Building a Fellowship is an art form of hidden sacrifice and private devotion.
Building a Firm is strategic, exhausting and filled with collateral damage.
I was once a part of a world wide Fellowship and I thought nothing of sacrifice and devotion towards those I considered brothers and sisters in the faith.
The transition between Fellowship & Firm was subtle and insidious when brother would turn against brother under the guise of loyalty to the course and the spirit of sacrifice and devotion seemed lost forever.
In recent years I’ve been privileged to revisit Fellowship with the most unlikely people. One by one they are appearing and our hearts are being knit in Fellowship.
I can only say, God is faithful, God is true and has not forgotten us.
Stay true to conscience and they’ll come from everywhere wanting the liberty you have fought for in the secret place.
I just finished a week of festivities to my daughters wedding.
The anticipation was great, the preparation was detailed and the execution was magnificent.
With over two hundred guests, family and friends coming in from all over and creating harmony throughout the day into the night seemed an impossible task.
On the day of the event, people were preparing the last minute touches, the bridal party taking their time to look picture perfect and they did. The marriage ceremony of mixed cultures made the hardest of us tearful and grateful, reminded of love and its intoxicating power.
In the evening it was time for family and guests to join in the celebration with plenty of food, drink and music. The speeches were being shared with more laughter and tears as loved ones open up to honour the new young couple. The last of the speeches was the groom, he stood up and kindly thanked and honoured all the right people. He then finished his speech with the most memorable words.
~ “We’re about to celebrate, eat, drink and dance for the rest of the evening so if there’s anyone that has any issues, please go for a walk and keep walking till you get out the gate and keep walking. Come back tomorrow when you’re all cooled off and have something to eat”
He shared those words with a soft tone and a spirit of love making sure that all the preparation, all the hard work was respected and to honour every person present. No one was going to hijack the evening and rob this community as well as the newly weds of their joy.
I believe society can learn much from my son in-law when it comes to notifying minorities seeking to pull apart a spirit of harmony and robbing many people of their labour’s of love, it’s not on.
As you can imagine, the evening flowed and the celebration was big, if there were any incidence, no one was effected.
pic taken one metre away from my first job at twelve years of age forty three years later with my cousin, my first boss, he was nineteen at the time.
I was given my one square metre of responsibility, all I had to do was answer the phone at my uncles fish & chip shop on Friday evenings.
How hard could it be?
I had to wear a clean white T-shirt, pants and covered shoes, not negotiable.
Everyone in the shop had to look groomed and clean. The cooks had white aprons like a five star restaurant and the men had a white hat slanted to the side. Not me, I was the apprentice at the phone and wasn’t to move outside my one square metre of space.
Answering the phone wasn’t that easy, I needed to speak clearly and listen intently to minimise mistakes.
Abruptly my uncle or cousin would ask what the order was and if it wasn’t clear, I got told to write clearer, listen more carefully, don’t assume. (My cousin and uncle weren’t interested in pleasantries, they just said what they thought)
As I mastered the art of answering the phone my confidence grew and I started drifting outside my one square metre of space, until.
One Friday evening while waiting by the phone I noticed a crackle of fish fell on the counter top from my cousin’s serving basket. The evening was busy, everyone was moving around behind the counter like ants. Cousins, Aunty, Uncle. After a couple of seconds I don’t know what I was thinking but I went to the counter took the morsel of fish crackle and ate it, thinking nothing of it and went back to my corner.
Within moments my cousin who was nineteen years old asked me to come to the back of the shop for a chat. He asked me why I ate the crackle in front of all the customers? (My cousin didn’t miss a beat, he noticed everything). I was gobsmacked, completely embarrassed as he continued to dress me down giving me my first lesson in customer service. My uncle walks by and affirms my cousins discipline, he being the master of perception is everything, image is everything when it comes to branding.
From that day you can imagine I quickly understood the value of discipline, stay within your space, master what you’ve been assigned to and don’t assume anything.
I earned my five dollars of a Friday evening and worked with my relatives for years learning many valuable lessons that I adapted to this day over four decades later.
Equipping the next generation with discipline mixed with empathy will go a long way.
I shared the above story today with my cousin while visiting the shop that we both grew up in. We laughed so much, he was surprised how much impact he made in my life.