I was flipping channels the other night.
And then I happened on it.
Transfixed, eyes bulging with disbelief I watched as the story unfolded.
I prayed it was fiction, but as the plot thickened I realised it was real.
It was not an episode from NCIS; Ziva or McGee weren’t going to come on the scene. Their appearance would have made it a little less horrifying and I would have heaved a sigh of relief, thinking, ‘Horrid yes, but thank God it’s an act’
It was a true story, re-enacted on Investigation channel.
So appalled was I about it all that I went on Facebook immediately to look at the lives/Facebook accounts of these individuals. I was horrified. It was real, Kamisha Richards was actually gone.
What could have happened? How could a beautiful friendship have gone so bad, so sour leading to the murder of one person?
I looked at Kamisha Richards’ page painfully and all I could think was, she had left this world, in her prime. Barely 23. I was pained to say the least. She seemed like such a beautiful soul.
But there was a lot to be learned.
Almost everyone who analysed the story had one thing to say; she lost her life over a squabble for ’20 dollars’
Some said they would gladly have paid the 20 dollars refund to save her life. Very sadly though, it was too late.
And I realised it went beyond the refund or the lack of it. It had been pockets of random things that blew over when she asked for a refund.
For me it was a subtle reminder how we have to constantly guard our hearts. Especially in our affiliations…
Guard our hearts from the mindless competition, guard our hearts from the cantankerous spirit of envy that would want to swallow us up, albeit subtly.
From that sad feeling of ‘we started off together, yet look how far behind my life is’ or ‘look how blissful her marriage is’ or even ‘look how established she is at work’ or yet again ‘Christian Louboutin shoes? I can hardly afford airtime on my phone. What am I not doing right?’
From all those silent comparisons that throw you to the edge of despair, that make you feel you are worth less than you really are.
I reminded myself that no matter how long it lasts, NO negative situation is permanent. The only thing that lasts forever is His Word and what it says about you, about me.
I reminded myself that the person needing a 20 dollar lift today could very well be the one giving a million dollar lift to another tomorrow.
And it was a two way lesson for me – one person probably felt she had made more out of her life than the one who needed the lift, while the other felt she had made less.
It reminded me of how very true this scripture is:
‘‘Thank God in everything no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks, for this is the will of God for you…’’ (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
I realised it is impossible to live with any of those feelings – the feelings of superiority on the one hand, those ugly feelings of ‘I am superior to you because…’ or ‘I am inferior to him because…’ when we live constantly thankful. Thankful to the One who made it all possible. Constantly aware that without Him we are nothing.
For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?
(1 Corinthians 4:7)
I realised that everything you have and are today, (and I mean EVERYTHING) you could never have achieved on your own – a good marriage, well raised kids, a good job, a thriving ministry, a nine digit bank balance… everything you have and are, you are because of His grace. So why boast?Your marriage isn’t excellent because you are the best spouse on this earth J your kids aren’t so well behaved because they are home schooled, you don’t have that job because you have a Harvard certificate, no…. in fact if I asked you to be honest, you wouldn’t even know how to explain it all…
And if you sit on the other side of the fence, if you think your life is a far cry from what you think it should be, who told you your level of success is measured by what the neighbour next door has achieved? Be thankful and run your own race.
Don’t spoil another friendship/relationship, don’t let envy destroy what you and your friends share, be truly thankful for the successes in your friends’ lives, genuinely celebrate with them and most importantly, be thankful for who and where you are. Count your blessings and be truly grateful for who you are and where you are today. You are not in a competition with anyone else, be the best you God made you to be. Outdo your best yesterday… Run your own race…