It was 5 in the morning and my sister and I were on our way to the airport. Most of our airport trips double as Afro-beats album listening sessions interjected by conversations with our mum’s driver, Mr. S, about politics. While my sister and I alternate between singing refrains and critiquing the Nigerian government, Mr. S does the exact opposite- the ruling political party can do no wrong in his eyes and Nigerian artistes do not say anything worth repeating in their songs. On this day, the car was silent as it was way too early for both Davido and Buhari. I wanted to pray but really did not feel like it at the time so I managed to convince myself that I’ll pray on the plane. When I can’t find the will or words to pray, I listen to worship music. I was listening to “God is on the Throne” by Planetshakers when my spirit told me to take out my earphones and play the song out loud. Throughout the car ride, I played songs from the different Soulful Sundays Playlists, as the spirit led. Mr. S is normally talkative with my siblings and I, regardless of the time of the day, but as I played the songs, even he was silent. I think he wanted to respect the serenity of the environment but also, I like to think that he was soaking in the music. Once we arrived at the airport, the comments suddenly started rolling in. “So you people are now born-again? I’ve never heard you listen to gospel music. Is it because of the Coronavirus?” My sister and I laughed so much as we got down from the car, but I remember noting the fact that he was surprised that we were listening to worship.
While reflecting on the plane, my mind went back to Mr. S’s words. Although he has never enjoyed mainstream Afrobeats, he is always the first to tell me about an upcoming concert and the first to notice when I am humming or singing along in the car . “I know this is what you like,” he would say, while asking me the name of the song or the artiste. I began to wonder how many opportunities to share worship with him I had missed because I kept my love for it to myself. This is very random but if and by God’s grace, when I have a daughter, I would love her name to translate to English from my native language as “Show the world the light of God.” This is a mission that is very dear to my heart but this little banter with Mr. S revealed to me that I need to be more intentional about executing this mission. In what ways do I showcase God to those around me? This is a question I want to keep asking myself so that my faith, this element that is so foundational to who I am, is not hidden.
At the onset of the pandemic, Stephen and Ayesha Curry hosted Instagram Live sessions called “Home & Hallelujah,” where they allowed people to worship with them and some of the biggest gospel artistes in the US. During one of the sessions, they invited Mike Todd, the lead pastor of a church in Oklahoma called Transformation, who said something that resonated with me. In his words, “This is the most pivotal time where people who believe need to be unashamed about what they believe because the whole world is looking for answers right now.” While he was speaking about the season of uncertainty that clouded the beginning of multiple lockdowns around the world, I believe it can be applied to our daily lives because whether they make it known to us or not, people are always looking for answers. Whether they know it or not, a lot of people are seeking God. The best part about our duty to let people feel God through us is that the idea is not for us to work for God but that God works through us. The bulk of the work is done by God, all God asks of us is to say yes to the call to be vessels.
Today, we’re praying for ourselves. May God give us the grace to respond whenever He calls on us.
“Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God”-Leo Buscaglia
“Our Lord’s conception of discipleship is not that we work for God, but that God works through us.” Oswald Chambers
“Evangelism is just one beggar telling another where to find bread.”-DT Niles.
“Until you have given up yourself to Him, you will not have a real self.”-CS Lewis