August 17, 2015 By Sulaiman Momodu
In the coming weeks and months, Beyond Borders, which looks at issues beyond tribal, religious, regional, nationality, race, social status, et al, will be taking a look at issues that affect us as individuals, our country and humanity in general.
Every day we all struggle with one issue or the other. You may just be going through trials right now and thinking that all is lost for you. It may be about your finances, your health, your marriage, your business, your career, your family and so on. You may just be thinking that you have all the bad luck in the world. You may be thinking that Satan and his evil spirits are after your life.
Well, the goal of this column is to complement the efforts of other people in various walks of life in making us all better individuals, more patriotic, and ultimately very healthy, peaceful, happy and genuinely successful in various aspects of our lives.
Essentially, I am writing based on my own experiences, the challenges I contend with, the experiences of people around the world who have overcome all odds and made a difference and I trust that it will be a life-changing experience for you. I will be using a lot of analogies in my articles.
My simple question to you today is: why do we go to hospital? The answer is pretty simple especially if you are on your way to hospital right now or you are right in hospital or have a medical condition. Basically, we go to hospital to prevent, cure or rehabilitate, among other reasons. If you are not sure about why your temperature is very high, you go to the hospital. If you have some pain in some parts of your body, you go to the hospital to find out what is wrong. After doing all the screening, including questions and answers, you may be sent to the laboratory for further investigations. At the end of the day, medics will give you some medications and tell you how to use them. Imagine if you were sick and you went to a hospital and they gave you some medicines and you decided not to respect the instructions of the medics. Obviously you are not going to get well. This
scenario is precisely what happens in the life of individuals and nations. If there is really one thing that I am very proud of my country, it is the fact that we are a highly religious tolerant country. In Sierra Leone, a person called Mohamed can be a pastor and someone called John, Peter or Matthew can be an imam. Whatever name we may answer to, one thing is clear – we all believe in God. Let me rephrase please. Most Sierra Leoneans believe in God and believe in the existence of the spiritual realm. The spiritual world exists. This is a fact. I am yet to attend any big event or ceremony where we do not offer prayers. Sometimes we start the ceremony with Christian prayers and end with Muslim prayers.
Going back to my question of why people go to hospital, again it is because people trust that by doing so they will get well or at least improve. Similarly, why do we go to the house of God (church, mosque, synagogue, temples)? Of course to praise our Maker and communicate with Him, right? Like the doctor in a hospital, God has told us how to use His “medications” and we will be well through His laws. If you fail to obey God’s laws, there are bound to be consequences, you will be certain to experience some crisis either in the short, medium or long term. The reality is many problems people and nations face are a direct result of first disobeying God’s laws.
The other day someone asked me about my profession. When I replied that I am a journalist, but I took a break from mainstream journalism to gain some international experience, his next question was: “Do you smoke”? When I replied in the negative, he asked another question: “Do you drink? (Alcohol)”, again I replied in the negative. “You don’t drink, you don’t smoke, you must be a womanizer then,” he concluded. You see, we must have a radical transformation of our ways of thinking. If we want to see change, we must be the change. You may not have seen role models but you can become one. In this regard, I would like to encourage you today to do things that will potentially make you a better person and not destroy you. By the way, to know something, which is knowledge, is one thing; to apply knowledge is wisdom.
Whether it is Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and so on, all religions have one thing in common. They all talk about God and about the laws of God. Peace. Love. Don’t kill. Don’t steal. Don’t fornicate. Don’t commit adultery. The question is – are we obeying these laws? If we go to hospital because we trust we will get well, why do we go to the house of God and deceive ourselves? Why do we go to the house of God but we are full of jealous spirits, bitterness, selfishness, blatant arrogance, commit adultery, drink and misbehave, and the like?
Personally, I don’t define success as having money, cars, houses and let me add, boyfriends and girlfriends. Success is when you apply the word of God in your life. We may not have grown up in an environment where we see right things being done but we can change our story. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God…” (Matthew 6:33). People who through corrupt practices or looting acquire wealth think they are successful. How sad. To me, such people are big time failures. They have failed themselves, their families, the future generation and their country (I will talk more about success in future).
To be successful in life you do not have to compromise your ethics and values. Be first saturated with the word of God. There is tremendous power in made-up mind. By deciding to first obey God’s law today, I can guarantee you that you will see tremendous improvement in the quality of your life and our country will be peaceful and very prosperous. Do I sound like a motivational writer? See you next week as I take a look at knowledge and wisdom.