Recession-proof Christian Life
12/6/13 at 03:28 AM 0 Comments

Mandela – the Scion who did not Fear Death

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He would always admit that he was not a saint …but perhaps only a sinner trying to get it right. Mandela realized in the course of his struggles that non-violent resistance was not going to be enough to realize his destiny, eventually received a life sentence on Robben island and became a symbol of the movement to end Apartheid.

Imprisonment for 27 years did not stop him - refusing release on odious terms, rejecting compromising offers … nor did a myriad of various personal, political and other challenges deter him. In the end he became the unwavering representation of nonviolent civil disobedience and peaceful transition, equality and a new South Africa …and was awarded the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize. We observe one man with a rare humility – completely disinterested in enriching himself and who combined a deep historical tribal affiliation and dedication with a contemporary legal language as he leveraged his pioneer low-priced law firm defiantly to serve oppressed black people - thus making a historical difference that eventually ended an epoch of wickedness. It was not easy but Nelson was prepared to wait, embracing change in strategy and always having a hope that defies the harsh immediacy … many, even his dear spouse may have deserted or disappointed him but his only friend “Time” remained faithful.

Nelson Mandela was released from Robben Island on February 11, 1990. After his release, he quickly put the past behind and dived wholeheartedly into his life's work, striving to attain the goals he and others had set out almost four decades earlier. He proved that if one remains principled, consistent and refused to be distracted and discouraged, time can and will favour us with the change we envision. Death did not scare Madiba even though it stared him in the face several times.

"I hate race discrimination most intensely and in all its manifestations. I have fought it all during my life; I fight it now, and will do so until the end of my days." – Nelson Mandela

I also remember King David facing a different Goliath that was also considered unbeatable …and who declared at an early age, when many thought him insane in 1 Sa 17:29  And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause? David was far from perfect, and many of his actions were reprehensible …there were times he was depicted weak and others when he stood gallant as a lion… but he was a lone voice who saw his God as the sovereign God who had rights and whose rights must be defended … even as he declared “for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God? “

Onlookers simply waited for David to be crushed and forgotten but that did not happen. Instead he became the one who our Lord Jesus will find a great kinship and identity in being called the Son of David.  David was a tough fighter who was not permitted to build a temple … leaving a fortune in wealth and goodwill which Solomon later squandered on strange women. It is still early to say what has become of the legacy Madiba left behind.

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” — Nelson Mandela

Madiba taught us not to fear death … but to hold on to a good cause when we have discovered it …no matter the challenges and issues. Mandela taught us courage, dignity, love and most of all patience. He helped us to see power as an opportunity only to serve and not to be clung to … Nelson's leadership embodied the truth that one man can indeed make a difference even in unimaginably dire circumstances. Mandela was simple, perhaps to some inconsistent and maybe imperfect but never tired of pushing the little truth he knew with a focus and intensity that brought change to an entire nation.

“There is nothing you can do to someone who says I am ready to die for God…”Pastor E.A. Adeboye

I often reflect on the rights of God … does He have rights over His creation … has any cared to rediscover or assert these rights … and are these rights in any way being defied around us. Perhaps there is a David not fearing for his life somewhere who will declare once again …”is there not a cause?” ... Mandela gave so much for humanity … what must I do for my God that surely must have an even greater impact for good on His creation?

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