The novel coronavirus pandemic also known as covid 19 is still ravaging various parts of the world. Although concerted efforts are being made to contain the pandemic, the global picture is still very gloomy.
For a disease as deadly as the coronavirus pandemic, it will make a lot of sense for us to figure out and be absolutely sure what caused it – for posterity sake.
But going by various reports monitored on social media, there is hardly a worldwide consensus as to the actual cause of the disease. As a result, several conspiracy theories exist…
We often say in Christian circles that “prayer is the master key,” “there is nothing prayer cannot do,” “if there is a man to pray, there is a God to answer,” and so on and so forth.
All these statements underscore our strong belief in the efficacy of prayers in resolving difficult situations. And I am convinced that in our individual lives, we all have had instances where prayer saved the day for us in our moments of crisis.
The coronavirus was reported to have broken out in Wuhan, China in 2019. But nothing much changed around the world because of it untill this year.
From that Chinese city where the virus started, it has spread to many places around the world. From Italy to Germany, UK, US, France, etc it has spread in alarming proportions.
Even my beloved country Nigeria is not spared. From just one case a month ago, a total of 50 has now been officially recorded.
If that is not alarming, the global statistics is. With over 382,000 cases and over 16,500 deaths so far around the world, the picture is really very bad.
Thankfully, over 102,500 recoveries have been reported. But the scourge has not been fully tamed.
The result of all this is that there is fear in the land. Movements have been restricted, lifestyles altered in immense proportions, reshaping the way we do things.
In effect, life is no longer the same. Everything as we used to know it has changed, sadly not for the better yet.
Apart from the loss of lives, world economy has taken the worse hit. Most stock markets have lost a huge chunk of their value in the last few weeks.
Crude oil price is at its lowest ebb in the last five years. This is not good for Nigeria my country that depends on the sale of crude oil for 90 percent of her annual foreign exchange earnings.
Beyond that, we have seen the government take some radical decisions. Our international borders have now been shut: no going out and no coming in.
Airlines are grounded. Interstate travels also restricted.
Hand washing with soap and water or health sanitizer is one culture everyone is practicing.
People are afraid to mingle. This is the era of social distancing. For some people it is self-isolation.
The year of 2020 will surely go down in history as the year of social distancing. Everyone is trying to stay safe from Corona virus.
Federal and State government workers have been ordered to stay at home to prevent further spread of the virus. “Don’t worry, your salaries will still paid in full” assured the government.
Even the private sector employers are not left out. Many of them have ordered their staff to work from home until further notice.
Except for a few instances, working from home has not been part of our experience in this part of the world. But now the by-word has become, if you must, work from home, stay at home and stay safe.
As I am typing this I am at home, with a view to staying safe from the pandemic. Thanks to our employer, some of us don’t have to go to work this week. Yet our salaries will be paid in full.
By implication, while it is already given that most companies incomes for the year might take a deep due to coronavirus pandemic, their costs will certainly rise. It is hoped the situation doesn’t get worse.
Coronavirus scare has also affected the way we worship. By Government order, no church or mosque can gather 20 people in one place in the name of worship.
For most mega churches here, services have always been streamed online but we still preferred to attend physical fellowship.
All that has now changed. More of my fellow citizens have bought into the idea of attending online church services.
Schools around the nation have since been shut down. Scheduled weddings have been postponed. Sports, entertainment and other social events have been put on hold.
Let me stop here for now. The point has already been made. Coronavirus pandemic has reshaped the way we do things. How long this forced lifestyle change will last is something no one is yet sure of.
In what way has the coronavirus scare reshaped your life?
Every one of us have men in our lives. We have them as our fathers, husbands, brothers, uncles, cousins, pastors, colleagues, friends, neighbours, employers, employees, doctors, to name but a few.
These people influence our lives and positively impact the society as well. Sometimes we celebrate them (like on father’s day), sometimes we don’t. But each one of us should have at least one reason to celebrate the men in our lives.
What for? The work hard to make our lives and society better. They provide leadership, provision, protection and so on so forth for us.
I’m not suggesting that men should become the object of our collective worship. But I’m saying there is nothing wrong with celebrating men for their immense contribution to the well-being of the society.
Today is that day set aside around the world for such celebration; every year, the 19th day of November is observed as International Men’s Day (IMD). And by extension, November is sometimes referred to as International Men’s month.
Now, the question is, “What is the purpose of having an International Men’s Day?” It is generally understood as an “occasion to celebrate boys and men’s achievements and contributions, in particular for their contributions to community, family, marriage, and child care. The broader and ultimate aim of the event is to promote basic humanitarian values” (Wikipedia).
Did you notice that boys were included alongside men to be celebrated? That is to say, it is a day earmarked to celebrate the male gender’s contribution to society. (Sorry ladies, you can wait till the 20th day of the month of March when the next International Women’s Day will be celebrated).
In pursuing the objective of celebrating men’s and boy’s positive contribution to society, special focus is made on some specific areas of boy’s and men’s lives. These are encapsulated in what is referred to as:
The 6 Pillars of International Men’s Day
According to the IMD’s website, the objectives of the International Men’s Day are as listed below:
To promote positive male role models; not just movie stars and sports men but every day, working class men who are living decent, honest lives.
To celebrate men’s positive contributions to society, community, family, marriage, child care, and to the environment.
To focus on men’s health and well-being; social, emotional, physical and spiritual.
To highlight discrimination against men; in areas of social services, social attitudes and expectations, and law.
To improve gender relations and promote gender equality
To create a safer, better world; where people can be safe and grow to reach their full potential.
These are noble objectives you might say. But to which extent are they being achieved? That’s a question for another day!
Meanwhile, if you are a male reading this, don’t just read and walk away indifferently. I would like you to take another look at the six objectives listed above as a form of self evaluation to enable you identify areas for possible personal improvement.
If you are like me, we know we have not been the best we could be or did the best we could do in those stated cardinal areas. That’s to say, there is still room for improvement for all of us boys and men.
On the other hand, if you are a non-male, you may also want to evaluate the six objectives to identify the ones that appeal to you most. You can then help the men and boys around you improve in those areas of their lives or simply suggest to them as specific areas of improvement.
Happy International Men’s Day!
Let the conversation continue in the comment section.
I have since realised that there were unique experiences we had as kids who grew up in the villages that our counterparts in a city such as Lagos may not relate to. A little of that sentiment of mine was tickled this morning when my seven year old son asked me a simple question:
“Daddy, why do some people put out buckets, bowls and other
containers when it rains?”
“To collect some rain water for use,” I replied rather too flippantly, without even looking at the direction where the question came from. But then, almost immediately the salient reality of that question began to dawn on me.
The answer I gave should have been pretty obvious to him you might think. But please give the boy a break; even if for no other reason but because collecting rain water for household use has never been part of his experience in his few years of life on earth.
With portable water now being pumped to the kitchen, bathroom and wherever else water is needed in the house, how would he appreciate the fact that many people around my country still depend on rain water for survival?
“For what kind of use, daddy?” he sought to clarify.
“My dear, it’s for domestic use.” This time I had to look at him in the face, with my hands on each of his shoulders, leaning forward in the process.
When I was at his age (more than three decades ago), I didn’t have to wonder why people harvested rain water. The experience was too common-place for me not to have known the purpose.
But his question afforded me a genuine coachable moment to point out the fact that many homes still cannot do without relying on rain water for some of – if not for all – their domestic uses. I guess that’s still part of the reality of living in a developing nation.
I went on to explain to him how we used to depend on rain water as the main source of water supply way back in the village where I was born. Just like everyone else in that small community, my mum and my older siblings would put out different sizes of containers to collect rain water whenever it poured.
Even the roof of the houses there were embedded with water conveyance systems. That way, the abundant rain water that hits atop the covering corrugated iron sheets were channeled through well-constructed gutters linked with vertical trunk pipes that emptied directly into underground concrete tanks or into big volume surface water reservoirs.
The water so-collected would then be fetched out and put to
daily use (washing, bathing, cooking, cleaning and yes, drinking) all-year
round. The process was reliable and sustainable too. And because of the
beautiful natural vegetation surrounding the environment we lived in, coupled
with the absence of fossil fuel using factories, the problem of acid rain was
You see, people like my son who were born in an urban city would never fully understand that kind of experience which we considered common-place while growing up. And I completely understand!
Perhaps a little walk back memory lane will underscore my point. I was born in a village in the present day Delta State, Nigeria. I grew up there till my teen years before I finally relocated to the city of Lagos.
That little village was blessed with a few amenities that
made it standout amidst other ones around it. It had a well-tarred Trunk B road
that ran through it from one end to another connecting it directly to the State
Capital at the far end, separated only by a few other villages and towns.
At that time telephone service was a huge luxury way beyond the reach of 99.9999% of the population. Even at that, the village was already linked to the national telephone backbone. And apart from the availability of analogue phone service powered by the now defunct NITEL (Nigeria Telecommunications), the village also had electricity supply from the national grid.
However, water supply was the biggest problem we had to grapple with in that village. No streams, no boreholes and no portable water supply from anywhere. Only rain water, which was abundant doing the wet season and scanty in the dry season, was available.
Thanks to a failed pipe-borne water project sponsored by the then
military state government, the various households in the village never had the
privilege of regular supply of treated water pumped to them. Looking back now,
I would say that was my first experience of a failed government project being
commissioned as successfully completed.
Whether it was the contractor’s gross incompetence or the systemic corruption in high places that robbed the community of a properly executed portable water facility, my young mind could not have comprehended it then. But now the picture is clearer.
That was how the pictured looked like some three decades ago. Unfortunately, that’s the same story (or even worse) that could be told of many vital but abandoned (water) projects across many states of the Federation today.
Could the experience have been better for the masses, especially with respect to water supply? You tell me what you think!
Any follower of this blog would already know that I believe in God. That fact has never been hidden in any way.
I would add that I do not just believe in God in the general sense of it, I believe in Him in the sense of having a personal relationship with Him through faith in His Son Jesus Christ whom I have willingly accepted as my Lord and personal Saviour.
On this blog I have written sufficient number of posts to have made it clear enough that I don’t belong to atheists’ camp. So you can imagine my surprise when one of my readers (ostensibly a first-timer) suggested in one of his comments to the post The Problems with Atheists that I could be an “atheist masquerading as a Protestant Fundamentalist.”
In the referenced post, I had pointed out that:
Atheists do not have what it takes to come to the conclusion that God does not exist. So when you have anyone claiming God does not exist, understand that he or she is either being insincere or is displaying his or her ignorance. Or as the Bible puts it, he or she is simply being foolish.
Just like the Sadducees that accosted Jesus over a question on resurrection, whereas they didn’t believe in resurrection, the problem with atheists who go about discrediting God and the notion of His existence is that they neither know the Scriptures nor the power of God.”
Though not unexpected, there were many backlashes from atheists over that post. Sad to say, many of the comments from them went off course. One of such comments was what inspired the title of this present post:
Are you a Catholic? Do you accept the teaching of the church? Isn’t it the church that interprets the bible? Or are you really an atheist who is masquerading under the mask of Protestant Fundamentalism?
If you’re a Fundamentalist, the former Fundamentalist pastor (now atheist) called Bruce Gerencser will chop your arguments up and make mince meat of them. He doesn’t hate God. He just doesn’t believe that God exists. What he hates is Fundamentalists pontificating on God and Fundamentalists misrepresenting atheists.
You guys, both Catholics and Protestants, are suffering from what Richard Dawkins calls “The God delusion”.
Although the comment was full of rabbit trails, I cut to the chase in the response I gave to it:
I’m not a Catholic, neither am I Protestant fundamentalist, as you put it. And your suggestion that I could be an atheist is even more laughable. How could I be so foolish to be an atheist? I know better!
For the avoidance of doubts, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ who believes in God as the creator of all things, who has accepted the saving grace that is available in Christ Jesus alone for the forgiveness of my sin and I’m living my life to please God.
I understand what the Bible says, “only fools say God doesn’t exist.” So between those of us who believe that God exists and those [of you] that don’t believe, we know who is delusioned.
Dawkins’ book is seriously mistaken in the claim that there is no God. From the reviews I have read, I know the book is an attack on God and Christianity. Anger. Hatred.
It is okay to note that the God he claims doesn’t exist, makes him so angry. That’s the same trait I have seen in many atheists I have interacted with.
Talking about the atheists I have had online conversations with in the past, many of them (if not all of them) would also call us delusionists for believing that God exists. Recently, I had to quip to one of them:
“If those of us who believe in God are delusionists, then those [of you] who don’t believe in Him must be worse off because atheism does not make sense at all.”
That response may appear harsh to some people, but that was as nice I could be. I believe the irony in it is clear enough for everyone to understand.
For emphasis sake, I am not an atheist. And I don’t want to be one. I believe that God exists and I believe in His Son Jesus Christ as my Lord and personal Saviour.
Atheism does not make sense to me at all. It’s all foolishness parading as knowledge. “”The fool says in his heart, “There is no God”” Psalms 14:1. I stand on that Biblical position.
All the same, I thank God for His mercies that are seeing some atheists come to Christ. How I wish these ones here will one day see their folly and also come to Christ before it becomes too late for them.
Part of the joy of blogging is having people following your blog, regularly reading your written thoughts and sending you feedback through their comments, likes, emails, reblogs etc. If you have ever wondered why people are not following your blog, these may just be some of the reasons:
They don’t even know that your blog exists in the first place…
You are not following their blogs…
People get to your blog, but find out your posts care less about their core values…
Beyond sharing my thoughts and being a source of inspiration to my readers, blogging has become a journey of personal development for me. I have learnt new things, improved on my writing skills, acquired new skills, met and interacted with different kinds of people from different places around the world.
I have inspired some people and I have also been inspired by many other people. I have defended my faith, read several insightful posts, gained vast knowledge in many areas of life and so on and so forth
Racial discrimination and prejudices wear attires in Nigeria different from the ones they wear in America. While racism exists as a result of differences in colour of the skin, tribalism hinges on differences in birth-roots. Both are common societal evils that must be dealt a decisive blow in order for us to have a better world.
No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite – Nelson Mandela.
Thank you for reading and happy new year in advance.
The responses I received to that question are what I present to you in this post, with the hope that you too will join in the conservation aimed at identifying the things you are most grateful for in your life.
Interestingly, I didn’t have this post in mind when I asked that question. But as I examined the feedback I received, I began to feel the need to use them as basis to write this post.
The following points are the feedback I received from 4 respondents as the things they are grateful for:
1. My salvation. My parents for being there in my formative years. And many other things;
2. For God’s elaborate salvation plan that included me.
3. My salvation, and other priceless gifts too numerous to mention!
4. The legacy bequeathed me by my dad and mom.
All the responses came from very mature people (all of them over 50 years of age each). I would take that to mean that they know what they were talking about.
From the responses of these friends on Facebook, I was able to see that there are majorly two things they are grateful for:
1. For the salvation they have;
2. For the roles their parents played in their lives.
If necessary, I will explore this two reasons in subsequent blog posts. But here, let us just continue the conversation by having you identify what you are grateful for in life.
In a previous post about Billy Graham, I came to the conclusion that “Just like Apostle Paul, we could say of him “Graham fought the good fight, Graham finished the race, Graham kept the faith.”
It was also pointed out in that article that most people that know him acknowledge that Graham was a man of great character and integrity, who stayed true to his divine calling of evangelism throughout his active life in ministry.