By Chinelo Ngene
Does God really care about us? Will war and suffering ever end? What happens to us when we die? Is there any hope for the dead? How can I find happiness in life?
Have you ever pondered these questions? I came across them on a screen picture a friend had posted on twitter. Apparently, he had taken it from a book which boasted of answers to those questions.
It got me thinking, life and everything in it revolves around the belief that someday we will die and face judgement. From the day we are born, we are assailed with thoughts, actions, literature and conversations that urge us to believe that God is watching us and he cares deeply for us. Parents encourage you to lead a good life that would please God, teachers hammer on it and it seems everything propels you to take cognizance of this great force that is God.
I remember something that happened back in my youth, I had woken up that fine Sunday morning and insisted I wasn’t going to church. You see, I had broken my arm playing football with the boys and even though I could comfortably manage the short ride to church, I vehemently refused. It was my personal rebellion against God. How dare ‘He’ let me hurt my arm so? And now I won’t be able to play for a while. So I rolled over in my little cot, and pulled the sheets up to my ears.
My mother came in then, “Chi, are you not going to church?” she asked gently (gently because I was ill o! On a normal day, a cane would have met me on that bed, sheets and all.) “No, mummy” I managed through the sheets, “I don’t see the point in going to worship the same God that sat back and let me fall and break my right arm”. Mother had sat on the bed then and pulled me close to her, she had shown me a verse in the bible, something about God letting certain things happen not because he loved us less but because he wanted to make us stronger and better able to manage temptations. She spoke and spoke about the several wonderful things God had done in our lives and how we had more than enough reason to remain thankful to him. By the time she was done I was even asking God to come and break my other arm because I was willing to give my all to him (I kid but you get my drift).
I’m now an adult, and even more firm in my belief that God truly cares about us. I’m constantly hit with disappointment, I am witness to death and suffering in really close quarters, some have even hit really close to home. I ask myself in such times, what is happiness truly and why is it so elusive? Does it lie in amassing wealth and in having the best of everything? I psyche myself into believing so but I know deep down that even the finest things do not assure happiness. Even though I’d, sure as hell, rather cry in the finest yatch dining on caviar than soaking eba in a dustbin estate.
Happiness is me, happiness is you. Death and suffering serve as constant reminders to us to celebrate the times we have for it may not be for long. I’m utterly clueless about the afterlife or what happens after we kick the proverbial bucket, but one thing I’m certain of is this: life is for the living. Celebrate yourself, give generously when you can, love your friends and family, for this life, is indeed ours.
Chinelo is a media practitioner who finds expression in movies, novels and fine country music. She blogs on isetfiretotherain.wordpress.com and can be found tweeting under the alias of @chinnydiva.