Is it really just by chance that a fair proportion of us were brought up in the most horrendous way while others had a fair taste of experience? Is it by chance that you are who you are today, and in such a mess as you are right now? Is it really ‘just chance’ that you feel so depressed about your own life that sometimes you feel like dropping the ball?
Psychologists seek to evade the challenge of these fundamental happenings by invoking the old bogey of mentally challenged malfunction or schizophrenia, which supposedly can be treated through scientific and medical establishments. Such clinical bunk, which has resolutely shied people away from permitting providentially arranged realities as anything real, does nothing but harm to the unfortunate people who get such ‘treatment’ by diverting their attention away from doing anything effective towards addressing the primary cause of the problem, which just happens to be a non-physical interference to reality.
I remember growing up, having a dream to one day become a medical doctor. “Damn!” ––I was good with chemistry at high school ––I was even the best student in my class. I finished high school at a very young age of 15 with the best result any student could dream of, and hoping to jump into the borderless walls of the university to finally become a doctor; then life hit me! It hit me fantastically bad.
Unwrapping all that happened isn’t necessary in this blog post. May be someday I will tell the story. Nevertheless, one thing was sure: I never studied medicine, and neither did I enter the university immediately after high school. All I can remember was that I found myself in a seminary institution six years after high school and did my first degree in Theology for four years in preparation for ministry.
What happened to my plans and my “medical doctor” dream? Destiny! I did not realize that my life was locked away in an inescapable lot. I will put you on the loop on how it all started.
Several years ago in Nigeria, in a place called Onitsha, before I ever knew earth, a woman was so desperate for a child after she lost her two-year-old daughter and could not conceive anymore. At this point, she was about being sent packing from her husband’s house by the man’s relatives ––especially the husband’s sisters, because she had no issue and was even accused of witchcraft. So typical of the African culture.
Story has it that she newly gave her life to Jesus Christ just months after the daughter died and was desperately looking for hope in God to comfort her loss. It happened that she coincidently read about the biblical Hannah and decided, modestly, to replicate Hannah’s rash vow, with hope that the same God of the bible who answered Hannah’s prayers hundreds of centuries ago will do the same for her. And He did.
Next, as I was told, she received an affirmative response on her vow of giving back her child to God if only He made her conceive again, though with some specific instructions. And it came to pass, she took in the next month, her family chaos seized, and nine months later she gave birth to a boy and named the baby ‘Victor’. The name ‘Victor’ was very symbolic to them, and actually was the name of their resident pastor at that time, who they named their baby after. Pastor Victor died just few months after baby Victor was born, and so the story went.
This is not some biblical chronicle nor is it the third book of Samuel, but my real life’s story. The woman in the story was my mother and I am the offering, technically.
I remember growing up and constantly been reminded that I would end up in the pulpit. I thought it was one of those my-boy-will-be-this-when-he-grows-up hanky panky used by parents to incite their kids to good conduct. Everybody in church knew the story, so my first name in church changed from Victor to man of God at a very young age.
I did not realize the huge impact such confession would have on my life. However, I grew out of that pastoral self-image after high school to forge the life I wanted for myself and become successful like every other young person. I did make some money eventually, and travelled all over the world. In spite of my constructive efforts to live my life as a young adult, the consequence of my mum’s vow eventually caught up with me so early.
Thinking that was all that is to it, I wandered through the margins of life, just like Saul in 1 Samuel 9 looking for my missing donkey. Well I eventually did not find my missing donkey, but I found something much more than life itself, and that was purpose.
I cannot vividly describe it but there are some things I knew my life was not meant for, even before that time. One of them was being a businessperson. I tried several times but suck at business.
Do not pity me. My story is about the powerfulness of God over the powerlessness of man.
A complete life must therefore be lived in height to the glory of God. A life with height is a life that honors the powerfulness of God by submitting to its order. Life is a story of grace and must be told from God’s perspective. We are called to live for a cause greater than our self-interests.
Despite Saul’s attempts to locate the missing donkey, he never found the donkey. Rather he had an encounter that transformed him from a wanderer to a wonder. God purposefully used the missing donkey and his restlessness as preordained agencies through which he was to stumble on his life’s purpose and connect with Prophet Samuel who would eventually anoint him king over Israel.
Saul’s wanderingness was traction to his destination. One thing was clear in the story of Saul, and that is, the destiny of the children of Israel was tied to his ministry and to the missing donkey. To fulfill his ministry, God used the missing donkey to bring Samuel to him.
Most times our missing donkey might just be that traction to our purpose.
Note, from the point we search for our missing donkeys to the moment we meet our Samuel, might require some unpleasant unrests and experiences that might want to make us give up the search. But, never give up searching for that missing donkey because beneath those painful quests lie your victory and story of grace.
I might never have arrived to my Samuel yet, but one thing is clear, I am already on my way there, almost at that crossroad, to connect with my Samuel.
Metaphorically, Samuel could mean different things to different people, but overall it symbolizes our breakthrough.
I therefore challenge you, if you claim that it is ‘just chance’, mere ‘chance’ (i.e. with no specific cause) that you are who you are; born to the particular parents who you had in the particular place where you were born; had specific life experiences and that there was no particular cause to any of that, simply demonstrates your unawareness and ignorance. It clearly shows your inability and unwillingness to open your mind to the whole picture of divine providence. Based on my own findings about what appears really to be our inescapable reality, you would very likely be horrified if you properly understood what, through the lens of your compulsive ignorance, you have been allowing to progressively happen to you.
An inescapable reality is like one of those dark places we do not want to be but cannot do without them; rather can we amount to anything if we do not have our own fair share of those experiences. Our fulfillment in life lies within those dark moments. It is like an act of apodyopsis, one of those mentally stimulating realities of seduction. It is that “stop it, I need it” feeling that gets you to your life purpose.
At the end of the day, God takes extreme measures to bring whomsoever He chooses to Himself (Jer. 20:7). Therefore, let us be rest assured that God would make things better when He has made us better. That said, put to mind then that it may be impossible for us to entirely alter our life’s trajectory. I tried several times but came back to my inescapable reality with severe consequences.
Rather than be anxious about our own life, destiny, or future, we can, just as Peter did, trust our life to a faithful Creator (1 Pet. 4:19), because He is with us as a mighty awesome One (Jer. 20:11).
You are here for a greater cause!