“Can any of you mention something of importance that did not exist fifty years ago?” she asked. One bright lad in the front row raised his hand eagerly and said, “Me!”*
The frenzy of Christmas in Nigeria cannot be captured in writing. The sense of contest is palpable—to acquire the best gifts, clothes and looks, (and for some, the right ring on the right finger—or is it the left now?). The ladies want to look more colourful, and shinier, the guys want to show off the latest models of cars and phones. Prices hit the roof because merchants are determined to make as much profit as they can before the “season” is over. It appears each person is out to get “things” that would either slake their sense of self-satisfaction or make them appear more impressive before others, or both. The story is the same, each year, every Christmas.
But then, is Christmas not about people? Indeed it is about A PERSON—Christ who came to “be” among us to show us the way to God and in so doing showed us just how much He loved us. Why is He celebrated? What’s so special about Him? Did He have the most expensive and finest of cars? Or investments to rival those of the Warren Buffets of this world? Why is He such a Super Star?
Christ was born to be Wonderful, the Counsellor and the Prince of Peace. And it is because He excelled in His “be-ing” that He has been celebrated for centuries past and will be for years to come. What did He have while on earth? Not even a place to lay His head; the son of a carpenter, he was by all means counted among the “have-nots” but this is what was said about Him “No one ever spoke like this man,” “He has done all things well.”
He excelled in the purpose for which He was born—that’s why He has His name in Neon lights.
This holiday season gives each of us an opportunity to reflect on our way of be-ing in this world. Instead of placing all our energies on what and how much we can get this Christmas, the question should rather be, how can we “be” this Christmas? What must we do to become better than we have been? How can we become more, in fact, the best, of what we were born to be?
Having all the enviable goodies will mean absolutely nothing, until we take the time to recognise and live our purpose (which is always tied to our being, not our possessions). Unless we take the time for this kind of soul searching, we will only be immersed deeper into the quicksand of avarice.
Have yourself a very merry Christmas and BE AMAZING.
*First published on Nahla Donna