Emerging Consciousness

Deep in the night in the privacy of my sheets I confessed—I really don’t know anything. This would become the theme for my life in 2017. There was a growing comfort inside of me in the understanding that I am not in charge of anything. Just weeks into acknowledging the state of my unconsciousness I would be woken up rather abruptly by a couple of suits at my work activating their positional power to rescind the offer they made to pay for my Masters of Business Administration qualification—at one of the most prestigious Business Schools in South Africa. It was stated in their subsidized Education policy that they will support the development of their employees to give rise to a competent human capital that can tactically and strategically bring real time transformation to the lives of ordinary South Africans. What the policy forgot to relay was that there was an invisible quota to the amount that can be used to subsidize transformation; and only sub-standard institutions will get preference. There in the boardroom I put on my business brain and was ready to debate and poke holes into their bureaucratic ways. Critically engaging made-up minds allows for greater opportunity of forced consciousness in one’s own biases. I refer to this type of consciousness as the light that glows when truth meets ignorance.

I did not get to the glow immediately, first there was a storm; a raging tear storm that filled my aching reality. The obvious solution was to drop out of school. How was I going to cover tuition, books and the global study tour without my development agenda partner? This was an ultimate betrayal; for a woman that has survived life’s most hurtful surprises before now; this pain was fresh… like the road less travelled. I sensed a new way of thinking creeping into my alertness, like the dimness of my light forcing its way into life—I felt a warm glow of light emerging into my consciousness. This new light was forcefully announced to me through the pain that accompanied the possibility of dropping out. I began to look beyond the teary storm and the choking pain for a solution. Then I remembered! I don’t know anything.

This transformation—emerging consciousness is a process. It is a series of steps that begin and end with the Lord. When the spirit is awakened, God takes over. The greatest truth for any New Church person to embrace is that The Lord always works in his providence to put things back into place. When the world seems to be falling apart—God is really putting things into place. But in our freedom; we must choose the road less travelled; we must push our thinking into seeing other possibilities; besides the one that is in front of us.

I went back to my office and typed a rather concise letter to my red tape guardians: “Thank you for allowing me an opportunity to defend my position the other day… I have decided not to escalate this matter any further. I will find a way to self-fund. This will require enormous sacrifices from my end but the possibility of dropping out hurts me too much.” In essence I was reiterating—I don’t know anything; but I know my God knows everything. And in that I can rest.

About Thando Tshabalala

South Africa, for the first time since the dawn of democracy in 1994 has seen tremendous political instability that has translated into poor economic outlook and a looming junk status rating from the ratings agencies. My country’s political turmoil is calling me to act and affect change in the most meaningful way I know how. I have worked in the local government space for the past eight years of my life and have seen too many discrepancies against the poor, irregular spending, corruption and fraud. I have also seen great politicians that put their hearts on line every day for betterment of their communities. I want to introduce New Church views into everyday lives of my fellow country men and women. The New Church way makes a great deal of sense to me—not only because I was born and bred in the New Church: enjoying the writings and the doctrines all my life; but because I sincerely Believe. Working in government has allowed me an understanding that personal development is the only way to real economic and spiritual freedom. Real conversations about the current economic conditions in South Africa cannot and should not take place within government structures only. It is going to take really special people to affect change in South Africa, true patriots that really care about the future and the economy of our country.

9 thoughts on “Emerging Consciousness

  1. Dear Thando, thank you so much for this beautifully written , heart wrenching story of Providence. Can’t help wondering what happens to a New Christian South African woman next…(so sorry we did not make it to Johannesburg last fall ). All the best Gillian

    1. Thank you Gillian

      That’s an honor coming from you. Your family took me into your home on my first Christmas away from home! You opened your home and hearts to this African child when she was stranded in a foreign country during the holidays. I was blessed and gifted with memories that I will treasure forever.

      PS–I also “can’t help wondering what happens to a New Christian South African woman next.”

      Johannesburg will always be here to welcome you guys.

  2. Dear Thando, you pulled together two of my great loves: the New Church doctrines and my country South Africa. And you gave me such a surge of hope, for two reasons. You reminded me that God is there and watching and loving us and all is in His Hands, even our seemingly chaotic country, no matter the despair we sometimes feel. And that there is you, and so many other people who, like you, no matter religious origins, have done, and will continue, to work for the good of our neighbours and our country as a whole. Your story was so eloquently written and heartfelt, thank you! Wishing you strength in your further education journey.

    1. You are a special African child Bronwyn Egan! Thank you for your heart. I know that I can only go as far as the Lord wants me to go. And who knows how far that is?

      Much love, Thank you!

  3. …Wow! That’s huge, Thando. Thank you for sharing this with us! “The greatest truth for any New Church person to embrace is that The Lord always works in his providence to put things back into place.” – I love it. That’s immense — and for you to see that, to know it, to believe it and to act on it – wow!! Way to go! And thank you for the insight, for the reminder; it’s soooo easy to forget. I love your attitude, and I know that it will carry you through life’s difficulties. (It, and the Lord. 😉 ) God bless! <3

    1. I always remember your warm and inviting smile Jenn. What a wonderful woman you are! Thank you for your kind words and for the inspiration to journey on in the Lord’s providence.

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