Of thieves and visitors

I love HGTV and especially the shows that either create or recreate beautiful masterpieces in 30 minutes to an hour: I have caused my husband a lot of grief by expecting the same turn around time with my ever growing ‘honey-do’ list but that’s a story for another day.

Sarah and Brian Baumler are one of my favourite couples and I’ve religiously followed then as they bought a 10-acre property in the paradise that is Bahamas and built a dream resort in two seasons from April 2019 to April 2020. (que the scary movie soundtrack that has been the last 13 months and counting). As a bean counter for a company in the tourism sector, I have experienced firsthand just how bad things have been in the industry, so these two adventurers have been on my mind and I found myself on several occasions googling to see how they were faring.

Season 3 debuted today and boy; entrepreneurs are made of special stuff because they are still standing, despite it all. The show compressed many months of them mulling around with three of their four kids, homeschooling and basically experiencing what we all have. While having paradise as their backdrop and backyard would be preferable to what T.O has had to offer, watching them as they saw their life savings go down the drain and as they made the kinds of financial discussions that just 2 years ago today (TV time) were unthinkable was just heartbreaking.

This post is not about the heartbreak though but about Brian’s optimism and resilience in the face of it all. He spoke of how his dad has had several medical scares over the last few years, and how it made him realize just how little control he truly had and freed him from sweating the small stuff.

It’s amazing how near-death experiences not only jolt us to life, but also open our eyes to what wise King Solomon meant when he wrote in the Book of Eccl 2:11 “Then I looked on the works that my hands had done and on the labour in which I had toiled; and indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun”.

I completely get Brian’s take on it all, even as I mourn the loss of their efforts. The reason so many of us are struggling with the upheaval that has resulted from the ground-hog years that have been 20192021 etcetera is because as we have ‘developed’ as a (human) race, it has resulted in a hubris and false belief that we are in control. Despite Price, MJ, Bob Marley, JFK, Martin Luther, Einstein, Kobe, Stan Lee and other gods amongst us dying, we still walk around in the false belief that we somehow can postpone or even avoid death by eating more vegetables or running a few more miles.

My childhood Sunday school teacher spoke of Jesus coming back for us like a thief in the night, which honestly was a terrible way to give an analogy of an unexpected visitor; heck they could just have said “unexpected visitor”, but now that I think of it, there is no such concept in Kenyan culture because most visitors were both unexpected and always a welcome blessing so back to the thief we go 😊. The thief the teacher spoke of, in my humble opinion, was not Jesus but death. Even when expected in terminal patients, it still surprises everyone in either how slowly or quickly it gets the job done.

I meant to write a positive post but in the true spirit of this triannual year, one never knows if they are coming or going so I let the fingers do the walking and here we are.

Accepting that it is all vanity does not mean giving in or giving up but getting over ourselves and allowing life to surprise us. That doesn’t mean not wearing masks or buying into anti-vaxx conspiracies but being comfortable in the knowledge that doing all the right things is not a guarantee of salvation and that is ok; it’s about enjoying the journey and no predestining the end.

I am rooting for Sarah and Brian and perhaps one day I shall darken the doors of their resort with my presence, but should they have to re-evaluate their plan and heaven forbid have to sell their resort, I hope they will heed Nestar’s words and “not worry, about a thing, coz every little thing, is gonna be alright”.