Thursday, 7th December 2023

The journey of man

By Abdu Rafiu
16 April 2020   |   1:39 am
As we were grappling with Laser fever and you thought there was a flicker of light at the end of the tunnel, Mr. COVID-19 sneaked in, unsparingly hitting all and every target with crushing blows, putting the entire human race under house arrest.

Many people, troubled seeing the ravages the monster called COVID-19 has been unleashing in various countries of the world, are throwing up their hands in resignation, understandably asking: “What’s all this about? Is there never going to be an end to all the waves of afflictions which assail humanity unceasingly? Is there never going to be any respite for the people?” In Nigeria, for example, our people stumble from one disturbing problem to another; from one harrowing experience to the other and from one calamity to the other. If it is not Boko Haram today, it would be the spectacle of killing field horror tomorrow or the menace and dread of kidnappers walking their victims far into the forest and asking them to choose between life and death. Ethnic suspicions became rife and there were hardly any soothing words of assurance, inspirational words, such words that seize and you hit the air with your fist, you want to fly, feeling light, triumphant and sheltered.

As we were grappling with Laser fever and you thought there was a flicker of light at the end of the tunnel, Mr. COVID-19 sneaked in, unsparingly hitting all and every target with crushing blows, putting the entire human race under house arrest. Fire in Australia became just a footnote in the chronicle of events. The threat of war by the United States and Iran became insignificant. And everyone became askance: What is going on?

What really is the purpose and meaning of life if this is what we have to encounter continually? It is times the kind of which mankind is passing through at the moment that throws up all manner of questions, from the mundane to the serious, from the humbling to the sublime. The Sword of Damocles ever hanging on the neck of the human race! When you think aloud in a sign of an onset of frustration, many argue that there is nothing new under the sun. The world has seen wars before, even before the famous World War 1 and the devastating World War 2. Have we forgotten the holocaust? The intra-tribal wars in the South –West which lasted years before the Whiteman came? Have we also not experienced plagues before? So what’s new? These things are parts of life, a great many say. The conversation then usually moves to, “By the way, what is the purpose of life itself? Human beings are just moving round in circles and history at all times is only repeating itself.’’

Millions are unable to sense the signals of the times, and when— buttressed with reference to what Prophet Isaiah asked mankind to look out for and when, as indicators of the End- Time, that it would be the time of the Son of Man, when the Will of the Creator would stare everyone in the face, and whatever is opposed to It collapses. Isaiah did say that it would be the time of chaos and mankind would have reached its wit’s end, the great time of perplexities in which one conference follows another, when distrust is everywhere, as unrest and uneasiness, when hopeless confusion spreads. In his words: “Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us” (Isaiah 8, 10).

What is meant by ‘God is with us’ is revealed in Isaiah 7, 13-14 when he said: “Listen, house of David! Is it not enough for you to try the patience of men? Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive, have a son, and name him Imanuel.” This is saying that the meaning of Imanuel is “God is with us.” What are the consequences of God being with us, especially given His Power? Taking counsel means holding conferences and summits, seminars and staging of workshops. At the end of the day all comes to nought! They are not underpinned by threads of the Will of God, and therefore amount to nothing, much if at all, as we learn in the revelation of higher knowledge spreading on earth today. It is all moving round in circles and getting to nowhere in particular. We cannot all cast our minds back to the various meetings of the world leaders.

Is this how life is to continue? Life of horror and uncertainties? What then is the purpose of life? The consciousness about a powerful Force superintending over the affairs of human beings has existed from the beginning of time, in part from experiences, many of which were inexplicable. The recognition grew with the encounter with and the knowledge of elemental beings, known in Europe as the Greek and Roman gods of antiquity. Zeus, for example, was thought to be god of justice and regulator of meteorological occurrences. As the recognition widened and became sharper, with the Jews being the first to come to the highest recognition of one Supreme Being God, first through Abraham in 1800BC, and consolidated by Moses in 1200 BC, mankind also began to sense order and perfection in the ways of the said Being. Today, those who believe in the existence of God also believe in His Perfection, goodness, order, justice and benevolence. Today that perfection is not in doubt whatsoever.

I have gone this length to draw attention to recognitions in life and recognitions of life and to stimulate reflections, which include asking ourselves: What is the purpose of life on earth for every human being? If I were to ask thousands of readers of this column what the purpose of our existence on earth is, I am bound to receive as many answers as the number of the readers. If we would be honourable and true, truth will oblige us to say we do not know. What we may harbour in our minds is guesswork. The seriousness of this failing will dawn on us if we consider the implications of a 70-year-old man, an 80-year-old woman, or a 50-year-old man or woman not knowing the purpose of his or her life on earth. If a 65-year old or a 75-year-old does not know precisely why he is on earth, when will he begin to fulfill the purpose of his sojourn here, on this planet earth?

In my reflection, I consider the scenario of life in Lagos, for example. We wake up very early in the morning, as early as 4:30 a.m in many cases and leave home at five in the morning, to be able to get to work at 8:00 a.m or 9:00 a.m depending on resumption timeline, that is if one lives in Lagos or in one of the several districts surrounding Abuja, the federal capital. After the day’s work at 5:00 p.m, we struggle to get back home at 8:00 p.m, most times 9:00 p.m, for reasons, in most cases, of having to wade through traffic jams, or floods, or bad roads which hinder free flow of traffic—all of which sap our energies considerably. We eat, and go to bed, perhaps at 10:00p.m, only to get up again at between 4:30a.m and five to resume the routine of getting to work, and for work itself. At weekends, we travel for one social event or the other—marriages, funerals or meetings.

Consider it: we were born; so time was when we were children. We grew up to go to school. A great many went on to the university or to acquire skills. We settle down, have flats leased out to us, marry and buy cars, then struggle to build our own houses. We, too, have our own children, and raise them, giving them necessary education, and guide them to acquire skills in one profession or the other. They, too, reach the point at which they continue the cycle of birth and living. Come to think of it: Every child has four grandparents and every great grandchild has 16 great grandparents. And the family tree grows luxuriantly, bringing forth fruits exponentially! What can we say in all this that we are pursuing? What can we say in all these is the purpose of our lives? Why are we here? Can all there is to life be being born, going to school, working, acquiring property and giving birth to other human beings? The thinking ones among us must from time to time be sensing, if only vaguely, that there is more to life than we know. Many who permit themselves some introspection are not persuaded when they are told that the ways of the Almighty Creator are inscrutable. This is because the knowledge of His Perfection among those who are convinced about His existence is widespread. He is All Wisdom, so we talk of His Omniscience, and we say He is Logic personified. In higher knowledge now on earth, it is revealed that it is His intention that He be understood. Since He is Logic personified, it should follow that we can access His ways.

What human beings lack the capacity to do is to behold Almighty God for reasons of His immeasurable Power. It is such that not even angels and archangels can behold Him. What He permits is a picture of His Countenance occasionally shown, and no more. It does not require much to realise that we can have less than the faintest idea of His Power when we consider that high-tension wire sucks in any worker who is not adequately protected. Egbin Power Station, the power generation area, is out of bounds to whoever is not in an adequate protective gear. Power from these points can only be accessible when it is stepped down through various transformers that dot neighbourhoods. When we then realise that all these are no more than precipitations of radiations of power from God through the Holy Spirit we must bow. The precipitations are harnessed by scientists who work within the framework of the Laws of Nature in the course of which they encounter helpers and nature beings without their realizing their presence—the harnessed precipitation for the use of human beings as electricity.

There is also the conviction that out of His Perfection, the Almighty God created the universe; He created Heaven and the earth, and all who shelter in its folds. We can sense logically that where there is perfection, there can be no purposelessness. In Perfection that is Truth and Life must lie purpose and purposefulness. In other words, if He created out of His perfection, it should go without saying that He created for a purpose. It is inconceivable that purposelessness can issue out of perfection rightly understood. It must be inconceivable to anyone who can reflect a little that the Creator Who is Perfection would just create us, and send us to this earth for no purpose. Yet when we puny human beings build a house, construct chairs, the works of our hands, there are reasons for them. They are brought into existence to meet needs. How dare we then suggest that there is no purpose for our lives on earth? We are made to realise through the revelation of the higher knowledge that there is nothing in this Creation without a task. What then is the purpose of our life on earth? Has mankind deviated from that purpose hence, perhaps, the causes of waves of terror and dread as exemplified by COVID-19 afflicting the whole world? Is the world coming to an end? This will be treated next week along with the subject of the purpose of life on earth.

I hasten to say, however, that End-Time is not end of the world but the end of an epoch which is to be marked by purification. The purifying waves of the End-Time are to cleanse the entire earth of all pestilential conduct and all that is out of consonance with the Will of the Creator, to pave the way for the establishment of the prophesied Millennium, the one thousand years of peace and joy on earth, a period when only the Will of God will reign supreme. Coronavirus is unquestionably one of the trumpets to warn of the World Judgment.

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