No it’s not Halloween (this is 9ja o) but it was Christmas! And officially, Christmas is my favorite holiday season. Not because of Santa (Fada Christmas) as I am too old to go on his laps and even as a child I was terrified of him (maybe that’s how I landed the nickname bush baby), neither is it because of the birth of Jesus or the nativity story but it is because for the first time in my life, I actually felt the magic of the season. I did not have any Christmas tree at home but I helped decorate the Christmas trees at church. As we put up the trees and began to decorate one piece after another; as the trees came to life, something also lit up on my inside and I am truly grateful for that experience.
Growing up, Christmas was more of the tradition of attending mass and killing Christmas chicken! We had a Christmas tree but I don’t remember gifts under the tree, maybe there were. Last Christmas was truly special because I learnt something – Christmas trees are never fully decorated all round, only in front! Duh? I hear you say, well I never knew and it hurt so badly! Well before you begin to wonder what planet I’m from, let me explain. You see, I’m sort of a late bloomer so when I eventually get the hang of something, I become a staunch disciple – I guess it’s the only way I think I can make up for the ‘lost time’. So after we spend the greater part of the day and around Lagos too, shopping for a Christmas tree and appropriate ornaments, we begin to give life to our white and green trees (the memory of the day just brings a smile to my face) and my H.O.D says “focus on the front”. At first, I don’t take him seriously and it broke my heart when I realized he meant business. I kept saying “why? It should go round”, to which he replied “so that it’s richer in décor”. I do admit that it’s quite expensive to have a decent Christmas tree that is fully decorated all round so I understand that we had to be prudent but I kept thinking to myself – “this is deception, we are the Church, we should not be deceiving people.” See how extreme I can be? Ssh…I still ensured it was 65%-35%, only then would my conscience let me be!
Just after Christmas day, boyfriend and I visited his aunt and I see the tallest, most beautiful tree ever in a home! I mean, the lights were so alive and the balls were just huge and amazing! My eye balls are about to roll out of their sockets in awe and for a second I am Charlie in the chocolate factory. Suddenly, I can’t wait to see the back of the tree; surely this tree will be fully decorated! God! I’m laughing at myself right now. See, this tree was between the angle of two walls so it required quite an effort to get to the back. Guess what? It was empty! Yes, empty! Not one ball, not one light, just plain empty! I almost cried; I could not believe the deception, my church was generous! Seeing this fully decorated (or so I thought) Christmas tree was a treat for me so imagine my sadness, disappointment and maybe anger when I realized I had been tricked.
Are we not like the Christmas tree, putting our best foot forward always? Why can’t both our feet be the best so that by merely standing, being ourselves and not assuming an awkward posture that is uncomfortable; we may be noticed and given our desired and deserved attention? Why must we show people our fully decorated front knowing fully that when they eventually take in the beauty of our front and proceed to the back they would find nothing but emptiness? What kind of relationships do we hope to have if we continually throw people’s trusts back in their faces?
When Jesus said “be perfect as your heavenly father is perfect”, He was not just talking about being holy or not sinning. He was referring to the totality of your being – Spirit, Soul and Body. It’s not enough for you to be so spiritual that you see God and yet be ignorant or dull intellectually and I don’t mean being educated. It’s not enough for you to be a Harvard professor and be dead spiritually. It’s not enough for you to be spiritual and intellectually sound yet you neglect your body after all it’s just the ‘casing’ for the real you; of what use is your spirituality and intelligence if your body shuts down? We have to be perfect in all three areas, 100% each just like our Father. Imagine if God was only perfect as the Father, manageable as the Son and ‘just there’ as the Holy Spirit. Do you think a ‘manageable’ Son would have saved us or a ‘just there’ Holy Spirit can teach us all things?
Nigerians are not mad at the Fuel subsidy, we are mad because our leaders put their best foot forward – democracy; and now that we have taken in the beauty of the front and are eager to see the back, we find nothing but emptiness! People have a right to be angry at deception, how do you take someone to the pent house, let them take in all the luxury and without any notice announce to them that they would be sleeping in the drainage! Our government might have the best economic brains and the best laws in the world but it is weak spiritually.
Perfection is not a one-off achievement; it is a daily feat so every day, you get a chance to be 100%! Some days you hit the target, some days you are close; but on other days you are totally out of range! Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been out of range a lot!
Whatever result you get at the end of the day, strive afresh at the beginning of a new day! Do not get too comfortable when you are 100% and do not give up when you get a minus (-) %. Let each day end with whatever it brings and be ready for tomorrow’s challenge. At the end of each day, ask yourself – Trick or Treat? Whatever your answer, fight to be 100% tomorrow.
With steady feet and a new Love for my Maker!
P.s This is my first post for the year – Happy new year guys *with hands over my face* Love you to bits!