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Little Things…Little Wings

I watch her smile. There is nothing in this world as precious as those toothless smiles; the innocent laughter sounds like music from on high. The little gestures and characteristic features evoke nostalgic memories. She looks at me with unwavering bold and beautiful eyes and lovingly holds my gaze  as if to tell me that nothing can faze her; then she smiles and keeps her thoughts to herself.  It is amazing how much of me I see in her daily!  I’ve come to realize that growth comes with the streches and belches…the little things we rarely take note of.  Well, I’m really enjoying her grow before my eyes.

A couple of weeks ago I was a bit stressed out by the technicians I had on the project I was working on. They had something to say on every instruction I passed down; they talked too much. In my little time on the face of the earth, I have come to know that those who talk so much do not have as much ability- to think or to perform. I told my wife I had to do more because these were typical “talkers” who get little or nothing done at the end of the day. I wasn’t looking forward to the next day at work; I was set to talk more, scream more and stamp a bit of authority to get results. My wife simply told me to pray about it. It then occured to me that there are a whole lot of things we fail to include in our prayers; perhaps we see them as too little to bother God with. No matter how silly or petty that stuff is, you can tell it to God- there’s really nothing you can handle on your own!

I grew up at the feet of parents who trained me in the way of the Lord. I learnt to read the Bible and pray as soon as I could read school books. I have however grown to ask questions- something the society frowns at. I have studied Jesus for my entire lifetime and I rarely see a reflection of his personality in the lifestyles most of our church leaders lead. A minister or an elder or even a Pastor believes he can talk down at anyone based on his position of authority; and you can’t talk back as he hides behind a couple of verses in the Holy book!  I had an encounter with one newly appointed minister who  runs his mouth like a broken faucet. These leaders need to clip those little wings of pride and learn to emulate Christ.

Jide Badmus

March 2016

All You Need:Talent, Self-confidence and some Mentoring!

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It took me twenty-one years to realize that I was born to write; through the journey, I fiddled with sketching, painting and drawing comics. Well, I also did a little of songwriting back then. (There’s a wide smile on my face as I recall this). The inspiration was my dad who was a member of the church choir and had written a couple of songs for them. I gathered my siblings and we formed a band which meant that the burden of song composition rested on me! It was all fun; I didn’t know I was on a long trip to self discovery.

I have always been a deep thinker. I loved solitude- I still do.  My mind has always been a fertile ground for creative thoughts. I wrote and lost my first poem (I actually wrote two pieces that day). I found them months later and practically became my own first critic; they were flawless and I wondered how I was able to harness the thoughts. The next critic I could recall (apart from my friends and family) might have thought he was being candid but he could have been the fireman to snuff life out of budding passion. He could have broken the gear and halted my drive. The barrister said I wasn’t writing a poetry, that I was just putting thoughts and feelings on paper. I nodded but in my head I knew he didn’t know what he was saying.

I groomed myself by learning new words daily. I literally read the dictionary and built my vocabulary. I had a direction for my writing; I wanted poetry to look attractive, short, simple and interesting. I wanted to forge my own style! I believe that part of creativity is breaking rules! I developed my writing style breaking literary rules and breeding a hybrid of styles. My use of words is deliberate; I find half a dozen unique ways to tell a story. I thrive on vivid imagery and rich metaphors.

We choose our mentors subconsciously at times, their influence is just automatic. Parents fall into this category. However, I have grown adopting several mentors; I pick everything good from everyone I come in contact with. From Dean Koontz to Stephen King, from Robert Kelly to Wyclef Jean, from that unpopular author on a dusty shelf to the lyricist in obscure magazines; I always find stuffs to learn from everybody. When you depend on a sole mentor, you become so attached that you see no wrong in him thus you adopt the good, the bad and the ugly part of his life. Filtering is easy when you look up to several key people for development.

Practice is the fuel talent runs on. The more you explore the deposit in you, the better you get. The rough in the edges are smoothened out and the coarseness is refined! Critics will come along. Pick the genuine advices but don’t let anyone talk you down. You can write your own story however you want it. You can carve your path in the sky even if that isn’t the norm. You can be pleasantly peculiar, the first of your kind!

Jide Badmus

March 2016

God is deaf…

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Prayer is the key that opens doors

Skewed thoughts ran through my mind as the security personnel frisked the passengers.It seemed an uncomfortable chore to run your hands over the body of a person of same gender except you are gay. Imagine doing that all day long!

The man two places infront of me on the queue interrupted my thought process when he left the queue to approach the female security to frisk him. She declined while she waited for female passengers to come forward  and he had to return to his place on the line. The man behind me made a joke about it and we laughed.

But how did impatience become a norm in our land? How did we choose chaos over orderliness? The man had his flight ticket with him, he had scores of people behind him and he should be enlightened enough to understand that the plane would not move until all present are aboard yet he couldn’t wait to get on the plane.

I don’t know why I’ve always been fascinated with the emergency exits in aeroplanes. Anyway, I sat there, stretched my legs and was off into wanderland! Journeys afford me opportunities to develop the backlog of ideas and thoughts I have in my head. I mentally construct most of my writings and find expressions that would convey the message with the intensity that I desire.

The view from the top is always beautiful. Whether morning, noon or night, the height hides the flaws of the terrain below; the bright city lights mask the chaos that actually exists down there. I can imagine why accomplishments and achievements are associated with the top; the pinnacle depicts success and control. Height invokes beauty and inspires me.

The cab man that picked me from the airport was talkative; I was tired and would have preferred to just sit back and relax. He started talking from the time he inserted the key in the ignition and didn’t stop until I got home. I could smell alcohol in his breath but his words were sane! Although his messages were clear, most of his analogies did little to corrobaorate his points; they were just stories he wanted to tell.

However, one thing stuck with me through the trip. He said most people in the orthodox religious circles fail to realize that prayer is a key, but you need to insert it and turn to unlock. In my own words, God is deaf to prayers that are not accompanied by deliberate efforts and actions. Prayer won’t bring riches if you stay home idle…

 

 

THE DEVIL WITH THE HEART OF GOD

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I really don’t know how well to describe the experience. It’s like I’ve been stuck on a diet of juice all my life and I got to taste wine; well, it might necessarily not translate to the quality of the drinks but the difference in taste. My palate leapt with elation. It was a refreshing sermon.

I was out of Lagos. I had to attend another church- something I had not done in a long while- most times when I’m not in town, I find it easier to watch live stream of my church’s service on the internet. Last Sunday, I realized how much Christians have placed themselves in strait jackets of local churches and ministries. How we are being fed with the same message over (sometimes garnished with a variance of flavours) that we become so familiar and comfortable.

The truth is, I listened to a sermon that was different to what I had heard over the last one year. I feel that Pastors have become so one-dimensional, they have become too lazy or too busy to study wide and prepare for building the people. I believe they have concerned themselves more with building physical structures and identities; with this, they have only succeeded in raising mechanical believers who cannot see beyond the invisible doctrinal boundaries. Well, this is a talk for another time.

I was shown another perspective to God’s personality. God is love; it’s something we all know and say…but how much do we know?  How much understanding do we have about His essence being love? We did not earn his love, we are not worth it; He just gave it. The parable of the prodigal son shed more light on this. The son had committed a sin which would have led most African fathers to disown him yet this father was on the look-out for the lost boy to return.

How often do we show love to people especially when we feel they don’t deserve it? Love should be given without exception. The fact that you have hope because God loves you and has given you endless chances even when you serially let him down implies that you also treat others with no love held back. Love doesn’t look down on others because every man has potential for good! Lastly, some “wicked” people seem to know to show love more than the “righteous”. These set of people the preacher referred to as “devils with the heart of God” Religious people tend to see themselves as okay and see others with loads of problems but even though we are as filthy rags, love has “blinded” God and His love gives us chances after chances…