By Debbie Ogunjobi
A market is a place of business, money, services and goods exchange hands. People from all walks of life visit the market for different reasons; some for transactions, others to partake in the energy and be a part of something that makes their mundane life pass less tediously and some visit just to observe and comment on the people there.
There is a saying popular with the Yoruba people of sub-Saharan Africa which translates to mean, the world/life is a market; we all visit but inevitably have to return home.
My brother and I sat down to discuss the last few months and while his experiences are literarily out of this world (being in a coma is a whole different kettle of fish), the rest of us who were awake for the drama have developed insights to life that has simplified our journeys.
We understand or should I say grasp the concept of the power of the Divine and how it can change hopelessness into a modern day miracle and a certain detachment took place without any of us making a conscious effort
The market that I now see life has a lot of noise as its most noticeable feature. The noise of greetings, platitudes, haggling, interactions and bargains make it the boisterous buzz of activity that it essentially is but it has no bearing on the real transactions that take place in the market.
My world view now is that 80% of the things that happen in the world are market noise and as such bear no relevance to the real transactions that take place.
Being a Yoruba person, I am wont to dismiss people and situations with no relevance to the real transactions or events that change or affect my life as â€œAriwo Ojaâ€ meaning â€œmarket noiseâ€. I have stripped such people and situations of any value and power; choosing instead to focus on the really important things that matter.
The first discuss is the lid opener on these series of articles I call transactions. Itâ€™s the transaction on conviction. It is the nurturing of the soul; you and the Divine. My beliefs are true to me and I am at peace with the transaction of my life to Jesus Christ for eternity; it is my absolute conviction.
In the real scheme of things, religion as an institution is more an obstacle to growth than any other force. I say this fully expecting a lot of â€œnoiseâ€ but I beg you to consider the concept of a relationship with the Divine rather than the straight jacket of the institution of religion whatever name it is called!
To develop a relationship that breeds an intimacy that obviously will inform our world views and run through every stream of thought. Being an atheist in itself is a conviction as long as it is sure and not a rebellion against authority or past influence! When the chips are down, the most important thing would be the conviction that we hold absolutely.
The real transaction is to believe in something and be convinced such that all eventualities are fine and dandy.
My brother is very articulate and can preach a beautiful sermon. He has been a committed Christian for a greater part of his life and I mentioned one fact to him that I believe shook him to his marrow in the discussion we had. The greatest battle of his life was fought while he was asleep!
He had suffered an aneurysm and slipped into a coma in a matter of minutes. The battle for his survival was fought over an extended period and it brings to focus the need to quiet the noise and focus on the things that matter.
He came out his coma singing a song. One of the nurses in the CCU had started a chorus and a comatose patient joined; that is a miracle I will never forget! Through the process of his recovery, we battled his mind set as his vision of heaven meant he wasnâ€™t very interested in the market place we all hold so dear. (I will cede the page to him when he is ready to share his experience; it will make your ears tingle)
A lot of people are going to have opinions on the choices we make when we make what I call the transaction 101 but their opinions are market noise; they have no bearing on our eventualities. We must be so fully convicted of that transaction that there are no qualms about the inevitability of our demise!
If your transaction is primarily to material/ephemeral things then I must tell you that you are in big trouble. Money, wealth, class, status is not a belief system that holds steady with any form of ill health or some hard knocks that life can dish out unexpectedly.
Jumping between religions is actually a sign of desperation and shows no commitment to any; so no intimacy can ever evolve. All it does is confirm the personâ€™s need to manipulate events and people at whatever cost! A lot of people have transacted their souls to the detriment of their peace; I donâ€™t judge them; itâ€™s their right to do so under the proviso of free will.
The pitiable reality is that the transaction is without conviction and made out of desperation and a need to acquire at all cost. I believe the only lost soul is the dead one.
So itâ€™s never too late to change tack and make a better transaction. My brother did! On that fateful day, the nurse had been singing a popular praise song and it went thus.
â€œAwesome Godâ€ she sang and he had come out of the coma with â€œMighty Godâ€!!