It was a Saturday morning. When I checked my phone to see 6:05am after waking up, I was very happy. 6:05am may not be the perfect time for quiet time, but I felt it wasn’t so bad. If anything, it was an improvement that showed I was already walking towards 5am, the perfect devotion time.
When I stood, I decided to go for a prayer walk. My room was too cozy for early hours prayer. As I dressed up, my bible caught my sight, but I reminded myself I was going for prayers, not bible study. Prayers come before studying the bible in a perfect quiet time. One would first of all speak to God by taking time to pray before God will not speak to one when one is reading the bible.
My bible study was getting better. Aunty Fola told me to get a jotter where I would write down whatever God speaks to me. I didn’t really get what she meant by “God speaking to me” but I didn’t ask. I figured she meant bible verses. So I documented a number of bible verses that stood out whenever I was reading the bible. I didn’t usually write all of them. I also usually don’t write all the time.
I went out to the cold morning, gently closing the door to ensure I did not awaken my roommates. I started out by singing praises to God with slow songs that people usually call worship songs. I had always been a better fan of slow songs than faster ones. It was the reason Westlife used to be my favourite artiste. I usually locked myself up in my room to listen to them very loudly, then.
After singing worship songs for a time that felt like ten minutes, I started to thank God for myself and my family. I knew in my heart the ten minutes estimation may be wrong. The first few weeks of having a personal prayer time had been littered with times when I thought I had prayed for ten minutes only to open my eyes and find I had only exhausted two and a half minutes. Those times, I usually felt like turning the clock hands to wherever I wished it to be.
After about thirty minutes of prayer, I came back to my room. I picked my NLT bible lying on my bed, sat on the chair at the centre of the room, and opened to Isaiah 53. I remembered Seyi, the vice-president of TFC read it at the meeting that held the day before. The thought of Seyi also reminded me of what I did after the meeting. I had seen Seyi wearing two earrings in one ear hole—one dangled while the other, which was smaller stayed in one position. It was too obvious that was immodest dressing. I expected much more than that from her, since she held such a key position in the fellowship fresher’s arm. I felt it was just right that I walk up to her and let her know she, who other freshers were supposed to look up to, was being immodest. And I did.
After reading through the chapter, I picked up my jotter and my pen and—today’s early quiet time must be done to the fullest. I looked through the Chapter again for verses that stood out for me. Verse 7 caught my attention, like it did the first time I read the chapter. I needed to write that down.
He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth.
He really did not open his mouth? That was pretty interesting.
I slept back after journaling a number of other verses. The blessedness that Saturdays afford!
I opened my eyes after waking up to find Nkechi, my four roommate, devouring a plate of fine-looking jollof rice. The aroma reminded me I was hungry. I picked my phone for the time, and saw 10:22 am. I had slept for 3 hours!
My itinerary for Saturdays was reading and sleeping. But I needed to get some food to eat first. I decided to cook rice too.
“Esther, will you eat rice?” Nkechi asked
She must be a God-sent!
“I will o.”
I dragged myself off my bed, reached for a plate in the lower corner of my wardrobe and sauntered to Nkechi’s pot of jollof rice. One could tell the medium-sized pot was once filled to the brim with rice.
“You dey do party, Nk?” I said, while spooning some rice into my plate, “This your rice is plenty o!”
“The thing no plenty reach. That your rice no dey swell at all. Na five cups I take o.” She said without looking at me; all her attention was on her food.
My hands that was holding a full spoon of rice, froze in the air.
Did she just say ‘your rice’? Five cups!
“You mean this is my rice?”
I looked from the pot of rice before me, to my wardrobe to her, just about the time she stood to drop her now grain-less plate in her basin devoted for dirty plates.
I wanted to scream when I saw her about to lie on her bed.
Did this really mean nothing to her? How could someone be so terrible? And she called herself a Christian?
AND AS A SHEEP IS SILENT BEFORE THE SHEARERS, HE DID NOT OPEN HIS MOUTH.
The words flood my heart unsolicited.
I should not open my mouth? Nahhhhhhh. That one was Jesus, not me. Why on earth did I even remember that verse?
I was about giving her a piece of my mind when the words interjected my thoughts again.
HE DID NOT OPEN HIS MOUTH.
It stopped me short.
I closed the pot, left the rice I already took on the table, and went back to lie on my bed.
If Jesus didn’t want me to speak, then I won’t. Well, it was the only Christian thing to do.
I closed my eyes and wished the anger rising within me would listen to that reasoning.