Of Wangari Maathai, Wood and Jesus

Today’s is a wooden post, don’t worry, you will understand it later. The pictures may look irrelevant but look again as you read and you will find an interesting connection.

1. Creation vs. Creator

Some of the random thoughts I have been having lately surrounding Steve Jobs and Wangari Maathai revolve around this concept.
There is little doubt that God is the creator of all things. Many times we receive the things God created and we end up worshiping/appreciating them more than we should. We think more of the gift than of the giver.
As for Steve, it is unlikely that though he is gone, he will be forgotten soon or easily. Every time I pick up a call on my iPhone, post an item on my blog using my iPad, check my mail etc, I find myself thinking about Steve Jobs. how long this will last? Sijui. On the social networks I have seen people commit themselves to plant many trees in memory of Wangari Maathai. How long this will last? No one knows. These two are no doubt creators in their own right and it is important to think of them that way and appreciate the gift they gave to humanity, but let us also appreciate them. However, while we are at it, let us also thank their creator, God for them. I don’t want to get carried away but I think you get my point.

2. What is a Woodist?

I have used this term so many times in my life that I assume everyone does. I call some people wooden and some people go, what? On my phone I have people I have saved as Jeff Woodist, James Woodist etc.
In Kenya there is the expression “kutupa mbao” literally translated, to throw wood. This talks of a major blunder. When you make a big mistake, a really big mistake, you are said to have “tupad mbao”. There are times this expression is used to even imply going crazy or mad. In IT one can make really costly mistakes like short-circuiting a client’s motherboard, losing equipment, sourcing parts that are expensive instead of shopping around first, promising to be somewhere and either forgetting or getting there hours or even days late. So IT is one industry where you will find many opportunities to “tupa mbao”
When a person forms a habit of “tupaing mbao”, and I have met plenty. In fact some people are so committed to it that they earn the title “Woodist”. These are guys and girls who do it so effortlessly. A woodist can “tupa mbao” more effortlessly than Kiraitu Murungi shrubs.
In being a woodist, as is the case with any gift, talent and ability, there are those who excel. They not only proficient in throwing wood, but they also ensure that wood is thrown everywhere. Some even have a team of woodists reporting to them, these are known as Arch-woodists. They are few but since they are so good at what they do, you will be forgiven to think they are all over the place. Anyway, enough about woodists.

Enter 3 uses of wood that one would pick up as they read of the life of Jesus.

3. The Manger

Simply put, a manger is a trough-like container that is used in livestock raising for feeding animals. The word comes from the french verb manger meaning to eat. A manger can be made of wood or clay or carved out of natural out-croppings of rock. For purposes of this post, without getting into theological arguments, I am going to keep in mind the idea of a wooden manger. This is where God, the all-powerful, all-knowing, almighty God decided that he would begin His life among us. There is no greater humility I can imagine. The King of Kings was born in a manger. Obviously I was not consulted on the issue, but if I was, then thoughts of the Laico Regency, Sankara and other posh places would come to mind. For a King, money is no object. I sometimes wonder how Uhuru Kenyatta feels counting notes bearing the picture of his dad. I can imagine him walking over to the teller in a bank and saying, “I’d like 200 brown pictures of my dad please…”
Anyway, God, in His infinite wisdom, chose the manger over the posh crib. Makes you wonder doesn’t it. Especially when so much of my time and that of many others is spent trying to acquire the comfortable things life can afford.

4. The wooden boat Luke 5:1-11

Jesus was a carpenter. Acquainted well with wood. He knew a fine wooden boat when he saw one. Jesus borrowed a boat and taught from it. Come to think of it, Jesus borrowed lots of things. He never seemed to want to own things. Even his grave was borrowed. I suppose only Jesus could borrow a grave, knowing he would only need it for a while. Anyway, after teaching from the wooden boat, he then asked Peter and his guys to cast their nets. They were tired, having tried almost all day but catching nothing, nevertheless, they obeyed. And boy were they surprised.
Could it be that after listening to Jesus teach, you can trust Him, then obey Him and then be amazed at the result? I need to find Jesus, on a wooden boat, daily.

5. The wooden cross.

This is one of the most cruel uses of wood I have seen. Again I am just amazed at God’s humility. Philippians 2:8 says “He humbled himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross.” His birth was humble, his life was humble, his death was more than humble, it was humiliating. God! Aiii. And here I am trying to ensure that the birth of my kids, my career, my business etc is posh and ‘befitting’ my status, that my life is comfortable, posh and having an ample supply of the ‘finer things in life’, and hoping my death is dignified, and honourable. Have we completely missed the plot? Have we ‘thrown wood’? Have we become woodists? Arch-woodists?

Tuendelee kuongea.


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