Fathers’ Day: Where is the Noun?

Few months to my Junior WAEC exams, I lost my phone in a public bus. I remember vividly the drama and scene I caused that day in the middle of the road as I made sure the whole bus was searched, I didn’t find my phone. I laid in the middle of the road begging for cars to crush me, no one paid attention, no one even came to drag me away from the road, even the motorists I had delayed did not honk their horn. I was chaotic and dramatic for four reasons;

The first being that having a phone then was a big deal. This was a period when GSM phones were still getting into Nigeria and were expensive, that I had one was a big deal. I had gotten used to the phone and the status it gave me, coupled with the fact that my phone number was special; it contained just three digits, was easy to memorise and recite. 

The second reason was that I had lost my only mean of communication with my mother. Then I used to live alone as my mother was faraway, she was in a place where there was no network so daily she made a short trip to a place where she could make calls and always called in the evening. It had become a ritual to always expect her call every evening. With my phone gone, there was no way to reach her and vice versa. I imagine the trauma she would have gone through when she didn’t get across to her baby boy that day.

The third reason was because I was also terrified of the punishment I was going to get from my mother. She regularly warned me not to take the phone out unless I needed to, she had threatened fire and brimstone on one particular day when I went out with the phone and narrated how it almost got lost. At that juncture, I wasn’t really thinking about my lost phone, I was more concerned with what my mother was going to do to me.

The fourth reason was that I had become so immersed in Nollywood that I was adrift of reality. I had felt that amidst all my drama, a good Samaritan was going to console me and buy me a new phone. I didn’t think anyone would see a barely twelve years old boy in such disarray and turn a blind eye. Guys, I was disappointed that day, in fact, I had sighted a man in a Mercedes and went to his door to cry, he quickly wound up his glass.

When my mom finally heard that I had lost my phone, to my surprise, she was not mad at me. She was more concerned with how her baby boy was going to cope because she knew how attached I had gotten to my phone (and all the wonders I did with it). Later on, she said she contemplated sending her own phone down for me to use since there was barely network where she was for her to use hers. You know, she actually bought a phone for me when she was coming back.

But this article is not about my phone or my mom. This article is about the aftermath of my phone story. I want to talk about the man who really became a pillar for me during my transition into adolescence. The day I lost my phone, I went to his office after all the shenanigans and cried. I told him about my phone and he told me not to worry. He told me to go home and relax, told me to concentrate on my upcoming exams instead. He was the one who broke the news to my mom. The next day, he was knocking on my door with a brand-new phone and a new sim card. No kidding! Like the very next day.

You see, I had little interaction or experience with my own biological father. He left when I was six or thereabout so I didn’t really know what fathers were supposed to do for sons other than what my mother did for me. But this man made sure I never had to worry too much about it. He bought me books regularly. When he saw my prowess with a computer, he quickly bought me computer books to read and hone my skills. Whenever he saw something beaming in me, he quickly bought me books. I owe my affinity for books to him and my mother. What did he not do for me? I always looked forward to seeing him or going to his office because there was always a gift waiting for me. He’d take me round his office then and tell everyone I was his son, you needed to see the confidence on my face.

The phone incident was one of numerous instances when he was there at my aid. Oh, and there was also a period when I hadn’t paid my school fees and I was sent home, I just went to his office from school, that same day he gave me the money and told me to go pay my school fees. I can’t even start, or was it the time when someone was harassing me and he called his Police friend and they brought their Police vans to make a statement. With him I always felt secured, I did whatever I wanted to do because I knew people had my back. 

I didn’t understand it then but I now know what that face on my mom’s face meant. I know she must have been relieved to see her son happy and have a father figure to always run to. I was too young to even understand it, like this man had a family compete with three children. But he introduced me to everyone in his family. They all knew my name. he always called me “my friend”, till today he calls me friend.

Today is Father’s Day and I want to say thank you. Thank you for filling that void, you are a grandfather now so you’re not lacking adulations and I know your children and grandchildren are the luckiest set of people in this world. Thank you for all those years when you stood by my side and held my hand. You make the word Father more than just a mere noun to me.

Your Friend,

Miracle Roch.

Dear Future Wife

Baybee,

The mere thought of you makes me smile as I write this.

Nothing would give me greater joy than to become a husband you are extremely proud of, one who is not only your lover but your best friend. I can’t wait to see us crack dry jokes and laugh our ass off as we raise our beautiful kids and train them in the way of the Lord.

Baby I can’t wait to have you in my arms, I know the feeling is mutual but if we must have a lifetime to do this, then we have to be patient. A little time sacrificed now in return for forever looks like a good deal. I am writing to keep tabs on you and be sure you are gearing up for us. I am not in a hurry, you shouldn’t be either.

Baby ain’t nothing better than both of us living out God’s purpose on earth for us, you know that’s the best thing ever. I hope you are growing in your knowledge of Christ as I am, can’t wait for those early mornings when we literally have to drag ourselves out of bed to spend time in prayer, I look forward to our intense discussions as we study God’s word with your head firmly rested on my laps.

I also look forward to sex. You see, there are several things to love about you before it comes down to physical appearance. The beauty of your soul and the aura that comes with being with you far outweigh the thrills of sex. Our love isn’t based on physical appearances, nor any of those other things our society has laid out as criteria. I look forward to pouring decades of virginity into you, I look forward to getting satisfaction from your breasts. We are so getting this thing right that our guardian angels must get jealous while watching as we hit the bumpy ride.

I honour you. My Proverbs 31 woman. When I’m out with friends, I will extol your virtues with pride because you are all these and more. I have no worries about you being submissive like Ephesians 6, because I will live an exemplary life. I will make it easy to submit because I will treat you with respect and love. I will love you with every bit of life I have got. We will be exemplary characters in forgiveness, love and integrity. We will both lay strong foundations for our kids to do greater things on earth.

I am not a big fan of the kitchen but it won’t stop me making you great surprise meals. I can’t wait for mornings when you wake up and you feel cramps from your period, or when you get pregnant, I hope you have been practicing how to eat on your bed because I will make you the best breakfast in bed ever. I look forward to days when I come back tired and jump on the bed like a child because I know your soothing hands would soon caress and massage my stiff back. I low-key live for these moments.

I know it’s not all going to be a bed of roses, but I can assure you that we will work it out. For times when we hit our low, I promise that I won’t give up. I will not look back, it’s a lifetime promise of “being present” that I offer. I will always be present even when it doesn’t feel like it. I can assure you that no matter our troubles, I will always be present. You can count on me.

Our love will not be premised on what we see on TV. No matter how emotional we get watching movies like “Fault in our Stars” and “Me Before You”, we will not get carried away as we know that the best example of the love life we would have is Christ. We will love as He loves – without condition, without fear and prejudice. We know this is the way because he has shown us.

We will be vulnerable to each other because it is in moments of weakness that we consolidate on our strengths. I’m taking my time to make sure we get it right. I hope you’d wait for me, I promise not to dilly dally too much. Let’s take our time and savour the present. I can’t wait to walk you down the aisle and make you my wife. Thinking about it has to be the greatest thing ever. I pray for you every now and then; I hope you are doing the same too, for only God can keep us sane while we wait.

I love you Babe.

 

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.

I am not a Fraud

 

I didn’t forget the ethos of this blog. I didn’t forget that what has made this blog dear to me is the platform it has given me to tell MY story from MY own lens. I know I haven’t written a great deal about myself in recent times, I know I have managed to fraudulently stay consistent (one story a month) even though I haven’t been that committed. I apologize guys, it was not intentional.

No, it was not writers block. I did not get tired of writing, actually writing remains about the only thing that gives me life (asides my new amazing phone of course), but I haven’t written because I have actually been struggling with the very subject of my writings – me. What do I write about myself when all I’ve been doing is get stuck in a loop of cyclic redundancy (I stole that line from Windows).

Honestly guy, I don’t know how I have managed to remain on point. My life looks lit, and it is! There’s been a conscious attempt to get killed by enjoyment (since there has been no one to follow me go). Thing is I have become too carefree to even view anything from my own lens. I go through lots of experience daily but I have become too unbothered to care what I think about them. My unlooking levels just hit a 101.

Sadly, this post isn’t going to give me a jolt of consciousness like I hoped it would. Chances are after writing this, I’d go back to my pretty mundane life of work-home-work. I try to diffuse that banality by doing things like eating plenty food, and spending more money on food. But even that hack can only work to a certain point.

Don’t get me wrong guy, I’m not depressed or sad. My life isn’t going through a crisis, but I’m just too darned to care about what I do outside work. It’s a been a miracle how I have managed to stay on track at work and in life. Even though the Beauty Formula’s facial scrub which I bought for a ridiculously high amount couldn’t stop the zit I noticed on my face this morning (after spending all that money, this life eh!).

Every day I go to bed, the only thing on my mind is to ensure I don’t wake up a fraud. I care so much about not being fraudulent. When I have my sessions with God (they have become so informal, a rarity these days), the only question on my mind is “God, am I a fraud?”. I don’t even preach so the question of whether I practice what I preach doesn’t come up, I have become a man with no voiced opinions.

You see, honesty matters a great deal to me. Lately I’ve done a whole lot of reading about renowned fraudsters like Bernie Madoff, Jordan Belfort and the likes and I cannot for the heaven of me fathom how human minds can be deliberately and intentionally deceitful. It is something I cannot stand, yet, I know that, being a fraudster isn’t something people set out to do which is where the conundrum sets in (more on that in subsequent posts, maybe?).

Whenever I walk into my bathroom and stare at my semi-naked body in the mirror, it gives me joy knowing I am not a fraud. Gives me happiness knowing there is no skeleton in my cupboard, gives me joy knowing I still have a good heart, knowing that I am not doing stuff I am not proud of. And that is the key to my sanity. The fact that even under relenting pressure, there’s only so much as to what I can do. That makes me happy every morning, waking up to the fact that my boundaries still exist.

I am not a fraud. I stay true to my personal motto. Now, are you a fraud?

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.

#IWD2017 – I Have Loved Only One Woman

There’s a woman in my life who has been there all through and she’s the only one I have loved completely.

When I was six years old, she had to stay away from me. The six months while she was away was hell, I kept seeing her shadow everywhere. I couldn’t stay without having her around the house, I’d go to bed crying, I’d head to the dining table with teary eyes as I munch my food. It was worse in school, I couldn’t concentrate. Before that term, my worst end-of-term result had been 3rd position (which happened just once), this particular term when she was not around I came 16th. It was a total disaster.

The theme for the 2017 International Women’s Day was “Be Bold For Change” and this particular woman has exemplified boldness all through my life.

Her first act of courage and boldness was housing me in her stomach for 11 months, you know she went against prevailing medical advice to have me shunted out of her womb dead and persevered to house me no matter how long it took. More than two decades later, the significance of that singular decision continues to be on the rise. It set the tone for countless daunting acts she undertook.

Been raised singlehandedly by one woman is no small feat. This woman did a great job raising me, she gave me the freedom I needed at an early age to express my exuberance and grow on all fours. Countless times, I’ve seen her put her hand on the plough and not look back against all odds.

If there’s anyone who has been bold enough to effect change, it is this woman. I’ve learnt perseverance from her. At a time when the calls for equality and women rights are becoming mainstream, it is worth noting that the woman I have known and loved is one who has never allowed the misguided construct of society to stop her from getting what she wanted.

You know why this is profound? Never for once did I see her fight for something that wasn’t to my benefit. When she was buying her first car, she kept looking for a car that would be easy for me to drive. When she was getting her first mobile phone, she let me make the decision, as she wanted something I’d like. When it was time to make a new hair, she always made sure it was something I’d be comfortable with (in all honesty, I had no clues about female hairstyles either ways).

If society must improve perception towards women, then we must go back to individual experiences and first contact with women. I didn’t grow up seeing women as the weaker gender, on the contrary, I grew up seeing the Woman as the brain and engine. It is that image that has stuck with me on the way up.

If women are to be championed for change, then we must allow them do what they are capable of. I didn’t grow up seeing a woman waiting on society to offer a convenient environment for her to go after her aspirations; I grew up looking up to a woman who took the bull by the horn. Not once, not twice.

At the slightest hint of discomfort for her six-year-old boy, she left all she was doing and came to get me, and believe me, this was not a convenient decision. She knew I couldn’t live without her and she was prepared to offer me that security and assurance of thought.

I have come to know a woman who has never failed to put me at the crux of all the major decisions she’s had to make in life. She is the first woman I have loved; if there’d be a second, she’d have to take lessons from the first to even come close.

This is a tribute to my mother; my best friend.

I love you.

Son,

Miracle Roch.

The Book doesn’t end in Malachi

…and doesn’t stop in Revelation neither

People don’t like to long read stuff over the internet. They’d rather you keep it short and simple. This is why sites that post long essays – Wait But Why, Aeon, etc – have some sort of holy grail following. The reason is because the few who actually remain dedicated to those sites don’t stumble on them by accident; they are intentional.

I want to limit my posts to 500 words. Previously, I had set the range of my posts to between 700 and 1000 words, not like I set this range intentionally but I realized that somehow my posts always fell between this range. I’m not doing this because I want to conform to the short reading time of this generation.

There’s a great advantage to being concise. It gives you objectivity and purpose, this is why Twitter has become so popular among a generation so ridden with distractions yet yearning for objectivity. This is why unusual artists like Beyonce, Lecrae, Chance The Rapper, etc have such a huge following behind them. They know how to be concise and not beat around the bush.

Conciseness gives you power; the power to dictate flow. However, one of the limitations of concision is the inability to let you get into the head of the reader. This is why most Oscar winning movies are unusually too long – The Revenant, Titanic, Theory of Everything, all prove this point. Concision does not give you ample opportunities to get into the head of the reader (or judge).

There are compelling cases for both sides of the coin but there are no middle grounds. You can’t be concise and get into people’s heads. This is why minds who have been able to achieve the two deserve a great deal of mention. Being intentional is such a great deal in a world ridden with “fake news”, fake love and fake people.

Over the last few weeks I’ve read extensive works on the history of Jacob Fugger and Arthur Guinness, and there’s a striking similarity between these two men who lived in two different periods in history. From creating a thriving Banking system in Medieval Europe to creating a Brewery still standing the test of centuries, I’m convinced that these two were intentional from the start. If they weren’t, Arthur wouldn’t have moved to Dublin nor Jacob remain in Augsburg.

I am looking for intentional people, I want to be intentional. To be intentional means to be concise, to be succinct, to create social palindromes that drive home the point long after you’re gone and derailed. To be intentional is to always have your eyes on the prize at all times. Napoleon met his waterloo at Waterloo because he let his eyes slip off the prize for just a second. To be intentional is to be a visionary.

Most importantly, to be intentional is to realize that the book doesn’t end in Malachi.

I did this in exactly 500 words.

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.

A Little Love

Everything that goes on around you depend on one factor. You can control the outcome of your actions if you get this one factor right. Most of the struggles you go through right now will evaporate into thin air in one flash if you get this factor right.

I am talking about the state of your heart. The state of your heart determines how the other things pan out. The heart is telepathic and magnetic; it wants what it wants but will only get what is it. Tit for tat.

I am going to share some stories to show you examples of how the state of your heart really is the most important thing.

Many years ago, on Christmas day, we didn’t have so much in the house but we were happy. Our hearts were in sync. So we cooked the little rice we had and made stew with tin tomato pastes. While other households used chicken and whatnot, the only luxury we could afford was fish.

My friend came around the house that day and he was served our rice and stew with fried tilapia fish with a sachet of water, pretty mundane for a Christmas day buffet. But remember, we were happy and served that food with joy without any remorse of feeling of being short-changed.

My friend ate that food, finished it and was very happy. We both left the house after he was done to go round and visit folks. Everywhere we went to, we were served delicacies much better than what we had at home in face value. But my friend continually made a statement everywhere we visited that day, and that particular statement stuck ever since.

He kept telling folks we visited how I wanted to kill him with food in my house, how he ate and enjoyed the food in my house. Guys, I know he was blabbing, don’t be deceived. It was normal everyday white rice and tin tomato with just water. We were offered (and ate) awesome delicacies at the different places we visited, so there was no way what he ate at my place could have resonated.

Alas! He wasn’t blabbing. He did enjoy that food. The things that matter in life are not ephemeral, they are not even tangible. The most important things in life aren’t physical, they cut beyond the physical five senses and logic.

Looking back to the events of that day, it’s easy to see why he was proud of what he ate at my place; it was served in love. Like we were so happy and proud of what we had, we shared it in love. Nothing beats that, love. The state of our heart was so right that it became infectious. Once the state of your heart is right, it’s so easy to get things going in your favour.

It doesn’t take the whole world to get your act right, so many of you have gotten your heart deeply interwoven in the fabrics of deceit and hate. Everything that goes on around set on autopilot, there’s no realness anymore. It may not even be your fault, as you’ve been so deep into it that you can’t change nada anymore. I mean, I remember so many years ago when I unintentionally used to tell a lie, I had told that lie for so long that subconsciously I began to saw it as truth. I told the lie with the confidence and dexterity that would normally accompany a truth. Not until I realised one day that it was really a lie did it stop.

So I understand how you can get deeply woven into things without knowing. For some of you, it could be deep seated hatred towards someone for something that happened years ago, granted you might have outgrown the event but somewhere in your heart, it still rings a bell. These things don’t go off without intentional effort. For some other person, it could be something really trivial, I mean, we all have people who smile and laugh with you but go behind your back and say all sorts. It may not be intentional, actually, sometimes it’s never intentional, it’s just something that has to do with the state of their heart.

The only way to correct an ill state of heart is by throwing tiny flashes of love into your heart. It’s akin to darkness, you never chase away darkness by “shuuing” it, you chase darkness by bringing an anti-darkness – you bring in a tiny bit of light. When light comes, darkness goes missing, it gets superimposed, once light goes off, darkness needs no invitation to come back. So throwing tiny bits of love here and there isn’t enough, make it consistent.

I’ll leave you with a verse from Glen Campbell’s song Try a Little Kindness;

You go to try a little kindness

Yes show a little kindness

Just shine your light for everyone to see

And if you try a little kindess

Then you’ll overlook the blindness

Of narrow minded people in the narrow minded streets

 

Stay True!

 

Miracle Roch.

 

Sweet Sixteen

Twenty Sixteen was my best year ever. When I crossed over to this year, I asked God to make it a memorable year for me and He sure did. There were so many memorable moments, so many “firsts”. When I see people complain about how bad 2016 was for them, I feel bad really, because I had a blast this year. I can’t share it all in one post, but I will share a few.

I got a new job this year, got a new house, made giant strides professionally and socially. Oh, I also got a live radio show gig. Bonkers! Above all, I met really nice people. God really used people to pull me through. There was never a time when my future looked blurry, God always had a plan waiting for me. One of the scriptures I always use to describe growth is Luke 2:52.

I grew in Wisdom, like when I go through some of the professional work I did this year, I’m amazed. A year ago I knew nothing about Financial Models and some really deep strategic stuff but look at me now. Wisdom comes from a deep-seated place in the Spirit. It is the Spirit in you that births original insights, concepts and ideas. I had so many “this is it” moment after many brainstorming sessions. It didn’t come from thin air, it came from a deep-seated pool within. I read about 10 books this year, which was quite below my numbers. I have an excuse for this but it’s not a valid excuse so I’d just keep it to myself.

I grew in stature, I grew taller but there’s yet more work to be done. I was too lazy and complacent this year to gym, I really hope to change that next year. But asides the eternal longing for broad shoulders and abs, it’s all good. Stature is only physical. There’s also the mental stature. You see this year, I became very staunch in my paradigms and actions, I was proud of my actions and stood by them, I was not easily swayed by the tides. That’s stature you know. It helped me evaluate my actions better and make changes where applicable.

I grew socially, I really met some cool people this year. One thing I learn this year was to carefully sift my audience, and throw out any form of negativity. I realized how powerful people and their words carry, so I decided to only stay around people whose words edify and grow me. I did throw a few people out, but I let in even amazing people. It’s just so amazing when you have conversations with people who are on the same pedestal with you. I also learnt to love people irrespective of their beliefs and actions. I learnt to see people from a neutral lens, it really helped me get close and learn a whole lot form different people.

I really met some awesome people, people were unusually kind to me even when I was undeserving. Like I was so shocked, I tried to reciprocate the kindness I got but it was increasingly difficult. God used my interactions with people this year to show me that He really does stuff on earth through people. I’m working on being a good friend, you know, the thing with being as carefree as I am is that nothing really bothers you or keeps you awake at night. So it means I lost pace with so many people, in twenty seventeen, I will try to really become a better friend and keep in touch.

I grew spiritually. There was some level of spiritual maturity I attained this year. This part is was laid before this year, you see, every path I trod this year was carefully orchestrated by God, this year was just me walking on His blueprint. I couldn’t have even made it without him. There were numerous times of course when I felt so lazy that we didn’t even spend time together, but the few intimate times we spent always made up. This year, I fell in love like romantically with the Holy Spirit. You have no idea. The Holy Spirit is such a darling, I could literally feel him making my pulse race. If you really want to have a good twenty seventeen, you have to ignite your relationship with God.

See, it’s not about God, it’s about the fact that there’s some level of connection that enables you operate outside the realm of the physical world of five senses. It’s not about a religion and set of laws, it’s a relationship. This year, we had so many dates, it was lit!

Learn to love your presence and self, I learnt to retreat from groups or conversations that didn’t add value to my life. I loved staying alone, dancing in front of my mirror and praising God. You don’t always need to go out, sometimes just stay home and sleep if you don’t have anything else to do. Learn to keep quiet. Mary kept God’s words to her heart. Can God tell you something and be confident it won’t end up as public gist? In the multitude of words, sin abounds. Sometimes delete your Twitter and Instagram, stay off Social Media for some time and get your act together. Don’t be locked into this fast paced environment that you end up losing touch of the very thing that counts – your humane soul.

So that was how my year went. You can bet twenty seventeen would better. Oh and yes! I did not fall in love with anybody, I remained single and celibate, and guess what? It felt so good that I think I would continue the trend in the new year too. Don’t let society trick you into thinking you must be in a relationship to become somebody (more on this later in the new year).

From my heart to all of you who read all the things I post on this blog, thank you for staying with me through my intellectual sinusoid, I really do love you all. Let’s do this again (and more) in the coming year.

To read about my 2015 review click here, for 2014, click here

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.

Thoughts on Old Age

I admit, I am such a baby boy. I am too soft and kind hearted. I don’t understand how some people do the stuff they do, I can’t even hurt a fly with my hands; I let my Insecticide do the job. Recently, I’ve craved spending time with very old people, I just enjoy watching them talk and move. Whenever I see one in a BRT standing, I quickly give up my seat and watch them seat, if I see anyone on the streets carrying something heavy, I quickly offer to help. No I’m not trying to be a good boy, I just love coming closer to them, even if words aren’t exchanged. There’s something about their aura that heightens my humaneness.

Image result for world's oldest person

World’s Oldest Woman; Misao Okawa | Credit: Daily Mail

 

Most times I try to wonder what goes through their minds as they navigate through their day. How different is the world now from what it used to be forty years ago. Do they wish they did something different? When I look at their wrinkled faces, I try to imagine the spotless beauty that covered this face during their youth. When I see them frantically holding on to pillars for support, I try to reimagine the swagger with which they moved around in their pomposity.

I’ve noticed quite a whole lot of striking similarities between old people. One of them is that, nothing seems to matter anymore, none of the things we hurriedly worry about. An old man once insisted I gave him the broom to sweep, I didn’t understand why at such old age you would want to bend down and sweep. It got me thinking; as young humans, we demand so much respect, we want to feel important and respected, but these guys have seen it all and they realise all that counts for nothing.

Old people also don’t like to admit they are old. Isn’t it funny? Because as young people, we try so hard to convince people that we are old enough, we never want to revel in the innocence and exuberance of our youth. We always want to speak like King Solomon and dress like Benjamin Button, just so we’d convince people that we aren’t young. But here’s an old man frantically trying to do things to convince those who care to listen that they’ve still got fire in their bones.

Old age is exciting, little wonder most of them tell you they have no regrets. It’s a blessing to live long. I can bet there’s no way they would have lived this long if all they did was regret the decisions they took or didn’t take years ago. Another crazy juxtaposition because we young people are so fond of living in regrets. You cry everyday about the actions you didn’t take that you end up missing out on the present opportunity starring you in the face all because you’ve got your eyes still fixated on the past. No one moves forward with their gaze behind. No one.

Old people smile a lot when they see us young people strut our stuff. I haven’t been able to ask them what fuels that smile. I like to see that smile as an approval; an approval to enjoy life and make all the mistakes you possibly can while you are young. An approval that no matter how careful you are, you still need to fail a little so you can succeed plenty.

Old people understand the power of words. Once they send a “God bless you my son” your way, they nudge you to say “Amen”. They understand how powerful words are. Another wonder about old age is if there’s a knowledge bank where old people just go to freely to access nuggets. I haven’t met an old man who didn’t have some real truths to spill. Is it something that comes from experience?

When next you see an old person, take a pause, if you notice, they are never in a hurry, so where are you always rushing to? There’s really never a missed opportunity that doesn’t come back. Take a pause and appreciate the beauty of old age, bask in the euphoria of your youth and visualise yourself one day with grey hairs and weak bones and an ever cheerful smile. Take time to appreciate the soothing air and landscape around you for in less than no time, they would be your greatest companions.

What are you currently doing to ensure your old age is blissful? Old age really is the annuity returns you get from your investments as a youth. Have you started investing towards your old age?

 

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.

Happily Ever After

Happily Ever After

There’s this daily prompt thing by WordPress where they give you topic suggestions. I decided to have a look at it today and this topic suggestion got me interested. This was just top of my head, fictionalized of course. I tried to find a real Muse, but couldn’t.

Will we ever live happily ever after?We’ve fought too many fights for a beginning as tender as ours

There’s no denying you bring out the creativity in me

The relief from your lips can’t compare to the Falls at Lake Victoria
In my head we are done

I don’t see a future with our vast differences

But I also didn’t see Donald Trump winning

Unlike the Election, I’d be happy to be proved wrong

We bicker too much, even without talking

Only human to wonder the hell that will be let loose

When we get deep thronged into our bodies on a regular

But I also said the explosive Kimye wouldn’t last six months

I really want us to work forever

Like banish our demons and glow

But the facts are not in our favour and the projections are dim

Well, they were in Hillary’s but we know how that ended

I don’t like how you give others priority more than me

Nor how you waste your time on people you have no business with

I hate that you are not firm in your decisions

I’m bewildered at how you live life without intelligence

More shocked at how beautiful you are

How your smile radiates better than the sun

How you do these so effortlessly

And still call yourself ordinary

This is probably a lost cause

‘Cause you are so set in your ways

You wouldn’t bat an eyelid for a change

But I’d still give it one last shot

And another one.

And yet another shot

I’d hold on to any slight chance for us to live

Happily ever after.

 

Stay True!

Miracle Roch

My Visit to a Yoruba Village Church

First thing to note was that church was designated to start by 7.30am, we got there by 7.45am and there was no body there except an old woman and her son. They were cleaning the chairs.

The church was a shocker to me, nothing similar to the plush environs I’d become used to in Lekki churches. There was no window, no plastered wall, no elevated alter. Just some old rickety rusty plastic chairs and some local drums, no microphone or speaker, no lights, no plush decorations, just the sand filled building not more than 15m in width and 40m in length with a zinc over our heads.

Apparently, the church was still under construction. The gist was that they erected that structure in less than two months, which is impressive given the location and demography of the church.

By 8am, one person joined us, we were five in number now. Church started with prayers said in Yoruba. I didn’t understand one bit of what was uttered. By this time the pastor came in with his family, when I looked outside to the entrance, I was shocked at how his family of five had fit onto the one motorcycle he drove in. It was also unusual for me seeing a Pastor stride in late to service.

I was seated in front because I came rather early, so I was quite shocked at one point to look back and see the whole church filled up. There were not more than 30 chairs in church, I think over 20 was filled up by my estimate.

I was the only one in church who didn’t understand Yoruba, the Pastor was kind enough to realise and called a young boy from the congregation to interpret in English for me while he spoke. The young boy tried so hard, you could literally see him struggle as he tried to mumble the right words in English for me. I was secretly hoping someone would put him out of his misery. The pastor noticed on more than one occasion and tried to help him out, it wasn’t any better, he too got stuck and ended up in Yoruba in less than no time.

The pastor had given what he termed “Morning Tonic”, apparently it’s part of their Sunday programme. He spoke about the Red Sea and how God performed a Miracle using Moses. He also didn’t miss the opportunity to congregation by saying there was a Miracle in church today (obviously referring to me). He told me to stand up on more than one occasion while he gave an example, he was elated to see me attend his church. After he spoke, there was an offering, I gave. Only for the usher who must have been shocked at the denomination I dropped, to come meet me and ask me how much change I wanted, I scoffed, and told her I didn’t need any change. Immediately the Pastor heard me say that, he mumbled somethings in Yoruba which I made out to be “Praise God for this blessing”. On the different occasions when an offering call was made, I gave the highest denomination, so you expect he doled out more personal blessings on my behalf.

There were many funny and strange moments. During Sunday School, the moderator’s phone rang while he was teaching in front of the church, I was shocked to see him pick the call in front of the congregation. He was smiling and exchanging pleasantries with his caller. They had spoken for quite some time before the Pastor said something in Yoruba which I guess was “end the call and continue”. I was amazed that no one found this strange except me. One time during his sermon, a woman made to leave, he called her back and told her to give her offering before leaving.

There were so many funny stories during the different sermons. I counted three different sermons. One time the Sunday school moderator told the church about a young boy who could bypass DSTv subscriptions and make people watch DSTv for free without paying, and he lauded it as an example of using your God given talent and the whole church screamed in affirmation. That was funny to me, I didn’t know when I started laughing out loud. Or the time when the Pastor narrated how he lent money to a church member who refused to pay him pack and the whole church hissed in dismay at the borrower who I guess was definitely not in church.

Oh, my first interpreter was finally put out of his misery by the time the Pastor was ready for his sermon. He called another young chap from the congregation, I liked this one. He was smart enough to not try interpreting sentence for sentence, he gave me summaries. He didn’t try too hard. That was smart of him. I gave him a tip after service, I also gave the first interpreter a tip too. They both went through stress, stood in front of a 30 man congregation which looked like a big deal to them, the least I could do was offer them a tip.

Did I forget the mention the incessant tears that regularly interrupted service? The kids always took turns to cry, and there was this semi-nude kid who ran round the church. For some reason I think he was the Pastor’s child, he kept running to him during the sermon.

There were four different offerings in church, and according to my interpreter, the Pastor was admonishing the church not to get tired of giving at the fourth time. I was more than happy to give during the different occasions because I was actually enjoying myself. The prayer section as you’d expect with a village church was filled with so many “kill your enemies” line and my Interpreter was caught up in the hype most times leaving me to make out what the prayer point was myself. I spoke in tongues almost all through, I guess I was equally covered.

This church was makeshift but her members were definitely ready. The Pastor talked about how he was eager to finish the church before his impending transfer came. He talked about how they needed nothing less than five hundred thousand naira to tile the whole church and how he was envisaging an even bigger land. I loved his enthusiasm especially after hearing the story of how they built that church up to this level. This is real ministry, I mean, it’s not his personal house, it’s the Lord’s house, but he was going about it like his personal business. I liked that about him.

The members were cheerful and happy. They were content too. They all tried to give during their offerings during the different occasions, they even gave their tithes too. They were friendly with me too – the stranger. Someone was eager to give me the English version of their hymn book when it was time, another volunteered to give me their Sunday school manual, they never missed an opportunity to throw a smile. I had to give the little kid beside me some money to drop into the offering pan, he was so happy to drop it in.

After service, I noticed church members both old and young packing sand from outside and filling the alter area inside the church. I defied my post clothes and joined them in packing sand and filling up the alter area. They were all shocked and resisted my efforts but I wasn’t having it. I was so impressed at how everyone was determined to build their church, I joined and enjoyed it. The passion showed by members was heart-warming. I sowed a seed to support the building of the church, it was so awesome being amongst these people and seeing their undiluted love for God translated into action. Apologies for not showing you guys pictures, I had a flat battery. There was no light in the whole village!

I spoke with my second interpreter after church, and I found out he was preparing to write JAMB, when I asked him if he was reading, he told me he wasn’t because he was learning how to make Almacos or something like that at a nearby shop hence he had no time. I encouraged him to make out time. He took my number, I hope he gives me a call sometime; I’d be more than willing to help!

Stay True!

Miracle Roch