ABOUT THE CITY
Of course, Lagos is in many ways supreme. Any day, any time, it could boast of the most exciting mix of people from all over the world when compared to any other city in the country.
It is the main and principal financial hub in spite of having no major natural resources to rely on, and though it is set upon a tiny piece of land on God’s green earth, it is undisputedly the largest city in Africa.
However, regardless of all that good, Lagos is also the seat of the most intense and debilitating stress. Stress, the kind that is chiefly and determinedly mental with its accompanying physical effects. Yes, Lagos is that place where you age quickly if you are really in a hurry to get it over with.
In fact, it is the place where the universally daily-accepted 5 minutes madness displayed by normal people is taken to a whole new unbreakable record level of 24/7. For want of proof, a typical Lagos traffic, on a typical day, whether on the island or the mainland, will readily reveal these distinguishing facts.
How do I know? Well, I live in the heart of Lagos and I’ve got about six strands of grey hair already in my beard and am only in my early thirties. Even worse, is the occasional memory lapse my mind experiences due to being overstretched by the daily grind and hustle in a broken system that does very little to inspire you to go on.
If you’ve never paid heed to the words of our fathers, listen now: It is true that “bad” company corrupts. I have kept such company, so I know.
For who would have thought that at the end of 2015 I’d find myself a fanatic of the long distance run. For before then my less than a kilometer early morning jog from my house at Chemist Bus stop to the University of Lagos (and back) was sufficient in maintaining my fitness and vigor. The virile physique I possessed didn’t need much to keep the unsightly features of neglect at bay. But all that changed when my best friend somehow unwittingly convinced me to try something hardcore.
Known for adamantly sticking to my own way – especially when I feel comfortable with it – I am usually never swayed. And so for a long time (precisely up until September 2015) I played true to the script. I was only amused and intrigued when my “brother from “definitely” another mother” would recount his exploits of perpetually running 5km, 10km, and then talk about plans to push even further.
Never for once did I refrain from asking the crucial question, “Why the heck would you want to do that to yourself?” It absolutely didn’t make sense to me why a competent computer programmer would exert himself like a professional athlete preparing for the Olympics.
Oh, did I not mention he didn’t only care about how much distance he covered but also the time it took. It was his goal to reduce gradually the minutes per kilometer, perhaps until it looked something much like what the Kenyans often achieved, like aliens on steroids. Continue reading
A friend of mine, who had just lost his young wife to a ghastly motor accident, said to me that it would be much easier to go on if he could have an actual face to face conversation with God. For if God could tell him why He let his wife die, trusting His wisdom wouldn’t be as hard as it is now. But just after a while brooding in silence, he admitted that at the end he saw no other way than to keep trusting God and believing there’s a purpose for everything.
Considering a lot of things, it was only natural for him to want to understand so desperately why such a thing should happen. For one, his relationship with God should have counted for something. In that relationship he had put much confidence in the love and power of his Creator. For even as man and protector of the home he had dutifully prayed for the safety of his family without ceasing, committing them to God’s capable hands. Never did he doubt for once the ableness of his God, whose immensity and greatness is forever incalculable and unmatched. Yes, yes “shit happens” but surely not to a man who knows God like that. Continue reading
God never stops caring about us even when we think He should. Especially at times when we might have turned our backs on Him, usually because we want to have our way over His. Yes, He still gets involved in our lives even when we’ve gone all prodigal on Him, for the simple reason that we still belong to Him.
We may never see His hands in the thick of things, because we may be, in mind and spirit, too far away to see. For it is so easy to get carried away by our defiance and the negative reality created by the choice to lean on our own understanding and thereby unconscious about how things are being worked out in the background for our recovery.
In sharing my testimonies of rebellious escapades against God, I would say it is at that very moment of realizing fully my stupidity I think the culmination of all that God has worked out for my deliverance becomes glaringly vivid in waking me back to my senses, in a way that I can’t help but acknowledge God’s Love – relentless and sufficient.
I learned a long time ago that a perfect heart is not one that is sinless, for there’s none that is without sin. A perfect heart is one that follows hard after God. Regardless of how many times he falls down, he picks himself up and chases after God.
He’s life’s ambition is God. He’s desire is God. He never relents, never gives up, but presses onward, for nothing else will do, nothing under heaven or under the earth would ever beat the wild and exhilarating adventure of knowing God. That’s exactly why God referred to King David as a man after His own heart.
We all know the king orchestrated the death of a man under his command in order to have the man’s wife, for she was the object of his lust. In the face of human judgment, David wouldn’t stand a chance. He’d be measured and found wanting. Who would overlook what he did and put it behind as if it never happened? Who among men would look beyond the weakness of this king and justify him anyway? Who?