I dont drink!

images4.jpg“Can u mix me a little something without alcohol in it?

I asked the bartender sweetly

“that would be £1.80” he said handing me a glass of cranberry juice with ice

I turned and almost bumped into my team members…all six of them staring at me.

“are u guys alright” I asked? ….

“we should be asking you” the most outspoken one said… before I could speak, she continued

“you always turn down our invitation to go to the pub and now that you finally agree u are asking for a cranberry juice?”

“I think it’s because she is a Christian” one of them said.

“oh no, don’t tell me we are bringing up that God dude into this conversation again”

another moaned and from there a heated debate started among them while I sipped my juice and watched them have a go at each other.

They must have realised I wasnt talking because they turned to me after a while and waited for me to speak…

“look guys, I try to live my life by  trying to do what is right and having a personal relationship with God even…”

the outspoken girl interrupted me and said

“pls cut the crap, my boyfriend is into all that born again thing and that doesn’t stop him from drinking or from us having sex…and he is African like you”

Here I stood facing six people from different parts of the world, none of which shared my faith, cultural beliefs or  values..God help me, I prayed…

 ” guys, this is what I believe in, and it has worked for me for many years. It is a borne out of a personal decision and conviction to steer clear from Alcohol.  I try to obey God and I am thankful for every instruction I am able to obey. (then, facing the girl who spoke) I don’t have any right to comment on what you and your boyfriend do, that’s between him and God …by the way, Africans aren’t the only Christians”

“Is that why you always refuse to come with us to the pub?” one asked

I smiled and answered

“but I am with you here now, am I not? I can come with you but it will be on my own terms. If I asked you to come to my church and pray with me and you didn’t  ,  I wouldn’t be able to do anything about it so you shouldnt be able to  pressurise me into doing anything I don’t believe in..should you?”

They all kept quiet and I saw grudging acceptance  in their eyes…

In this new age, we very often meet people and circumstances that question the very root of what we believe in and once we discover we are in the minority, we shrink and slink away in silence. ..and tell ourselves I know I believe in God… Its bad enough that we are in a world where people now crucify you just for being different. 

This people are not afraid to  declare how they live their lives…

why should you be afraid to or ashamed to make your own declarations?

As I walked home in the cold that night, I felt light and happy – it was a victory…

Friends, if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for everything!

when I got to class the next day, I gave them a list of something I blogged about a while ago.

 I said “this list is about all other things I stand for…”

they read it quietly and gave it back to me..

we have remained good team mates since then – playing hard and working hard. In fact they have been the best group I have had since my course started.

I had made my stand clear.

We know we believe in God, God knows it,

 the Church knows it …

It’s about time we let the world know it!!!

THE BUS DRIVER

bus-driver.gif

I was at the bus stop…If the bus didn’t come in another minute, I was going to be late for lectures. (And that was going to be bad!) 

I found myself silently praying for God to make the driver faster so he could get to me on time. Thankfully, the bus arrived and I scrambled in.

Just as I got in, an old woman behind me stopped by the driver’s window and said “hello, how are you doing?”

I didn’t hear the drivers’ response but I was really surprised at the exchange. 

It was at that point that it occurred to me that I got on the bus to and fro school everyday for the past five weeks and I had no idea what the driver looked like…

(Male, female, black, white, fat, thin, sad /smiley face) I had no idea – I always just got on the bus, showed the driver my bus pass without actually ever looking at his/her face.

 

When I got home, I shared my experience with my flatmate and she surprised me further by saying she knew most of the drivers that plied our route and their different shifts.

When I showed surprise, she said “I see them everyday, they get me where I am going, how can I possibly not recognise them?” 

I need not explain how bad I felt – not just because of the bus driver, but because of something else I learnt that day…

Most of the time, our relationship with God is like mine with the bus driver(s).

 I couldn’t be bothered as far as they got me where I was going. Most of us see God as a means to an end

…. The “Big guy” that gets things done –gets us a new job, car, heals our sick, makes us very rich (how could I forget that!) …

He is like the bus driver, we only remember him when we need him!. There is no personal relationship at all, just a contract…

“I will be good (no drinking, smoking, killing, womanising) and you answer all my prayers” kind off contract.

Some of us are prayer warriors – but are we sure it’s not because we happen to have many needs?

 I have now improved my on my behaviour to the bus driver. I say “hello” when I get on and smile or say “bye/thanks” when  I get off… they are not just “tools” driving me to school anymore… they are real people to me now. 

 

Food for thought: 

Can you change God from being the “big guy/ bus driver” to a real person in your life?