The Author-ity

When you take a pen, write your story and publish it, you become a published author. What does it mean to be an author? Does it mean you have a way with words or that you appeal to a particular group of readers? Are you entertaining or do you generate excitment?

Authority is derived from a Latin word meaning ‘orginator. It may also mean the state of being an author. Authors are the origin of their works. Wow, that sounds so grand and like a Life purpose.

But what does originator mean? Authors are finite beings, so they really cannot be at any origin. Charles Dickens, Shakespeare do not live any more, unlike the origin of the River Nile that has never changed. Whereas that is true, they did bring unique writing style into this world. There are not too many Chinua Achebe’s nor Soyinkas.

8 For I also am a man placed under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

Luke 7:8 NKJV

I find this conversation with the Centurion a most fascinating one because Jesus doesn’t actually talk to him but rather to the Jewish elders he sends. Each group carries not their own words but the centurion’s words.

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To be an author-ity is to carry another’s words. Like the elders carried the centurion’s, every author-ity is a carrier of another’s words. We pull words from every precipice of our minds, our environments and weave them into stories for our audiences. The Jewish elders could speak to Jesus in a way the centurion could not. They were elders in their own right, custodians of God’s promises to the nations of Israel. They were authors of Jewish customs and norms in Jesus’ day.

On this day, they carried the words of a Gentile. And they came under his author-ity. They carried his words to Jesus and the servant was healed. The Jews continued to benefit from the kindness of the centurion. Becoming an authority is a trust, a trust that you shall be faithful to the originator.

After you have read others’ stories, write your own. Become an author-ity.

Purpose

For most people, maybe the larger majority, their key take home from Transform 2019 shall be momentum.

Mine will be purpose. The shuttle orbits and is able to break out of earth’s gravitational pull because it was designed for this. It was fitted for its purpose. My lungs are the size of the tennis court because of the amazing role that oxygen and its partner, water play in my metabolism. My DNA is 70 trips to the sun and back because I am complex and designed to dominate.

For each session, like gravity, I was pulled back to my purpose. Two years ago, I sat down to write my mission statement. The first time I had been asked to do it, I had drawn blanks in my mind. I knew the organization’s mission. I knew the mission of every Christian but I had never needed to think about my mission.

This time round was different. We were going through a two day session on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. This was Habit 2, Begin with the End in Mind. I had written my end so many times but not like this.

Begin with the end in mind also means to determine our own life’s purpose. It ensures that as we’re climbing the ladder of success, it’s leaning against the right wall.

I did not want to reach my life’s end and find my ladder was against the wrong wall. I still did not know how neither what to write.

Thankfully, the Franklin Covey team had thought of me. Jesus, you love me too much oh, excess love oh. The app, and it was an app, had questions about my passions, my dislikes, my bucket list, my many things that I hope to do when I retire….At the end it put all of them together into one statement.

Creating a Legacy founded on our rich African heritage and built on the eternal rock, Jesus. All wrapped in the goodness and grace our Lord has lavished on us.

The statement looked like me. Even with certain things undone, it looked like me. Wow. Jesus, you love me too much oh, excess love oh

These two days, I have gone through the same epiphany. I have reflected on how all the people I spend time with are passionate about the things that I am passionate about.

The app sessions I walked into with Pastor Muriithi and Pastor Jumba, I might as well have gone through a tesseracts- a wrinkle in time. I could have been chatting with my dear friend Hannah or having breakfast with JoyLiz at a cafe. Or chatting with Stella or Noreen about the place of culture and history in the life of the 21st century child. In reality, I was at Transform 2019 discussing World views, failing forward, the church is the solution to all the pain in the world, culture alignment, discipleship, global perspectives – conversations that I have had over the last two years. Ongoing conversations that keep me awake at night, conversations that lead me down rabbit holes, conversations that I carry to my prayer room. Jesus, you love me too much oh, excess love oh.

Do you have your mission statement down? Write it down. I found a beautiful Japanese concept, ikigai Aka your purpose in life that is able to guide you.

Focus and intensity. As I reflected on this aspect, purpose popped up yet again. Focus and intensity are powered by Purpose. Like focusing light through a magnifying glass.

Your final success is the sum total of our successes and failures, Dr. Ian Clarke.

Purpose helped me to accurately reflect on this statement and to fail forward rather than wallow in the mire of failure. Jesus, you love me too much oh, excess love oh.

No ladders on wrong walls, all ducks in a row. Is this how I envisage my 65+ reflective years? Absolutely. Will my Legacy be my end in mind? Without a doubt.

Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.
I Corinthians 4:1‭-‬2 NKJV