Are you ever not afraid? Like absolutely not afraid?
You sit in your school library, writing a political philosophy paper on the role of governments in the free market. You wonder, does the government have a role in the free market? Should the government have a role? How far should governments’ influence extend? All this while, you’re thinking of a suitable conclusion to your paper on the role of the peasantry in Mao Tse-Tung’s Chinese revolution in the twentieth century.
You’ve done this stuff before. You’ve learnt about the free market and Friedman and Hayek for over four years, right from your days in A’Levels. You also have learnt about Mao Tse-Tung under Ms Mhlaba’s gracious gaze and kind feedback in your world history class.
So why aren’t your papers moving faster?
Writing is quite an enjoyable process when there’s no fear involved, and adequate knowledge on the subject matter. At this moment, you lack both. You don’t think you know enough to write a seven page paper on capitalism and the government. But you do. You know you do. It’s just that fear whispers otherwise.
You play your once favorite song, No Longer Slaves. When you first heard that song, you always said “sin” instead of “fear”. Today, you desperately repeat the chorus to yourself, convincing yourself that you’re not a slave to fear. “I’m no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God”. Over and over and over and over.
But this fear is stubborn. You know it. You’ve carried it around for years. It has disguised itself as a weak work ethic and a "procrastination problem". It’s hid in your school bag and reared its head as a headache. It’s sat on the empty pages in Microsoft word, convincing you that your every sentence is bad. So why bother? It's told you several times that your paper will not be excellent. It has beckoned you to sleep, even with deadlines looming in your horizon.
What to do, what to do?
Once again, it threatens to win. You convince yourself that you can get the paper done in less time than you typically do. After all, you need some adrenalin to work. You work better under pressure. But you know these are lies. It’s the fear whispering in your ears. So you update your blog and make the procrastination worthwhile.
At least, you’re passionate about blogging, and you know that somehow, the Lord is faithful, and the words will come. Your thesis statement will come to you, concise, and succinct. Your conclusion will tie everything together nicely, like a bow on a present. Your parents aren’t wasting their money afterall.
Or are they?
Before we leave, I want to give a very special shout out to my friend Teju, who I’ve known for about eleven years now. Isn’t that such a long time? She’s still one of my best girls and I love her dearly. Teju and I attended the same secondary school in Nigeria, and the same university.
Anyway, the purpose of this shoutout, Teju, is to let you know that I miss you.
Easter isn’t the same without you and I didn’t even hunt any easter eggs because I was just alone like that. So I came to the library to do my work. I know that if you were here, we would have gone to hunt some eggs, stuffed our faces with candy, taken some nice pictures, and gone for omelettes in Prospect.
But life is transient and change is inevitable. Teju's now a full fledged member of corporate America. Making those dollars, and popping bottles.
Actually, more like paying those bills, paying those student loans.
Teju is a big girl blogger at http://big-eyed.me Check her out.
As you go into the week ahead, may the Lord direct you, strengthen you, and fill your heart with joy.