It’s often said that all one gains in relaxation, detox, and good health whilst away on vacation usually disappears within a week of being back in Lagos. That all it needs is an okada to hit your car, or a danfo driver to abuse you in traffic for something that was quite obviously his fault, or Lastma to harass you.
In other words no matter where you’ve been or how amazing it was, Lagos will usually get the better of you within seven days of being back.
So there I was, driving to the University of Lagos for a friend’s father’s memorial lecture on Thursday morning, feeling justifiably proud of myself for allowing nothing to disturb my inner peace for a whole seven and a half days, when I was stopped by a rather aggressive policeman for driving down a one way. He was right. I was fully at fault, but the truth is I hadn’t been to the University of Lagos for over a decade, and when last I went this particular road wasn’t a one way.
I did my utmost to peacefully explain my innocence, but the policeman was having none-of-it. In-fact so determined was he to intimidate me that he insisted I was lying, and had knowingly tried to cheat the system. I tried and tried to reason with him but he simply wouldn’t listen. Indeed my calm, peaceful, and even slightly loving behaviour during those testing minutes are a dead cert for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize!
Sigh….approximately seven minutes later the inevitable eruption occurred. I simply couldn’t believe how unreasonable and aggressive he was being. I shouted at him – telling him the police are supposed to be a friend of the people and not the enemy (spouting such an idealistic notion is testament to the fact that I’d obviously been in the UK for way too long).
To cut a long story short, his colleague was able to calm things down, and the matter was resolved without even a hint of monetary compensation.
So that was it. I’d managed seven and a half days without losing my cool. Not bad in my view.
Once back in my car the Holy Spirit told me something I must do my utmost to remember on a daily basis. He said;
“There was no need to get upset like that. Always remember that I’m sovereign, and there’s nothing that can happen to you without me allowing it. Everything works in line with my purpose, so if I want you to be delayed for ten minutes there’s good reason for it.”
What He said reminded me of the following verse;
“In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of His glory.”
Ephesians 1 vs 11 -12
There’s absolutely nothing that can happen to you or I without God allowing it. And yes that means us frequently asking the question – ‘Lord, why did you allow this to happen?’ But not only do we not get an immediate answer but there often isn’t one at all. The only thing we can be sure of is that no matter how challenging or awful things may seem, and no matter where we find ourselves, God can and will always use it for good – in line with His Good Will and Purpose – not just for Him, but especially for you, and the many depending on you becoming the person He created you to be.