Grand Theft Auto... Nothing Grand About It.
Always lock your car, they advice. So even when we’re parked in our gated homes, we lock up.
Even on the safest streets...
Even when you’re in it... (I’ve experienced near traumatic encounters in Lagos traffic.)
I hate locking up in my safe places(home and friend’s homes with fences) it’s so annoying when I just want to jump into the car and then I realize it’s locked.
But I’m always cautioned, so by reflex I do, even in the security of my home. Even when i don't see reason in doing so.
Because we don't want a break in, or worse vehicle theft.
Guard your heart... because out if it comes the issues of life.(proverbs 4:23)
Out of it comes the source of life.
Out of it forms your life experiences.
A lot of things started affecting me of late....
And then I realized that my heart hasn’t been as guarded as it should be.
It's guarded quite alright in the right unsafe places, but in the security of my home(comfort zone) i.e groups of friends and my favorite TV shows and the news, I seemed to have let my guards down...
All it takes is one conversation over lunch to cause a lasting damage in your life and how you perceive things/people. It’s taken extra effort to make repairs of the damage(theft) done. Thank God for insurance!
And so our experiences become like the things we’ve heard...
Like “all men are dogs!” We hear it to the extent that we begin to say it even when we haven’t dated anyone yet...
And then somehow, our hearts are marred with that thought, thus when the good ones come we ignore them because our Heart has painted a picture and our expectations are suddenly met with the one with the canine character that our heart has hung and so it becomes our experience!
Now we legit know that all men are dogs... when all men that are good men to us were relegated to the side of boring.
You see, I dated a great Christian boy who just happened to be a minister of the gospel. I felt safe there. Until I realized he was dating other girls right under my nose. Now that shattered me, not only were "all men dogs" but even the christian ones cheated. I could have come out with that scared forever, thinking well, I have to live with this truth all my life... because even in the shelter of 'saved' we had cheats. It took a renewal of my mind to do away with that thought, the fact that I had experienced it didn't mean that it was true. And so God stirred me to a christian man that has proved that statement wrong. If i hung on to that belief, I'm so sure I would have ended up with someone else, nice in all his way but still displaying a canine trait.
Yoruba demons, igbo blood money, Benue womanizers/hoes, Hausa Jazz... Good looking successful girls sleep their way to the glam, Pastors are greedy opportunist... the stories and narratives float around and we unknowingly become biased and allow tribalism blind us, thus because we’ve allowed the pictures to form, we suddenly start meeting Yoruba demons, greedy igbos, deceitful pastors, and girls who succeed with bedroom capitals etc
“Nigeria is corrupt! Nothing works here... everything is in shambles, we’re lost, you can’t succeed here if you don’t steal or not in government. Politicians are all thieves/ritualists ” is all we hear and suddenly those are your experiences while some others are thriving honestly even in the face of what picture you’ve allowed your heart hang up...
So maybe you’ve had a ‘dog man’ experience... oh I have. But I still respect men, and I know not all men are dogs or scum or amoebas on fleas on rats(permit me to quote Frenchy from grease) and that’s why I don’t cross parts with too many dogs.
That’s why I don’t have some experiences anymore. I refused to be sold that picture, that’s why I didn’t end up with a dog man.
My heart is guarded even in my comfort environment, those WhatsApp groups that always lament on one thing or the other, it is their valid experiences, but if I let it pass through security into my heart it forms a picture and brings it to life as my own experience as well.
Don’t allow the anger of the world jump on you! - Adah Igah
If you do, it will form angry experiences. Instead let the truth of the gospel, Gods love break all security protocols to your heart... and you’ll be experiencing the beauty of the picture it paints.
Guard your car. Guard your heart.
Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. Romans 12:2(MSG)