It´s God oh!
The one thing I’ve come to love and appreciate through the years of staying overseas, is the close bond I’ve developed with my mum. Over the years we´ve become so close that every 2 or 3 days we do catch up. She´d call me and ask about my health, classes and my friends but of course the real reason I know she was calling was to give me the juicy, dirty, vivid and much exaggerated story in a minute!
She´d tell me of how a friend of a friend´s husband went on an official trip to Bolivia and how his stomach burst open and he died, or how a lady who couldn’t have kids for years was suddenly able to get pregnant in her forties and delivered two healthy baby boys. As much as I love good comical stories for laughs sake, like any other inquisitive person, what I´d like to know is How? How did the man´s stomach burst open? How did the ´barren´ lady suddenly have twins? “How?“ She´d ask back, “don’t you know it´s God?!“And there you have it, the only one response I´ve gotten over the years from my mum. That was how she always replied -“it’s God“. I´d patiently sigh deeply and say “mummy, I know its God, but how did it happen?“ Why did the man´s stomach burst open? How did the ´barren´ lady finally get pregnant and deliver her kids successfully? And depending on the religious status of the person being talked about, depending on their relationship with whoever got the news to my mum, whenever “its God“ was mentioned my mum either meant the person had been punished by a Divine Being for whatever sin he or she committed or was rewarded for being a good Christian.
It´s always made me wonder why Nigerian parents always insist on telling you about events going on while you´re away but leave out the best details and insist that it was `God` who´d finally gotten justice. And when questioned all they ever say is “its God!“ I mean obviously its God, I’m not even going to try and dispute that argument (you never win) but details, woman, details! It´s only after much questioning they tell you, and with annoyance in their tone that the man, probably, wasn’t used to the weather temperature in Bolivia which caused the intestines in his stomach to erupt and how the lady actually went to a fertility clinic and after spending much trial and error and loads of money had been spent she got her babies! Now how hard was that?! Lol! I dislike been told that people misfortune or luck is by a Higher Power, I’d much rather be given details and speculation. Wouldn´t you agree?
Who else has ever been in the same situation as me? please share your story!
I’m Nigerian. Like many Nigerians, I grew up in a very religious background. As others (who have lived in Nigeria) will confirm, it’s a very religiously diverse nation. We’re very intense in our beliefs. We pray to our deity, and continuously hope to be kept safe. Most times, we have what I call “drive through” order for those in which we believe. We rely on them to protect us, protect our families, grant us our daily bread…in fact to make us overnight trillionaires and those we consider our “enemies”, poor.
However, many of us have not studied the origins of these religions. We follow what sounds convenient, we don’t question our spiritual leaders, we actually treat them like demi-gods. Curiosity and search for actual truth is sometimes met with retribution. Those who find a “contradiction” somewhere, are considered as evil. Those who have attended college and taken classes such as philosophy, geography and so on, which challenge our beliefs system, did almost everything in our power to avoid such classes. It made us cringe. Too scared to awaken our curiosity. Doubt is answered with fear. Logic is discouraged.
What exactly are you scared of? Modern day religion is very far from what is described in our various texts. We only practice our “faiths” in times of convenience and or dire need. We still do and feel hateful things towards people, we steal from family, stab close friends in the back, and are two-faced-backstabbing A-holes…
Okay! I’m just really curious here.
Look, if you aren’t following (whole heartedly) what your religion teaches, why start? Why pretend? Why waste precious time and countless lives? Yes, countless lives. Are people not being killed today in Nigeria because of these religious disagreements? Scratch your head with me for a second. I want to understand your thought process. If your deity can allow you to pretend to follow, what does that say? If it looks bad, why do you pretend? Do you really believe, or are you just following a habit that has been instilled in you because of fear? Will you hate me for asking these questions?
The Christian man believes he knows the only way. The Jewish man believes he is one of the chosen ones. The Muslim man believes everyone else (who’s not Muslim) is an infidel. Orisha worshipers believe in their deity (until someone else comes from another continent with their own decorated story). The Buddhist believes he’s found the light. All these various religions and it’s followers will provide you with “substantial evidence” that their faith has changed their lives in extraordinary ways. What makes yours special? Have you died, seen, and come back (with evidence) to show us what really is true? These are thoughts that have secretly run through your head too. Be honest.
Where am I going with this? I have studied, very intensely, the religion I was brought up in. It’s origin, the surrounding religions of it’s time, and the similarities between religions of those ages. I’ve watched it destroy people’s psyche, and I’ve watched it build others’ up. The deeper I delved, the more similarities I found. The story of how, China’s greatest teacher, Confucius’ father was concieved, has a very similar tone to what one very well known religion tells us of how it’s deity was also conceived (although the Confucius story is around 500 B.C.). The story of the poems written by Pharaoh Akhenaten (husband of queen Nefertiti) to his sun god, sounds very similar to “songs” written in a very well known text. And Akhenaten’s poemms were written many many years before these “songs” were written. Many of these religions stem from the same golden age stories; many of them want one thing. To make the world a better place. Not much difference at all. With texts written with human hands, we justify killing our neighbours. Heck, we torture ourselves and endure suffering. Pause for one second…if you really have respect for your deity, you owe it to them to be honest with yourself.
Learn to accept people for what they believe in and who they actually are. Follow, if you may, but follow with your eyes open. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Just know that anything that sounds forced and fearful may have a red flag. Why are we threatened with suffering if we choose otherwise? With how religious Nigeria is, where’s the change? Humans will always be humans. Religion or not. But please stop, stop, stop judging others. Let people follow what they have chosen. And you, allow what you have chosen change you for the better.
Make up your own conclusion…
I have had the burden to write something on real life issues for a long time but have not gotten the courage to, or should I say because I still had some very real issues to deal with. I finally decided to write about it because I have come to realize that it’s not just about me but about every other person that has and is still struggling with these real life issues.
You might want to know what I mean by real life issues, some of them include: drug abuse, masturbation, pornography, pre and extra marital sex, homosexuality, gossiping, backbiting, slandering, and stealing amongst others. You know a lot of people actually think that it is normal for you to live your life with such issues cos it can’t be helped and to be frank every other person is doing it so why not you?
Let’s start this by asking these questions: how real do you think you are? Do you have real issues? Do you think you can handle it yourself? Do you want to talk about them? Are you willing to fight for your life and let go of these issues? Do you know that you have a God who is real enough, that he is touched with your struggles and is willing to step into it if you allow him? If you did admit that you have issues, are you willing to stand up and say it out loud that you have such issues? Be warned, cos you might get ostracized, and have people that you call friends look down there noses at your “dirty act (s)”
We live in such a world where you are expected to act in a certain way (prim and proper) because of your family background, or talk in a certain way (holy and spiritual words) because you are the child of a pastor or a deacon, so you have to act as if you have it all together, mean while you struggle with your dark secretes and wallow in them cos you truly don’t think anyone will understand why you do the things that you do. But thank God for some of our pastors and parents that have been real enough to confess to the fact that they too have struggled with some of these issues and have been delivered from them, so we now know that the world is not filled with ANGELS but with real people that have real issues that needs to be confronted and dealt with.
A lot of the so called believers are still very afraid to admit that they have struggled with these real life issues and have been delivered from them, because some of them are deacons or prayer warriors and they hold very significant positions in church, and they don’t want the people they mentor to know that they have had such issues and wont want to be looked down on, meanwhile some of these people are actually looking for someone that will be real enough to identify with these issues cos they themselves are struggling and need your help to come through it not your spirituality, cos truly I need to know and understand that someone somewhere have indeed been delivered from what I am currently struggling with, cos that will give me the hope that there will be deliverance for me too, and you need to mentor me on how you were able to stay above board and not go under again cos I’m sure it was not easy.
So enough of our spirituality, its time we truly show and allow people see and understand where we have been, how we came out of it and how we are able to stand firm and not allow the enemy lie to us any longer. So will some real preachers please stand up and talk to us about some real issues? (Selah)
You know in the body of Christ, we have this make believe attitude that once you become born again, you automatically become holy and spiritual, everybody expects that the real issues you have been struggling with as an unbeliever will just evaporate because you confessed Christ as your lord and savior, they turn down their noses at you if you so much as mention the fact that you still have these issues, but hey I’m human and still will be even after receiving Christ and I know that is when the battle begins, from the bottom of your heart you truly want to live right but some how you are not finding it easy and now you need all the help you can get not some church folk who hasn’t been through nothing looking down on you as if you are the devil himself.
Can you please forget about anyone else for now and how spiritual and holy you are expected to be/act, come to think of it, we have allowed holiness and spirituality to overshadow our real selves (Issues) that is why we will keep struggling in every areas of our life and easily fall into sin simply because we refuse to acknowledge and deal with these real life issues, instead these issues start dealing with us by constantly putting us in a mess.
It is now time to break out of the box and stop acting the way people want you to act, start by being truthful to yourself, don’t allow the devil to fool you any longer by telling you that you can actually deal with these issues yourself, without help from God, that my dear is a fat lie from the pit of hell, you will get frustrated when you struggle to help yourself. Accept the fact that you have these issues, don’t be ashamed or embarrassed to talk about it, because everybody you see on earth has had such struggles even your pastors and bishops, some of them are actually still struggling with it, but they hide it very well cos they have a holy image to present to us, so don’t be fooled rather be wise.
Your healing process begins when you have identified these issues in your life and are willing to be free/delivered from them, at this stage you are very vulnerable because you are willing to be saved, so be careful who you open up to cos there are a lot of religious and sanctified backstabbers that will use it against you. Look for a pastor, a counselor or a friend that you know have had and dealt with real issues before to help you through it.
You don’t need to be told twice, make use of this opportunity cos you may never have another time to make it right, let go of every doubt you have and let God heal you and make you a new person, you don’t have to carry those excess baggage any more.