Taking the First Step

 

 

 

T A K I N G – T H E – F I R S T – S T E P

Making a choice to pursue a dream is only the beginning the next step is the hardest. The follow through. Taking that first step is never easy but it is something you never had to invite me twice to do. I was always ready and rearing to go, the cowboy in me ready to take the adventure to the next level. A wild black stallion rider and an open horizon.

So what was next? I was twenty seven at the time and just realised that I wanted to be a film director. My computer technology days are behind me, or so I thought. This part of my life was all on me, I never prayed and asked God for direction, maybe I did pray but I did not stick around to listen. The fruits of my choices led me down a dark path.

I was always self determined in my approach to finding myself and even more with new realisation that I wanted to become a film director. One of the first things I did was to look for film schools that would train people in film and video part time while could hold a day job. Many things did not occur me back then that would only occur to me later. Like full time studying and getting a loan of some sort. I was still young enough but for some reason I had it in my head that working and studying was it for me.  The lesson here is that I did not really take the time to explore my options. I just pursed this thing blindly.

I started to ask around at local film schools if they had a program that ran part time all of them was full time or nothing. It was only after I came back from the UK that I started to find some places giving workshops over weekends or for a week or two etc. I was very isolated in my thinking  and approach. This lead me to think about studying abroad. I found a couple of places in the UK and Canada. I applied for work tourist visa in the UK for two years. My first course was 6 month film course at London metropolitan films school and then I joined Raindance film school in Oxford. I enrolled in three diplomas of which I could only complete one.

This was the darkest part of my life and I have first hand knowledge of what isolation can do.  God was merciful to me. Towards the end of my visa period  I was working for Audio Visual company managing their IT systems. They wanted me to get a work permit for to stay on and continue to work for them. God intervened because my life was in a mess spiritually, I was getting of the beaten track.  I landed back in Cape Town trying to find my  feet after two years in the UK and failed attempt at getting my work permit. The dream burning brighter and my determination stronger. Leaving the UK I know I did not want to be christian film maker as I thought Christian movies was boring. Even now typing this what I would not give to direct a boring christian movie.  God took the next 5 years to completely change my life and opinion.

The Beginning of the Beginning

 

 

THE BEGINNING OF THE BEGINNING

Every dream has in common a beginning and an end. It starts with the day one makes a concrete choice to follow their dream and the day the dream ends in reality – when a person pursued the dream till it was realised.  In my previous article I shared with you my battle of circumstance and choice, to take a risk to follow my dream. Part of that risk was to make a choice, but before I made that  choice I was in denial and in need of a serious wake-up call, the beginning of the beginning.

So I was back in South Africa from a 3 month volunteering program in Israel. My mom  said that I needed to move forward, my dad said to go back to the familiar. So I went back to my old job and my old life. During that first couple of months I tried to get my old life back as much as I could… the life before Israel. That turned out to not be a confidence builder at all. My old job took me back, but only because they needed people not because they really wanted me back. You see when you move away from what God wants, it’s all on you: to proof yourself, your worth and why you are needed. Especially since I was not really wanted. But the industry I had worked in had a shortage of programmers, so my odds improved.

What was the beginning then? I was working in IT (Information Technology)  in the ERP (Enterprise Recourse Planning) sector as a programmer. Life was good. I was going to start my own business, be married to the girl of my dreams at 28 and so on and so forth.  So why did this all change? When I was in school I had a dream to become and actor. Yes, I was one of those. But that dream was short lived. My father did not want to pay for me to pursue a career in acting,  for one,  because he did not think I had what it took to study for a degree at a University and Technikon was cheaper. I wanted desperately to gain his approval, so I turned my back on the calling God had for me.  In his defence he did pay for a business diploma at the same Technikon but inevitably I left to become Microsoft certified developer as I was not happy with what I was doing.  So fast forward 5 years and I am starting to peak in my field as a developer.  Then God interrupted my plans to remind me of the calling and the desire He had for me because He is a good Father, even if He interrupts our seemingly happy lives.

After a long project in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, I was asked to be part of a team that was going to help implement an upgrade at a client near Johannesburg.  I moved back to old “Jo’ies”.  I was back in with my parents to save some money on rent. Like I said, things where going great but little did I know my life was about change. One night while watching Hollywood E-News on DSTV the idea started  to form in my head… or maybe it was my heart. I would like to travel and go see the world. Maybe my life is to cosy? I need some adventure. So I applied to a couple of jobs all over the globe in my field.  Only one company got back to me when I applied, and although their time for applications was closed they looked at my CV anyway. I had nothing to lose . So as God would have it or not if you believe in such things, that company flew me all the way to Simi Valley in California.  The long and short of it was that I didn’t get the job which in turn took me on the path to Israel which in turn got me thinking about my life and where I was headed.

During my time in Israel I realised that I did not want to be a programmer for the rest of my life.  Two great opportunities presented themselves in Israel for a life in the creative arts but I turned them down. So, back from Israel, back in my old life, somewhat? Back at turning away from the dream on God’ s calling.

A year went by so I kept busy taking guitar lessons and art classes because the part of me in my denial was reaching out even at that point when I was not even considering going into film yet.  I also figured that I liked drawing so I was contemplating animation as a career. So, hold up.  After all this you still had no clue…, why? If you deny a dream for a very long time the delusion becomes very strong and it was difficult to recognise what was happening in the moment. Growing up with a passive father figure has that effect. God needed to break the delusion and it would be broken. Some people need a strong life changing event and some people need to be at a point where they have become hungry enough to do whatever it takes to see it come to life . My revelation was on the surface, my frustration weighing on me , it was just a matter of time.

So moping around my parents house during that year the moment was about to hit me. It was a Friday and my mom took me out for lunch in Melville at this quant coffeeshop/restaurant. The conversation went per normal and I started to complain about my life. I guess my  mom was just fed-up with my attitude and moping. So during the conversation she asked abruptly, “What is it that you want to do with your life exactly?” Her direct and serious confrontational tone totally changed the tone of the conversation. Off-course I retaliated, the words poring out of me like a out-of-body experience. I loudly exclaimed,  “I want to be film director”.  I could see the sigh of relief and endearment in my moms eyes. She answered, “So why the music and art classes?” I took a moment as the statement sank in. This was a moment to reflect on. We both sat their for a minute.

I gave some answer about my reasonings but the more I thought of it the more I realised this is what I was meant to do. That coffee was a life changing a moment. (And maybe the reason for my ever growing love for coffee!) So would be the next couple of years, for this was only the beginning of the beginning.

 

 

A Very Slow Start

 

A VERY SLOW START

Those who know me, know that this journey was not a short one. In fact, it has been a long road filled with many challenges and disappointments.  This journey also did not start early as one would suppose, although I had the call early on in my life. Like so many in this world I abandoned my dreams because of a lack of Fathership.  Not because I had no father, and not because he did not provide all the physical comforts of home. Rather because he did not father me due to his own brokenness.  I was late a starter and this dream reignited in my mid-twenties when I finally decided to be real with what I really wanted. Before this the enemy also tried to derail it many times and he almost succeeded.

It has been 15 years now since that time and I remember one thing clearly. I wanted the process to be quick. If I am being honest, I did not want it to be a thorough, lengthy process, three years at most.  I was twenty five years old sitting in Israel when I realised I did not want to be a software programmer for the rest of my life. A death like state awakened in my soul when I thought of the idea that at 40 I would be sitting behind a laptop writing code. Did I hate being programmer? Did I think programming was a boring job? Only if you are not called to it. I was living a shell of a life trying to impress my father whose void I could not fill and whose validation I would not get unless he was healed and validated himself.

They say “hind sight” is a prefect science and looking back at it now I should have stayed in Israel, not gone back to South Africa and certainly not have gone back to my old job. Such is life. Broken people make broken choices, but God is not surprised or undone by our choices. He finds a way to get us back to the dream He has for us.

So I went back to South Africa after volunteering for three months in Israel. I shared my new found revelation with my mom and her advice was to move forward. My father’s advice was to go and ask for my old  job back. One path led back to what I was trying to get out of and the other was filled with risk and uncertainty.  I did not take my mother’s advice and I did not take the risk for my dream. It cost me two years before I realised that I have had enough. I  made a costly mistake. I lamented over that for the next year.

So what does this mean? In part I was a late bloomer and some of you will be too. But there is hope if you are. When I was 27 I got the call, all be it a recall to my destiny in God. It was not a big movie moment but it was a small  life changing event which I will share with you in the next article. When you follow the destiny God has placed in your heart there will always be an element of risk and it will have moments of uncertainty but when we hear the call we must answer. People’s lives depend on it. Your impact is going to be that big. I believe true worship is the path walked out that God has laid out for us and paid for by his son Yeshua on the Cross of Calvary.

Welcome to Dreams and Strides

Welcome to Dreams and Strides.

The journey up to this point has not been easy, but it is has been fulfilling and rewarding. For many years I wondered what I will put on my gravestone one day. I have finally come to the words: Live life to the full, the journey is short. Psalm 84:5.

It’s been over three years now since I did the Pin Code course with Grace and David back in Stellenbosch. My heart has changed in so many ways, but yet it still beats the same… now stronger than ever before. Dreams and Strides is an effort from my side to share that journey with you and what God has shown me about my walk of faith in pursuit of His dreams for my life.

The journey started in 2006 when I heard the call for media while watching Hollywood “Enews” on DSTV. My heart birthed the dream in that moment, but my spirit was far from God’s dream for my life. Now over 10 years later the culmination of the events on this journey has moved me to the next phase of the dream where I find myself in the USA.

In the articles to come, I hope to share some of the revelations that I received from our heavenly Father. And yes, there will be biblical scripture with that. That said, I heard once that the pursuit of Theology or Torah is the highest form of worship. Then I heard from another that prayer and intercession is the highest form of worship. Yet again, someone told me that music is the highest form of worship.  For me, all these things are different expressions of worship. For me, the highest form of worship on this earth is to live for Elohim (God), fully sold out, according to the unique design and purpose He has for you.

To you as my friends, family and new acquaintances, I really hope that what God lays on your heart through this blog is not just some nice part of your day, but rather that it will encourage and influence you in a profound way.  I pray that it would make you stop, think and consider.

In my next article I will start to share where this journey began, where it restarted and where it’s gone. Have a great day and be encouraged by

Matthew 7:8: “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”