Did you watch Adebayor against Arsenal in the English Premier league? He picked his spot, delivered a stunning header that beat Almunia who was manning the posts for Arsenal, It was a goal!. He took off like a cheetah that has spotted a prey in the forests of the Kalahari. I don’t know if anybody timed the run but I suspect it will be the envy of many world class sprinters. He had one aim, to present himself to the arsenal fans who have thrown unprintable insults at him before and during the game. They wished for his downfall but “tofiakwa”, his God is a God of judgment. He has promised in his word “My head will be lifted up above my enemies around me”. He ended the run with a skid in front of the agitated fans from London, he didn’t utter a word but his posture said it all- enemy shame! See what has become of me. Many from his homeland in West Africa praised God for their beloved, but that is when they were thrown into stupor. It must be a culture shock. All the press in England went crazy. Senseless, Silly, and nonsensical were some of the adjectives used to describe his 90 yard dash celebration. What has he done wrong? He just celebrated a goal.
Brutus, some background will be helpful. In this part of Africa, governments provide us with nothing, so we learn to depend on God so much. Things you take for granted in Europe are miracles in our world. To hold a simple election in Ogyakrom for instance, we have to start fasting one year before the election so that only a few people will be killed in isolated incidence of madness. Malaria is a well known disease with a well defined cure yet thousands die of malaria. Through the hard way we have learnt to depend on God. That is why we don’t play with our religion. Majority of Ogyakromians believe an ensemble of witches have been assigned to orchestrate nothing but destruction against them. These witches are usually unassuming people during the day but suddenly metamorphose into powerful owls that sore to heights that confound the eagle. It is therefore very important that all Ogyakromians keep a diary of people who “look at them in some way”. They will be the subject of their prayer topic during the next retreat.
So when it comes to dealing with enemies, we don’t spare a prayer against them. It is common to see phrases “like let my enemy live long and see what I will be in future” boldly inscribed on vehicles. We love to “pepper” our enemies with our success no matter how small. When a woman gets a new cloth from her daughter, it is not only flaunted in the face of other contenders in the village, but the message is made complete through lyrical finesse laden with innuendos. Simply put, our success is incomplete if our enemies don’t see what has become of us.
In this light, when we saw Adebayor’s celebration, we knew his blessing was complete. In fact Pastors wrote new blessings for their congregations. “Your feet shall be anointed as Adebayor’s and you will run before the enemy and you will not faint”. “May the blessings of Adebayor over take you.”
But alas, before they could deliver these great blessings to their congregations everybody went hey wire in England. And the biggest shock, Adebayor has been fined £25 000 for his celebration! Is that the cost of a blessing? Even the bible agrees that we celebrate before our enemies. Do you remember the very popular Psalm 23:5? “Thou prepared a table before me, in the presence of my enemies”. So why are the guys who showed us the direction to the bible putting such a high cost to a blessing?
The English FA has caused a lot of commotion in Ogyakrom. My bosom friend called ‘Thy Will Be Done’ came home downcast the other day. He was just returning from a Pastor who has been praying with him to find a beautiful wife. The pastor has got a new revelation. Every Blessing has a cost, and the Pastor has published the price list for various blessings. A blessing to overcome your enemies: ¢25 000 A blessing to buy a new car ¢1000 A blessing to Pass Exams ¢2500 A blessing for a wife: ¢10 000
At that point he stopped reading. His whole world collapsed instantly, he will never be able to afford a wife. Brutus what consolation could I offer him? I could only say, “Oh God! Thy Will be Done, it is well”. And I hope it doesn’t come with a cost.