Be encouraged, finish strong

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Mata'afa Keni Lesa

Crickey the year has gone by super fast. Yes, it has breezed by like a flash so that today, we are only a few weeks away from Christmas and then the beginning of the another year. God willing of course!

Ten months into the year, many of us who set new year resolutions at the end of 2015 will no doubt be well on our way towards fulfilling them. If that’s the case, give yourself a pat on the back.

For some of us, many of those resolutions might have already been forgotten. Long time ago. The good thing is that with a new year emerging is another opportunity to start afresh.

You see, setting goals is the easy part but getting there is the real challenge. It requires commitment, courage and plenty of work. 

Whether they are personal, professional, family, church or community goals, the same concept applies.

The key to all this is work. 

Take the goal of living a healthier lifestyle for instance. 

You have to work hard consistently so that it’s not just a goal for a few weeks but your commitment to losing a few kilos changes your focus to a healthier lifestyle. You then not only work hard at training, you also become mindful of what you’re putting into your mouth in terms of food and drinks. At the end of the day, whatever goes into your mouth, there will be a price you pay.

If it’s healthy stuff, of course the rewards will be a healthier life.

But it’s junk, greasy and sugar-laden food, well you’re only going to become sick and unhealthy. That’s just the way life works.

The point is that there is always a cost to everything. There is always a price to pay for whatever we set our minds to. 

And if we want results, we have to make sacrifices, we have to endure suffering to ensure we finish what we start.

Besides, what’s an achievement without pain anyway?

Since the beginning for mankind, problems and challenges have always been part and parcel of life. Just as evil and good co-exist, it’s the same with blessings and curses. We have to choose what we want and which path we take.

I was listening to a preacher the other day when he asked a very interesting question. He said: Why can’t God in all his wisdom, power and sovereignty simply remove evil from this world? 

It’s a valid question. I mean wouldn’t it be so wonderful to live in a world where there is no evil? Wouldn’t it be so nice if we did not have any of these problems to contend with?

Now according to this preacher, he said God gave mankind the freedom to choose. If God were to remove evil; that would automatically deny a person’s freedom to choose and God doesn’t want that. He doesn’t want to enforce his will upon anyone’s freedom unless they make that decision themselves. 

It makes sense to me. And it explains the tension between good and evil and the resulting problems, challenges and curses we see all around us.

They exist to teach us a lesson, to remind us about the consequences of our actions or inactions. Unfortunately, the principle of sowing and reaping works both ways. It doesn’t just apply to the good stuff. It also applies to corruption, immorality and bad behaviour. In other words, when leaders sow corruption, immorality and shocking behaviour, that’s exactly what they will reap.

Look around this country today. What do you see? There are problems everywhere. There are problems in politics, churches, villages and even individual families.

Do you think all that abuse, mismanagement and filth displayed by our leaders will not amount to anything? Let’s not kid ourselves. Down the line, someone has to pay.

But problems are not confined to Samoa. 

They are happening all over the world. Problems in other places are far worse than ours.

Still, you’d think that with all these problems mankind would stop trying to improve our lot. 

Thankfully we haven’t given up. 

And that’s largely due to mankind’s ability to look beyond the problems, have faith that things would get better and work hard knowing that the sun will always come after the rain. 

Indeed, life goes on. 

From time to time, we all go through challenges and suffer setbacks. 

Whether it’s economic-related, social, personal, perhaps the loss of a loved one or a family member or whatever, it is inevitable that somewhere, somehow we have to drag ourselves back up and keep moving forward.

These are difficult times. There is no doubt about that. But we’ve got to be strong, we’ve got to work harder, smarter, we’ve got to push like we’ve never done before. As we enter the second to last month of this year, we want to say to you to be encouraged, remain strong and keep on keeping on.

Have a wonderful Tuesday Samoa, God bless! 

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