Where are you? Can you attempt to answer that question? While you are at it, that was the first question that man was ever faced with. The Bible records in the book of Genesis chapter 3 verse 9 : GOD called to the Man: “Where are you?” I recon that since it is the almighty asking the question, it wasn’t because he didn’t know the answer. Asking however, makes the one being asked to ask him or herself a fundamental question that can help in quick recovery.
I would have thought that the first question that God would have asked man was the question of “who are you?”, “why are you here?” e.t.c. The first question however was not any of these soul searching philosophical questions, the first question was, “where are you?”. Who you are was done and delivered before you were formed, it’s not an answer you cook, it’s an answer you find. It’s the same with why you are here, the answer existed before you were formed in your mother’s womb. Where you are however, is interestingly your doing, and you are answerable to God!
The weekend has been quite hectic for me, I dare say I must have presented in more 6 different sessions over the weekend. This question is one that was strongly impressed on my heart in one of those presentations. My friend, where are you? Where are you today?
“How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!” – King David
In looking at the quote above, taken from the quotes of King David in the book of Psalms chapter one verse one, you’ll observe something interesting about the Journey of the man who is blessed, and the one who is not. There are three key words I will like you to pay close attention to in this verse. The words are – walk, stand, sit.
The first observation I will like you to make is to picture this sequences. This man or woman starts by walking, then he or she goes ahead to stand, and ultimately to sit. I dare say that the direction of these images is not of one that is on the move to achieve, but someone who is about to stop! The progression here is negative, perhaps before he walked he ran, and perhaps after he sat, he died. With simple quantitative analysis, we can project the missing spaces, the before and the after.
Let me say categorically then, that our lives are a journey from somewhere to somewhere else. Our lives are bound by two dates, the one in which we were born and the one in which we die. I like the analogy that says that when a man dies, his tomb stone reads as such, ” James Calvin, 1933 – 2001″ . In this inscription the life of James Calvin is represented by a little dash, this little dash is in between 1933 and 2001, this little dash moves from left to right. From the day we are born to the day we die, we are in a journey. A journey from left to right, a journey towards success, towards achievement, towards greatness, towards significance, towards leaving a legacy. The little us, starts life learning to sit, then he learns to stand, then to walk, then to run, and then he dreams he can fly. The journey of progress is towards motion, more rapid motion. God had interacted with Adam for days, months perhaps years, without asking him where he was. I recon that when progress is assumed, there is no basis for defining location. All of a sudden, Adam engages in a process, that makes his location questionable. I’m asking you again, “Where are you?”
In your gradual movement towards your dreams, what stopped you? As a child, you struggled for months to walk, you rose and fell over 1000 times, but you never gave up. You never said “I can’t”, you never settled down with yesterday’s best. You had dreams that look like jokes to you now, you have been numbed by your routine job, normalized by reality. The little muscle of possibilities lurking in your heart is responding and dancing to what you are currently reading, but your brain is trying to rationalize it out. You might not have stopped, but are you still running or you are walking? Are you walking or standing, or are you standing or sitting? Or are you past sitting? “Where are you?”
Here are the things to watch out for, to ensure that your progress is undetered, and your location irrelevant.
1. Walking: The blessed, to be envied and highly favoured man does not walk in the counsel of the wicked. The first activity that begins to slow you down, is the counsel and the opinion of wicked people. Wicked people in this case are not the faceless witches in your village, or the unknown evil forces. Wicked here is simply the opposite of righteous. If you are not doing the right things by Gods’ standards you are wicked. If you are not in right standing with God you are wicked. If you are not living in faith and pleasing God, you are wicked. Simple. What makes people begin to slow down and not move is when they begin to take counsel from the wicked. “What do you think I should do?”, “How did you go about your own?”, “Ja mi si”. We know that without faith, we can’t please God, yet we take fearful counsel from the wicked. The first stopper is getting comfortable with counsel from the wicked, taking our measures from their principles and advice. Where are you?
2. Standing: The blessed person does not stand in the way or path of sinners. “I just hang out with them, I don’t do what they do”. “I’m the sanest among my friends”. “My friends call me pastor as a way of excempting themselves from the standards I keep”. “He’s an okay guy, he does some things I don’t approve of, but I like him”. “There is nothing wrong with him, I know so man so called christians that are not any better”. If any of these describes your reality, you are standing in the company and way of sinners. You are not sitting yet, but you are getting too comfortable with the counsel of the ungodly. We cannot tell you appart from your associations, your conversation is blending already. You already have reputation with the way of the world, “Ori e tin fonka sibe!” . The blessed person does not do what they are doing, go where they are going, or take the decision of the crowd. He that would be kept from harm, must keep out of harm’s way.
3. Sitting: The blessed does not sit in the seat of the scornful. The depth of the decline is sitting. Here was a woman or man, who was running and on the way from start to finish, from birth to glory, from shame to fame, from anonymous t significant and so on, all of a sudden reduced to one that not only practices wrongdoing but mocks at those who do good. There are two dimensions we are looking at here, we are looking at the progress – in the social as well as spiritual. Those who sit, are those who for example stay in a state they know deep within ought not to be final, but mock those who are bold to take the move. He’s in a job that sucks, but yet rejoices at the woes of an entrepreneur. On the other hand, he is sitting who now mocks at the standards he once knew were right. To someone walking today, sitting may seem far, to someone standing, sitting may also seem pushing it. The pathway is clear however, and the destinations sure.
As it was with Adam.. first counsel from the devil, then standing in the way of someone who had already participated in eating – Eve, and just before he got to a point where like Satan, he would also sit and scorn, God asked him a question that was the beginning point of rallying him back to sanity. That question was helpful then, and still is today, “Where are you?”. You were on the way somewhere, on the way to your dreams. Don’t miss your step. Keep running!