Ah, yes it’s the time of the year when we make promises to stop old “bad” habits and adopt new “good” ones. We promise to eat right, drink less, find love or failing the latter be more selective with our shags.
It’s the time of year, when regular gym goers are put out by an influx of new gym members, causing queues to use the machines and free weights. Meaning a shorter work out session for regulars who are hard pressed for time.
I personally, don’t make resolutions at the New Year. If I want to make a life changing decision or adopt a new habit, I do it immediately, rather than wait for a landmark day in the calendar. When it comes to improvement, I think every day is a day to make a “New Year resolution”. That is not to say I have never made a New Year resolution. The last one I remember making was back in 1999. It was more of revelation than a resolution.
As is traditional in Nigeria, I have a religious upbringing. We are all brought up to believe in something and God or Allah – depending on you background (Christian or Muslim) has the lion share of the belief area. At that time I was struggling with reconciling my sexuality with my Faith. Being brought up a fairly good Christian, I was finding it hard reconciling being gay and practising my faith. I was attending a Pentecostal church at that time and as is mandatory all sins were condemned, but the homosexual sin resonated more with me than any other one like say adultery, for obvious reasons. It just seemed to me that if you were gay, you would burn in a hotter section of hell, than where say adulterers or fornicators would burn.
I had always felt I had a good relationship with God. I obey most of the ten commandments; show others respect (until provoked); I obey the law of the land (within reason), pay my taxes, etc, etc…. just that the gay thing felt like the sin that negated all the good and that something bad would befall me in the future, if I did not repent.
I could not find anyone to talk to about it at church and my gay friends were not particularly churchgoers and resented “organised religion”.
I had attended the midnight New Year’s church service that year and came back home feeling really down about the gay/religion thing. I went on one of the gay chat rooms (it was a nightly ritual then), probably to see who was out there and maybe arrange something for the following day.
Someone in the chat room with the tag-name “Priest” hit me up and we started chatting. I asked him if he was really a priest and he answered in the affirmative. I told him how I was unable to reconcile being gay and going to church. And he told me, God Loves us all – Straight, Gay or in between. So long as we are not hurting anyone and our conscience is clear, then its ok. He affirmed that my relationship with God was through Jesus Christ and not through some preacher. And he reminded me to always believe in God and be faithfully, and that God is always there for me, watching over me and guiding me.
And then he left the chat room as suddenly as he came on. (Cue all embracing warm light and celestial music from heaven if you like, it really felt like that)
So my resolution from that moment onwards was to go by what the ‘Priest” said to me in the chat room – know that God is Love, and everything else will fall into place. (Plus now I am confident (if there is hell) that I won’t burn in a hotter section than where an adulterer or fornicator would burn.)
Happy New Year One and all!!!