Sunday, 14 January 2018

Snake Servant Vs Monitor Lizard


Monitor Lizard
I was thinking this morning... about how the beliefs of yesterday can affect the thinking of today. The other day as I stepped out of my house, I noticed a reptile by the fence. As I looked closely, my native mind identified what I was looking at to be 'Snake Servant.' And immediately, my eyes scanned the immediate vicinity for snakes. 'Wake up,' my educated mind raised its voice telling me that it is but a Monitor Lizard and not a servant of any snake.
 
When I got into the car I started thinking about why we refer to Monitor Lizard as 'Snake Servant' back then in Warri. I can understand if the name came about because someone once observed a snake going after the lizard and concluded that the lizard was the messenger of the snake, but can't understand why every one of us back then believed the story. Ignorance, they say, is a voluntary misfortune.
 
As I smiled at our ignorance back then, my native mind, refusing to accept defeat, asked my educated mind, 'if you are laughing at us for calling it 'Snake Servant,' can you explain why it is called Monitor Lizard? Are they class monitors or monitoring spirits?' My educated mind, lost for words, decided to consult Google. The search engine revealed that Monitor lizards, belonging to the genus Veranus, with the largest species being the Komodo dragon, derived its name from ancient Egypt.
 
In Egypt, in the early days of civilization, the Nile river was the life line of the Egyptians villages because they depended on it for cooking, washing, bathing and swimming. But the Nile had a problem. Crocodiles. How were the Egyptians to know when it was safe to enter the water, without risking being eaten? They devised a scheme. They would catch one of their large Veranus lizards and chain it by its front paws to a large boulder on the edge of the river. If the Lizard was lying peacefully sunning itself, the Egyptians knew it was safe to enter the water. If however it was thrashing about and struggling to get away, they knew that danger was lurking nearby. A crocodile was in the area. The lizard didn't want to be eaten so it would struggle to get loose of its chains. The Monitor Lizard monitored the crocodiles movement, hence its name.
 
'So how is that different from the story of the Snake Servant?' my native mind had asked. At this point, both of my minds agreed that there was no winner in this debate. But how was I drawn into this debate in the first place? It was my belief of the past affecting my thinking of today. I realized that if I don't put the beliefs that the events of 2017 had shaped in my mind under control, it will affect my thoughts in 2018.
 
 Think about it. Due to the failures of governance at all levels in Nigeria in 2017, many have entered 2018 believing all hope is lost. While many were trying to reprogram their memories from the negative beliefs, then entered fuel scarcity and killings by herdsmen. In describing what is happening, Wole Soyinka aptly captured it, 'We have been here before - now, 'before' is back with a vengeance.' Truly, 'before' is back with a vengeance, but I beg you to unravel 2018 with renewed hope for you and this nation. Do not let negative beliefs of the past affect your thinking of today. Romans 12:2 says, 'And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.'
 
Happy Sunday.
 
.....Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey.














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