Yesterday evening after a long period of allowing my Bible lie in limbo, I dusted it and started reading again. For no reason to pin my staking nails on, I just let Abuja dust form layers on my 'Study' Bible for a pretty long time. Fact of the matter is, you can actually tag along and 'survive' by going to church and doing all the activities: sing, dance, shout, and do what others are doing...and are we not all acting unscripted movies in church in some way, though they aint been premiered in Hollywood, or our famed Nollywood. With Bollywood eating all the Oscars with Slumdog Millionnaire we can be certain that someday, with the help of Hollywood's producers, our Nollywood actors.actresses can nudge up some oscars...sorry digressing abeg!
So lastnight in the quietness of my room, I opened up my Bible and a quick reference to Jeremiah 9 saw me flip the pages backwards and I landed on verses 22-24 and boy it came on fresh like never before. It was as though the verses x-rayed and analyzed the 3 top influencers of history. They make the celebrity pages. They are the rennaiscent men and women that the media use to sell their tabloids, mags and all.
Come to think of it, the top 3 groups that make the news are:
1. The wizkids, music superstars, artists,models and biz wizards ( wise men/women)
2. The Poilitical heavyweights and Power brokers ( men& women of Might)
3. The Fortune 500 biz owners and Corporate moguls ( super rich men/women)
We all aspire to make it to the headlines either thro the exploitation and deployment of our artistic talents, or we make it in business and become super rich, or we call the shots in government and our words become as powerful as the rays of the sun that shape weather and dictate the tides and seasons. We all long to be ' up there' and be counted as the wise, powerful and rich. It's human nature, and it's not an abomination to make it to the top.
But buttom line is, if all we aspire to do is make it to the top of the corporate ladder, or have our songs,books,paintings, artworks etc make it to the best selling list, or become influential and powerful in the sociopolitical arena of life. That's what the business schools help us to achieve. That's why we long to be part of the political caucauses that are tagged the 'king makers' and majority party. For you can make all the money, and make the tabloids' headlines, but if you're not considered powerful and able to influence government's policies and all, you wont be so fulfilled. Hence, the ultimate for the 'Wise' and 'Rich' is to join the league of the 'Mighty". That's in sync Sigmund Freud's Hierachy of needs, and do we not all want to be wise, rich and powerful in all sincerity?
As I read my Bible last night, I realized that society aint changed much, and the celebrities of yesterday are not so different from the ones we have today for they all belong to any of the 3 categories, whether you finf them at Hollywood,Wall Street,Silicon Valley, or at Harvard. And all these gurus and experts all will like to call the shots politically and it doesn't matter if you find them at Nigeria's Aso Rock, or White House and Capitol Hill. Wisdom separates you from the bunch; Riches lift you above the park; but Power makes you more Powerful!
While acknowledging all these, God in his own infinte wisdom, riches and might has a different counsel. He wants both the wise, rich and powerful of this world to just brag and boast about one thing: Their individual KNOWLEDGE & UNDERSTANDING of who GOD is. And what struck me was that God didn't condemn or blacklist anyone who aspires to be wise, rich and powerful.For in spite of all that we'd achieve in our professional career, net worth in terms of money and assets, and even political achievements, God still expects us to know him deeply and intimately. And the minimum array of all his enviable attributes he has wants us to showcase are basically, his lovingkindness, his sense of justice, and his high moral sense and integrity that he calls righteousness.
The wise ones are superstars are often seen as proud but God wants the wise to be loving and kind.The rich can often be brash and insensitive but God would want that to be toned by the display of sense of justice and fairness. And for the powerful and mighty, God expects that he/she will modulate the power of influence with a sense of righteousness. And I wondered how the world would be if for a start, the Christian who professes to know God starts becoming bastions of love and kindness because they are a people who ahve a sense justice because they have exchanged their weaknesses and faults with God's righteousness as preached from the pulpits. Now I know it's really simple to have the world change 'over night' but I wonder if it will really start with me, or someone else. But the truth be told, the world will respect the Christian more...when they can identify the Christian as one who is loving, merciful,kind and displays intergrity in all his dealings with fellow humans!
Excursion: Jeremiah 9:23-24
This is what the LORD says:
Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches,but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight, declares the LORD.
"Don't let the wise brag of their wisdom.
Don't let heroes brag of their exploits.
Don't let the rich brag of their riches.
If you brag, brag of this and this only:
That you understand and know me.
I'm God, and I act in loyal love.
I do what's right and set things right and fair,
and delight in those who do the same things.
These are my trademarks."
by Felix Abrahams Obi