WE live in a world of networks. Facebook, Twitter, Myspace you-tube g mail yahoo, the list is endless. But who is in your network? What is your network? Take FB for instance, you add someone as friend but how much of a friend is s/he? I have people in my FB list of friends who would walk past me on the streets and vice versa. A little over a year ago, I was at the Lagos airport waiting to catch a flight to Uyo and someone walked past me who was my “friend” on Facebook I stopped this person and introduced myself and we chatted for about ten seconds and we parted. So much for my “friend”.
You need to do “network” analysis and identify who is who and for what purpose. There’s your spiritual, social, family and business networks. Some people are in your life just to make you laugh; some are there to pray for you and watch over your spiritual welfare; some just want to peep and see if you are still breathing(LOL!). Some just love you in their hearts and silently wish you well. Some are there because, well, they are family and real life friends. Whatever the reason, analyse your network and don’t mistake one group for the other. I have friends in my online network that I will never see face-face, at least not on this side of Heaven (in fact, there are some I may not see on the other side of Heaven); then there are some that would gladly donate a body part if I needed one-thankfully I don’t so I don’t have to put their love to the test!
The whole point is to be careful, enjoy your networks and use them appropriately; banana and pepper-soup don’t go together even though both are good for you. Know what to share with each group, sometimes, people would move from one group to the other based on circumstances, enjoy it, and know who goes where. I met someone on FB sometime ago who is a relative of a friend, s/he advertised an event and I attended. The person was very pleased and now I have gained an offline friend from an online interaction but I would not do that with everyone…to be continued
The Doctor saw me that Saturday and while he did not look very worried, he did insist that I visit the big Government facility for a critical test they did not have the equipment to carry out. So on this bright Monday morning I find myself in the Government hospital in a sea of humanity.
From the swirling crowd, I wondered how many people were left in the city who were not ill or in need of medical attention. To my immediate left was an obviously new mother with a baby who could not have been more than a few days old. The baby was crying pityingly and the mother hunched over as she tried to give suck without exposing herself completely. She winced in pain as the infant grabbed at her and my suspicion was confirmed that she was a new mother. I was tempted to give her a few lessons on the proper way to position herself and the infant for a less painful and more effective feeding time but I thought better of it. I had my own issues and didn’t feel up to talking to anyone. There were so many people; I tried to make polite inquiries and was directed to the payment section. First you have to pay for a folder, and then go to a separate place for the folder. There were too many people and I was seriously tempted to junk the whole process and go home. I knew my hubby would not let me hear the last of it if I did that and besides, I was here already, was I not? With one more person to go before it got to my turn, a fat, official-looking lady bustled her way to the front and started exchanging pleasantries in vernacular with the clerk. She had a man in tow and I knew they were jumping the queue. I sighed wearily! Why do we find it so difficult to wait patiently for services in this Nigeria? Everywhere one goes, there’s someone who knows someone who knows someone who…..We never want to wait for our turn and it beats me why.
Finally fees paid and long queues scaled, I find my way to the consulting rooms and my heart almost broke! There were more people waiting to see the Doctors than I had imagined. Every available space was taken up by men women and children. Short, Tall, Fat, Skinny, all shades of colour and all ethnic groups. Some had come with family members, some were obviously pregnant, some were old and there were a few children. An unhealthy representation of humanity. Here was misery in all its sickly ugliness and I wished there was something I could do about it. For the moment, I forgot my own issues; in fact, I could no longer feel the pain that had plagued me all week and had landed me in this abode of misery. I just wanted everyone else to be well and able to get up and go. Then I started to think of the One whose thought is never far from me these days. I thought of Jesus Christ my Saviour and what He would do if He were the one here? Then I realized that He had given me the same power that He had for healing the sick. So why was I staring helplessly at the the sick and infirm? Why could I not just go to each person and lay my hands and heal them? Why did I feel this sense of helplessness and inability? Why oh why could I not do anything? I was moved with compassion but that was all! And I can’t help but wonder why I’m not more like my Master; is it my sin or my unbelief or failure to exercise faith? or just plain cowardice? Could it be that at the back of my mind was a niggling fear of what the people would do or say to me if I started praying for them? I don’t really know, but I think that maybe, I do not love them enough. My Master loved so much, He was willing to lay down His life. His total agenda was the salvation of people. What is my own agenda?
I fear the answer!
There’s a notion sometimes that gives the impression that women are inferior in the sight of God. Nowhere is this further from the truth than in the Bible. God is just, regardless of gender. He is no respecter of persons.
Nowhere is this better illustrated than in the story about the daughters of Zelophehad; the daughters of Zelophehad knew what they wanted; in a culture that did not appear to give much regard to women, they were bold and fearless. They took their matter straight to the highest authority in the land-Moses. Moses was like the President; he was ruler of the nascent nation , after him was YAHWEH God Almighty, the unseen one. they went to Moses to state their case; they refused to rely on assumptions and hear-says They refused to be intimidated by their male counterparts. They stood before the highest governing authority and presented their case, and got victory, not only for themselves but for generations of women and families down the line. They brought about a change; a proper interpretation and implementation of the law.
When we face issues in our lives, before we give in and accept the status quo, we should consider pushing in the right direction for what we want; we should learn to take our issues to the right authority. Things are not always what they appear to be. SELAH!
Imagine with me for a moment that you were Moses; brought up in the palace to experience the very best, attempts to rescue people from their enemies and probably expects a pat on the back. Instead he gets a condemnation and is forced into “hard” exile. Imagine a Prince tending sheep in the wilderness. Imagine a lord becoming a servant. Fast forward forty years and he is sent back to the very people who had caused him to go into exile. He becomes their leader and takes them out of bondage, but are they grateful? Yes, for a short while; and then the complaints begin. From one thing to another, nothing ever seemed good enough, they frustrated Moses to no end. He stood in the gap, he prayed for them, led them and gave his all, yet they complained at every turn and finally, he yielded to frustration and disobeyed GOD!
Then he lost the prize, he would not see the promised land, after all the years of enduring every type of suffering for the sake of these people, a moment of anger cost him the reward. I cannot imagine what he must have felt when God made that pronouncement but I doubt that he was happy. It’s a mark of his humility that he accepted the decision without any protest but I grieve for him and people like him. Followers can frustrate a leader to anger but we must be careful not to disobey God and lose sight of our purpose. Followers are generally selfish and fickle and only the wise leader can manage recalcitrant followers without losing out. Be they children, employees, church members or other followers, whenever you feel frustrated and ready to give up, remember there’s a promised land just around the corner. Don’t give up, look up, don’t yield to anger, refocus. Whatever you do, remember Moses. Selah
Okay, so the catholic church has elected, appointed or anointed a new Pope. What does this mean for the rest of us non-Catholics? On the surface, not much I guess; but he is the head of the largest body of Christians on Earth and that should count for something, shouldn’t it? I mean what if the new Pope becomes born again and begins to preach baptism of the Holy Spirit? What if he spoke in tongues? ( I don’t mean Latin tongues). What if he begins to practice the entire new testament? Imagine with me for a moment if he lifts the ban on celibacy for priests. What if he were to declare that there is no other name given under heaven whereby men may be saved except the name of Jesus? What if? what if? what if?
I know, I’m a writer and my imagination often gets the better of me but didn’t Jesus say that “with God all things are possible?” Didn’t the Bible say “….exceedingly, abundantly, above all I can imagine…..?”
The Pope has asked for prayer and I’m going to pray for him, that he will be filled with the knowledge of God’s will, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. That he would walk worthy of the Lord and be fully pleasing to Him….” I will pray, yes, I will pray
THE RAILWAY CROSSING
by ELSIE. O. DENNIS
She hurriedly rolled away her mat and rushed to the big water pot. The cup hit the bottom of near emptiness. She sighed in frustration. She had instructed her younger daughter to fill the pot from the village stream yesterday and she had been so tired after dinner that she had gone to bed without checking if her instructions had been carried out. Obviously they had not and this would mean at least five trips to the stream before sunrise. She sighed again as she unlatched the door and stooped low to step out into the biting cold of the early morning. She washed the residue of sleep from her face and pushed her fingers across her teeth and rinsed her mouth vigorously and spat far into the distance. She poured more water into her mouth and gargled before again spitting it out.
“Good morning Mama na!”, her young neighbour called out in greeting as she turned back to her hut. “good morning, my dear! I didn’t notice you in the dark, did you sleep well?”
“Yes I did Mama na, I hope you did too?” please will you be going to the stream this morning?”
“I’m just about to do so, let me get my water pot and join you”
“Thank you Mama na”
She smiled to herself as she bent down to pick the smaller pot used for fetching water from the stream. She knew the young lady was too scared to make the kilometre trek to the stream in the dark. But who could blame her? The footpath was quite narrow and bushy on both sides with the occasional menacing shape of a tree along the winding path. She was a young bride from another village and she was not yet used to the ways of her new home. Mama na chose to ignore her still sleeping daughters and finish up her early morning chores by herself.
Two hours later she was ready to go. She looked up anxiously at the sun which was slowly making its way up from behind the trees close to her house. She gingerly balanced the basket of dankwa on her head, took the outstretched bucket of groundnuts from her older daughter with her right hand and collected the low stool and raffia tray from her younger daughter with the other hand. She hardly ever got the chance to sit down but she took the stool anyway. She made her way quickly but surely to her destination, her marketplace, her sure source of livelihood, the place that made it possible for her daughters to attend the school three villages away where they would learn how to be better than her; she hurried there, because soon the vehicles will come and they would slowly grind to a near halt and the hungry passengers would start buying. If she got there early enough she could finish her wares before noon and still have enough time on the farm before coming home to prepare the family’s evening meal.
Soon her destination came into view and she could see her fellow traders gathering. Some idle men were beginning to loiter as they always did; they had no real business there nor anywhere else for that matter but they liked to hang around wherever there was promise of action. And there was plenty of action here, all the latest news, the stories from far away, the beautiful people in the cars and buses passing by. The strange looking women and prosperous looking men all passed through here. This was where it all happened every day. It was the centre of all commercial activity and the harbinger of all news, good or bad. It was the railway crossing
Dedicated to all hardworking village women across Africa on International Women’s day 2013