Lost Boys by Bamigbola Silas.
“Messi is the best player of all time,” James cackled.
“No o, you can’t say that, Ronaldo is the main man. He was crowned few weeks ago” Oluwatobi retorted.
“It’s a lie! It’s a lie “James began to reiterate.
And that was how a brawl started betwixt them.
And I began to wonder “on top another person matter?”
I love Adewale for something, if he says “As Christians, we shouldn’t be spiritual assassins” and you try to counter him by saying, “So you mean we should suffer the witches to thrive? That’s arrant nonsense, we should kill them with our spiritual guns.” He will just smile at you and avoid any arguments and chasm that may ensue due to the lack harmony.
Dale Carnegie said “you can’t win an argument because if you lose, you lose it; and if you win, you lose it.”
Do you know why I agreed with him? When you win your opponents, you lose the bonds with them. Because you have made him look inferior and less competent. The best way to win an argument is to avoid it.
I have a friend I always avoid because he is an inveterate arguer. This implies that you are bound to lose friends when you argue on every matter.
How to avoid arguments.
1. As much as possible avoid any arguments. Just let the matter slip or you can tell yourselves to go and study more on that matter. You know when you argue with a fool, you end up becoming a fool too.
2. Control your temper. You tend to be more defensive and aggressive when you argue. This has led to the death of many people.
3. Listen more, talk less. Listen to your opponent’s “facts and truths.” Who knows you might be the one with a wrong opinion and that will prevent you from making a fool out of yourself.
4. Be honest. You tend to exaggerate when you argue. When you argue, you make errors. And that deepens the argument.
5. Google what you are arguing about. Thank God for our modern world today, you can google anything or any information about what you are arguing about. And also if it has to do with biblical or doctrinal arguments get a Bible and check for the answers in order to save yourselves from “headache.”
Arguments have always been a small spark that burns big forests and great skyscrapers. As much as possible avoid it. Don’t always stay on your highway, try and see some issues from the perspective of others. It shows that you are matured and couth.
Those sofas in the parlour have become family heirlooms which have been passed on from my great-grandfather, grandfather and now to my father. The only thing that has changed about those sofas is the clothing or should I say their ‘jacket.’
I wonder why father so much cherish them and has refused to change them to better and more modern ones. He has always said that, those chairs are part of his life and they remind him of his own grandfather (that is my own Great-grandfather) and his deft designs while he was a carpenter.
Mother once cautioned me, “Ololade, you better be careful with that chair you are jerking on and do not break its handle. Don’t you know it’s older than you?” Older than me? Like seriously? Did mother actually expect me to rise up every morning and venerate those chairs by prostrating before them? Wouldn’t it be an insane thing to do? But truly, I doubt if those chair handles could easily break. At least they are not like the modern and fancy ones sold around this days.
But I hope soon and very soon, father breaks this his principle of treasuring all those heirlooms and get modern ones to replace them. Because, I’m tired of seeing those old chairs and his old wardrobe staring at me everyday and saying “Ori e o pe, don’t you have respect?”
Father shouldn’t even think of passing them down to me. Never! Never!! But I wouldn’t mind if he gives me his cars and company when he dies in years to come.
He was the shadowy shallow man
who acts like a fastidious, prude puritan
Putting every man on a slate,
Sternly slating soiled sinners.
He seems to have the ‘book of life’ in his hands
And with pencil and eraser
He spells the wrath of wretched sinners
“You! you did this and this and that
You will rot in seething sulphurs”
As He juries us,
He forgot he was also black and not white;
Now, we have spelt “Love” backward front
And it looks like “Hate.”
He has made us misunderstand God.
Grace is not actually what they have painted it to be:
Grace is spelt love
Grace appeared to all men
And love white and black as well.
Wouldn’t I call Grace gray?
So I told gray love
“I’m a fetid filth
Whose life touse apart.”
“I know,” HE said,
HE wiped my slate clean
Now, black has become white.
Reading comes naturally to some people, like one of my friends that can read a book of 350 pages(especially a novel) in a day. I’m phlegmatic, reading does not really come naturally to me. I’m more inclined to calculations to sitting down for hours reading some random books. Though now I’m improving when it comes to reading (at least I read a chapter of a book per day). I also prefer to learn through videos, audios and other easier means of garnering knowledge.
Meditating is also not an easy task. Sitting down for hours to meditate, that I can’t really do because of my spontaneous behavior. Great people meditate. So I prefer to do mine on the go. Like when I’m on my way to lectures or back from lectures and when I do my chores and most especially when I’m in the bathroom or toilet.
Not minding how you take in and how you chew, the most important question here should be what do you take in and what do you chew?
Being curious can be a double edged sword, like it can either make you read wide or wild.
OK, have you ever read materials that make you doubt the existence of God? At some point I have done that. It made me logical and analytical on spiritual things.
What we read, listen to, and watch have a high propensity to brainwash us and instil different ideas, ideals and principles into us.
They form the basics of what we believe and how we act.
Apart from learning languages and getting intoxicated with words. I have seen wack ideologies of which I can’t buy from the few materials I have laid my hands on. Like some that actually teach you the direct opposite of your religion and moral standings. Can you imagine someone saying God supports gayism, Jonathan and David were gay and gay means “God adores you.” (note, I’m not saying God does not love them, he still does and his son has died for them already, all they need to do is to acknowledge that and accept his son.) but trying to chock that into our throats is what I refute.
What we take in and chew is very important. There is a beast(flesh) in us and a white gentle sheep in us. Which ever we feed thrives in us.
I’m a Christian and I believe in the word of God and I have vowed that nothing will define my idiosyncrasies apart from God’s word. So everyday, I strive to listen to my master so that I can feed the white gentle sheep (his holy spirit) in me and starve the beast (flesh) in me. They are always in contention with each other according to Galatians 5:17, but you alone determine who wins.
Brian Tracy once said, “Whatever you dwell upon grows and increases In your life.”
So they are like cancer that spreads rapidly like wild fire. When you think and talk about them, they get deeper and deeper into your subconscious mind.
So mind what you take in and chew.
Adekunle and Aduke were at the front of their beautiful Hut in a small hamlets one particular nights while enjoying the ambiance of nature and gazing at their fiery eyes that burnt with love. Right from their courtship years, they always love to sit down in an open field to gaze and moon over the beauty of the firmaments but now that they are wedded in their new Hut, the spacious compound is enough for them to spend time alone as couples in any corner of the compound without anyone disturbing them. While Aduke’s head was on Adekunle’s lap and ready to retire for the night, he began to cogitate in his usual manner; while staring at the moon and the stars he began to ask himself questions; what are all those small small lights hanging on the sky and each reflecting it lights? And he imagined if those lights are not hanging on the firmament will the sky still be beautiful? Questions rushed and rushed into his mind, some of which he could and could not answer. When he could not wrap his head around the enigmatic structures he was staring at he just concluded in his heart that those are what make the night beautiful. And till he died he still wondered how those small small lights and the big light were able to successfully rule the night as the sun also ruled the day.
My former house was close to a cemetery, like 200 steps apart. Scary right? Yes twas scary at some point. As a young boy I feared darkness and unfortunately it was a new area(those virgin areas recently occupied by people). so, our almighty NEPA had not connected electricity into the new area. I dreaded the nights, probably because of the imaginary demons I have drawn on the slate of my mind ensuing from the lurid horrifying films, stories and books I have watched, heard and read back then. So I know the effects of darkness and the essence of lights.
The world is covered with a thick and gross darkness looking for many to tinder it. Unfortunately few men are ready to arise and Shine.
“I’m a light! I’m a light!! I’m a light!!!” I keep hearing, but only few make their lights shine.
The word of God says let our light so shine among all men. But the mistake we make as Christians is that we only lit up the light in the church alone but fail to shine it in the world that desperately need it the most. What is the need of a lamp or a bulb in the day? It’s only in the nights it’s needed.
Like insects gentiles want to come into your light and kings to the brightness of your rising. Your light is more appreciated outside the church, shine it.
The stars spread across the firmaments each beautifying the sky with their lights. You too be a star and beautify the the world. Shine your light among all men so that your father in heaven will be glorified.
An illustrious man, Martin Luther King once said “Only in the darkness, you are able to see the stars.”
The news spread like widefire in the thicket of bushes which have forgotten the smell of water for aeons. It was already on the newspaper, blogs, facebook etc. But how I did not find out earlier until a friend called me is still a surprise to me.
“hello silas, have you checked it? ”
“your jamb results na”
“oh Is it out? I haven’t checked mine o, I will check it as soon as possible”
“you be baba na, just tell us how you killed it after checking it”
JAMB results were already out, most of my friends had checked theirs, some worth celebrating while others were results that calls for wailers who are ready to show empathy, cry and give advice to those whose results is blinking with red(danger). But I haven’t checked my own.
This was my first time kissing JAMB our lone “friend” who shows up once in a year, and now it is time to confirm if our intercourse had resulted into an issue. I bet you If you are a Nigerian, who attended a secondary school and have ever sat down for a JAMB exam at anytime, you should know the type of frantic fear and trepidation that set in when you heard that your JAMB result is out.
Jamb was a big deal for me. I was a 16 years old young lad who had all my “plans” well laid out, plans to study chemical engineering in “oba awon university”, OAU. You know how all those OAU students use to spice other university students with pepper, I also wanted to do that.
The night I checked my results was a fanfare night at first, I don’t know what really happened on that day but I can remember that the 4 of us(i mean my siblings and I) were drinking a can malt each. When daddy came back home, Taiwo and I went to the master bedroom to inform him, “daddy o JAMB results wa ti jade (our JAMB results are out)”
“Oya e Lo mu laptop ati modem mi( go and take my laptop and modem).
I quickly rushed to where they were In other to get them. Due to our anxiety we gave daddy the laptop so that he could check it for us.
Ghen! Ghen! Ghen! Ghen! We switched on the laptop, put in the modem and connected it.
“you check your own first” I told Taiwo
“no o, you are the one who is so inquisitive to check the results, so check it” Taiwo retorted. And truly I was inquisitive, I wanted to know how I told jamb “wunna father!”
I consented and gave dad my details, when he entered them and when my results popped out my heart cascaded like a mighty ocean into my mouth, my mouth agaped,my body stiffed, and in my numbness I saw what no eyes have seen and what no mouth can utter.
Chemistry -18. Total=169.
“What! This is not my results,” I started ranting, “chemistry my best subject? 18? Is a lie! This had better be a joke.” Truly chemistry was my best subject, I had never gotten less than 70 till I stopped it in 100level. “How can I study chemical engineering with this result” I asked myself. Mum, dad, Taiwo and others were surprised and at the same time perplexed. Sweet night turned sour. And the pain went a tone higher when daddy said the only resort for us is to go for a pre degree program in one LAUTECH like that, that I did not know “their head or their leg.”
When the Lord loves you just know that you are in for a correct sandpapering. And when he does that, it makes you want to ask questions like “is God really fair.” He knows how to change the route of your life in order to save you from tumultuous future. That failure was like an epiphany. It broke my “back”, dented my pride, made me accept him into my life, made me accept his purpose in my life and changed the course of my life for good. If he had released me then without me first facing the lions and the bears, Goliath and the Philistines would have eaten me.
After all my ranting and priding I later settled down to hear from him, and when he told me the reason, I understood his love and till now am eternally grateful I failed my first jamb.
I humbly went for the pre degree and wrote another jamb which I passed brilliantly. Now I’m a budding computer engineer, in one of the greatest university of Nigeria (no body should come and argue here o), enjoying his grace and plan for my life. Now walking in his steps and plans for me and not my own “well laid plans” gives me joy and peace.
Don’t you think some failures are blessings in disguise?