STEWARDING OVER AN IDEA

Isn’t it exciting when an idea pops into your head unplanned like an unexpected lighting flash? You are excited, you feel so pumped up and ready to go only to realize in few days that you don’t really know how to go about it. Excitement dwindles, frustration sets in, and the next thing on your mind is giving it time. Sometimes, weeks, months, and years go by with you still deliberating or totally forgetting all about it. Imagine the unpleasant feeling you would have when you see someone else executing the exact idea you had a few months back. I am guessing the flashback wouldn’t be as exciting as it was when the idea dropped. You can liken an idea to a crayon – colourful, beautiful, but static on one spot – if you don’t get a hold of it and paint the picture you see, of what good is it?

An idea is many things. One thing is, it definitely is unfinished. It speaks to a possibility, but in itself, it is just a promise. It does not look like much, may not feel like much but an idea is worth a lot because it is the birthplace of tomorrow. It is kind of a paradox because although it may seem inconsequential today, it has potential to be indispensable tomorrow. As exciting as this may seem, an idea comes with it a very important note of responsibility. Like a baby, an idea is fragile, loose and full of mystery, but it is precious and anyone who is lucky to get one is supposed to take care of it and nurture it into something that is strong, definite and distinct in expression. Just like conception, an idea is not always expected but every parent knows that “not being prepared” is no excuse to not “do the right thing” and be responsible. So, do you have an idea? Well, you need to do the right thing.

Just like money, I can bet we’ve lost a couple of ideas every now and then, some you can’t even recall, some you still have regrets about. You are not alone. It is not a function of you not being good or skilled enough for the execution of the idea, but a human struggle we must all deal with. It is not something to beat yourself up about, but rather, choose to brew on your ideas a little more, trusting each step even when you can’t see the full picture. You don’t have to sulk or stay in the confusion of not knowing how. There will be more ideas to come and some you might still not follow through. A good thing to do now is to have a resolve not to let your next idea slip through your fingers.

This is the reality – the end of an idea is the best part of every idea. When you get to reap the benefits that come with stewarding over an idea, I hope you realize that results come at a cost. It is not always a straight forward path, but it is one you must take to get to where you want to be. First, you need to acknowledge the presence of that idea; write it down, ponder over it intentionally, brainstorm. Then you need to carefully cultivate a space for it; share it with people who can possibly expand it and work with you on delivering it successfully – truth is, rarely does it take one man to do all of this. Now that you have created an enabling environment for your established idea (this might take a while) you need to give it time and capacity to grow. This means you MUST grow and let the idea metamorphose as you go. There are many specific steps that go under this over-generalized schematic, but you can bet that the key to all of this is RESPONSIBILITY. You need to watch over your idea like a mother does over her children and give it all it takes to grow, and mature, and take on a life of its own. At the end of it all, you get to sit back and be grateful that what was once a figment of your imagination is now existing before your very eyes.

Godswill Ezeonyeka
Imani Dokubo

(C) 2020

Sunday Perfect

Praise the Lord
I knew I shouted in response
But for the life of me I wonder
Why my eyes are closing in slumber
Maybe we should get a more interesting pastor
And I’d get more from my day at church

So I believe all that he says
But he has no idea what I’ve had to face
Its easy to talk when on that stage
Tis so sad but I’ll listen anyways
Maybe we should get a more compassionate pastor
And I’d get more from my day at church

My shoes hurt and I’m already hungry
We should be done by now one could imagine
So the fact that I zone out is no mystery
Might as well do something else, anything really
Maybe we should get a more time concious pastor
And I’d get more from my day at church

Wow wow oh wow I think my mind has gone numb
Our Pastor is absolutely the bomb
But I have not a clue what He’s shouting about
I’m trying sincerely I am and still dont know
Maybe we should get a more down to earth pastor
And I’d get more from my day at church

Like seriously… not again
I feel like last week cos this service is exactly the same
Am I the only one tired of this routine we run
Whatever happened to the dynamism and creativity in us
Maybe we should get a more flexible pastor
And I’d get more from my day at church

Oh my God, I cant believe he said that
He should know better after all he is the pastor
Hasn’t he heard, hasn’t he read or is he just clueless
oh no, he said it again nonetheless
Maybe we should get a more informed pastor
And I’d get more from my day at church

I always thought the worth of our day at church
Depended on the choir or the pastor that preached the word
See church was always meant to be a gathering of believers
For fellowship, cohesive growth and strength the Holy Spirit our teacher
Just maybe if we could all look up to Jesus and no one else
Everyday would be worth more to a perfect end
and then I will get more from my day at church.

– Ezeonyeka Godswill
(c) 2016

Book Review: Beauty from Ashes

Author: Hope Stansberry
Pages: 280
Reviewer: Beatrice Ani and Godswill Ezeonyeka

Advanced Review Copy (or ARC) on Reedsy Discovery: https://reedsy.com/discovery/book/beauty-from-ashes-hope-stansberry

Trauma has a way of lingering. Letting go of the pain is what we want most but, in most cases, it is this need that makes us stow away our pain and give it life for longer than is required. Hope Stansberry presents us with an intense story of triumph over trauma and its bewildering effects. It is a story of love and discovery that surely would give the reader the much-needed healing and entertainment they might be in search for.

Just like every other romance novel, this Christian romance fiction will make one lose track of time until the last page is read. It’s an absolute page-turner. Stansberry captures a vivid picture of love in the very familiar and endearing pursuit of Cameron for Natalie’s friendship. Friendship blossoms into romance but in the most unlikely way and this journey delivers to the reader a relatable story of redemption, trust, faith, recovery and how our suffering produces perseverance.

This is not the ideal sappy romance fictions, but it does tug at one’s heart. However, for those looking for a story that portrays the bitter and beautiful parts of healing, this is an ideal read. The pain that Natalie and Cameron have had to deal with and will go through is very well portrayed and this makes their characters stand as perfect mirrors for anyone going through pain. Christian readers will find the focus on how God heals to be very familiar and endearing however, non-Christians can also relate to how we all react to love regardless of what we believe. Hence, I would definitely regard this book as a good read for anyone that is willing to. It is not preachy and definitely gets the message across. My only critique would be the length, possibly Stansberry may want to give us a sequel?

Beauty From Ashes is a book I will recommend for any person above childhood (however that is calculated these days) because it speaks to one of our primal needs which is healing from pain. It is a beautiful balance between reality, faith and romance. As earlier said it is quite a quick read but it is sure to leave you reeling and loving every moment, every word and wanting more.

The Fig-Leaves Issue

And as they ate it, suddenly they became aware of their nakedness, and were embarrassed. So they strung fig leaves together to cover themselves around the hips.

Genesis 3:7 (TLB)

As a creative, I get to “over-think” many otherwise simple things. Maybe it is a curse in another’s eyes but in mine, it is clarity. The innate ability to really analyse events that are as heavy as world crises to lightweight issues like the response I wish I said two minutes earlier, has really helped me see what is underplaying our everyday experiences. It doesn’t make me right, I guess it just helps me to build stronger structures around what it is I believe.

As I grow older and experience more interesting versions of reality and life as we know it, I am ever more convinced on the authority and the authenticity of the bible and its teachings. One that really stands out for me it the way we tend to try and fail constantly at providing solutions to seemingly every problem that has ever occurred to the human race. Bogus claim? Yeah, I get it sounds as such but this is a conclusion I have come to through almost every thought excavation I have set my mind on. You can try it too. Ask “why” enough times and you will almost surely find yourself at a helpless human with a problem and solutions that only create more problems. This is so perfectly represented in the verse quoted initially but before we talk about that, let’s bite a little deeper into this.

Psychoanalysts, philosophers and sociologists have come to a dismal conclusion that all philosophy and modes of agreed upon human existence has its flaws. The highest medical research has provided us with solutions that are not 100% and drugs with side-effects. Engineers agree that every solution provided comes with a new problem in its suitcase. So we hold in high esteem the concept of maintenance and constant innovation. I would argue that this is growth in a sense but if you dig deeper you find, this is all a melting pot of ideas by humans trying to save themselves and failing terribly at it. Socialism and communism failed, capitalism exposed our wickedness and democracy is a hot mess. We are killing the planet by “developing” it and humanity grows dumber by consuming more and more information.

Obviously we are running ourselves to the ground and that is not a surprise at least for us Christians. The bible does prophecy it. Basically the day man thought he could decide between right and wrong, he doomed himself to death. So we are all just living a self-fulfilling prophecy but God provided us an out and that is what that verse in Genesis serves as a prequel to.

Adam and Eve had just made the dumbest decision ever (much like we do daily) and the implications of their choice showed up almost immediately. A problem. With the ability to decide for themselves, they did what we all do and tried to solve the problem. The hilarious thing is with all the “knowledge” to be like God according to what the devil promised, these two humans could figure out that there was a problem of nakedness but “they strung fig leaves together to cover themselves around the hips.” Now in retrospect, that was really dumb because even though you are not naked, you are not covered either. Only one winter breeze would show that “fig leaves” are not a sustainable clothing option. Funny thing is, Adam knew this because after adorning original “eden brand” fig leaves, he still had to hide behind bushes and here was his reason…

That evening they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden; and they hid themselves among the trees.  The Lord God called to Adam, “Why are you hiding?” And Adam replied, “I heard you coming and didn’t want you to see me naked. So I hid.”

Genesis 3:8-10 (TLB)

But this story is not all bad news at least at that point in the story. Look at verse 21 with me…

and the Lord God clothed Adam and his wife with garments made from skins of animals.

Genesis 3:21

God stepped in and provided Adam with a better solution. One that solved this problem for literally generations. I like this part of the story because it doesn’t leave man hopeless. Even more glorious is that before this verse, God had addressed the main problem with the promise of a solution. Right there in that garden, Jesus was promised; but that is a story for another day. In this article we realise quite clear as day, that even though man can choose from right and wrong, that knowledge does not guarantee him wisdom and his only hope is to give that baton to God where it rightly belongs in the first place.

What does that look like in the 21st century? Quite simple. Listen, trust and obey. We need to know what God is saying about every problem and every decision. Then we need to trust that he has our best interest at heart and then give in by obeying his instructions. Now if you want to know why we should do this, here is a reason for you; he created it all! Too obvious? Okay what about him choosing to be like us, feel what we feel and die worse than we could die just so we could have an opportunity to get back what we intentionally lost at Eden. He loves us as a whole and individually too. So maybe we might want to listen to him more.

Let’s get practical.

Before you choose to hold on to a grudge because you are genuinely hurt (fig leaves) maybe you might want to try forgiveness and give yourself peace. Instead of making yourself into a sex junkie in a bid to satisfy your cravings (fig leaves) you could let the one who gave you those cravings tell you how he intended for them to be used. PRAY! Pray as much as you can. Especially to know what to do per time and with the little and big stuff the bible doesn’t mention. Most importantly, let God lead your life by accepting the life he laid down for you at the cross. That way you get access to God in man: The Holy Spirit!

I will end with an interesting story that is not so much in the past. The film, Selma, chronicles one of the most pivotal moments of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s story. One of the scenes shows MLK leading a huge multitude in a peaceful protest and for a moment it seemed as though their enemies would let them carry on but MLK stopped and took a knee. This made everyone in the protest do the same, and after a moment he stood up and went back and the crowd followed. The leaders at the time were so furious with MLK. From the perspective of the film we were able to see what transpired behind closed doors that MLK and his comrades were not privy to. This was meant to be an ambush but a lot of lives were saved because MLK stopped and prayed.

I guess I have expressed this point as much as I can for now. I hope you realise that the fig-leaves solutions you have cannot stand the test of time so you need to let God help you. I hope our leaders learn to pray and truly listen to God and then trust and obey him. In the end, this world will definitely come to ruin but at least most of us can be saved if we do differently, let God heal us and provide us with better solutions.

– Ezeonyeka Godswill
(c) 2020

POWERLESS

Control controls us
The things we rule, rule us
Still, we build these kingdoms
With dungeons meant for us

We keep a lookout, armed with mistakes
Raising shoulders, bending knees, holding steady
We still keep count of the paths we take
Like life won’t shoot till we’re ready

Our lives are like a feather
Dancing in the wind of our maker
Left alone we’d fall and wither
But with him, we hold the power

I hope we one day learn to wield
Power that creates and changes things
I hope we one day learn there’s a will
That makes boundless power ours to inherit.

Godswill
Erudite
©2020

Quench the Sun

Let’s quench the sun
Let’s build up so high we touch God
Let’s give our ambition unlimited freedom

Let’s watch ourselves fail
Let our tongues wail
Let’s watch our unity break

Babel was always doomed
We never thought it through
Without God failure is what we do


Lets set the sun ablaze
Lets burn up the skies
Lets choke the heavens with smoke
Lets kill the Light

Let Light be dead
That sin may reign
That Day be dead
And Night be Lord

Let earth again be void
Formless and dark
Lets make a world
Without a God

So says the fool
In her own heart.

Godswill Ezeonyeka
Kator Steven
© 2020

You are the Right Size

Have you ever got a gift for someone, say for instance a pair of shoes and then after the razzmatazz of presenting them, you found out that you got the wrong size. It is quite an uncomfortable place, right? Here you are with a really nice gesture that somehow was cut short because not every information was considered or you were simply mistaken.

Of course this might have not been your fault for a variety of reasons, one of which include that you are human. Humans make mistakes, humans don’t always have access to all of the information.

However, God is not that way. When he was going to give this world the gift of you. He had all the information, he put everything into consideration and he made no mistakes. He created you to a perfect fit. You are the right size!

That is why you can not be like anyone else and trying to be is just an effort in futility. You were made specially for your purpose and God saw to it that you are the right size. For God so loved the world that HE GAVE YOU.

– Ezeonyeka Godswill
#NowThink

In Focus

One of the best things I have read in recent times was in Joyce Meyer’s words – “Life is in the journey, not the end”. This like many other variations of this wisdom tells us to not miss out on the beauty going on around us because we are so fixated on the goal.

Boy do I agree with this thought. However, just like every journey, sometimes you are going to look out the window and all you see is trees after trees… and then some more trees. It gets boring and soon enough sleep is the only option you are left with.

In this moment, you really need the end in focus. I think this why God is in the character of showing us a glimpse of what the end will look like, because times will come in the journey where you will question the use of the monotony you have to live with and when they do come, your eyes have to leave what is right in front of you be set on the things that are to come.

This in no wise suggests that the journey should not be enjoyed. However it should not be the focus, it should not be the inspiration. There is a point to all of this, an end, a purpose. Think about it often, plan for it and when life doesn’t make sense, remember you are on a journey to somewhere and it is worth all the trouble.

I wish you grace and strength in all you do. See you at the finish line!

– Ezeonyeka Godswill
#NowThink (2019)