Goodbye 2017; welcome 2018 - The Nation Online

Goodbye 2017; welcome 2018

Once again we are at that time of the year when we usually take stock of the year gone by and make plans for the coming year. Looking back at this time in 2016, I lined up many things. I remember I aimed to get more focused, and develop a thick skin that would give me resilience and weather the storms so that I do better and aim higher in 2017. I did to the best of my ability. And I have no regrets.

Now facing 2018, I first want to thank God for enabling me to make it this far. There are many more things to give thanks to God for which this space will not allow me to volunteer. I make no apologies for being very prayerful. The very fact that I am alive, for example, is a miracle. There are many more incidents which I look at and make me heave a great sight of relief that I made it this far.

As I promised here in my last entry in 2016, when I said it had been a difficult year in many fronts, I said I would raise the bar in whatever I would touch in 2017 even if that meant stepping on other people’s toes for the larger good.

My self-assessment is that I have certainly done that. The catchword is ‘for the larger good’. Even as I cannot pretend to have been perfect, for all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. For if we say we are without sin, we cheat ourselves and the truth is not in us, so say the Scriptures. So I seek your forgiveness if I stepped on your toes just as I will also certainly and unconditionally forgive all those who tried to make my life difficult for their selfish reasons.

The passing of 2017 does not sadden me so much, though it means I have moved closer to my Creator. It is a fact of life that the older I become, the fewer years I have to live on Earth. So, I am grateful for being accorded all the years I have been here. As a proud Christian, I must be ready to face reality and I fear nothing. What is important is how I prepare myself for the year ahead, so that if God is willing, He gets into 2018. I leave all to the same God who made it possible for me to live another 12 grand months.

As a patriotic Malawian, I think my first noble job is not self-serving. But to do all I can to make Malawi a better place. This, I tried to the best of my ability in the year past. Surely, I could have done better. But still I do not look back at my shortfalls with regret.

So I must move on, and in that regard, make the most (in a good way) about what is left out of the many years God has generously and graciously granted me on earth. As someone who likes to call a spade by its real name and not a big spoon, I hope and pray I will continue to do the same in the coming year.

I reckon my first job is to see what best I can do to my country. Just as I promised not to spare anyone last year here, I pledge to do the same in the coming year.

I see many Malawians suffering. I will not just watch or look away when the cause of their suffering is gobbling from the public purse. I heard someone at a certain forum saying that in Malawi all clever people steal from the public coffers. If that is an accepted definition of a clever person, then I choose not to be clever. I cannot be venerating an outright evil even as I am not perfect myself.

Through this space I will therefore continue to do what I have been doing in the past 12 months. That is, in a small way, fight, fight and fight malfeasance, the looting of government resources, with abandon. This remains the DNA of this space.

Going into an election year, I see many who will sweat blood to get value for money. But there are also red-eyed vultures and opportunists waiting to prey on lazy money. This space will not sing praises to such.

I feel more jerked up and oozing a lot of energy to contribute to the betterment of this nation. May God help me achieve what He has purposed me to achieve. Sanctify me and make me righteous through the work of your Holy Spirit as I seek to live in appreciation for all that You have done for me. In the glorious name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.

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