The devil we know or the one we like

I saw this title in a post by one of my friends on Facebook: “Christmas eve in my city” and naturally one would expect some kind of description of how things were gearing up for the next day, but when I was done reading, all I could say in response to the post was: “Hmmm”.

The write up had as one of its strong themes, amongst others which filtered through to me as : I am tired of status quo.

By the time you are done reading, especially with the added pictures to better describe goings on, you would come to understand why.

There are many Nigerians who have just about had it with the present regime of government and the entire democratic process so far and are desperate for something or rather someone who would at least remove them from the stone age we currently live in and “shine the light on them”. That was one major problem Victor Ogbija’s post on Facebook, hoped would be resolved even as he went ahead to “cry out for help” regarding the situation.

Pastor Victor is not the only one crying out for change. We have all had similar experiences where we had to run our  generators countless number of times this year and even in this holiday season despite having paid our electricity bills for services not rendered.

Yet come 2015, which is election year, you and I will be expected to file out en mass to perform our civic responsibility (or is it civic right now) to vote or be voted for.

The debate for and against aspirants are very compelling with all sides involved putting forth their best arguments in a bid to “buy over” as much people as possible to their various sides.

I will not go into what has or has not been these past years during this present administration and others before it, or the pedigree of aspirants who are eager to take over or continue,  young or old, experienced or not. I just have this to put forward for all of us to ponder:

The leader is a projection of the people.

I personally don’t see any other way to go about this because until, we are really ready for change until, we have decided we have had enough until, we are ready to hold our leaders accountable and responsible for their actions instead of patting them in the back and saying: “well done” each time they patch up roads until, we say no to “stomach infrastructure” until, we stop castigating anyone and everyone who tries to speak up for change until, we are ready to stand for our rights and also do what is right shunning evil until, we are ready to stop sitting on the fence or saying “as long as I’m not affected” and are willing to throw away indifference and the tendency to “quickly adapt” to whatever inhumane and demeaning situation that is  handed us by our rulers. Until we are willing to stand together and fight for what is truly ours….

Until.., until…, until….

We are not ready for change or the benefits of democracy.

Every country today that things seem to, in one way or another, be working for them have conquered individual selfish interest (at least to an extent) in exchange for “the greater good” or the benefit of all. They have had to stand up and fight for what they believed in. They have had to pay “the price” for the desired change. They have had to and still have to look their leaders in the eye and demand for accountability whenever the situation requires it.

Are we truly ready to do what it takes to get the change that has eluded us these past years? Are we ready to man up and demand that our rulership be held accountable for their actions and follow through?

Are we going to settle for the devil we know or the one we like?

For, until we decide to take the proverbial bull by the horns and rewrite our history ourselves, we might never have what is rightfully ours and in years to come, generations after us might have nothing left to be “corrupt over”. For as we have all come to know; the oil wells do run dry.

Four years ago at least, l was very sure who I wasn’t going to vote for, (even if almost every other person in my polling station told me I was throwing away my precious vote) because I wasn’t ready to fall for the “pattern of success” greatly catalogued and canvassed for the popular person in question. I was still determined to go ahead and “throw away” my vote. An action I am still proud of till date. But this time around, I have become completely clueless as to how my vote will go.

The rulership is a projection of the ruled
, and until we are ready to step up and do what is right to get what we need, our leaders will continue to not-reflect what we have refused to be…

RESPONSIBLE.

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Turf Trouble.

It becomes imperative at times to draw lines especially for our own sanity, and no matter how we look at it, levels exist and they exist for our own good.

Well, most times.

Imagine a headless chicken, all it does is run around in frantic circles or in no particular direction at all until it finally gives up and kaputs.

Divisions, strata, levels and what have you will always exist for easy coordination and division of labour among other reasons,  but how we handle, approach and manage them in our everyday relationship is what really matters.

Take the relationship between a boss and his subordinate. No matter how jovial or not the boss is or vice versa, at the end of the day both party involved know who calls the shots! Even if the latter tries to undermine the other, the best the boss would do if he gets tired is hey; “hasta la vista baby!” And that is it!

Of all the unions and relationship that exist, I think the one mostly questioned or overlooked in terms of who is boss and who is not is the marriage relationship!

It has been branded so many names; an institution, contractual relationship, bond, shackle, agreement you name it and over the years people have come up with names to best suit and describe their sentiments, experiences and beliefs about what they think marriage is or should be and each of these headings and the people that fall into or under them have tried to come up with how they think things are to carry on in the marriage relationship.

Hmmm…

Can I submit here and now that as Christians, we are not to go by beliefs, teachings, laws or anything else other than that established by or on the word of God?

No matter how “contemporary” or “in vogue” it might seem, we should not allow ourselves be swept away by the tide of the world in the name of wanting to “belong” and be “hip”.

The Bible has clearly stated how this union is supposed to be (amongst other passages):

1.  Ephesians  5:22: Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord:

After Paul generally asks Christians in the preceeding verse to submit to one another why does he go ahead to specifically ask wives to submit to their own husbands I ask? This should get us seated in our thinking corners….wondering, and probably worrying why the man would still want to point a finger at the women folk and go “you had better be submitting to your husbands, you hear” . This is not because between us gals and the men folk, we are the ones more susceptible to submission issues noooo, (especially since we get a lot of help from our sometimes “too busy to notice, ego inflated husbands of ours!” :p ) but rather, we are the ones that can handle their egos in the first place! Imagine a headless chicken, yeah?. Now imagine it with two heads. What would you call it, a freak of nature? odd? weird,…. No one would want anything to do with it, (except maybe of course analyse it or make it a press issue) let alone have it for dinner!

If God has allowed the man the title “head” of the body-wife, who are we to question or quarrel with it? Except we no longer belong to the fold, we have no business fretting about it. Especially since we have been assigned other pressing matters!

Has it occurred to you that the head is only a small part of the body even though it contains the brain? And that by virtue of placement or occupation we have responsibility of every other part of the entire body? If we have at one time or another contemplated this truth and have come to accept it, then why, for goodness sake do go about worrying and fussing about who plays lead role?

I don’t get it!!!

Except the human anatomy has changed or evolved from the last time I  checked, the head still only contains the brain, ears, eyes, nose, mouth/tongue, and a minute spread of the skin (in comparison) as the only organs of the body. (Someone please correct me if I am wrong!) As opposed to the entire remaining spread of the skin, the limbs, the liver, kidneys, the heart, THE HEART, and so on and so forth?

In fact, I believe we still own the neck, after all the Bible says head doesn’t it? It only leaves to be imagined what women can achieve when they decide to employ the “neck” arsenal!

Forget background and the foundation on which the marriage was/is built on (that itself is a frightening topic on its own and beyond the scope of discuss right now), isn’t this enough responsibility?….

I agree that this may not hold sway for the work place and the like, but remember we are talking about husband and wife here so let’s be careful not to allow work related principles get in the way of God instituted truths!

Submission is not and will never mean “mumu” (dummy) but instead signifies strength! And for those that know how to go about it, absolute control-but deciding to allow! Sorry, but that more often than not is the case!

And let’s not forget that the reverence is to our own husbands. So whoever you revere over and above your husband should be brought down immediately from that pedestal or be ready to carry the trouble if and when it starts. Clergy or not!

2. Ephesians  5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

3. Ephesians  5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

4. Ephesians  5:28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

5. Ephesians  5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

As for our men folk, the above verses I have graciously brought out for your urgent attention! (Yeah, yeah, yeah, call me feminist, call me whatever because of more verses), but that there are certain words that have probably been deleted from your dictionary (with or without your knowledge) while you guys were going around chanting the “thou shalt submit”! song and this has become frightfully obvious.

Take for instance in verse 25 for some of the words our men would do us a favor to include in their dictionary is the word LOVE (and for the definition of the word please refer to 1 Corinthians 13. Thank you.)

Need I say that someone who feels loved will not go about feeling cheated, insecure, downcast, downtrodden etcetera etcetera. Unless the woman in question has issues that need both spiritual and psychiatric resolve and yes!, we are that easy to please, sway. Just apply the right dose of T.L.C. and voilà!, you have us eating out of your hands.

But remember, *whispering* right treatment before the eating out of your hands part. Not the other way around. Please!

I am not even going to mention the giving up yourself part. For some men, that may be like asking for a Tsunami in Sudan!

Let’s just stick to the loving your wife part, hopefully that should do it… or should I add the “like your own selves, or would that be too much as well? ;).

Anyway, the next words would be “nourishing and cherishing” at this point I decided to do a quick confirmation on what those two words mean so I don’t blab away missing the mark.

Nourishing: providing the things that are needed for health, growth etc
: giving nourishment

This includes spiritually too.

For the women, the men folk can not love you more than themselves so enough with the “daydreams” and comparison with “others” that could easily put asunder. Plant thy feet on solid ground, please!

Cherishing: to feel or show great love for someone or something.
: to remember or hold (an idea, belief etc) in a deeply felt way.

I shall not say more other than, the word is actually a verb.

But seriously, if we could just play our parts faithfully with the aid of the Holy Spirit, there would be no need for phrases like:
“when I married you, did you bring anything into this house”
“Do you know who I am”
“It is my money/car”
….and all the heart wrenching “others” that we allow to infiltrate.

May God keep us all safe in Him. Even as we decide to be circumspect in all we do.

Maranatha!

What if?

As I listen to the popular chorus:

“Today I will lift up my voice in praise”.

I patiently wait for the part where the “damage” is usually done and it finally comes;

“when success comes my way I will praise His Name”

This always brings me to wonder: “are we not clearly distorting someone else’s song? Do we even care for what he was going through before he penned down the song? Or the experience that led to the revelation behind the song?

We so eagerly sing and dance to it,  joy abounding,until of course we get to the part where it becomes inconvenient-trouble, and we are quick to discard it for our convenient and more preferred-success!

This quickly brings to mind the three Hebrew boys-as they are popularly called-and their experience at the hands of fellow government officials.

If I am to cook up lyrics to describe their ordeal, it would not be devoid of: fire, seeming death and doom and of course the evil plotters scheming seriously to put an end to dear lives and destinies!

Yet, these are the very words that you and I will quickly go “it’s not our portion”! At the slightest mention of or indication that they were intended for us.

When our faith is tried by fire

Would our anchor hold for sure 

Do we yield to sin’s desire,

Or uphold our Savior’s love?
– Queeneth Gain

For times of trial will certainly come!

But what we do and how we choose to respond to these kinds of situation is really what matters.

May I say here, this is not a good place to “return back to sender” or wish myself and my family evil just because I decided to bring to fore what you and I would rather conveniently want to overlook but is clearly stated in Scripture?

Instead, this should be a time for reflection to see if what I’m saying has truth in it or not.

Frankly speaking, I would rather pass through life with little or no trouble, eating and  drinking and then translate to heaven at a ripe old age! Void of troubles and woes. But for where? Not when the Master himself promised that those who must follow Him should take up their cross daily! Scripture is rife with men and women who had to go through one issue or the other in trial of their faith.

We are not talking about temptations that arise due to our lust and fleshly desires, or the kind where we suffer because we have done wrong or indulged. Please by all means, if we break the hedge the serpent will bite and bite hard he will! That much I can testify to.

I am talking about a child of God in a total “goodie two shoes” mode, complete with the fruit of the Spirit and all. Then boom! The devil strikes and you are left wondering “where did I go wrong” or a situation where you are treated badly for righteousness sake.

There are certain things that God will allow for reasons obvious and Bible-backed while some reasons and not so obvious.

As is the case of the Hebrew guys, it was an obvious plot to bring an end to the “prayer-warrior, righteous-goodie-two-shoe nuisance of men”. Whose daily prayers and “I know it all” attitude had clearly become unbearable to some.

That was all the crime they committed.Living in righteousness!

In Job’s case however, God felt the need to (how should I say it now without warranting a knock on the head from holy Angels? ) brag. He, clearly happy with Job, confidently points out to the devil “have you considered my servant Job?”

That consideration granted the devil  permission to deal with Job “pricelessly” and ensure that his name became synonymous with the very word that strikes terror in our hearts-disaster!!!

Yet these words can be credited to none other “though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him: but I will maintain mine own ways before Him. (Job 13:5)

What was his crime? and in all still pledging to “maintain” before God no matter what!

It makes one wonder if there ear heavens one and two at the end of the day.

What if God has a presentation to listen to, one faithful day in heaven and finding the devil present decides to say with joy, have you considered my servant…..?

What if?

Abraham and Sarah had to wait way past their productive ages amidst family disputes to finally get the child of promise. What about Daniel and his eventual den of “lion friends”?

The Bible is rife with examples of those who went through hell and high water but came out faith intact and victorious.

People world over are having to face situations-daily!-where they have to declare for the dark side or face the consequences.

Yet you and I want to be content with swapping carefully crafted lyrics in someother person’s experience-driven song in an attempt to display “positive confession” and so avoid attracting negative circumstances to our well organised lives.

Should I remind us at this point that the Bible clearly states in the book of James chapter 1 that the trial of our faith produces patience and that when patience is done with us we want for nothing? And that we should count it all joy knowing that this is common place for all that truly mean to follow Jesus?

I am certainly not there yet but I have chosen to allow the Holy Spirit have His way in this matter and help my mind-set become Christ like!

To everyone going through rough times right now, I pray that God will grant you the grace to hold on until your change comes in Jesus Name!!!

Let’s work on ourselves and ensure that no matter where or when Christ comes to meet us, we would be worthy to hear “thou good and faithful servant”!

This is my desire. I hope it is yours too.

Regardless of how or why we erred, let us approach God’s throne of mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Maranatha!!!