As the year 2007 rolled up like a stale and overused scroll, I wondered if I’d be able to still have some days away from
We read portions of the Bible that served as the backdrop for the end of the year prayers which we had corporately with his wife and another couple that visited from Minna. Just before the firecrackers lit up the Jos skyline, we prayed together, thus ushering ourselves into the New Year. My friend, Musa and I talked into the wee hours till about 3am before I reluctantly released him to join his wife and little daughter. But before I retired into the guest room, he selected 6 books from his study for me to read through before my departure in 2 days time. They were books that dealt with the prevalent ideology in our post-modernist generation, and how the Christian should confront such worldview that has negatively influenced our world, and eroded the sense or morality and values. He also gave me books that explored the warped and reductionist concept our generation have of God which has made Christianity so shallow and almost irrelevant to the social and spiritual realities of modern living. Though not an ordained pastor, my friend ; a Family Health consultant physician and the MD of one of the largest missionary hospitals in
For the whole of January 2nd, I was indoors reading one of his books titled “LISTENING TO GOD” by Charles Stanley. Though I have read a couple of books on contemplative prayer and the practice of God’s presence in the past, this book forced me to think deeply and meditate on the importance of not running off with my own plans, or crafting my own lofty agenda and asking God for his stamp of approval. I had come to Jos to sit quietly, reflect and think deeply about the plans and goals to pursue in 2008, but after a long period of reflection, I decided to let go of ‘my dreams’ and sit still in God’s presence. No longer did I set out things I must accomplish; I just sat still in the room thinking about the profound insights that I have read about God…with birds punctuating the silence with their lovely chirps as they visited flowers in the compound!
At sunset, I decided to take a walk along
“The future is meant for men of steel and character. The future waits for those who ignore their fears and go against the tide of popular opinion and thinking. They don’t just make history, but history makes them for having left their footprints on the shores of time. They are not afraid to stand for something and are willing to give up their lives for a noble cause. Those who don’t stand for something will always fall for anything. They subscribe to a higher value system that doesn’t vacillate or change at will.Those who stand courageously for something are never blown away by the wind of popular opinion. They immortalise their name by living in the hearts of men they had impacted or changed their lives…!”
I walked on as these thoughts wafted through my consciousness but was oblivious of the cars and bikes that fleeted past as it really is a busy road. Then I wondered and asked myself, what I really wanted to be and how I wanted to be remembered when I am long gone and my bodily remains interred in a tomb. I wasn’t afraid of thinking about death and what happens thereafter. I looked inwards and realized that my greatest dream is not to build a financial empire like a Bill Gates or a Richard Branson. I realised that I was not too keen on being one of
I realised that what would give me joy and fulfilment is to ‘Incarnate’ the God kind of life in another’s life. I realized that life was much more than what we achieve or acquire. I realised that the quality of a man’s dreams or accomplishments is best measured by the lives that he had impacted and touched positively and the values he had modelled and promoted. I reckoned that life was about the people that experienced true love and forgiveness through me. I realised that life was about the number of people whose despair turned into hope on account of their encounter with me. I realised that the best way to immortalize my name is to be ‘incarnated’ in the hearts of others like the main character in a classic novel that outlives the writer himself. Above all, I realised that I can’t be anything useful to myself or others outside of God. And above all, I realised that I am to be a model of God’s love to humanity; a dream which would keep me busy through out my life on earth. I realized that truly, God and humanity are waiting and watching how I would express God’s kind of love, his values and worldview through my writings, words, actions, gestures, intentions,…and all, in this year, and in the coming years ahead!