Read on and enjoy.
This morning I got the shocker of my life.
It was early on Sunday so I went about my pre-church duties which included a warm shower (thankfully, PHCN was supportive this morning), tweeting, calling my heart-throb
Ifeoma Funke Damilola Okay! I don’t have one. My p-setting game only lands me effortlessly in Friend-zone. *Don’t you dare laugh*. Soon I shall meet my emerald of grace…
Anyways *scoffs* It was about quarter to 9 when there was a light rapping sound on my door. Someone was knocking.
Someone was knocking!!!
Someone was knocking?
But wait… I was the only one in the compound for heavens sake. The gates were padlocked. I looked at the window where I normally kept the keys. There they were.
I remembered locking the doors, the gate after my dad drove out. My folks had already gone for workers meeting as they were ministers in Dayspring Assembly, so I visibly startled that someone was knocking.
Visibly shaken I asked “who be dat”. I normally don’t speak pidgin English and can’t string more than 2 or more lines together to save my life so I was shocked when that came out of my mouth. The voice behind the door calmly replied in an accent that sounded awfully British … Tax collector sir…
-_______- <—— that was the look on my face.
Tax collector? I replied.
Yes sir,. I am here to collect your dues. Please sir, kindly open your door or I will enter.
“You will enter???”
I laughed a bit though I was terribly conscious of the heavy deluge of urine lingering in my bowel. I began to take stock of my valuables. Apart from my iPhone 3 which was 4 years old, my Laptop which could pass for a desktop given the battery life, I had nothing else to offer this guy.
I opened the door of my room. For the smart readers here you should already be wondering how this tax collector had bypassed the gate, the house door and reached my room door.
There was no one there… No one behind the door, no one in the corridor. I ran to the gate, checked the padlocks. Everything was intact, I was apparently the only human in the compound.
This even confirmed my suspicions that perhaps I was hallucinating or stuck in a very bad dream. I reached my room still marveling and decided to fast-track my preparations for church. After all it was thanksgiving Sunday.
So I closed the door and turned to face my bed.
There he was…
Top of the morning to you sir.
I went “what the … ”
Forgive me, profanity is never comely for a believer. In reality I let out a scream that probably scared my neighbors. At this point you wouldn’t have needed a white garment prophetess to confirm to you … yours truly was petrified. His lips arched in a smile as he pointed to a stack of files that had, guess what, mysteriously appeared.
He had a white trench coat on. In fact he was clad ominously in white or was it black? from his fedora to his Ferragamo shoes (It is my story… and I say it was Ferragamo).
My good man, here are your bills from the first day you were born till now. He grinned from cheek to cheek as though relishing my fear. We are still tied down doing the paperwork … Justin, the officer handling your case, is really behind schedule but here are your outstanding bills. I am here to collect.
Obviously this was a dream so I began to slap myself, attempt to harness the spirit of slap and snap myself out of this crazy reverie.
His smile grew larger as he removed his fedora revealing glistening white hair. I had refused to collect the papers so he had placed them on the floor beside my bed. I could see the paper on top clearly marked:
DAMILOLA HARRISON (25)
OXYGEN BILLS (4th Q 2014)
REPORT COMPILED BY JUSTIN (AA)
ZION BUREAU OF STATISTICS
Damilola, i need you to understand, do you understand? you are owing a serious debt and must pay. This is not a dream. This is not a joke. In fact from our records you are seriously indebted to the corporation.
He was standing now, sifting through the files. Don’t you know it takes a lot of resources to facilitate your dreams. Lots of staff are on hand to safeguard the delivery of dreams. He sounded menacing.
I saw the title of other files briefly.
Dream Resource Utilization.
Life Sustenance Management.
Travel Mechanics and Preservation.
You are 25 years now. You have used up volumes of premium oxygen. By now you must have realized the awful amount of staff working round the clock to provide you with clean oxygen or to ensure you go out and come in.
Pause guys. What would you do in my position? I was standing aghast, mouth agape in wonder.
He continued … my good man, it is time to pay up…
This was unbelievable. I had spent the better part of my life assuming that such things were FREE. How come no one told me that one day we would have to pay. My face slowly morphed from fear to anger. Who was this dude to come up in my face and threaten me?
Somehow, and I am not even surprised, he was able to read my thoughts. You had been served the papers several times but you failed to respond swiftly. You ignored the obvious signs. You pay light bills, electricity bills, water bills and all sorts yet you didn’t think that our corporation would one day come calling.
Have you forgotten how you poop constantly? Who do you think does the plumbing?
He grabbed my dusty bible and chuckled as a cockroach fell off it. I was still standing staring at what I now knew was either an angel, a ghost or the product of my hyperactive imagination. He started reading familiar verses.
Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits – Psalm 68:19
We bill you on a time-scale smaller than “per second”, your fragile mind may not be able to comprehend it … but remember it takes less than a second for life to turn to death.
Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. – Lamentations 3:23
Constantly we are at work, designing new and improved ways to make sure you have an excellent earth-stay while prepping you for eternity. Yet you haven’t even given us the courtesy of paying your bills.
Do you understand now…my good man.
To be honest, I think I actually understood. It was suddenly dawning on me that I had lived like a rock star – hopping from one party to the next. Taking things such as my breath for granted. I looked at him again and asked … How do I pay up?
He smiled as he had done all through. Tapped my bible as he stood and walked towards me… Son, you pay with praise!
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! – Psalm 100:3-4
Then *poof* he left.
So what do you think? was I dreaming, was it real?
For all the oxygen, all the protection within and without, the provision of food etc. For everyday that passes, every memory with your loved ones. For the good times and the not-so-awesome ones…
Psalm 95:1-6 – O Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the LORD is a great God, And a great King above all gods, In whose hand are the depths of the earth; The peaks of the mountains are His also. The sea is His, for it was He who made it; And His hands formed the dry land. Come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.
BE GRATEFUL. Pay your bills…
The term “BILLS” is used in the sense that this is the response a life receiving Grace ought to give. It is used to portray our response to all that He has done for us. All that God gives is FREE!!!!
Question for the Day: What do you think angels look like?