1:5¬†¬†story where I would not believe what is possible and about to happen even if God had told me. I definitely was a Habakkuk. And so this journey continues to surprise me and overwhelm me at times, but what a ride!

The path I chose not to travel… what it could have offered? I think it could have offered me countless opportunities that would be great but I wonder if it would have that WOW factor? I declined a call as a youth pastor to an amazing church that offered great opportunities. I also declined an opportunity to work abroad, which I could imagine would be just as amazing with international travels and cultural experiences. I never made a good choice or a bad choice but I made a choice and it has made all the difference.

The path I chose to travel… and what it does offer? I began “working” but actually it’s more ministering and fulfilling a dream that I have had for many years. I am currently at the Cape Town Baptist Seminary as Registrar and Youth Lecturer. I have also commenced with my doctoral studies and I continue to be involved in youth at local church levels where invited to be part of. But I am here! And I love it. I lecture and admin and study and smile and live.

So, one year later and I am saying, don’t be afraid to make a choice and enjoy the journey that God will let you begin, a journey that hopefully will be shared with people who matter in your life. I am on such a journey and I am sure you would be able to say what I am currently saying, “what a ride! WHAT A RIDE!

Life Is Short…And People Die Of Cancer!

So I’ve been watching Greys Anatomy over this week-end and it’s as addictive as always. With the themes of life; death; friendships; relationships; betrayal; hope; personal introspections and struggles¬†continually¬†up in your face, though I do sometimes wonder why it has to take media to hit home these messages?

But why did I choose this particular title? Because there is nothing more sobering than loss and death. It is only in the face of losing do we find real value of what we have, which we often take for granted. I guess the question is not so much about what we have that we should treasure more but about what we stand most at risk of losing due to neglect?¬†So, what is the one thing (yes,¬†I know it’s not as simplistic as defining that one thing because we are more complex than a single one thing that can define us) that you take most for granted that when it is gone, you have lost much?

  • If life is so fragile, then why do people live as if it’s not? Is it because of the fragility of life that life is lived recklessly? Or maybe it’s the go big or go home mentality? Sometimes ¬†that¬†mentality¬†does more harm than good.
  • If life is defined by brevity, then why do we put off the inevitable? Does the brevity make us want to hedge ourselves in and shield us from the dangers and risks out there? Sometimes playing it safe robs us from the opportunities that life has to offer. Sometimes we miss big when we risk small.
  • If choices have to be made, why procrastinate? Why? When we choose not make our own choices in life, it is¬†usually¬†made and decided by other people, who¬†often¬†do not have your best interest at heart. So why not choose? But when you¬†choose¬†allow the fragility and the brevity of life to be your¬†plumb-line.

If life is short and people die of cancer,

why allow life to simply pass you by?

A happy voice

I was at a 30th wedding anniversary last night with some amazing people. Had some good food and great laughs.

Firstly, when the couple shared a bit about their lives, I couldn’t help but notice the tapestry that has been woven by God even when we are unable to see the bigger picture or understand the process which at times can be extremely painful. Yet it is only with hindsight that when we look at the weaving through time can we understand what God was busy doing.

Secondly, our lives and struggles are unique and it’s no use trying to compare ourselves to anyone because it is yours. So the sooner we get to accepting it the better off we will be. So own it because no one else would be better suited to live it. Besides it was given to us by God even though at times we wish we wouldn’t want it.

Thirdly, if by the time you die and you have five true friends, you are blessed. Friends whose presence does not only offer a safe environment but is a safe environment that allow you to be completely vulnerable and share your deepest pain and fears and joys without fear of judgement and envy. One such person alone is worth gold and i was blessed and privileged with such last night.

My prayer would be that you too May have such blessings that makes life worthwhile.

This is my voice… A happy one ūüôā

11/11/11

The 11th day of the 11th month of the year 2011… 11/11/11

So what’s so profound about that? Well nothing really except that this date will never come around again.

My wife, Mia-Cara pointed out just now that we have been privileged to experience so many things in this lifetime that we often take for granted and simply just miss it.

We have just been part of naming the new 7 wonders of the world. We voted for that.
The first soccer world cup to be hosted by South Africa in 2010. The 1994 elections. Nelson Mandela. Y2K. Steve Jobs. Mother Theresa. John Stott. Microsoft. Facebook. Twitter. Smart phones. The internet. And the list goes on.

Sure there are many things we should be concerned about too. Global warning. HIV/Aids. World violence. World recession. And this list goes on too.

What’s my point?

You only live once and before you wipe out your eyes, it has passed.

Live life today. Enjoy the beauty it brings with it. Appreciate the struggles that mould us.
Embrace life.
Breathe.
Smile.
Laugh.
Cry.
Talk.
Cry some more.
Laugh again.
Be inspired.
Forgive.
Love.
Live.

Our Lives…their lives OR their lives…our lives???

“Learning how to live from experience is part of the human condition” says Suzy Welch. From her statement one can read it as it is not so much that we have to experience things to be able to relate to living but learning to live from those experiences. How many bad life experiences have totally derailed people completely from life’s journey? I sometimes wonder if it is entirely necessary to experience things in life to say that “I have lived”? I think that there is a bit of narcissism¬†in that even a bit of judgement, “you haven’t experienced that, so you have no authority or right to speak to me about it”. I wonder how that type of mentality impacts on our next generation of we are so quick to impart such judgements or opinions? How many of us has even been ruled out of parenting due to these statements? Or even ministry? I¬†definitely¬†have not and will not experience everything that my kids will experience. But then again, does experience qualify us for life?

 

I am also of the opinion that we do not have to experience everything in this life to know right or wrong, good or bad. Just take a look around you and that should also be our learning curvature in life. I have seen this and that with my parents, therefore I do not have to experience it in my personal capacity, I have learnt the lesson. What about learning from history, famous people, politicians, the homeless, the addicts, children, teenagers? We have so many people experiencing things that I wonder why we have to be so arrogant as to say “I want to learn through my own mistakes”. I am not advocating that we do not live our lives, or that we live such cautionary lives that we become hermits and become secluded in our thinking and lifestyles. What I am saying is take heed when someone who genuinely cares about you gives caution.

 

This past week I had experienced something that so many people have warned me about and from, and if only I had heeded to their advice I would have been spared much grief and disappointment. This was a typical example of where I did not have to experience something myself to experience it (Yet in my heart I knew what the outcome would have been). How can I safeguard my heart from such future experiences? How can I protect myself from myself? How can I live a full life without potentially risking a complete derailing? Life is tough as it is, why still stack the odds against yourself?

 

My question thus:

  • Is it really that important to experience things personally to know the outcome?
  • Can we not learn from the many stories and people around us and save us from much grief and struggles?
  • How can we advise and encourage the next generation if we are so arrogant and judgemental in our opinions of experience?

 

I wonder… Well that was just my experience on this take in any case!