The Lizard In My House


Black iguana lizard

People talk about the skeleton in the closet. That picture’s quite creepy. I mean, imagine opening your closet to find a disembodied skull staring at you out of empty sockets like…uh…ahem…sorry that’s beside the subject. I want to tell you about a monitor lizard entered in my house.
We were watching a feature on television that day, just relaxing. The front door was slightly open but we didn’t think it was a problem. Suddenly, a monitor lizard slowly crept in through the doorway. We bolted to our feet and tried to chase it out, but hurried into a corner behind the television. BUMMER!
At first we had a case of the jitters, but we knew that we could not sit and do nothing. A monitor lizard had just come into our house and we needed to get it out. So we got to work, moving the television and TV stand out of place. We disconnected the other gadgets and hit the floor at intervals, trying to get our unwanted guest, but nothing turned up. For all we knew it could have already made its way under the carpet and out into some other part of the house.

My imagination went into overdrive. What if it was pregnant? Who knew how many little monitors a monitor-Mom gave birth to in one shot? Ten? We could have a whole colony of monitors breeding in our house before we even knew it! It seemed hopeless. But we did not stop.
We decided to unroll the tip of the carpet and –ZAP! The monitor hurried out from under it (to our shrieks and maniacal jumps, of course). We got it cornered between ourselves and the door, and the smart critter chose the door, which was shut. Oh man … well, in the end we killed it (how we did that is a long story in itself).
Needless to say, anytime I look back on that day I’m thankful that we don’t have monitors breeding in our house to worry about. It’d just have been creepy.

The two things I learnt from this are to never leave the front-door ajar, and that if there’s a lizard in the house get it out!
The Bible tells us in Psalm 4:23 to, “Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts.” The stuff we let in through our sight and hearing influence the way we think and, ultimately, who we become. If we let bad stuff then that’s what we’d be thinking about. You know what they say: ‘You can’t keep the birds from flying around your head, but you can keep them from building nests on it.’ It’s a deliberate effort, and it’s your responsibility to be careful what you let in.
And if you know that there’s bad thoughts in your heart, deal with them. Don’t let them grow into colonies of lizards. It’s better to nip them in the bud. Fill your mind with good stuff like God’s Word, and any good thing that inspires. If you need help, just ask God. He’s willing to help.
Anytime I turn on my computer the antivirus software pops up reminding me that it needs an update. It says, ‘PROTECT WHAT YOU VALUE.’ I try to remind myself of the same thing. Your mind is a great treasure. Protect it.
As the Dettol commercials would go if they dealt with this theme, “If you don’t guard your heart … who will?”

By Emmanuel Onimisi


Washing feet


Sometimes when I think about Jesus and His character, I get overwhelmed. The guy is just incredible. Trying to be like Jesus sometimes seems like an extremely tall order. Take for instance his decision to wash his disciples’ feet. When you look at it as a 21st century dude, it seems like an odd somewhat romantic stunt Jesus pulled to teach his guys humility and drive home a point. But then let’s tweak the tale a little to reflect more of modern day reality.
Imagine you were a football team captain, and not just a captain, in fact you were the most valuable player of your team and the level of your game was pure wizadry. You were also technically talented and taught most of the boys great deal of what they know about fitness and focus. You were sure to turn professional soon. Then one Saturday afternoon when you and the boys had gathered for some suya and cokes at the local watering hole you took off your fancy jacket and picked an old rag and lay it on your lap. Then you had your guys come to you, gather the shoes and began to polish them one by one. And not just a quick rub and shine either, you gave each shoe a good scrub with a piece of foam dipped in soapy water, then rubbed it down with a towel and set it aside to dry fully while you did the same with the second foot. When that was done you smeared a coat of polish with a toucher, let it dry while you did the second foot again and carefully buffed it to a high shine with the brush.
You went ahead to do that for 20 pair of shoes, some of them requiring several minutes to dislodge the caked and dried mud between the ridges of the soles before you even started scrubbing, by the time you were halfway through, there were brown stains on your Polo Ralph Lauren T shirt despite the care you took and you had gotten black polish under your nails and smeared some of it on your jeans.
Your teammates have been standing beside you with worried looks. They respect their captain and think the world of him, but don’t really know what to make of this wierd behaviour.
Step into the story for a moment to consider the scenario: does it feel like something you do? As for me it is certainly not. In fact I guess I’d find it easier to do ‘heroic’ acts of sacrifice, like going into a well to bring out someone that fell in, of maybe rushing into a burning house to save a kid or diving into a pool to rescue a drowning friend(I can’t swim yet, so I guess this point is moot) or hey maybe even step in front of a gun-toting terrorist. Those are grand and honorable things, as crazy and foolish as some of them may seem, they look more like acts of genuine love(never mind the underlying hero complex that may be at work).
But to gather the exceedingly smelly shoes of 20 hard riding boys and begin polishing them? Certainly not! Polishing shoes seems like a job for the lowest of the low. It is a chore I am often reluctant to even do for myself, I’d most times rather leave it for a street urchin around my street corner to do for 20 naira while I wait.
But I guess doing messy inglorious work far out of the limelight often without any thanks is what love means at least some of the time. So while I am not thinking about polishing shoes for some people any time soon, I’ll appreciate the lowly opportunites to make a difference even if they are not so ‘fufilling.’ (It’s what our Lord was willing to do).
Happy Easter folks!
By Ifeoluwa Odedina

The stalked

the stalked


Being stalked is no joke. Ask anyone who has been unfortunate to have the experience. It’s not funny to know that you might need to keep looking over your shoulder, screening your calls and messages or sometimes living in fear or constant irritation. However, the most annoying part of being stalked is how some other people see it. They say silly things like; ‘He/she’s in love with you so they can’t help it.’ You seem to be the butt of jokes who try to complain about how a stalker is making your life miserable especially if you happen not to have any significant other. People around fail to realize that there is a fine line between being in love and being obsessed which is what stalkers basically do. Its only when they start to become violent and aggresive that people start taking stalking seriously. This is especially dangerous when the stalker lives within your vicinity. If one waits until a stalker begins to get very aggressive, it might even be fatal.
So, how do we protect ourselves from the stalker? Firstly, if you have the suspicion that you are being stalked, take it seriously. Usually, people regard the stalking as a minor source of irritation until the problem escalates. Some even think that trying to talk reasonably with the stalker will work. They even try to turn the stalker into a friend. It sounds plausible but many people have tried that strategy and it failed. The stalker does not respond to reason(except by divine intervention).
A tactic that is quite difficult to employ but is very helpful is to ignore the stalker as much as possible. Do not engage in lengthy dialogue with the stalker, warning them to leave you alone. Any form of attention from you even negative only creates the impression in their mind that their tactics are working. At first, this method may seem counterproductive because their pestering may get even worse because they really want to get your attention. And they may resort to sending provocative messages or even threatening ones. But if you just bite your tongue and wait for time to pass, the stalker will eventually tire.
Another thing to do is to statesocial/romantic rejections clearly. Don’t say things like; “I’m not interested in dating you at this time.” Such ambigous statements just give them encouragement. Warn the stalker off clearly telling him not to contact or see you ever again. Also, as a precautionary measure, keep a record of the stalking incidents such as incessant phone calls or messages or events in case you need to carry out legal action against the person or file a report.
There’s a so called failsafe technique that ladies usually employ. And that is the muscular boyfriend. The hulky hunk that threatens the stalker and says; “She’s with me. If you don’t leave her alone, I’ll punch your brains out.” I see some problems with this. Many times, it’s a flat out lie. And it may even backfire. The stalker with violent tendecies may see the other person as a target and make an attempt to get him out of the way, so beware when you want to use this tactic.
Other strategies one may want to employ depending on the intensity of the stalking include; changing all contact information; phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and contacts on all social networks. Ignore the jokes and notify everyone around you about your situation and the identity of the stalker. They might just be able to help protect you. Make your home safety a priority. Ensure good locks on all doors and be security conscious at all times.
As with every thorny issue that comes up in life, prayer has always been a sanctuary and an answer. If something or someone is disturbing you or not giving you peace, pray about it. The stalker is God’s creation too. He knows how to handle his creation. And sometimes we find that the pesky fly we are trying to swat…suddenly disappears into thin air.