Goke Omisore posits that the place of God is absent in the rising threat posed by terrorism
A much, much younger friend, whom I consider a great son – a brilliant mind – and whom I am very fond of called me in the heat of a breaking news on CNN – the latest terrorist bombing in Brussels, Belgium. He was fed-up and disillusioned and posted a pertinent question. He assumed I could do justice to the answer, with no sentiment attached. He asked: “Is God enjoying this spectre of terrorism world-wide? Does God exist?” and proceeded to add that with all these heinous, horrendous acts going on in the world today?”
In other words, is God a spectator at his own creatures’ lunacy? Bemused but not amazed, my faculties stood on edge. I promised I would get back to him in 24 hours, a challenge that has always constantly been prowling my reasoning faculties – the existence of God in our lives.
Well, son, nothing in today’s world runs more on parallel lanes than God’s invincibility, indivisibility, omnipotence, and omnipresent in His infinite wisdom and the acts of men. It obfuscates and bewilders one’s reasoning, beclouding the senses but preachers all over the world in all faiths have been compounding the intricate web of realities of this profound question, mostly in their own selfish interest and limited knowledge. Over the ages, pastors of all denominations in Christianity, most especially have failed and usually glossed over it as a non-debatable issue and they’ll rather dwell and fidget around the greatest book of all times: The BIBLE, from where they quote profusely tons of verses and Psalms to absorb God for these reoccurring insanities in our acts as we are self-destroying.
We, His creatures, I myself very often wonder: Is it nature or nurture, evolution or the Lord’s Commandments – trillion dollar question begging to be yet resolved but always preferred in favour of faith? Whatever one’s opinion on this circumspection will be a great virtue!
Here is my feeble and humble but brutally frank attempt to nimble at a question as old as humanity. I will not even flatter myself that I can answer it. Sacrilege! But I will contribute my two cents knowledge. With the wherewithal in my pedigree, degrees and prodigious curiosity, I will say that the creation of men, mind and matters may travail in painful and in-depth analysis but cannot escape its destiny. I am a continuous learning student of documentaries, especially Animal Kingdom documentary.
I can say without an iota of doubt in my mind that I am not sure, we human beings are superior to animals – it is just one of our arrogant claims and under discovery or lack of it in the recurring decimal from the grains of our intrinsic constitutions as human beings. The animal in us always betrays and embarrasses us, when the chips are down. We are brutally insane animals with minimal exceptions amongst of us, but when provoked, realities have us imprisoned. From our backyard in Maiduguri, to Sudan, to Syria; the worst of the animal instinct in us manifest uncensored. Take a cursory look at the madness in Rivers State, in a river of blood in a simple political civic duty!
Oba Oluwa mo oun gbogbo, O si’le se oun gbogbo, sugbon opolopo oun gbogbo ti oba alagbara, arinu ri ode okan l’ese po, ti kii se. Eyi lo fi ju awa eda lo! (Translation: God Almighty knows all things and can do all things. But there are many things that God Almighty, who sees the inside and outside of our hearts can do but chooses not to do). And that is how He shows His superiority to his creation! The Lord immortal, lords things over us and who are we but mere mortals to question His wisdom? On these doctrines rest all faiths, to the best of my knowledge.
However, I have news for us. The greatest treasure in all human beings is THE BRAIN! Big deal, but the bigger deal is: we are barely using far less than 10 per cent or so of it, bigger deal! The biggest deal is when we optimise it maximally, thank God you and I won’t be around!
The human mind is a reservoir of scripts unscratched, just compare the analogue years to this digital leap – shattering all myths – the existence of God in our lives will be best revealed sooner than later but today, the gods are having their ways. “Enia lo’nje anibi’re, Oba Oluwa o re ibi kankan! God is immoveable! Inimitable!
Animal documentaries always fascinate me. From our curiosity of birds’ flight, we copied in aeronautics. Plane crashes variously occur while birds soar, glide and swirl in breathtaking aeronautical displays in their thousands without one touching the other in a symphonic, well-orchestrated sanity in the air of display! Yet, we deem them inferior! Fishes in the ocean are not less fascinating but even more awesome in their God-given abilities.
But wait till animals too go berserk. You will definitely be convinced that we are first cousins. When one of the most graceful of all creatures, the lion rest majestically – oozing beauty and grace – we are marveled. Wait till the pain of hunger commands, he pounces and rips-off violently any animal in sight. The king will have its fill, but usually has the decency of choice and walks away contented but not we men. Nothing is ever enough for the mankind of animals.
Human species, we are terribly possessive, jealous, envious and we revel in insane greed and that is the bane of human existence. The latest revelations on corruption in our land speak volumes about us all. By commission and omissions, it is our collective guilt. Where is God in all these matters?
Now, I have a confession to make. My utmost respect on this particular subject matter goes to Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa. When he won the Nobel Peace Prize years back, I was glued to my TV on the occasion of his acceptance speech in Oslo in Norway. If memory bears me right, the Archbishop was asked a most profound but somewhat embarrassing question: “What is your position on the existence of God?” I am sure millions that were watching moved to the edge of their seats or sunk in their couch. He gave a very deep but sober and very humbling reply.
“The question on the existence of God is puzzling but thank God, even if God does not exist, thank God somebody invented the idea.” His answer serves me right aptly. That was his reply and indeed, a brilliant one. We all applauded. Don’t even imagine the world without faith in God or Allah.
The believability of the existence of God is confounding in the intricate webs of religion, racism, or tribalism and culture which are often compromised, in total confusion by civilisation of all times, at different times. This is a passing phase. This yoke shall pass over mankind. Religion is a faith of canonical obedience, devotion and very often, in total submission by the adherents of all faiths.
In-here lies the confusion in millions of followers or non-believers in any faith. The myth surrounding the birth and death of Christ is one of these greatest puzzles, as time and science keep probing the truth of this sacred matter, then again to millions, it’s a non-debatable matter of faith.
I was window-shopping on Fifth Avenue in New York City in a jewelry shop one day. I needed to buy a strap for my treasured old Cartier wrist watch. The shop owner was pressuring me to buy for my wife, a piece or two, as most salesmen are wont to do.
He persistently pressured me to buy a necklace at a very tempting price, the typical African man in me, dishonestly kept saying, he should not worry, that I’ll be back to purchase from his array of choices! After I have repeatedly said that and resisted buying thrice, despite a fifty per cent discount offered, he cut in sharply: “I will come back – that’s what Jesus said three thousand years ago. He is not back yet!” Hilarious, amusing but a fact! I humbly submit.
-Omisore wrote from Lagos