Lucas Marang'a

A man at 40

Marked.

June 13, 2020 my brother from another mother turned 40. Chris is the youngest member of my boys’ club. We refer to him as the baby of the bunch. Just like past 40th birthdays in the group, we were going to celebrate him next to a huge body of water with much warmer temperatures (read coast). Thanks to corona we had to contend with a masked version of the celebration. His good wife organized a small lunch and invited close family and friends.  It was an honor being invited to the inner circle both as a guest and official paparazzi.

Golf is the best game ever invented because that is how I met Chris and some of my closest pals. I now refer to them as destiny helpers. Folks who come into your life and with time prove beyond reasonable doubt that they are committed to helping you be the best version of yourself. I remember we had just become buddies as new members of Limuru country club back in 2006. He was engaged to marry the following year. Safaricom was sponsoring a huge golf tournament one Saturday in 2007 which happened to coincide with Chris’s wedding. We were so conflicted because we had to be at his wedding yet we really wanted to play golf that Sato.

We hatched a plan that we thought was brilliant. We play early in the morning then rush for the wedding at noon. Remember he was the groom here. As we visualized how that would unfold his best man confessed that they had forgotten to buy shoes for the groom the day before. That threw our plans off as they had to look for shoes on the Saturday morning before the wedding. In hindsight buying those shoes is probably one of the best decisions my buddy has ever made in his life. Keep buying shoes Chris and life will be good to you he he.

Since then Chris has been the source of drama and inspiration in equal measure. Recently we have had (and continue to have) many intense conversations about life and purpose. That’s because my younger brother here is squarely in halftime. Chris reminds me a lot of myself and the motions I went through when I turned 40. He is clearly moving into the second half of his life so cannot escape the initiation process. I recently recall when we were chatting at a popular pork joint on Thika road. I was telling him what I’m doing for self-improvement in this corona season. Without hesitation Chris blurted out that he’s doing nothing. I can relate to that.

He is spending most of his time watching movies and reading books. He’s favorite one in my view being – 48 laws of power by Robert Greene. I think I’m the case study for him here because of my being in public service. He refers to it a lot in our conversations about future plans and desires. He’s even made me get a copy and having read the first two laws, I see why that book has shikad him. Its very relevant for folks in public service. Chris is aware of the challenges I have gone through in my short stint so far in public service. I deeply appreciate his support along the journey.

I have found myself counselling Chris though this ‘season of nothingness’ as I call it. Yet I need counselling myself.  I had the privilege of coaching him through a halftime class last year. That brought a realization that crystallized last Saturday as we devoured goat ribs at his house. That many things we go through in life are not just for our own consumption and benefit. Life (and God) allows us to encounter situations that may benefit others more than us. Could it be that Sometimes we may go through seasons of life on someone else’s behalf?  Like they will learn the lesson best if they first saw it manifest in someone else.

That’s how I feel right now with Chris. A lot of the motions he’s going through remind me of my struggles over the last six years. By opening up, he has given me a bird’s eye view of my own life in transition. What I looked like, how I was perceived by others and the ground I’ve covered this far. It is near impossible to see your self when going through a major transition in life because you are busy fighting not to drown in the sea of confusion and overwhelming anxiety.

As I walk with Chris in this season of life I can’t help but admire how far he has come in life. Maybe that’s why I turn to him for advice even as he figures out his next calling. He’s helping me uncover blind spots on stuff that I’m working through myself. That’s the value of having destiny helpers. Feelings of anxiety, confusion and even regret sometimes tend to diminish our achievements. Yet our uncertainty and regrets are magnified. Having key people walking with us helps a great deal in balancing that mirror. The giant reduces in size and the minikin is amplified appropriately. This balance will increase our chances of living a life of significance.

The good book says that, “to him whom much is given, much will be required”. I’m glad to be of help to Chris in this defining season of his life. Much was given to me in terms of turmoil and restlessness when I turned 40. It was meant to help me as I sought to create a new life for myself. But now it’s clear that it was also meant to help others who would encounter the same turbulence.

Thanks for letting me in Chris. Now remember to learn all you can because sooner or later you will be required to guide another searching soul in transition. I can’t wait to witness what you will unfold into because it is clear that you are marked. Marked for more.

Happy 40th brother. And we are still going to the coast immediately it gets clear.

 

Friday, June 19, 2020 | Just @40 Things, Reflections |

One thought on “Marked.”

  1. MG says:

    Thank you, as ever for this. And indeed half time needs to find us surrounded with people who will embrace us unconditionally and allow us to be vulnerable, without the fear of being judged. You are a good friend.

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