Redeeming time

Kenya is a magnificent country and has many attractions that fascinate many of us. One of these is the cheetah: the fastest land animal. According to animal scientists, a cheetah accelerates from 0 – 100Km/hr in three seconds. That is stunningly fast! In simple terms, motor vehicle engineers determine how fast a vehicle can accelerate by measuring the time it takes for the speedometer needle to move from 0Km/hr to 100Km/hr. For a layperson like myself, I check how fast the car moves after going over a speed bump. This is a crude way of measuring acceleration as other factors that can affect the process – like the weight the car is carrying at the moment – are not considered. However, a layperson can still have a rough idea of how quickly the car is moving.

The story of a cheetah sounds like a cock and bull account. The cheetah has no match in the Savannah and very little of it on the road. Nonetheless, it could probably get considerable trouble from Lamborghini Aventador, Hennessey Venom GT and Bugatti Chiron.

Technically speaking, there are few cars on Kenyan roads that can contend with the mighty Maasai Mara cheetah. The commonest cars on Kenyan roads, on average, accelerate from 0km/hr-100km/hr between 4 seconds to 11 seconds. At one end of the continuum is the 2015 Land Rover Range Rover Sports SVR that takes around 4.5 seconds to sprint from 0Km/hr to 100Km/hr, a 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR about 4.6 seconds and Subaru Impreza WRX STi that rocks a hundred from zero in about similar time. Germany autos that can outperform the cars I have mentioned are hard to come by on Kenyan roads. Most of the ones we see on the road are sluggish in comparison to the ones stated above.

On the other end of the continuum belong Japanese cars which are considered slothful (except for selected few such as the Nissan GTR and the holy grail of Lexus stable, the LFA) when pitted against their rivals. Several European and North American cars are lethargic too.

The 2015 ‘box’ matatu (Toyota HiAce), which lay folks like me thinks it’s quick (which is a relative observation)  takes 9 seconds reach 100km/hr.

Edmunds, a reputable car website, tells us that a 2015 non-turbo (naturally aspirated) Subaru is even slower (at 9.5 seconds). A 2015 corolla makes the same dash in 9.2 seconds while a 1500cc probox dispenses the same in 10 seconds.

In short, a cheetah would outrun all the cars on Kenyan roads. The downside is that it runs out of puff incredibly fast. It always turns out to be huffing and puffing.

Redeeming time

The fact that a cheetah can sprint faster than any other predator in the wild does not mean it is always successful. In fact, the slow-paced lion uses its strength advantage to terrorise and steal a kill from the cheetah. The cheetah and her cubs are always on the move. They are running away from the impressive predators of the Savannah. It is interesting to note that being the fastest over here does not necessarily guarantee success over there. Perhaps that is why the Scripture wants us to know that the race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong (Ecclesiastes 9:11).

Evidently, the life we live accelerates as fast as the cheetah. A year is such a short time; it starts and ends within no time. Seasons come and go. I sometimes find it hard to keep pace with the developments around my life and in the world. Can you imagine its almost September?

A fast-paced world requires a first priority mindset. Every passing day is an opportunity for me to reset my priorities.

According to Jesus, the priority of every Christian is to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33). Unfortunately, I always find myself doing the opposite: seeking the kingdom of man first and his opulence. I conduct my affairs as if I will live on this earth forever. For a moment, I tend to forget that life does not consist in an abundance of possessions. Fame and popularity are fleeting.

The vineyard of the Lord has plenty of harvests but few labourers. I would want to be among these few labourers. Nevertheless, I believe my dear reader will join me in this vineyard, and the number of labourers will no longer be few.

This reminds me of the Muungano Christian Choir from Tanzania. Decades ago, before I knew these stuff am writing, they did a song called Mahangaiko, which is a Kiswahili word for busyness. The song goes like this,

Mahangaiko na mahangaiko

Na hizo shughuli za kila siku

Zimewafanya wanadamu kumsahau Mungu wao.

The busyness of life has made humans forget their God.

We should not be busier than God intended us to be. D.L. Moody brought this out perfectly when he said, “My friend if you are too busy to read the Bible every day you are busier than Almighty God ever intended any human being should be, and you had better let some things go, and take time to read the Bible.”

As the youth and young adults, we ought to work when it is still daytime. A night is coming when we will not be able to serve. This is not the time for hemming and hewing. Instead, it is an opportune time to burn the rubber.

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