CAN HOPE BE FOUND IN HOPE­LESS­NESS?

THISDAY Style - - STYLE & DESIGN - TONYE COLE

The drive home was one of silent con­tem­pla­tion. This same jour­ney had been em­barked upon nu­mer­ous times in the past but this day was to be dif­fer­ent. No anony­mous en­try into the town on this oc­ca­sion and cer­tainly no quiet drive home would be achieved on this day for my home­com­ing this time was as a re­sult of a very pub­lic de­ci­sion to strive for the high­est elec­tive of­fice the state had to of­fer. The king and coun­cil of chiefs had been no­ti­fied and the towns­folk sen­si­tized of the pend­ing visit but my mind weighed heav­ily on what I would say as the con­voy of ve­hi­cles made into steady progress from the cap­i­tal city to the town­ship.

The crowd that met the en­tourage was im­pres­sively very siz­able and within mo­ments the ve­hi­cles were swal­lowed up in a mass of bod­ies bring­ing progress into the town down to walk­ing pace. At first the eu­pho­ria of a large bois­ter­ous and ju­bi­lant crowd masked the unsettled feel­ings in my spirit but the rest­less­ness re­fused to lift so I opened my in­ner eyes to re­ally see beyond and be­neath the sights be­fore me. What I wit­nessed caused tears to roll down my cheeks for very young boys and girls who should be in school, teenagers who ought to have been at uni­ver­si­ties, young able bod­ied men and women who should all be at work made up the vast ma­jor­ity of the crowd.

The Lord God Almighty in set­ting up all of Cre­ation put about an or­der of right­eous­ness in the world that when fol­lowed brings about peace and pros­per­ity. He placed man in the cen­ter of His cre­ation to tend, care, de­velop and pro­tect the world but above all that sin and evil must not pre­vail. The schools had not shut down on a spe­cially de­clared hol­i­day for that visit but the chil­dren were just not en­rolled in any, the uni­ver­si­ties were in ses­sion but the teenagers and young adults were not found there but pa­raded in cult colours, drink­ing and smok­ing joints openly. Un­em­ploy­ment had ren­dered so many job­less turn­ing a once proud peo­ple into des­per­ate seek­ers of petty hand­outs. As I left the town, my heart bled for my peo­ple but I also had a new­found de­ter­mi­na­tion that right­eous­ness must re­turn to the land so the peo­ple can truly re­joice. May the Lord open our eyes to find hope in hope­less­ness to­day.

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