Tuesday 7: 00pm
“I can handle it!”
That was what Tobi, my younger sister told me as we proceeded down the stairs that dark night.
This wasn’t the first time she was doing something like that. It seemed like after she clocked 10 years, she just didn’t want anyone to treat her like a kid anymore. We had walked a couple of steps down the stairs of Mrs. Quadri’s house when she pulled out her hand and decided she was going to figure out her way down the stairs. IKEDC (Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company) had unfortunately decided not to provide electricity at Broad Crescent, Lagos that night so the stairway was really dark! The privatisation of the electricity sector didn’t really go down well with me. Why? I still flow perfectly pronouncing NEPA rather than the tongue-twister-name they gave to us. Think of it, shouting UP NEPA!!! when electricity supply is restored sounds like so much fun. Who would want to go through the stress of shouting UP IKEDC! *shrugs.
We hadn’t gone halfway down the stairs when I heard someone slip down a few steps. Whoever knows me quite well knows the next thing I would do would be to laugh. Not that I love to laugh when people are in pain but I think God created me with excess laughing gland so it’s very easy for me to fall into the state of laughter. I remember one occasion when groundnut oil splashed on my aunt’s hand and before I could say “sorry ma”, I had burst into laughter. The rest is history now!
Tobi groaned in pain for a while after which I caught up with her a couple of steps away, cleaned, consoled and raised her from the ground while still dropping my irregular bouts of laughter. We still had a couple of steps before we were out of the house and this time, I didn’t have to suggest it to her before she stretched her hand for me to hold. I really wanted to laugh some more and make jest of her but then, I couldn’t. I felt a connection deep within me. Unlike her normal self, she didn’t refer to her fall as we talked more about getting home on time. I looked at our interlocked hands occasionally, her feeble hand rested in mine freely. I honestly felt like a father (and there are just few times in my life that I feel this way), I was proud of the fact that she was fully trusting in my security! She would wait until I took a step before she took hers and we talked all the way until we were out of the building. Thanks to moonlight, it was much brighter outside.
You know what? I really couldn’t make jest of Tobi after that moment because I had been like her so many times.
I didn’t like the idea of fully trusting. Maybe it’s just the male gene or the creative tendencies in me but it felt weird!
I have been faced with a couple of dark – stairs situations in my life where I called the shots, dammed the consequences and told God I could handle it and you know what, I fell. I fell hard, much harder than Tobi and instead of letting God hold my hand while I learnt my lessons, I would still go on in the darkness on my own. Still, I would fall, fall and fall again yet I wanted to figure it out by myself. Maybe I felt it would make my triumph story more beautiful! How wrong I was!
You know what? I got worn out!
Tired of thinking I’ve figured it out and then falling flat, tired of putting high expectations on myself and feeling depressed when I don’t reach them.
I made a fantastic discovery lately. When Jesus said in
“Come unto me, all ye that labour
and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. KJV”
Yeah, maybe He was talking about salvation! But you know after reading the Message version, I began to think beyond salvation.
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion?
Come to me. Get away with me and
you’ll recover your life.
Now that sounds cool right? So, I believe He was also saying. Are you not tired of working so hard with the 17 ways to make your life sweet book? Are you not tired of following rules upon rules upon rules? Are you not tired of resting on your accomplishments in ministry when there could be more? Aren’t you tired of not talking to me because you fell into sin? Aren’t you tired of your pity party because you fall and just keep falling? Just give me your hand and we can get together again.
This could have been what Paul was trying to convey to the Galatians that earned them the name “Foolish Galatians”
Galatians 3: 1-3
You crazy Galatians! Did someone put a hex on you?
Have you taken leave of your senses? Something crazy has happened, for its obvious that you no longer have the crucified Jesus in clear focus in your lives. His sacrifice on the cross was certainly set before you clearly enough! Let me put this question to you: How did your new life begin? Was it by working your heads off to please God? Or was it by responding to Gods message to you? Are you going to continue this craziness?
For only crazy people would think they could complete by their own efforts what was begun by God. If you weren’t smart enough or strong enough to begin it, how do you suppose you could perfect it
Maybe your darkness wasn’t like mine but whatever it is; Addiction, Sickness, Failure, Depression, or even Career, please decide to TRUST.
Let Him hold your hand and not the other way round. That way, you can’t let him down because you weren’t holding him.
He is holding you!