As we say goodbye to a true legend; As we mourn one of the greatest ambassadors of love and forgiveness of our time, I wanted to take this opportunity to extend a thought or two.

These moments call for reflection and I must admit, I didn’t acknowledge Mr Mandela as much as I could have done whilst he was alive. I reflect on this now and have asked myself why…..and you may be doing the same…..but the truth is, men such as Mandela surpass life – because what they stood for whilst they were alive, lives on. Beyond their passing.

Nelson Mandela’s story was no secret. A man falsely accused, falsely imprisoned; one of the few people to have lived to see his freedom, his justice, and then after all of that, live his life to the absolute fullest. But one thing I do observe is that, Mandela stood for and extended a level of grace that I could never seem to get my mind around. He carried no shame about how we was mistreated. He stood confidently by his story, his past. It seems I couldn’t face the level of forgiveness in his eyes, the depth of love in his heart; the amount of peace he had on his story, his previous life. He carried these qualities everywhere; never grew weary in doing good. It seems that he had accomplished something much greater than aspired forgiveness and love though. It seems he had mastered himself. Or came very close to doing so.

I’d like to propose that he had come to understand the power of not only being able to remove “undesired feelings and actions”, but he had come to realise that a person must work to REPLACE these things with something much greater. Perhaps he came to understand through his many lonely and imprisoned nights that whilst it is important to know what you DO NOT stand for, that is critical to know what you WILL stand for. What do we stand for today? What will we stand for tomorrow?

In thinking on this, a familiar passage comes to mind. A reminder that power does not only exist in removing unwanted things, but in ensuring that they are replaced accordingly with what we “want” to be occupied by; what we want to stand for.

Matthew 12v43 “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. 44 Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. 45 Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first.”

If hatred, unforgiveness, malice, were bad spirits, what are we replacing them with once removed? Because if we take a look at the life of Mr Mandela….

“It’s not just about what you remove, but what you replace it with “.

If we fail to acknowledge this, we could end up in a position much worse than where we started. Indeed some have said that if you focus merely on what you don’t want, that is exactly where you’ll end up. Therefore Vision is critical to progress!

Nelson Mandela proved that vision is required. Vision is necessary. However vision alone is not enough. We must have the courage to act upon what we “foresee”.

So my beloveds, as you join me in saluting one of the greatest men to have lived, take care of those empty spaces….and be sure to find worthy replacements to occupy your souls.

To Mr Nelson Mandela – We Salute You.

Wishing you all a fruitful today and a greater tomorrow.

Stay True To You x

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