Sunday 29 July 2018

Racing in an Obstacle-Laden Course

Gates Open for Horse Racing
I was thinking this morning... about racing in an obstacle-laden course. I set out for work as usual one fateful morning, driving 'jejelly.' Just about a kilometer from the turning to my office, a very fast moving Ford Ranger truck suddenly appeared by my left side, successfully making my humble Toyota corolla look like a welfare case. Before I could turn my head to see who was driving, he zoomed off overtaking over six vehicles in a go. But it didn't take five seconds, there was a police checkpoint and he was forced to stop. As I drove closer, wondering why he was racing on a road with lots of obstacles, the police cleared him and he zoomed out of sight, reminding me of the closing statement in the CNN Equestrian promo 'In horse racing, when the gates open, the race is on.'

When I got to the office and thought about my experience for some moments, flashes of recent political events in Nigeria began to roll by. I remembered the Ekiti election and how desperate politicians were willing to spend the money we do not have to build infrastructure, to bribe voters. I remembered the wave of defections by a number of National Assembly members and a governor at a tempo that will make the football transfer season look like child's play. I remembered Saraki's police invitation, the siege on his and Ekweremadu's residences. I remembered the arraignment of our own version of Charlie Chaplin, Dino Melaye, for attempted suicide and his reported 'kidnap.' The picture of many political visits to Aso Rock appeared on screen and I wondered if I was watching a Nollywood movie. I thought of it all and could not but agree with the statement that 'In horse racing, when the gates open, the race is on.' The political gates are open and the race for 2019 is on. Nollywood, please make this movie.

Life is a race and there are many gates. As I sat as one of the officials of two weddings last Saturday, I observed the sense of joy and accomplishment in the demeanour of the ladies and wondered if they realized that from that day, the gates are open and the race is on. The race for a peaceful and blissful marriage begins when the gate is open on the wedding day. For some, the gates open and they hesitate, relaxing and waiting for someone to tell them to run. No, no, no. They've missed it. When the gates open, the race is on.

While it may seem obvious to many that when the gates open, the race is on, it seems less obvious to some that they are on an obstacle course. The paths are filled with obstacles to stop you from finishing strong. There are the obstacles of in-laws and past male and female friends for those in the  marriage race, and the influence of retired generals and political gladiators for those in the race for 2019. In whichever race you are in, you need grace. Hence, Ecclesiastes 9:11 says, 'I returned and saw something under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.'

Run with sense and purpose and do not boast.

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey.

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