The ancients believed that the patient dog eats the fattest bone but we called the idea foolish and replaced it with the patient dog eats no bone! Many people who live in Lagos will remember that when the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system started and the big buses dotted many parts of the state, many of them were branded with advertising messages. ‘The patient dog eats no bone,’ was used by one of the leading financial services providers to anchor their communication. It became a talking point for some, and was even adopted by others who sensed the idea had received wide acceptance.
About the same time or close to it, the Ozugbo-zugbo God (meaning now, now God) idea emerged among some followers of Christianity because some preachers presented God as the Ozugbo-zugbo god and made it look as if all that God does is for now. Right here, right now! Many hearers of this message became persuaded when the message was backed with ‘testimonies of Ozugbo-zugbo ‘manifestations. In a society were poverty and weak leadership had made many desperate, the message percolated through and through. When ‘the 24-hour miracle’ dimension, in which you could have whatever you asked God to give you in 24hours, was added to the emerging trend, it became full speed ahead. The 24-hour miracle or the nownow miracle had become almost the only kind of miracle. Words like suddenly, immediately, took on a whole new meaning.
Unknown to many the spirit of the microwave had gone to town and beguiled almost everyone with its offering. The age of Instantopia had arrived. We invented instant messaging and all its numerous improvements and modifications, praising its products and gorging ourselves on its offerings.
Real time became the only time. Now became the only component of time. Now, became the only right time; later, became the wrong time. If I like it, or want it but cannot have it right now, something is wrong. The situation is not good. Almost everyone was sold on the idea and we got into the race leaving our most vulnerable, especially the children to learn without teachers! Of course, they began to learn without teachers and soon began to teach. Children can teach and should be heard but they should be given time to grow, learn and be ready before they are given the full reins. It is why the ancients said, “Woe is a people if its leader is a child.” It is why in Disney’s LionKing, little Simba didn’t have it in him to stand up to the three mischievous hyenas after he strayed into the elephants’ graveyard, and needed his father Mufasa, to rescue him.
Those who are familiar with the movie remember little Simba’s attempt to scare the hyenas with his roar. It was a roar nonetheless but it was not the ready roar for the real world where hyenas, jackals and other predators live. But when in the process of time, Simba grew and matured, his roar was ready. When the former tormentors saw him as a grown lion, they knew power had changed hands.
What has any of this got to do with the Taliban and the recent retake of Kabul? Or can the world find anything good from the incident?
While not in any way minimizing the trauma and distress of those who were shocked by the development, especially those feeling the direct impact of the development, we must commend the Taliban for reminding the rest of the world about an important key we left behind when we rushed into the beguiling arms of Instantopia.
One of the leaders of the Taliban revealed this important key via a recent CNN video. Hear him: “It’s our belief that one day Mujahadeen would have victory and Islamic law would come, not just to Afghanistan but all over the world. We are not in a hurry…” Those last six words reveal the secret of the Taliban!
In Instantopia, we live in a hurry! In Instantopia, transactions are instant! In Instantopia, we love instant millionaires and want to become millionaires overnight. In Instantopia, we love to hammer, blow or make it now, now. In Instantopia, we want nothing but instant love; love at first sight! Or is it love at first crush? In Instantopia, it is not love, if it can wait. Some tell themselves their partners do not love them because he or she asks the other to wait till marriage before they have sex. In Instantopia, we have ‘re-created’ God and dressed him only in the Ozugbo-zugbo apparel, almost imagining him like our ATM machine, in a relationship that is now purely transactional.
Those who ‘recreated God in their own image have forgotten that He is a Spirit. It is because they forgot that important part of their Text, which states that “the fruit of the spirit is …patience…” that the Taliban decided to remind the world.
Who wins the ultimate battle of patience? The spirit or the flesh?