Letter to Ola #1

Dear Olaedo,


In my previous letter, I asked you to evolve and leave behind things you have outgrown. Let me tell you about what I outgrew recently.


I constantly try to understand myself, why I do the things I do, and why I think the way I do which most times are different from how others think.


I read a story of a self-sufficient man. He wants just enough to feed himself and his family. He doesn’t care about being a global figure or being on the Forbes list. I guess we can call him a family enthusiast. He would rather spend every day at home with his family than leave them to make money he doesn’t need.


I’m not that man. I am a few years away from thirty and it worries me that I am not anything near the Forbes’ under 30 CEOs or any recognition close to that. I try though. I search for opportunities and utilize the ones I can. Ola, I want to make money, travel, live the good life, and above all, make an impact. I felt money is necessary for the kind of impact I want to make. But apart from the cliche of living an impactful life, I just like shiny things and luxury.


The way life ought to be was pretty obvious to me. I would get married of course. I love Love. I would have perhaps a kid or two because let us be honest, taking care of kids require time. My husband and I would build an empire because we are goal-driven and ambitious. And we’ll live happily ever after.


It turns out life doesn’t always go as planned and I was wrong about what life is all about. As you would expect, I am financially intelligent. I am shrewd in spending and I’ve learnt investment strategies so when I lost millions to a bad investment just a year after my NYSC, I had to start all over again. It was hard but not disastrous. I still had a job.


The disastrous event was my parents’ divorce. They loved each other or they seemed to be in love. After fifteen years of marriage, they split. It tore my idea of a perfect life. I was depressed and confused. I hated the feeling. It was easy to decide to see a shrink because I am a logical person and it seemed psychotherapy was what was going to fix my mind.


I read a post on Twitter that said ‘The Holy Spirit is my therapist’ and I scoffed. ‘As if I don’t pray too. The occupation is there for a reason’. Therapy is expensive but I hated feeling shitty so it passed for a good investment for my mental health. After one month of therapy, nothing changed. My therapist used phrases like ‘you religious people would say…’ and I had to sift his advice to see which isn’t deviant from my Christain faith.


I intentionally didn’t seek a Christain shrink because I didn’t want a religious person. The effect of a religious shrink is as bad as a secular shrink. One seeks to put you in bondage while the other seeks to make you use your freedom as an occasion to satisfy the flesh.


My friend said I hadn’t healed because I hadn’t prayed enough and I wondered what amount of prayer would be ‘enough’. I had prayed. I like a good challenge so I decided to pray ‘enough’. I never understood fasting as a means of receiving from God because I felt if God is my father, I could ask with faith and receive.

However, I decided to turn up fully gauged for this praying ‘enough’.


I started fasting without a stop date in mind. I planned to stop was whenever I got healed. I had exhausted all my options and the only option left was praying ‘enough’. I had nothing to live for and I wished I could die. I prayed earnestly with all that was in me. I lost weight but that wasn’t important. I told God I would go for months and years if need be and I meant it.


I surrendered everything because I was really tired of handling the affairs of my life. Life lost its taste. In the place of prayer, I learnt that I could ask God for direction and trust him to direct my path. Nothing in the world is constant. You could have a perfect husband, house, kids, money, and lose it all in a heartbeat.


A man’s heart is where his treasure is.’

I saw myself in the rich man that got angry and turned away when Jesus told him the way for him to enter the kingdom of God was by giving away all he had. I placed the essence of life on physical things – marriage, money, fame.


Ola, ‘taste and see that the Lord is good’ is not a cliche. He healed my mind and gave me a new purpose that I thought I always had. The same purpose.


By the time I lost my job to the COVID-19 retrenchment, I was already fortified with blind trust in God. I have handed over the wheels of my life to him. It turns out I don’t quite enjoy driving so I am occupying the back seat now.


The peace I have is beautiful and it beats any luxury I could ever have.


Don’t misunderstand me. I still like luxury and the good life. I still seek and grab opportunities. I am still working to be on the Forbes list but without any of these things, I will be as good as I am with them. Like Paul, all things that were gain to me I counted loss for Christ.


Christ is the only constant in a world where every other thing is inconsistent.

The assurance of salvation I have in Christ is all that matters; which is why I wonder how people who believe they can lose their salvation cope.

The struggle they must be going through!!! We should teach them, Ola.

With Love,
Mama.

-ChyD
© 2020

NOT A WARNING SIGN

Numbers 26:10 (MSG) The Earth opened its jaw and swallowed them along with Korah’s gang who died when the fire ate them up, all 250 of them. After all these years, they’re still a warning sign.


In Numbers 16, we see people in positions of leadership use their influence wrongly to rebel and cause others to rebel which eventually cost them their lives. Until tomorrow, they will be referred to as bad eggs regardless the good they had done in the past. It takes time to build a reputation, but one day is enough for one wind of error to rubbish all that you have built.


One thing rebellion does is portray a man as a warning sign. Yes! I want to be a sign but not one that draws caution into the ears of men. I can’t afford to be a warning sign.


I am not saying we can’t make mistakes, no. But our lives should not end on the platform of error. May we still be alive to put our lives in order. I read of a man who was perceived as wicked because of his inventions but by divine orchestration, he was privileged to read his own biography thus gaining access into peoples’ thoughts about him. That encounter changed his entire life and today, even in death, he is remembered and celebrated, not for his past life, but for the turns he took in the right direction. His name is ALFRED NOBEL.


Years after you are long gone, what do you want to be remembered as; a warning sign or a worthy example? Take your pick.


EZEKIEL, C. PRISCILLA
YIELDED BONES INT’L
©2020

Church Chairs

These wooden bars kiss more butts on Sundays
According comfort while they stay lay
They hold not a few, void of potter’s clay
Deciding the direction of heads, lined up like plays

Oh! This old rooky object
Which beyond weights carry burdens
Sits firmly
To support a broken heart

These pews are not for saints alone
Neither are they a symbol for show off
The first row does not signify superiority
Neither does the last state a lack of commitment

Nor those occupied by priests portray holiness
Theirs could be different but we are all one
The color white doesn’t promote purity
Neither does style infer ungodliness

Chairs should be what they are, chairs
Nothing more
A support for comfort
Whether in church or at home

In Africa or in Rome
They should be to the pope
What they are to his congregation
An object for resting butts

Adedatryts, Imani Dokubo (c) 2019

TOES

The slow walk began with a step
As we tethered on to a certain future

We are uncertain

For we could turn back and still be walking in the same direction
All the love we heard mentioned are but echoes of thunder from the cloudy skies that never rain
We wonder
If the future is a path worth threading
When we barely have enough to mend what’s left of our faith

These shoes hurt on many sides
No one should be allowed to walk in our shoes

I have wondered when the colorful pictures we are painted in would stop being a shadow of itself
Seems the only shade of truth is the color of our reflections

But I’ll walk on in those shoes
No matter how tattered they be worn
This I have sworn
To keep believing past where my eyes can see
Till the day comes
When I’ll walk past my failing faith to belief
I’ll keep patching, tailor my feet on a straight path till I am dead
For an uncertain future is brighter than any certain past I’ve thread.

UcTruth
© 2019

REDEMPTION

When you think of redemption
You think of letting go the pieces your life has become
To be put back together
You think of wholeness, newness
When you think of redemption
You think of brokenness
The image of you crumbling, like a folded piece of paper
Your head between your knees, rocking back and forth, mumbling words, seeking help
When you think of redemption
You think of a new page
The already drawn out lines – direction from your Creator
He said, here’s life, a blank sheet, decide if you’ll follow the lines
Or scribble across the page
When you think of redemption
You think of a new person
A life bereft of old trappings
A life, anew
Because love
Because transformation
Because newness
Because God
When you have redemption
There’s that Peace that passes your yearn to grasp its meaning
Redemption let’s you take those baby steps
Your hands in God’s, your steps right behind his
When you think of redemption, you know there’s hope.

IfiokAbasi Okop
© 2019

Think about this (UC Truth)

I will teach you something that took me over 10 years to learn.

See?
Attention suddenly increases by at least 30 percent when someone claims experience in a certain thing.

You open eyes wide so you would see truth but I just lied,
Then you swallow whole like a bird does its seeds every false information I have to give.

But that’s not the lesson I have to give;
This won’t be free of charge so you would need to first subscribe to my channel, and then pay attention.

Internet age, how old is it?

How many times have you believed something just because generations before told you so?
Because they have done it so, so we should do same?

Who taught you that the left hand is bad compared to the right?
Where did you learn to hate snakes?
Ohh! Before you go all scriptural on me remember that HE made them and called them ‘good’

Are cats really witches turned to suck?
Our blood the owls and bats devour?
Is it really true that destinies can be stolen and returned?
And if I can barely stay awake during the day, then why not just let me work at night?

See animals understand themselves and act naturally
No forced rhythms to dance to
No need tuning unto stations where their bodies aren’t trained to live

They hunt when they find best, naturally
Live where they can breathe, naturally
And feed on what they can eat, naturally.

No wonder they run away from humans, well, bad association corrupts good manners.
And I would run too if I wasn’t me, human.

We have become a flaw to our own self by our rules and countless regulations, which only seems to excel when we get those screams of approval as or fans regulate us.

But I tell you, you can dare to be different
Do what you love,
Learn to play some games,
Study what you like,
Do work hard, and you don’t have to go to sleep at night just because they all do the same.

Be you, breathe,
Don’t become the next dog on life’s leash

It’s bliss to know that left and right;
White or black;
Tall or short;
Fat or slim;

..are all perfect shapes for their own holes

I am filling my spot, are you doing the same?

Think about this and get to living, and be quick about it, for the animals are still watching.