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!!!
2 thoughts on “New Year Resolution”
I consider myself to be a ‘spiritual’ person. Fact. But since the age of about 5 when I discovered that C-of-E Sunday school was all about an early rise, cutting out paper shapes, making what even then seemed to me to be absurd figures and models and being told stories which somehow didn’t quite have the same punch as Enud Blyton, I turned my back on organised religion. The cynical may claim it was the early rising, but they would be wrong; and cynical! There was something about the entire church thing that left a knot in my stomach and that just didn’t work for me. So as my playmates from the same street carried on making models of mangers and donkeys, I went off to play in our local woods; alone. And for me, that was my church. I watches the trees, I knew which bramble bushes hid sunlit patches of daffodils, I knew the trees where the squirrels lived and played and I knew where the infant streams had their damp beginnings where my sandles sank into the oozing mud and the young stinging nettles threatened painful touches on my shins where my shorts didn’t protect me. In the early morning and in the last glimmer of light in the evening I knew my way around as well as the birds. And now as an adult, I still seek out the natural world around me and take time to be alone there. Through quiet contemplation and perhaps a predisposition to ponder such things, I have realised that for some ‘God’ is in a church, but for me, that’s not the place to go looking for Him; except when it’s empty. I don’t really even know what it is that I seek or find but the name God is generally used so I use it too.
I have found that God is love and God is everything else too. He runs deep in the veins of all things and that the church is there as a kindergarten for those who cannot find him on their own. It offers guidance, a comforting framework within which to settle. It is the ready-made ‘guided tour’ for the lazy when actually there is so much more out there to be discovered; if you are prepared to do the digging and work hard. So yes, God loves you. How could He not when he is you and you Him. In the end, rejection by organised religion is not the disaster it may first seem. It is probably just God letting you know you are special. No easy road For you. You are on the ‘advanced’ and ‘harder’ path. But in pursuing it you will shine brighter than most and with effort may find the deepest and most intensely fulfilling ‘God’ of all. All books speak of Him. All paths lead to Him. No effort can lead in the wrong direction. Your sexuality has forced you to stand on your own two feet and to see the crutch of the organised church for what it is. Be courageous and strong. You have found yourself on the fast-track and if you are prepared to try, you cannot fail.
keep it rolling..