Late last year, a friend got into a deal with a guy she thought was a friend. They agreed to embark on a long-term project together and everything started out well with each partner fulfilling their end of the bargain. She was really excited about this project and the way it would change both their lives. But now, months later, things are very different and not in any way that she anticipated. Her life is changing, but it seems the changes were too big for the guy and he chickened out of the project all together.
Partnerships are difficult. Everyone needs to state what they want to get out of them, and what their expectations are. Everyone needs to carry their weight, and I think most importantly all this needs to be outlined before anyone starts working or investing. As you might have guessed by now, my friend did not get all her t’s crossed and i’s dotted. So now she is making some very difficult decisions – to go on with the project? Abandon it altogether? Find a new partner? Go it alone?
When I spoke to her, she was thinking of going it alone and perhaps getting a new partner along the way when she is a little more settled and not too frantic. Haste does not always make for good judgement. She is praying and trying to stay focused on the project and what excited her about it in the first place, so that she doesn’t lose sight of her goals; partner or no partner. The actual work of the project is full of new developments, and she is learning a lot in the process. In fact she says that part is better than she expected. The issue is that the results are long-term and try as she is might, she is pissed off at the absent partner.
Apparently, a well-meaning friend told her to have faith and that these things tend to work themselves out eventually. That phrase "have faith" really stuck between her teeth like a stray piece of toothpick evading nyama. "Have faith". We say it as a form of encouragement. We say it to dismiss people and situations we don’t want to give too much attention to. We say it as cliché. We say it authentically – "have faith". But if you’ve ever prayed for an outcome, or wished for something really hard and put in the work to get it, well then, you know that waiting is a unique form of suffering. Waiting is riddled with anxiety and in the hands of someone with poor impulse control – anxiety can easily give birth to tantrums and other bad behaviour.
So what did I advise my friend? Well, don’t laugh but I too said, "Have faith". Faith in who you pray to. Faith that your hard work and investment will pay off. Faith does not mean the absence of other feelings and even doubt, but it is an overriding belief that God honours what we as his children try to create.