I had awesome parents – like most people. I was also blessed with great teachers in primary and secondary schools. I’ve sat under great preachers, pastors and mentors. I’ve read wonderful books. I’m grateful for all the people and books God has used to shape my pilgrimage.
Nevertheless, early in my life, I was propelled into that zone where I realized just how private and personal the human soul really is. Ultimately, every soul lives and dies alone. Final judgment is one soul at a time. Nothing like “the wife you gave me” made me do it.
So, the first major shift in my spirituality was personal responsibility: I may not be responsible for all my teachers and preachers have taught. But I am entirely responsible for every belief I internalize.
This shift had a very radical consequence for me. I became a rebel. I started questioning everything I have been told or taught. I wanted to distill my own convictions.
Besides, life is too short to know or believe everything.
Let me give you a few examples:
In those days, we were told that our village masquerades and folk music and dances were demonic. We were told that FESTAC ’77 was the genesis of all Nigeria’s troubles. That was when all the demons from participating African countries received their resident permit in Nigeria. It could be. I don’t know everything.
However, I became puzzled when I started poking that belief.
Why would a Christian parent, for example, condemn an African masquerade but buy his children Spiderman, Superman and Batman costumes for Christmas? What are Spider Man, Super Man and Bat Man? What are Barney, Mickey Mouse, etc?
It’s alright. Our masquerade is demonic. Theirs isn’t.
So what? Those foreign companies rake in billions of dollars every year from Africa – selling the movies, the Spiderman, Batman and Superman accessories – bags, shirts, shoes and dozens more.
During children’s parties in Africa, we hire Africans dressed in Spiderman, Superman, Barney, Mickey Mouse garbs to entertain the kids. Dare to bring Ekpe, Eyo or Ojuju and the children will scamper away for their dear lives! And our masquerades make their case worse by always carrying sticks. Stupid packaging.
In the end, their masquerades clutch billions. Our woeful masquerades clutch sticks.
Now, I am not saying your masquerades may not be demonic. I’ve not worn one. All I’m saying is that you ask questions!
Question the status quo!
I did not understand why I should do another “white wedding” after my full traditional marriage. I don’t like doing things the origin of which I know nothing. I detest doing things just because others do them. Eventually, though, I chose to “fulfill all righteousness.” And we white wed.
Would you want to know where to find the Devil? We look for him in the wrong places – in our “enemies.”
Well, the Devil’s luxury apartment is in places where questions are not being asked! He hides wherever people fear to ask questions.
I could have castrated a popular woman speaker the day I heard her on Poju Oyemade’s Platform claim that God put Nigeria together. I couldn’t perform the said castration. First because, I am not a surgeon. Second, because she doesn’t have testicles – and she doesn’t read her history books.
(To be continued next week)
I love you. Be healthy, wealthy and wise!