It is good to be a Christian!
It is good to be a Christian especially when certain human characters and drivers on the streets of Lagos (a busy city in Nigeria) constantly tempt you to lose your salvation with their driving style.
“Foolish man”, “mad man” and other similar phrases have escaped my mouth several times (even when I’m not the one at the wheel) before I realized I had ‘kinda’ sinned. No, not ‘kinda’, I did sin. Anything non-edifying that comes from your lips is a sin, and I hope you do repent on the spot like I try to do.
Okay, let’s try the WWJD style in this matter. Imagine Jesus going about his mission, driving on the streets of Lagos. If an Okada-man (commercial motorcyclist) unexpectedly cut a sharp corner right in front of him, in a blatant breach of the Highway Code, what do you think he would do?
In fact, what is your definition of Christian driving? (I really want to know)
That is not the gist for the day though.
I attended this wedding on a not-too-far-away-Saturday, and my friend, Josephine* (not real name) did the driving. Luckily for the busy commuters, my friend was a gentle driver who allowed rats, ants and even worms get in front of her on her lane. I am glad she may not read this post, and if she does, urm you guys would defend me right, as payment for enjoying the read?
The first time she closed a gap when another motorist tried to take advantage of the spot, I remember turning to her in shock and saying, “so you can do that?” She just smiled. Apparently, my friend, Josephine, had acquired a massive dose of patience in life during the time we’ve been apart since our undergraduate days. Another incident confirmed this new character to me and I will tell you why very soon.
We arrived the wedding reception, and tried to find a place to sit. The first space I found, I indicated with a point of my finger to my friend. Amidst our struggle to squeeze through the tables and chairs to get to our destination, another girl hurried over there from an advantaged angle and quickly dropped her bag on one of the chairs. She then planted a huge scowl on her face, as if daring us to ask her to take her bag off. I shook my head – “you cannot lead me to sin, because if I open my mouth…hmm, if not for the God in me” I muttered inwardly.
Josephine stood calmly, smiling as usual, while she joined me in scanning the hall for any other available space that would grant us a vantage view of the high table, where the bride and groom would finally sit. I quickly spotted another zone, only that this time I didn’t point (wisdom is profitable to direct). I simply described the location into Josephine’s ear and we began our Israelite’s journey to the other end of the hall, where we joined a man and a lady at a table.
This is where the story begins.
Before I proceed, let me mention that I am amazed at some people’s reaction to food at weddings. The drama always has me in fits of laughter, especially when I am not involved at all. I eat well before I leave my house for any event (my mother taught me), such that, if I am not served refreshments, I just shrug – at worst, I’ll go to an eatery and gobble down my heart’s content with my hard-earned cash.
This time though, the drama happened at our table. A woman brought a tray full of plates of rice to our table. She began serving from the extreme left and this man was located at the extreme right. Therefore, between the plates of rice and this man, were 4 ladies; another friend of mine, Elohor (who joined us later), me, Josephine, the lady he came with and then, The Man.
Just as courtesy demands, Elohor gets the plate of food, passes it to me, I pass it to Josephine who decides to by-pass the girl and give the man instead. You need to see the way the man elbowed the plate in disgust saying “I want semo”. No amount of flowery writing can adequately capture that scene for you. Josephine was so irritated that she refused to eat the food herself, so Elohor did the honours out of a good heart. Suffice to say, my insides were already boiling gradually like an electric kettle that was about to snap “done!!”
You would think that would be the end of the matter. By the time the food tray returned and I passed Josephine her well-deserved plate of rice for her patience, this man snatched it from her. He inaudibly muttered something about finally deciding to eat rice. Are you in shock yet? I was dumbfounded.
In a nutshell, we all ate and tried to have a good time. To my horror, Josephine started chatting heartily with this man and his mate as if nothing had happened, and I instantly caught a big Christian lesson there. That is what Jesus would have done really – I imagined when He dined with the tax collectors and all. One can’t expect everyone to act like a Christian and put others first – and where they don’t, don’t judge them. They are simply acting within the ambit of the knowledge they posses. You should show love.
I never mentioned this to Josephine, but I saw Christian living in action. My flesh wanted to shun this man (and even his innocent mate), just to make my displeasure obvious. But of course, when my friend was having laughs with them, why would I be the spoilt brat. This man (with the same aggressive attitude) secured Malt drinks for my friends and I (and an extra bottle). I saw the ‘butler’ strolling away in contempt and I laughed.
Morale of my story:
Christianity is not only when you go to church and worship. Your lifestyle is actually the best form of worship to God. You don’t always have to be a fool, but if you have to be a fool to depict the Jesus in you, do not hesitate. After all, our Master told us that we would be persecuted for his namesake. Jesus could have saved himself from the cross when he was crucified, but he chose to play the fool for the eternal gain – which was to save our souls.
People will always tempt you. They will say things to taunt you and do things to hurt you. But remember to be wise as a serpent and gentle as a dove. With the way my friend, Josephine handled the matter, I am very sure she would have had no qualms leading that guy to Christ. Her character had already done the bulk of the work, which was to minister to him in love.
This is Gospel Metropolitan