Friday, February 7, 2014

As a child

For quite some time, I have been reflecting a lot about children. I think children are some of the most amazing beings to be around; they are usually so forthright and innocent! In this line, I have for a while taken the liberty of observing children wherever I meet them. And I have compared my findings only to come up with a common conclusion that children are the same. They have so many undeniable similarities. After this inquisition, I best appreciated why Jesus related the Kingdom of God with children. Christians have a lot to learn from children; some of which I have highlighted here under:
  1. Adaptability to change: I find children notably flexible and adaptable to new realities. If you were to take a child (of whatever age) and place them in a new environment, they will end up learning so quickly. They make friends so easily and won't struggle fitting in. Everything they see fascinates them and they never withhold the marvel of their wonder. Christians are simply sojourners on this world being "in but not of the world". In order to fit in and make an impact, one needs to be able to appreciate their surrounding as well as the facts underlying the happenings. A true Christian is a relational Christian, one who doesn't keep to himself but is willing to spread their interactive wings into new air waves.
  2. Willingness to ask: When a child doesn't understand, they ask. If something new seems complicated, they simply inquire from those around who may know. In this, they are never left out in being part of the whole. A child will never want to miss out on relevant realities. If anything, they will do all they can to find a place of significance wherever they are. Similarly, Christians ought to be curious to find out why things are the way they are. The willingness to venture into why some people reject the faith, for example, is not so much as to make someone fall from the faith! It should be the norm that as a child, every Christian is at the ready to ask whatever doesn't make sense; so as to clear any doubts. The questions could be channeled to those who have been in the faith for quite some time or simply have some discussions with peers...
  3. Sheer dependence: Children are very dependent on their parents. A child doesn't rely on someone they don't know, no matter how close to the family they are. They instead, have a high regard for their parents; and whenever they need anything, they simply present their case to their mother or father. Christians ought to depend on their heavenly Father for everything. This takes a firm reliance and submission that comes with obedience and reverence. Whenever God is viewed as a Father, it becomes so easy to connect with Him and to fully trust Him.
  4. Firm faith and belief: It is interesting to listen to a child ask his parents every single question that they have. Amazingly enough, the child always thinks that the parent has an answer to every problem. I fondly remember those days when I was young and still in school. Every time we had some home work, I went direct to my parents regardless of the subjects. It never occurred to me at any point that my parent could possibly not be knowing what I asked. Whether social, financial, political, or spiritual issues, a child always believes that their parent knows it all! I think this is why most children have their parents as heroes... When this is related to our heavenly Father, the bars are raised much higher because God is all-knowing, all-able, and all-powerful! Thus, it should be clear for us that we can ask God for and about anything that we may need. Anytime, there is an issue, a believer should get down on his knees and take his concerns to the Lord for He has all the answers.
  5. Pride in their parents: This was the most fascinating fact I gathered. I noted that when two or more children are having an argument about whose parent is the best; every child usually wants to come out best by presenting very solid cases about their respective parents. It is not rare to see a "war" erupt among the children just because somebody was looking down upon another's parent. Now, this doesn't mean that someone is to become a psychophant, but there is the place of having pride in your Father. When you're proud of your Father in heaven, then you never shy away from sharing and talking about Him. There should be that unquenchable hunger to talk about how great and wonderful He is and has been to you! One never stops talking about their parents, when they are proud of them!
  6. Security and safety: Whenever a child is in the hands of his parent, he never worries about what he will eat or will wear. The child knows automatically that the parent will take care of everything. In fact, many times, they even never ask; these basic things are just expected to be availed. It is within the confines of the child's knowledge that the parent is well aware of their roles and responsibilities. I am at times amazed at how Christians usually get bothered so much by some very basic issues. You find someone so upbeat on how they look, how they are perceived, how and what they will say among other things. They tend to forget the kind and nature of the God they call Father. I never knew what this meant until I reflected on it; and I was struck at how amazingly true it is that Christians limit the doing and expanse of God Almighty! One should be secure and safe when in the bosom of God; looking for other things to present to Him and not to keep worrying of how things would turn out... :)
  7. Honesty and openness: Children (as far as I am concerned) are always very open with their parents. Whenever there is a matter that warrants a discussion, it is amazing how children know the fruits of being forthwith with their parents. They apparently understand what it means to be honest and state the truth to their parents. Most times, even if a child has badly messed up, being honest could salvage them from facing dire repercussions. I have also noted that most, if not all, parents really treasure honesty and transparency. This is similar with God. He says He can't despise a "contrite spirit and broken heart". He is not moved by emotions; instead by a steadfast heart just like that of king David after committing adultery with Bathsheba (Psalms 51). After all, He judges even the motives of man; so why even purport to lie or sway Him with our words!! It is very essential that man gets to be himself before God to simply lay forth the facts as they are.
In a nutshell, when you're a child you have the confidence of being with a parent who not only cares for you but also loves you above all things. And to have the assurance of a heavenly Father who loves, sustains and upholds His own is majestic enough!! So, why not go out there and become His true children; proudly remaining faithful to Him... :)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The power of family

Family forms the fabric of any society. This statement is profoundly true such that wherever someone is, it still holds. This sense is not just in humans but also among the animals, whether wild or tamed. For those animals that prey on others; they know how to hunt in packs (especially the lions). This apparently ensures that the predators are not harmed in their quest for food and/or survival. While those that are preyed upon, know how to graze in herds to aid each other. It is interesting that while they are together, they won't easily let go of each other. They always grapple and fight in one accord. Even the way they take care of their young ones is pretty spectacular! The mother animals don't allow anyone to tamper with their young ones; they will do the much they can to defend them. This gives the "children" a sense of security which adds to their trust in the "parents".

All these facts about the family, as depicted by the animals, apply to human beings. It is an amazing reality whenever the core of the family is enhanced by sticking together and closer by all means. It is in the family that someone feels they belong; this is where there is love and appreciation. A place where someone can express themselves without feeling that they are being judged or looked down upon. A place where there is equality and true sense of confidentiality. It is in a true family that one finds people who can listen and just listen some more. At times, there are those who simply offer a shoulder to lean on; whenever things and life's bustles and hustles get too intense.

In the light of the facts about the family, I believe it is one very paramount institution. It is actually a very critical place for anyone to belong; to participate in, to be shaped, to become somebody. It is in the family that someone gets to learn how to interact with people, whether of the opposite sex or the elderly, or the young. Some of the norms that we have had over time have been a result of varied efforts from family and friends who put aside every endeavor just to give the deserved attention to them.

Thus, the family predominantly remains the fountain of great lessons for a better society. The following indicate the power of the family:
  1.  The place of genuine love: It is in the family that every person can receive love genuinely. Here, most people don't have to work for approval and love. The parents will love you nonetheless. They will definitely provide for your needs and will be there for you when you need them. 
  2. The place of security: It is in the family that someone feels the sense of being safe. This doesn't just happen physically but also socially. In the family, one can interact freely and feel well connected. It is here, that the parents do their level best to protect their children. No one can interfere with a family member's welfare and the family doesn't respond!! That is why whether a child is a robber or not, they will always find solace in their family. 
  3. The place of belonging: It is in the family that someone gets to feel at home. This is the place where there is no judgment and someone gets what they duly deserve or even more... When there is belonging, one gets to participate fully. They don't have to prove any point. Instead, they simply work as part and parcel of the family. 
  4. The place of support: It is in the family that one gets to receive support in all facets of life. Whenever there is a problem, it is the family that someone runs to. Whether financially, emotionally, or even materially, one considers family the place they can freely go for help.

Monday, December 2, 2013

What if...

What if
I could just say what lies in my heart
Without any fear of contradiction or favor
To spill the very content thereon
To reveal the true color of devotion
To manifest the untapped ability
To unveil the hidden person underneath?

What if
I could jump over the hurdles
The very essence of difficulties
All that drags me down
The very nature of my shortcomings
All that has mudslang me
So as to remain authentic?

What if
I could sing the melody
That which has echoed in my bowels
And has coined me into being
That which has shaped my history
And given me a chance at growth
So as to taste the fruits of maturity?

What if
I could run away
To a far land, one without troubles
One in which everyone is at peace
And worries not about tomorrow
The very reality of a utopia
A world never easily found?

What if
I could stretch forth my hand
To have it touch the unwanted
The very dejects and household downlines
That typify our noble society
To have it spread love and care
The very virtues that refine humankind?

What if
I could speak out loud
The many words in my diction
Just to reveal my rich language
A language of understanding
The truth behind every happening
The knowledge of utmost utility?

What if
I could have an end
With a glaring admonition
One that profounds our minds
And outspurs our mortality
Into thougths of the future
Longing to discern what comes thereafter?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The hunger for love

Love is one universal language! That is a statement that I have heard being declared from various places of this world, whether in movies or in songs; whether directly to me, or indirectly. I have noted that it is difficult for anyone of us to resist the need to be loved and/or to love. Abraham Maslow in his hierarchy of human needs lists love as the third need that must be fulfilled. As such, every person has the desire to belong to someone or something; this could be a group or an organization. But the belonging is very crucial. And, indeed one of the places where someone can get this kind of love is in the family.

The family is the basic unit of a society. Family forms the basis for the shaping of the very pertinent facets of one's life. A child gets to become what his family has exposed him/her to. The values that we learn at home are inevitably what shape us. The best way that a child learns is by observing. It is not only in the many words that a father or mother will keep snarling at him/her; it is actually in what they can see for and by themselves. If the child senses that they are loved and appreciated, they will most likely blossom without much rebellion or trouble.

Whenever I look around me and I hear the reports on child abdication, social evils like rape, murder and armed violence, I keep asking myself "Why this?" And I think, the answer lies in the kind of upbringing most of these people have received. If they lacked in something, they will tend to extract it from without them. And that may mean going beyond the norms of even coercing others for their own benefit.

Sadly, some people could get so vengeful that they hurt as many people as possible including their own parents. Ross Kemp, a renowned journalist, outlines some of these issues in his enthusing investigative reports. He puts across lots of admissible data in his features. When you take a good look at his investigations on gangs in Belize, Brazil, Jamaica and even in the USA, one clear thing is that most of the instigators yearn for approval ( Apparently the young people in the gangs depict traits of a people who may have lacked a good sense of love from their parents and generally their entire family members. These realities result in abuse of drugs and extreme violence and crime. Research has shown that when a child lacks love in their upbringing they could resort to some "uncomely" behavior. In line with that, I came to learn, the hard way though, that no one is too strong not to break. Every person can be broken by the power of love.

Let's take for instance a suicide bomber! This kind of person is trained to keep allegiance to his clique. He is trained not to "betray" his own by giving any information. This level of allegiance is supported by the assurance they get on everything being taken care of, including their families. And, there is always the feeling that they have security and belonging to this group. With that, it is difficult to break their code. However, if some other person came along and threatened them by the use of their family as a bait, they would succumb. Thus, everybody can love and desires to protect this love.

Even the strongest break at the power of love. Love is so strong a force that no one can resist it. It can heal great wounds; it can salvage great brokenness; it can eliminate some levels of bitterness. Love can speak so profoundly beyond what any man can say or wish. It is why, I guess, Jesus said "...they shall know you are my disciples if you love another". And did you know that God is love? If what I am presupposing here doesn't make sense, then just look around you!! See how many people are suffering because of a heartbreak, see how many people are struggling with rejection, see how many people are decrying broken homes. All these issues, and many more, have their origin in love. If only love were genuine and true all throughout these families, then may be this world we live in could have ended up a better place.