“We thank you, LORD,
We thank you, Lord,
We thank you Jehovah Almighty”, that was one of the mid-week service on campus and that was me with eight other members singing some tunes to get ourselves in the worship mood. I had expected a lot of people to turn out; apparently, the others were engaged in other activities. The prayer leader stepped out and said, “Let us thank Almighty God for the grace and favor he has shown abundantly. Most of the people were mumbling on their lips including me, I don’t know what the problem was but the prayer leader felt we were not praying enough so in a louder voice she said,” Pray! Pray, look at what the Lord has done for you and give him the praise due him”.
It seemed she didn’t get the desired results so then she said,” We should be thankful to God, if you decide to go into the university hospital, I’m not talking about Ridge or the Korle Bu hospital, the one just at our doorstep you would find all manner of people who are too sick to give thanks. They wish they had the strength to ask God to heal them but some can’t. If you have blood flowing through your veins and the strength to praise God, why should you feel too lazy or too big to open your mouth and then thank God? That did the trick, my head raced to the time I visited a sick relative in the hospital, all the patients that were crying, those that had cuts so deep you could see blood seeping out of their bandages, the sick girl who was too weak to get up from her chair to throw up and threw up on her mother, all those memories just rushed in without warning; the diabetic lady who ignored the doctors warning and helped herself with Tampico. Now I was gingered up to pray, the contours of my face changed as my prayers got intense; the other members too were fired up to pray. Looks like the prayer leader just knew how to push the buttons to get people in the prayer mood.
Some months later, I found myself in a church carnival, all those dancing and wriggling of bodies, the loud music, it sounded like great fun so I indulged in it. One handsome dude step out together with a lady, the MC’s for the program, they looked dazzling and I thought if I had taken church seriously I could have been one of the MC’s, I love attention, but I realized they did it to the glory of God so if I wanted attention I might as well look elsewhere. There was music, the kinds that you only know the chorus so when it is the verse part you pretend to know the words and if you are loud enough your friends would get to know you are a bloody liar. So you just mime and when it gets to the chorus you burst out like a balloon singing your head away, till you choke on your voice, cough it away and continue with your singing. There was choreography, during that moment people were busily sipping drinks that were been sold or helping themselves with kebabs, after the performance those who could, applauded the dancers. The MC wasn’t impressed and told us to give another round of applause, we did but like Oliver Twist she wanted more and to get more she said, “Some people are in Sierra Leone who want to clap their hands but can’t, just give a round of applause”, this time, almost everybody managed to get their drinks and meat aside and gave a thunderous clap, I’m sure their palms must have drawn blood. One lady behind me asked her friend what happened in Sierra Leone, my mean self-thought, did she read her history book backward?.After she heard the story she started clapping louder when the collective clap was dying down.
Now, anytime I had to pray I had to remember those lying in the hospital, those that were homeless and those who had been victims of rape or any kind of abuse. In times when was feeling sleepy, I would try not to remember because if I do I might never finish praying and my sleep would be long gone.
On my way to work one day, I was sitting in my trotro and one of this acclaimed pastor got up and started to preach, I turned on my moody face, not that I am against the word but it was becoming too much these days, every trotro now has a pastor, my only thoughts are, the end must really be near.
He talked about thanksgiving and to buttress his point, a speech of the less fortunate was told, that got to my gears and I got to my thanksgiving mood. After he got done, I started thinking. Doctors, nurses and the herbalist have a lot to be thankful for, the NGO’s, those managing the orphanages among others.
Should it always be like this? I thought to myself. Should we always remember the misery of someone to be thankful to the one who gives us life? Should we go down memory lanes to remember the most horrifying experience of someone to be thankful? I don’t mind if you had a terrible situation and through God’s grace you were rescued out of it and remembering it to give thanks for it. Isn’t that what testimonies are about? What I don’t really get is constantly using that to ginger up our thanksgiving. So then I ask, those in such situations, what should they be thankful for? You know the reply I got, in everything give thanks. If this is so we should just psych our minds and give the thanks and not based on another’s misfortune. So one afternoon I was busily surfing Facebook and this is what I came across;
So one afternoon I was busily surfing Facebook and this is what I came across;
“1. You think you are not pretty?
Someone is wishing to be you
2. You want money?
People are in Poverty
3. You are hungry?
A child is starving
4. You need a car?
Some are crying because they can’t even walk”
It goes on till ten but you get the picture I’m putting across so let me rush down to the ten.
10. So don’t waste your time on things that you think you don’t have because there is always someone out there who needs what you have… Type “Thank you, Lord, if you are grateful for what he has done for you”.
There were a lot of Amen and close to hundred likes. So should we have been living in a perfectly normal world where everyone got what they wanted, wouldn’t we have gratitude thrust in our heart? For those of us who want eternal life, there is the word that there would be no crying, no pain, no hunger no sickness what would pinch us to be grateful or are we going to be probably looking down to hell and be thankful that we are not there. I believe Thanksgiving goes beyond all these.
Some say they do make up for it by praying for them or donating to charitable events, but I think that is the whole point of being a brother’s keeper. It didn’t say you should be thankful for not being them.
Next time don’t allow any one trigger your Thanksgiving mood just because your neighboring sister or country is experiencing some crises, but rather look inwardly and be happy and grateful.