I refuse to listen to the entreaties of luxurious cars; iphones; rolex wrist-watches and edikankong soup.
They say a fool at forty is a fool forever. But I am well over fifty, and I am still a fool. In fact, there is no point denying it; I have been a fool all my life.
Finally, I made a solemn vow. Like Michael Jackson, I resolved to make a change for once in my life. I would no longer be a sucker for lies. Solomon says “buy the truth and sell it not” (Proverbs 23:23). I refuse to be seduced ever again by carefully-crafted lines of bewitching salesmen. I have believed once too often. Unlike Paul, my loving heart would no longer believe all things (1 Corinthians 13:7).
The melody in my heart
So many things have lied to me. One I remember in particular was a Sony AM/FM Stereo Tuner. It spoke to me for weeks and weeks. It promised that once I bought it, my life would never be the same again. How perfect it would be, right there on my wall-unit at home. So I scrimped and I saved and I acquired it for a tidy sum.
But alas, my life was not enriched by its sounds of music. My new Sony was not fantastic. All I heard from it were lies and more lies. In disgust, I quickly left it to gather dust in my living-room. In over ten years, I have not turned it on more than five times.
Deliverance from tasty fried chicken
When will God deliver me from the lust of the eyes and the lust of the flesh? I even need deliverance from a leg of chicken. Whenever I try to fast, a succulent piece would torment me day and night in my mind’s eye; promising heaven on earth. Should I see someone tucking into one, my imagination would run wild. The entire fast would be spent in keen anticipation of that precise moment when, yet again, I would be able to take a delectable bite of a tasty fried chicken.
But once the fast ends, I would discover yet again that the chicken of my dreams is all a lie. With one bite, the lie would be exposed. Disappointed, I would ask myself with incredulity: “So what is there to die for in this piece of chicken?” But that would still not prevent me from falling for the same lie again once I embark on another fast.
Another New Year resolution
So I made a resolution; I would never again listen to lies. I refuse to listen to the entreaties of luxurious cars; flat-screen televisions; iphones; barley shoes; rolex wrist-watches and edikankong soup. Henceforth, I will not listen to the voice of strangers.
It was an excellent plan executed to perfection until someone gave me a very expensive mobile-phone on my fiftieth birthday. It was a trap and I knew it. She first asked me why I did not have a phone, and I told her I did not have one because I did not want one. Nevertheless, she still went ahead to get me one.
Just as I feared, the phone started talking to me. Worse still, people I did not even know started calling to talk to me as well. Only God knows how they got my number. I grumbled and mumbled that this was precisely what I wanted to avoid.
A logical hypocrisy
Then one day, someone stole the phone. I went to one of the cable TV offices in Lagos and, on the way back, discovered that the phone was missing. I became very distraught. How careless I was? Why did I not pay more attention?
Then the Lord spoke to me: “Femi, why are you so upset?” “I am upset because all the time I was waiting on the queue; someone was busy stealing my phone.” “But what does it matter, you don’t want the phone anyway?” “That’s no reason why it should be stolen.” “Why should you be upset at losing something you don’t like?” “I didn’t say I don’t like it.” “You didn’t?” “Even if I don’t like it; that’s no excuse for someone to steal it.”
A divine comeuppance
I was beginning to have a sneaking suspicion that the Lord himself had sent someone to take away my phone because I was pretending not to like it. I did not know or did not want to admit that my despised mobile-phone had somehow become an important fixture in my life. By the time I got back to my office, I was still very angry with myself for being unaware that someone was picking my pocket.
Then the Lord said to me: “Femi, look on your table.”
There on my table was my mobile-phone where I had left it.