From ‘Femi Boyede, Ontario, Canada
At one of our monthly men’s fellowship breakfast meeting in Summerside Community Church, London Ontario, JM narrated a very interesting story. I wept inside me, as the story holds so true of my natal country, Nigeria. Sad as it is, I feel compelled to share it here in the hope Nigerians will learn and act. Here goes.
A Christian faithful found himself in heavy danger of a flood, one akin to the rains in the time of Noah. As the rains came down heavily and the waters rose, he decided to climb onto the roof of his house in the hope that the rain would soon abate. Alas, the opposite happened as,rather than abate, the rain increased and the water level continued to rise. By the time the water was swallowing the windows of his house, a neighbor came by in his canoe, invited our friend to come in him so they could paddle to a safer place. Counting on his faith, our friend refused the offer and assured the offeror “thanks brother, but I do not need your canoe. My God will deliver me.”
Not long after, another neighbor who had a boat stopped by and invited our friend to come down so they could sail to dry land. Again, our brother refused the offer insisting that God would help him. In another hour, the water had covered the roof and was already at our friends knee-level. The community rescue team dispatched a helicopter and the pilot dropped a rope for our friend to grab and be flown to safety… You guessed right! He refused again, insisting he had absolute faith in God to deliver him.
The chopper left. The water intensified. Our friend drowned.
This is what I imagine may happen when he arrives the much talked about pearly gate: Faithful brother, now ensconced at the bosom of Abraham awaiting Judgment Day asks Father Abraham why Heaven abandoned him to drown
Abraham responds: “Heaven has never failed to answer the prayer of anyone who believes. That is why It sent, first a canoe, then a boat and finally a helicopter. You refused them all. Were you expecting Heaven to come down and personally grab you by the hands?”
In the face of hunger and abject poverty, Nigerians pray without any action. Under draconian, wicked, uncaring, clueless leaderships, Nigerians pray. They congregate in their millions and pray everyday. But God had answered long ago. If a forensic investigation of national resource endowment were carried out across the globe today, Nigeria would certainly be in the top five of richest countries in the world. But, rather than pray and work hard, they simply pray and go to sleep.
With brimming thousands of active, capable and caring youth, endowed with excellent leadership skills, abilities and qualities to restore the country to the path of glory, Nigerians vote for ineptitude and then go back to pray, when the inevitable hardship is unleashed on them. In situations that are man-made and injuries, injustice and failures that are self-inflicted, Nigerians pray. Their faith in God is stronger than what obtains in the countries from whence came Christianity and Islam. Which in itself is good, but adds up to nothing when no work is done physically to back The spiritual action. I am sure that millions are presently trying to pray away the elections that were postponed last Saturday.
When will Nigerians realize that their destinies are theirs to design, moderate and implement? When will Nigerians realize and rather than continue to pray amiss, begin to thank God for prayers that have been answered beforehand? And simply, boldly, courageously and determinedly, take back their destinies and their country from the handful of the Shylock few bent on mortgaging their future?
It’s time to decide, reverse and restrategise, that tomorrow may be good.
▪ Boyede, (CITP|FIBP), writes from Ontario, Canada.