If we who believe ourselves to be children of God, cannot find the grace, to positively affect the lives that we have been blessed with the capacity to touch and to bless, of what use are we?
I have your attention with the title, and I will endeavor to make this morning’s sermon brief. I have endured similar proclamations from pastors in love with the sound of their own voices for a long part of my life: from the Kerubu ati Serafu Wolis, that would freestyle their heady mixture of prophetic offerings, native wits, and moralistic admonitions, to the American slanging evangelicals that pay scant attention to the passage of time.
Welcome to my pulpit, but this is one message that I am committed to making brief. I shall be presuming the capacity to reason to my readers, and will seek to be less tempted to enjoy the sound of my own voice, or in this case, I shall resist the temptation, to range beyond my intended scope. The question is what role are you playing, in this beautiful life that we have been given? Are you playing god? Or are you playing dog? You gotta play at least one, if you must live productively in Nigeria.
In the early days of my marriage, my wife was wont to exclaim in exasperation, and perhaps, a touch of tiredness: why are you playing God? This is a common question that I have been asked for the better part of my adult life. The question is often prompted by what my loved ones would consider to be my readiness to get involved in seeking solutions to every single problem that is brought to my knowledge. The question almost always comes out of concern for how I would appear to be overextending myself in the effort to help the afflicted, and my answer has remained the same over the years. We are all God.
Man, is God, unto man. Psalm 82:6 lays out the godness of man in God. If we who believe ourselves to be children of God, cannot find the grace, to positively affect the lives that we have been blessed with the capacity to touch and to bless, of what use are we? God will not come to the earth to do for us, what He has blessed us to do for ourselves, and it is mostly up to us, to be His earthly vessels, and to bring Him alive by our dealings with each other. Please play God always, become a channel for His mercies to flow to his creations.
The dog? Whilst men slumber, the faithful dog watches. As men snores, the dog keeps its watch. When danger is afoot, the dog barks, it yelps, it does all, to draw attention to the dangers it sees. There are times when the dangers are unseen by the human eyes, and unheard, by the human ears, even imperceptible to the human senses. The dog is the sentinel, the praetorian guardian of the human abode. How does the human being play the dog you have wondered?
When you are alive to the world around you, when you are cursed with the capacity to see what others are oblivious to, when you have the ability to see the patterns inherent in every human endeavor, when you have become one with the totality of the spirit of God in you, you see what others do not see, and you simultaneously develop an inability to be conformed to the madness of your immediate environment. The reactions or responses that are provoked by what you cannot keep quiet about, but which the society has normalized, are not unlike the barks of a dog.
The gods and the dogs are not the only inhabitants of the land that devours its inhabitants, but neither are the victims of the ravenous predators that rules the land, even though they might occasionally become the collateral victims on account of their empathy for the true victims. The victims are the ones to whom things happen, and are neither dogs , nor gods: to which class, do you belong: the gods, the dogs, or the several cackling species of preys?
What are you?
First published on 7 January, 2020.