Heads up guys, this post would get you thinking spiritually so if it is not your cup of tea you might not want to read it but I dare you to read the whole post. Why? Because I can guarantee that you would pick up a few things that might change the way you think in life.
So I stumbled, like literally stumble on a film on youtube while watching different ways to style box braids and I am glad that I did. It was like God wanted me to watch it cos I had never heard of the film before. The name of the movie is ‘Another perfect stranger’ and yes, it is a Christian movie.
The movie tackles the fact that most people are not in a relationship with God but are just religious. I hope I am able to explain this well. What they meant and what I understood is that we are so focused on what ‘people’ expect you to do in your religion that we forget that it is not about people it is about a personal relationship. I would be focusing on Christianity because that is all I know but I know for my Muslim readers and friends, some of my points would make sense.
In the movie, the lead actress’s parents tried to make her accept Jesus into her life but the girl felt they were being too religious and they had a big fight. Then on the plane, a guy heard her when she was complaining to a friend and also tried to make her see that her parents were right. I have no problem with that, he meant well but was going about it in a wrong way. Personally I felt it was a bit forceful.
Later on in the flight, she starts to talk to another guy by her side and they discuss about religion and how people have left the focus of what it is to the way it should be. He said something about the way American Christians are and I am like, if you guys are complaining about American Christians then what would they say about the way Nigerians have turned religion into. They continue to talk throughout the film and the man lets her know that having a personal relationship with God is the ultimate and that when you have a personal relationship with God, he would direct you and teach you on how to walk with him.
At the end of the film, the lady realizes that it was Jesus that had been talking to her all that time. And then she understood what her parents were talking about.
So now here are my personal thoughts. I agree with what the 'Jesus' in the movie said. A lot of people especially Nigerians are practicing religion. They think that if a person doesn’t act in a certain way or do things in a certain way then the person is not a Christian (or a muslim as the case may be).
Take me for example, I am an Anglican (born and decided to stay an Anglican). In school most people were attending Pentecostal fellowships and I choose to continue going to an Anglican church and you would not imagine the amount of flack I got because of that. I used to get angry till one day, it was revealed to me that I had no reason getting angry.
If i was able to connect with God and he with me in my Anglican church then I had no reason to get angry. Besides I was not the owner of the church, he was, so I needed to leave it to him to defend his church and concentrate on what mattered. Funnily after that day, when people thought they were being spiritual about telling me that my church was not a church I had such peace within me and couldn’t get angry. And you know what, people stopped talking after a while (I don’t know why they did).
I still get the side eye from people when they ask what church I attend and I say Anglican but when I say Anglican, I say it with pride. I ain’t ashamed of my church. I get that we are not like the newer generation churches but the aim of a church is not to focus on rituals or the supposedly way you feel a church should be. The focus is CHRIST and on how to be a better Christian. Funny, most people don’t know that when I was younger, we used to attend Pentecostal churches. I have been to celestial church of Christ, winner’s chapel, Redeemed Christian Church of God, Victory Christian Church and some other churches and even Catholic Church. So I know what goes on in other churches.
I have no problem going for programs in other churches but it is not the same way with other people. I think they feel that Anglican Church is for old people. I don’t know about that but I know I love my church. I love the hymns, I love the routine, I love the organizational structure. I love the fact that people don’t have full authority and that they are accountable to a higher/more senior person. I love the fact that things can be mixed up, today we can be the old Anglican way and tomorrow we can be a different way. Today we could be all about hymns, tomorrow we could sing praise and worship songs all day.
A friend came to see me at church one day and eventually stayed for the service. He was so shocked that the way he thought Anglican was, was not what he saw at all. I think he left there a changed person (I hope). I appreciate all the other churches and wish people would appreciate my church too. To think about it, most of the general overseers of the Pentecostal churches have no problem with orthodox churches, it is the followers that have the attitude. I wonder why? I could be wrong though.
The point I am trying to make here is that people need to stop assuming things because of the church a person goes to. We all can’t act or worship God in the same way. The most important thing in our lives should be our walk with God. I have stopped comparing my Christian race (and life race) with other people because I am not other people. I am ME and God wants me to be ME with him.
I might not be able to sing or act or be a lay reader or a priest or the head of a group or pray for hours or pray the way that people expect a Christian should pray or preach or do so many things that people assume that if you are a good Christian should do. I might be able to sweep the church floor or clean the pews or help decorate the church hall or help a kid in church or calm a kid who is crying in church or feed the kids in church so that they are calmer and can allow their parents to hear the word or scrub the toilets in churches so that people can use the toilet when they need to use it or adopt kids even when I am single or sponsor the education of a child I don’t know or do things that make no sense to others. The thing is if it coming from your heart and it glorifies him, i feel God would take you doing what you can do than what you feel people think you should do. So If feel in my heart of hearts, that i am doing what glorifies God, why would I look at what others are doing and do those things so that I can appear normal.
Watching the film reminded me that this life is a personal race and nobody can run it for you except you and no one can show you how to run it except God. So for people out there doing things because it is what others are doing when you know that is not exactly what God wants you to do, I dare you to do what God wants you to do for a while and see if you don’t have a greater peace and feel more in tune with God. Hey, what do you have to lose? You don’t feel it, you go back to your old ways and no harm is done.
The most important I need you all to know is exactly what was said in the movie, you can only find fulfillment with God and not in human beings or things. Having a personal relationship with God and not following a religion is the ultimate. Because at the end of this life, I don’t think God would ask anyone if they were a Christian (or a Muslim) but I feel he would ask ‘Did you know me personally?’
That is all folks, I wanted to talk about how reflecting on all these made me also thinking about my life and where I am today but I think I should stop here today. I have yapped too much. I hope I was able to help someone reflect on their lives and their standing with God. I know that I might get a few comments that I might not like but it would be worth it if even one person’s life is changed for the better.
Luv ya guys,