Facebook has become very kind, nowadays they are sending reminders for the anniversaries of any big event. This past Sunday, I got a reminder for one of the Facebook posts I made on the first Lapid Leaders Seminar. It’s now officially a year since we held our first seminar, and has God been faithful or what! But what this post brought to my mind are the many untold stories of how it has not been a rosy journey. It reminded me of the drama leading up to this event.
I am naturally a last-minute person, there I confessed it. I think I am a junkie of the last-minute adrenaline, bad behaviors I know, I am attempting to reform! So anywho, a day to this seminar, I had not developed the slides for the sessions. How I had left this important aspect of the seminar, to last minute I have no idea. I had been thinking about the content and so it was at the back of my head, but you know if it’s not written it’s not done, ‘almost doesn’t count’. So I woke up in a frenzy, determined to finalise the slides. Then at midday Kenya Power did what it does best, no elec! And did I mention that the battery of the laptop I was using was bad? So I hurriedly packed and joined team ‘Java Start-ups’. Yes there is such a thing! I thank God for java!
So that was mess no 1. Mess no 2 was that all these things, slides and even pamphlets on who we are needed to be printed. I had been told that there is a cheaper printing place somewhere on river road. However, this chic is a blonde, she had no clue where on river road to get these things printed. I know you are wondering why I had not hustled over this a few days before, I am wondering the same thing. So not only was I frenzy about finishing slides, I was silently wondering where I would get a good deal for printing the pamphlets.
And then there was the speakers’ issues. The journey towards concluding on who the speakers in this seminar would be had been nothing but funny. In my mind I thought I knew all the speakers who would facilitate the first seminar; I thought in between my many friends I was sorted, naivety! I quickly learned having an entitlement mentality is the biggest enemy to any friendship.
Oh and did I talk about how marketing the event was such a nightmare. I had even tried to get my church to allow me to circulate the pamphlets after the service and they had refused. How does this church I have been so faithful to, not even support this my ‘fearless’ moment? Did I also mention that between a few friends and me, we ended up sponsoring almost 90% of the guys who attended the first seminar?
Oh and did I talk about finances? I had spent some ridiculous amounts developing the logos, pamphlets and other stuff. Yes ridiculous because now I know better. And then there was the invoice I was given at the end of the 2 day seminar by the hotel, and it was VERY far from what we had agreed upon. Unfortunately, I had been naïve enough not to get an email confirmation on the agreed price. No, thou shall not stone me. This was the first time I was involved in such a thing, it was a one-man show, some balls were bound to fall.
I could go on….
I could write 10 blogs about the things that went wrong, the things I quickly forgot as our first seminar started.
But I can also write about how my mum bullied my brother to come support me a day before the event, without my knowledge. And because of that, I had someone who could go figure out the printing at river road. Mothers are the best!
I could tell you how on the day of the event some friends came from past Kabete, to help with ushering guys in the event. I can tell you of people I had never met who called and offered to speak at some of the sessions. I can tell you of a sister and her boyfriend, who came and coordinated the video recording of the first interviews. I can tell you of a friend who showed up on the last day of the seminar, and ran with the last session when I was totally beat, tired. I can tell you of finances that I still do not know where they come from even today. I can tell you how we are about to hold our 5th seminar! FIFTH!
I can tell you a lot of things.
But I will tell you two things I have learned in this journey. Failure is healthy. Yes. I would not trade all those goofs for a perfect event. Our world has taught us to chase after perfection. The result is many of us are afraid to step out into the mess, and yet greatness is only found at the end of the mess. I pursue excellence with everything I am, I tell you even that first seminar had the clear statements of excellence. I slept at past midnight attempting to ensure we had an excellent seminar. But I have stopped chasing after perfection.
Life is imperfect. So yes fail, go through the kind of goofs I went through, then laugh at yourself, dust it off and keep moving. Oh and then fail again. Reconcile with failure.
As we hold our fifth seminar, we have themed it ‘Step up and Stand out’, and at the center of this theme will be speakers who will share their goofs. This is the first lesson I have learned, at the center of any greatness, is goofs and mistakes and failures, but the end product is always much better than the person chasing after perfection.
The second thing I have learned in this journey is there is a thing called UNWARRANTED FAVOR! Yes unwarranted favor. How do you explain a God who knows her very last minute daughter so well, that He sends brotherly-help at last minute? How can you explain the burden God has given people around me towards this vision? I meet people I don’t know but they open doors for us with such gladness. That lady who came from past Kabete was not just because she loves me, there is a burden God has given her that I see even today. How can you explain that we have fallen, we have had goofs but we have also had such victories in less than ONE YEAR!
5 seminars later, 2 cohorts later, many testimonies later, many open doors later, “I am at a loss for words and my heart sings OOOOOO. How can I explain a Love that is unexplainable, I’m at a loss for words’. Then I remember the moments when darkness threatened to take it all away and I sing, ‘Mercy said no, I am not gonna let you go, darkness tried to steal my heart away, thank you Jesus, Mercy said no’ . Then I end here, knowing that these words are not enough, knowing I can never say enough, but I say ‘please Lord, receive this sacrifice of praise’! I look forward and I see goofs, but I also see a Work only God can do, I see greater things are yet to come and that we are at the centre of it is still the most amazing thing!