In Times Like These

According to my friend Katie, “We are not alone.”

Her statement conveys the importance of helping one another through challenging times.

Thank you for enabling me to recognise such a significant aspect of life’s journey.

The bible chronicles’ a compassionate God’s love for His people.

Christianity regards God’s sacrifice for His children.

Christ’s message is to love God with all our hearts and to love one another likewise.

Christianity encourages us to love unconditionally – like Christ loves us.

Islam encourages every one of us to love each other unconditionally.

I won’t attempt to talk about other religions because, quite frankly, I don’t know too much about them.

But suffice to say, most religions were founded on love and service to one another.

Unfortunately mankind, being naturally selfish in nature, seldom considers the importance and necessity of love.

Indeed I honestly, all-be-it rather shamefully, confess that my focus all too often tends to be on the ‘promises’ and not the ‘Promisor’ – how I can love God and others with all my heart, all my mind, and all my strength.

There are of-course those who live and practice the selfless love that God so desires of us.
People that always place others before themselves.

However I’m sure you agree that most of us are not in that ‘special’ category.

In other words, despite the fact that most religions are based on love, unity, and service, we have managed to make them about one thing – ‘me’.

No, silly!!!

Not ‘me’ as in Segs!

‘Me’ as in ‘self’

We are so steeped in our focus on ‘self’ that from an early age we naturally develop and perfect the skills of what I call ‘agenda love’.

My father loves to tell people of the fleeting few seconds in which he believed that God had blessed him with the most selfless and loving six year old in the world.

Whilst on a work trip to the UK many years ago, he called to ask what I wanted him to buy me.

Like most six year olds at that time I requested for a toy car.

My request was swiftly followed with, “Daddy please also buy one for Dupe”.

Dad fondly recalls how touched and how proud he was that God had blessed him with such a loving and selfless son.

But unfortunately, my loving and oh so kind request for a toy car for dear little sis was immediately followed with the words;

‘So that she can have her own and not play with mine’.

My desire for my sister to have her own toy car was less to do with love and much more to do with avoiding any kind of personal inconvenience.

It is in this light that I want to thank my friend Katie for reminding me a few months ago of how important it is that we all learn to support each other – whether we know one another or not – no matter how far apart we live – no matter who or what we believe in.

Thousands of people on the east coast of America have just experienced a catastrophic natural disaster.

Yes yes yes I know, I know. Tragedies happen all over the world. Every day!!

Why should we be so sad?

Just because it’s America???

I can relate.

The same thoughts passed through my mind yesterday.

But that is precisely my point!

Yes – we in Nigeria / Africa do indeed have many issues and problems of our own.

But people are suffering in various ways all over the world.

No matter how bad you think your problem is, there is someone else with a far greater one.

Do you feel better and gain strength from the knowledge that their situation is worse than yours???

Or do you say a prayer and do whatever you can to help that person?

I’m going to stick my head out and bravely say that I’m pretty sure most religions encourage us to do the latter.

We are not alone.

We are here to support, love, and encourage one another – especially in times of need.

Let’s remember those people on the east coast in our prayers.

It actually feels odd to say that!

Why?

Because they’re in America!!

Everything works in America!

Life is good in America -right??!!

However many of them are in need right now, and we must support them with our prayers.

In times such as these it is important to remember that we are not alone.

It is a time for both President Obama and Mitt Romney to put aside their personal agendas, and do whatever they can to help those in need.

Politics should be put on hold for now.

Alright – for at least 48 hours!!

What matters now is doing everything they can to comfort those who lost loved ones during the storm.

What matters now is helping people who have literally being displaced from their homes to get back on their feet.

What matters now is giving people who have lost all semblance of hope the desire to pick themselves up and go again.

So why is it so important to pray for and give in what ever way we can to those who are in a far better environment than we are???

Because life is not a race

Because life is not a competition

Because your most important legacy is love – not money or possessions

Because it is what you were created to do – to love, to support, and to serve

In times like these it is important to remember that we are most definitely not alone.

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