Friday, 24 February 2017
History talks about Thonis; a once great city which now lies in the ocean floor of the Mediterranean. The uninformed would wonder, ships sink, but how do cities sink? The fact of the matter is that our planet is changing, rather has been changing. Some areas of land which now are on the Earth surface would in hundreds of years time be the ocean floor, and some parts of the ocean floor will be lands on the Earth surface; maybe new mega cities or farmlands. Let's put it crudely that the Earth rises and falls, old lands fall, new ones rise, and in some years from now the Earth as we now know it will be different, there may be new Islands, lush archipelagos which were once playgrounds for tiger sharks and the great white, and most coastal cities may be lost to the sea.
I present a very immediate example: upon gaining admission into the University I had cause to regularly use the Niger Bridge at Onitsha/Asaba. And in my first year in school I noticed a very small Island a few meters away from the bridge, however, over the years this once small Island has 'grown' so large that residence buildings are now being constructed on it. I imagine that just over a decade ago the Island did not exist but now look what we have.
Now, such, it seems, is the condition of man; we keep changing. Who you are now will be different from who you will be in 5 to 10 years time, no matter how little the difference. As we learn, unlearn and relearn, there is a falling/sinking of old ideas, a rising of new ones and an upgrading/downgrading of others. Other times, the experiences of life: heartbreaks, betrayal, treachery, a show of unusual love here or there and all such things can turn your moderateness into a fanatical disposition towards the ideals you value, or may trigger a total U-turn. As we move ahead in life, things will happen that will change Saul to Paul, Simon to Cephas and Gideon to the mighty man of valour. Also, things will happen that will make an Elijah to wish he were dead and a John the Baptist to ask 'Are you the one or do we expect another?'. There will be a falling and rising of fears and faith, love and hate, values and vices. Some will be moderates, others fanatics and yet others will get into an entirely new line of thought, to the end that the you that you are now will be different (no matter how little) from the you that you will be. You may improve on your ideas, and you may discard them and pick up entirely new ones, same goes for values and perspectives, one thing is sure-you will never remain exactly the same.
So, while our Earth changes, at a much slower pace, we change too. Within this is a silent risk. The builders of Thonis may have planned for an eternal city, but a few thousand years after Thonis is down below-there was a sinking. We commit to vows, to career, to marriage, priesthood, etc without thinking about this changing 'earth'(man). How would you manage when the rising and sinking begin, when you develop a new passion and forget your first love, when in that marriage he suddenly begins to give it all to social activism and has little time for family, when you discover it was never love or when this your now small love for music rises and you have cause to abandon your medical practice just to become Beethoven? But then it is a risk not to take a risk, the citizens of Thonis may not have built a home if they feared about the sinking. So, we have to move on and watch how we change and what the true man will look like at the end of this metamorphosis.
Monday, 6 February 2017
We sigh without and pant within as we hear the tolls of an apocalyptic tune. We fear to hear of wars and rumours of wars and of men's hearts failing them for fear of what is happening. And with an even limitless potential for fear is to hear that as divine as the kingdom of heaven is, it is not immune to violence (Matthew 11:12).
Desperate times it is as we watch the enemy advance with an unprecedented bloodthirst, our blood a cherished relish, and all this while we are stuck on the cross, for we are crucified with Christ...yes, not us but Christ that lives in us. To whom do we run when our feet are fastened to the cross? where do we knock when our hands are nailed apart?
To obey or not to obey authority at these desperate times, an authority whose silence in the face of our predicament seems a tacit support of it?
Yes, we should turn the other cheek, but we are soon loosening our nails as the enemy continues to advance. You keep your face they slap you, you turn the other cheek they cut off your head. The bells are tolling, tolling of death, tolling of tears and anguish, tolling of martyrdom, tolling of desperate times and we are disposing of our cross. We are scampering for answers, scampering for refuge, scampering to save our lives, scampering to pull out Peter's sword and cut off some ears in self-defense.
Do we pray 'Maranatha' or do we say LORD, allow us a day off the cross to deal with these guys?
The bell is still tolling and we are soon loosening our nails.
Saturday, 4 February 2017
The world has seen great accomplishments, inventions, conquests, and deeds, both good and bad. It has seen the Egyptians and Aztecs build great pyramids, and Phoenicians build great ships. It has seen the might of Rome, the knowledge of the Greeks, the German machines, the Chinese wall, and the atomic bomb. Yes, it has seen Hitler kill 6 million Jews, and Stalin over 20 million of his own people.
There are many variables yet one constant in all of these, which is that all great deeds were once ordinary ideas. Hitler's Jewish purge was once an idea, the tower of Babel was once an idea, the Titanic was once an idea, the aeroplane was once an idea, the television, telephone, drone, chemical weapons, and even man were once ideas.
Being that ideas are the seeds of actions, should we say that there are more bad deeds because there are more bad people than good, or that good people either don't think, or when they do, do not implement their ideas. Perhaps there are ideas locked away in some good minds on how to stop the carnage of insurgency in Nigeria, the filth and spread of bigotry in the society, ideas on how to move Africa forward, ideas on how to ensure lasting peace the world over. Perhaps these ideas do now exist, but sadly may never be spoken or acted upon. Often times, we discover that people with bad ideas are fearless and are quick to implement them, whereas those with good ideas are sometimes gutless and often display a nonchalant attitude to transmitting their ideas or transposing them from ideas to realities. Now consider that when bad things happen good minds engage in endless or continual conversation of what the problem is, in rare situations are ideas proffered, and yet with more infrequency are such ideas implemented. The battle is one of ideas, and it is always worth it, if need be, to die for a good idea. Mandela spent 27years in jail for an idea(the end of apartheid in South Africa), Jesus died for an idea(salvation of man), Michael Farader died for an idea(electricity), Jan Hus died for an idea, so did the millions of Christian martyrs who have been killed over the centuries. The sad situation is that in recent times, bad people are more willing to die for their ideas...Check out all the terrorists and suicide bombers who rigged themselves and detonated IEDs and then consider how we sit in our cozy homes and continue the endless conversation of the problem with Nigeria!
Paul 'Triple H' Levesque would say, 'I am the game and I wanna play,'
We are the change we await. The whole of creation waits for our manifestation. Work on that idea and if you can't, share it with someone who can. It's time to play the game.
_Okwuchukwu Augustine Ndulue.
Wednesday, 1 February 2017
Decisions are so vital that they are the very compass of our journey here. And man is so strikingly unique that neither God nor the devil forces a decision on him, the most they will do is the presentation of options. We are free moral agents, but at times we are bound by our inability to regulate our liberty. We are free to drink, soon we become drunkards(bondage), and we are free to indulge in sex, soon we become addicts(bondage), to the end that freedom becomes bondage.
The fact that we are free to make our decisions is one respected by God, and an opportunity explored and exploited by the devil, but in the greatest of his exploitations, the most he can still do is OPTIONS. Considering that there is always a cluster of options before us at most points of decision making, and that these options of ideas are sponsored by either heaven or hell, should make us not flippantly settle for anything. Every decision is in some way, in the final analysis, a matter of life and death. Yes, life and death! And at other times, their respective nephews; blessing and cursing.
Deuteronomy: 30. 19. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: - KJV.
This being the case, what sort of men ought we to be in decision-making?
I am sure of one thing, and that is that this world is replete with illusions, all we see are not all there is, and what we see now may be a puff of smoke soon to diffuse and fade away. A half truth is a whole lie, and we can't trust our lives to it. So, today's excitement can't really be trusted. Decision is a serious business, a matter of life and death, and of blessing and cursing. Today's porridge may mean tomorrow's curse or death. Today's patience may mean the difference between life and death. Today's 'yes' may mean the accent to a life of curses and death, today's 'no' may mean the elongation of life, and vice versa.
So, before you leap look and look again, before you open those legs, think and think again, before you take or quit that job pray and pray again, before you get into or accept that business, that school, that marriage, that CHURCH, that invitation, and that porridge, look, think, and pray, it's a matter of life and death.