by Chino Eze
After several years away (about 7), I finally got a chance to visit home (Nigeria) and no sooner had I arrived, I got reacquainted with what I perceive is the Nigerian spirit; struggle.
In fact, right from Istanbul, Turkey, as I boarded the plane to Nigeria with my fellow Nigerians, it was a struggle; it was every man for himself.
At that point, I was really exasperated. I had been away from Nigeria for so long and with the understanding that had now been cultivated in me, I couldn’t figure out why my fellow passengers (Nigerians) were so impatient. Each one of them seemed to be so consumed with their struggle to progress with the journey.
It seemed like they all failed to realize that we were all travelling together, and that as long as they all had their travel documents intact, each of them was guaranteed a seat on the plane.
Touching down in Nigeria, I got another perspective to the struggle while riding in the car. As I noted the hawkers and the many business men and women plying their trade alongside the road, I started getting an understanding of the real struggle; the struggle to survive.
It was written on every face (both young and old), everywhere I looked it seemed as if the action of each individual was fueled by an unquenchable desire to live to fight another day.
Through nature, we learn that the weak die while the strong survive by learning to adapt. I find this to be true and applicable to the scenes I’ve witnessed in my stay so far. Because of the realities of life, we are forced to adapt to the harsh conditions we’re constantly faced with.
This struggle has been ingrained so deeply into the fabrics of our being that it now translates into nearly all aspects of our life, especially our relationships. It sets everyone on edge; always alert to make sure that they aren’t taken advantage of, and quick to strike if anyone dares to step out of line.
It sucks joy out of life and makes one question the reason for existence. However the questions should be; ‘Has the struggle so far been worth it? Am I winning the struggle?, do I have strength for the next round of struggle?
There ought to be more to life than the daily struggles for material things that will soon be destroyed.
I know the subject of my discourse might seem specific (only relating to Nigerians), but I believe it still applies to all because one way or another, we (as believers) are all involved in a struggle of our own.
“And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
“I therefore so run, not as uncertainly so fight I, not as one that beateth the air.” I Corinthians 9:25, 26
From the Scriptures, we are made to know that, in life there are fights that need to be fought, but there is a caution that we must exercise to ensure that we are on the right side, engaged in the right conflict against the right enemy.
As this year unfolds, we must take stock of our lives, failures, successes, near misses and all, and make adjustments to ensure a greater future. We must ensure that we are not setting out for another year of fruitless struggles but one initiated, led, sustained and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
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Chino is a leader in a students-based church in Kharkiv Ukraine. He serves as a minster, brother’s coordinator and assistant choir director. He is passionate about spiritual leadership and consecrated service to God.