|Photo Credit: Google|
The first time I gave my life to Christ was when I was seven, at our local church, because our Parish Pastor had held a combined service and told us about the miracle of accepting Jesus. Of course, pious Christianity would mean that I had done it countless times before then, without my own proper understanding even. But perhaps this instance is most peculiar because it was only when I understood the essence and vowed to make a decision.
Our Pastor said that one day he had decided to accept Jesus and his life turned around forever; that one day he made this great choice and sin became a thing of the past.
He said, “God’s grace will lead us away from sin” and that once we prayed that prayer, sin would stop being attractive. He said it would be like a movie one had seen repeatedly and lost interest in.
And so, I gave my life, I gave my life to Jesus. I said I would never sin again.
Read: Is Jesus Really God ?
Read: Is Jesus Really God ?
However, the next day at school, I sinned. I called my classmate an “Idiot” for a reason I do not exactly remember and I said also that “He was a fool”.
I hated myself. I imagined God to have folded his arms, pouted his lips, and looked at me disappointed. I imagined Jesus to have been saying “So soon, Caleb, was it not just yesterday you gave your life?”
Several years down and the cycle remained the same. It was the “I run away from Jesus when I sin” cycle, the “I run to more sin when I sin” cycle, it was duplicity, a deceit of the devil and frankly shams are shams because you do not know initially.
However, initially is long gone and this is what I know.
I know of Grace, it is the hand that lifts me when I fall, the pillow that drowns my snuffles of inadequacy; it is tender and affectionate, kind hearted and warm. It is “It is well with my soul” and Nathaniel Bassey on repeat, it is finding oneself in the lyrics of Jesus Culture and catching yourself smiling because you cannot explain this love
I know that because of this Grace, you do not sit and count with your fingers every little sin, that you are very concerned about my wellbeing, I know you are concerned about what perfume I wear every morning and what shirt looks good on me. Because of Grace, you are my best friend, my favourite person.
I know of your love, it is singing stridently in my bedroom and feeling it in my bones
Jesus is all the world to me
My life, my joy, my all
In him, I find the strength to live
Without him I would fall
I know that life will get in the way sometimes, it would snuff out evidences of this love, sneer at me and say “It cannot be real, how can someone love you like this, common you? You know what you have done”.
I will forget sometimes, Dear Lord that I am nothing without you, my thoughts would be brusque, not curt like those kings college children in stainless white on white, but offensive. My thoughts will belittle what you have done for me, tell me that I could have done it on my own.
Sometimes, it would be career getting in the way, this enthusiasm to write would become prerequisites that I would believe too that I could do it without you.
But forgive me lord, I do not mean it, I do not mean any of it.
I know of love that hung on a tree, abnormally so. Because the world finds love in red, roses sitting curtly beside each other on glass tables, and pink cards that read –I love you. The world finds love in trivialities, but Lord, I am glad to have found it in you.
Your love is infinite and inexhaustible, like my favourite Adichie Novel, I see newer dimensions every time I read you. It is vast and rich, healthy, like the faces of smiling children in peak milk commercials; your love is never ending.
Forgive me for my gloomy days, for my ungrateful days, for the days when I do not tell a soul of how amazing you are, forgive me. I am the unappreciative child who after receiving a matchless gift from his Father still refuses to run errands, I am unthankful.
And I am not only unthankful, I am faults and wrongdoings, failure and flaws.
But, Dear Lord, this is what I know, I know that you love me wholeheartedly, and that frankly is all I need to know.
Caleb Somtochukwu Okereke is a writer and literary blogger. His works have appeared in Sun and Vanguard Newspapers, Kalahari Review, New Black Magazine, Hamilton Stone review. He is a weekly contributor for Ynaija whose first Novel, is set to be published by Bahati Books UK in 2016.