Last wednesday was ash wednesday (or was it the one before), the beginning of the ‘lenting’ period for christians. As is customary, a lot went to different church services, trying to get that ash on their fore heads (how did that even start sef, I mean, who woke up and said, ‘hey, we should rub ash on people’s fore heads’? Na wa o). I was at the office, trying to sleep out the previous night’s hangover when suddenly my phone rang. It was one of my cousins. “Arinze, hmmmm, hope you went to church o! You know yourself. Make sure you go o!”. That’s all she called to say!!. No, how are you, how is work, no small talk. Just straight to church talk. I just told her I’d go later, which she didn’t believe (and I don’t blame her, it didn’t even cross my mind to go to church). But this got me thinking. I’ve gained a reputation amongst close family members as a sort of ‘pagan’. When it comes to ‘voluntarily’ going to church for any reason whatsoever, count me out. How did this happen? My parents were Knights in the church, my foster parents ARE knights too. I used to love churchy activities when I was much ‘littler’, bible quizzes, church camps. I was in the boys brigade for God’s sake!. What changed?
Back in secondary school, the catholics had their service first (abi na mass una dey call am), so they had to arrange the hall. After they were through, the anglicans then had their service, after which they rearranged the hall. So in order to avoid any work, I repped my original anglican heritage in the morning while the catholics were arranging the hall, then after their service (or mass), I claimed to be a catholic, thereby missing the anglican service and then also escaping the hall rearrangement. Yeah, I think that’s how it started (or I’d like to think so). Soon I just didn’t bother about attending services anymore. I can probably count the number of anglican services I attended while at the university on one hand…. eehmmm, okay on my two hands.
Any other ‘outside’ churches I attended were strictly for one reason only.. yeah you probably guessed it.. Girls, girls, girls. From the sexy pentecostal chicks of Belewi (that’s believers love world to the uninitiated), winners chapel, dominion city, to the repressed sexual freaks of the catholic church,always ‘forming’ like say them holy pass, even the Jehovahs witnesses, I never slammed my door in their faces once there’s a pretty face amongst inclusive. There’s this saying that any normal guy must either be a womaniser, smoker or drinker. I think that’s total bs. Okay, I’ve dabbled in all of the above but that doesn’t make me normal. But I digress. I don’t believe church going is a pre-requisite for making heaven. Infact, the God that created me knows my short comings, knows that this church ishh isn’t really attracting me any longer. Knows I’m attracted to a certain type of ‘female’. At the right time, He’ll send the right ‘halle berry’ to invite me to the right church programme, (incase I’m wrong and church attendance really is mandatory if you wanna make heaven). Maybe one day I’ll wake up and really yearn for a ‘halleluyah’.. Only time will tell.
Till then, I’ll stick to my social drinking, occassional skirt chasing, live my relatively holy life how best I know. If there’s a halle berry out there willing to bring me some halleluyahs, I’m right here waiting……..