A journey through my thoughts…

Nelson is really cute. His eyeballs are so transparent; they mirror the sincerity of his heart. His nasals fit so perfectly; you can never imagine him with anything better. His gaze, is something the time waits to experience. I must confess, I like to be seen with him. I tell my friends how I prepare his meals, play around with him et al. One thing I sure don’t tell them is how scared I am of Nelson, and that’s because Nelson is our big, fierce Alsatian dog, and, I DON’T like dogs! However,  you really should see the pictures we take together,where we strike the cute owner-pet pose. And trust me when I say, ‘we look good together’….

…. It actually took me years to realise that pretense is a really big part of the human nature! It’s simple, we live in a world where men pretend not to be afraid, where  ladies pretend not to like swallows, parents pretend to know all and even children pretend to be asleep to avoid chores. It is perfectly NORMAL, yet perfectly UNSPIRITUAL
     ‘Be not conformed to the world, but be ye transformed by the renewal of your minds...’(Rom 12:1). This verse makes evident how obviously different Christians are meant to be in our morally decadent world. The question is, are we?...
       My heart broke as I prepared for church oneSaturday evening. I tried on my new imported gown over and over again as I imagined how jealously people would stare and wish they were in my posh heels on Sunday. When I got out of the euphoria of being at the centre ‘stage’, IN CHURCH, that was when my heart broke. I was so disappointed in myself, ashamed of my thoughts, and underwhelmed by my priorities…Maybe I wasn’t so different after all….
      Nominal Christianity is the underground watch word for most ‘christian’ youths in the 21st century. Our churches have then been transformed into platforms to SHOWCASE our new dresses and fashion tips. Our mothers should be of help shouldn’t they? They are our ‘mothers in the Lord’, aren’t they? Of course, they have been of tremendous help in rubbing in our misdeeds. They even make sound like they actually expect it at times. They don’t know, but we actually notice as their eyes run over us to stop at our skirt and gown lengths, and then back to our faces (I mean to the very hidden corners) in search of any infinitesimal sign of makeup. Eventually when they find what they want to see, obviously, they shake their heads and remind us of how Christianity used to mean chastity and purity in their days. We see the lack of trust and disbelief bold and scrutable on their faces as they look at us. Yes, we get hurt and disappointed in ourselves but more disappointed in them! And that’s when we determine in our hearts, never to change, to stay more than ever as who they want to see. That way at least, no one would be disappointed.
       Need we be reminded that Jesus says, ‘come unto me all ye that are burdened and ladened, and i will give you rest’. Church should be welcoming, we should be a channel of rest and comfort. We should at times wonder what Christ would have done if He lived in our days. We are meant to make people comfortable and accepted in our midst. Even when we know they have gone astray, by love we  can bring them back. God confirmed it when He said ‘he that doesn’t love doesn’t know me’. Our father is a love being. Aren’t we supposed to take after him by exhibiting love in every little way we can? In case we have forgotten, the author and finisher of our faith while He yet lived in the flesh, became friends with a common and loose girl, subsequently allowed her anoint His feet and would not let her sister, Martha, take her out for chores… he said to those who were ready to judge the adulterous woman, ‘let he that is without sin cast the first stone!’… To those that are consumed by the occupation of proving that they are better than the others, and to those that are keen on rubbing in the fact that their children have been to school and still have not pierced their ears, I have a word for you, ‘let he that is without sin cast the first stone’. If we succeed in our project to get the thieves, liars and the promiscuous out of the church, who then would our message be for? Surprisingly, many of us do not even preach Christ outside the four walls of our ‘sanctified tabernacles of worship’. If then they do not come to church, how shall they hear of the FAITH for faith comes by hearing… Christianity is established in the love of Christ, not in the show of self righteousness.
       I don’t know if you’ll agree with me, but I strongly believe that not many of us that come to church, seemingly intent on worshiping God are actually true worshipers. John 4:23, ‘But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in SPIRIT and in TRUTH. An instrumentalist once told me I needed to start singing songs that would make people dance in church, the songs in vogue, the songs the congregation wants to hear! At this juncture, it dawned on me that a lot of congregations, ministers – the so called WORSHIPERS, have turned the attention in worship from God to the congregation, or worse still, themselves. Is an amateur guitarist or a cacophonous sequence in music meant to hinder our worship to God? Need i remind us that true worshipers would worship God regardless of what their ears-flesh hear, cos they worship him  in the spirit!
       I discovered sometime ago that a lot of people struggle in worship because they worship in PRETENSE. They can come to church and sing kumbaya and shout halleluyah when their lives indeed do not speak anything of worship. And that is why such people would always need lubricants-good music, a perfect environment to be able to ‘feel’ the spirit and ‘feel’ like worshiping in songs or words. Allow me to correct a notion, that worship is equated to slow songs. Actual worship is equated to our lives. A sacrificial life that is given to pleasing God – that is worship! Its the overall essence and substance of our lives as Christians. It’s our faithfulness to our FAITH! A sincere worshiper says, ‘Jesus I love you’ and means every breadth that aided those words.
      Finally, someone once told me that the most difficult person to wake is the one that pretends to be asleep. As long as we are still ready to shift and point blames at others, as long as we are still not ready to take responsibility for our actions, as long as we are still pretending to be asleep to our faults and mistakes, the harder it will remain for the church – you and I, to grow. Dear reader, thank you for allowing me take you through the journey of my mind, and for your sakes I promise to make known that Nelson and I are not good friends after all.
                                                                                                                   Yours in partnership
 Written by: Feyi Soetan

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