Monday, August 7, 2017
There is nothing new under the sun
August 6, 2017 in Opinion
The Bornwell Chakaodza Column: Levee Kadenge
Zimbabwe is going through very interesting times. Alex Magaisa in his last Big Saturday Read repeated the Adonija and Solomon biblical story which had been extensively used by both Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko and the first lady Grace Mugabe in a way that shows that there are behind-the-scenes manoeuvres that are very clear to them. Perhaps someone wants to anoint themselves as the next president.
One asks, what are we in for as a nation? Professor Jonathan Moyo earlier quoted Ecclesiastes 3, “Everything has its own time,” soon after Grace had demanded that President Robert Mugabe appoint his successor. I won’t bother you readers by repeating the same yet one is clearly tempted.
I will venture to say that “there is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1: 9b). Indeed, in times like these we cannot help but turn to the Bible to seek wisdom. It is not surprising that in every situation when things are frightening, even those who claim not to be religious seek the wisdom from the holy book(s).
Nigerians who have had their president staying in the UK for over two months now seeking medical help are better off because at least they know that their president is sick.
Some African nations do not even admit that they have a crisis. What we get are denials and even threats for saying anything like that. We have no problems except those caused by outsiders.
Nigerians have turned to God/Allah as they appeal to their religious leaders across the religions to pray for their ailing president. At least they know that their dear leader is not well, therefore he needs their prayers. Such are the differences across the continent.
As Zimbabweans, we can safely pray for God to intervene in our situation when we get such conflicting statements which range from telling us we will be led by the president even when he is in the wheelchair, he would rule even from his coffin to the latest call and appeal from the same first lady to the president to choose and appoint a successor. Every normal citizen cannot help but be concerned as to what is going on.
Historians will tell us that history repeats itself. Political analysts will talk of Machiavellian tactics. As a theologian, I can only look for a message of hope even in these times of hopelessness. What is left is for the nation to go to the mountains and call to God for his divine intervention.
Compounded by the election fever that is being hyped by the youth interface rallies, we are left wondering what is happening in our midst. What are the youths learning from our esteemed leaders? Rallies have become places for certain individuals to be dressed down. It seems no one is immune now. Who knew we could be treated to such theatrical episodes.
There is also this talk of the politics leading the gun and not the gun leading the politics. Perhaps, there is more to it than meets the eye.
What we are left with is only to appeal to the almighty. Since we are now being encouraged that there is a time for everything we take it that those in the know are telling us that we should expect what we never thought would happen. We still carry on with our question, what is everything that has its time now?
What we know is that God will not allow that which we cannot handle. Whatever he lets us through, he gives us the know withal to deal with that he permits to come our way.
So far the last 37 years have been very eventful. The world has been furnished with our ups and downs in all sort of ways including some very dramatic. The good thing, though, is that God has a full picture of our chequered history. We live by faith and are always hopeful that we will arrive safely at our destiny.
When there was a war with the Israelites, the young man who was accompanying the prophet, Elisha was so frightened by the overwhelming presence of the enemy army. The prophet had only to ask of Lord to open the eyes of the lad to see the great army on their side. (2 Kings 6 v 17). The young man was so relieved when he saw this mighty army that was on their side. God was fighting from their side.
In situations of hopelessness we must not lose hope. These are the times God will come to our rescue. Surely, Zimbabweans are at such a stage. We are crushed left, right and centre and no longer know from where our help will come from. Surely, our help comes from the Lord.
We keep on hoping that we may soon know what is happening so that we can pray intelligently.
What Zimbabweans are yearning for is for sanity to prevail. Faced with the impending elections and the confusion of a seemingly transitional period, we are between the deeper seas and the monster.
When the Israelites were faced with crossing the flooded river on their journey to their promised land, they panicked, only for God to come to their rescue. We dare ask, what are the plans God has for us, his peace-loving people?
As religious people there is no need to lose sleep. We are still on the journey to our land of milk and honey. Times like these are there to test our faith. We indeed are more than conquerors.
The good thing is that God keeps his side of the promise always, that he would be with us to the end. We are in the safest of hands in spite of the panic in the camp.
God has from time to time caused commotion in the camps of the strong. God is biased towards the weak and the meek. When things seem to fall apart that is when God comes to our help. The weak seem to be God’s favourites. On such matters God does not sit on the fence, he is on the side of those who are suffering.
Let it be our prayer that those who are in the camp of the strong do not devour each other. We know that when elephants fight, the grass suffers. If there is time to pray for our nation, it is now. Zimbabweans are such a peace-loving nation that they would shudder to see the nation being torn apart simply because of transitional issues that are not being resolved.
Let those with ears hear!
Levee Kadenge is a theologian based at United Theological College, Harare. He can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org