A Little Compromise by Kemi Oloidi Adeyemi
She feared so much to open her eyes that bright morning even as she gradually did open them. Her first fear was the fact that she couldn’t stop the room from spinning round when she managed to open them. Her second fear was the reality that she thought she was in a strange place. Whatever her fear was, she knew she had to open those eyes. With trembling but much determination, she swung herself up from the bed. Her fears were confirmed and made real. First everything around her shifted and in perfect rhythm, all her internal organs seemed to also shift in the same direction. Not knowing exactly where she was but desiring a rest room she groped around, struggled with the first door knob. Locked! She scuffled to the second one. Yes, there you are! She then let it all out. It was as if all her internal organs that shifted seconds ago were pouring out of her mouth. It all came out, down into the wash hand basin. For some seconds, what she felt could be described as relief, but like a Tsunami it all came out again, and then the third and the fourth time. She crumpled to the floor, a total mess and that was when she asked herself the question, “Joyce, how did you get into this mess”.
She felt a gentle tap on her shoulders, a sweet voice called out her name. She struggled to let go of the dream even though she knew she had to. Family morning devotion was not an option, it was very compulsory. She and her only sister yawned, stretched and staggered into the living room of their small rented but neat bungalow. Her only brother emerged from his room. Daddy already had his glasses placed daintily on his broad nose, licking his finger; he flipped through the pages of the now worn out Bible used for family devotion. He seemed to have found the page he was looking for. He left it open on his laps, lovingly watched his family members settle into their seats and his deep baritone voice sang out his favourite praise song to God. Mummy joined in with her confident alto. One by one, starting from the most alert, voices strengthening, all three children joined in until the song was rendered seven times. Daddy gave a word of exhortation, called out prayer points for each member of the family and then devotion was over. Then followed the usual morning greetings before everyone retired to their various tasks for the day. This was routine as far as Joyce knew, as far as she knew her name was Joyce. It never failed for a day. She had always considered it a religious routine until one day during the same Family morning devotion, at age thirteen; she had an encounter with Christ and made him Lord of her life.
Days grew into weeks, weeks into years; Joyce grew into a pretty lady, a Second Class Upper graduate of Petroleum Engineering. Her future, colourful and bright, lay ahead of her. Her daddy’s unfailing love for God grew and his exhortations encouraged every members of the family to have same. Joyce grew bigger, more beautiful, became academically brighter as the years passed. Her love for God also increased. She got a job with a good firm. Life couldn’t be better.
Work started and one fear she thought she had overcome as a teen and a young Christian undergraduate came right straight at her. She felt like an outcast and it was even worse than what she felt in Secondary school and University. Everyone she met agreed she took the Jesus thing too far. To make the situation worse, professing Christians thought the same too. She met with Christians who felt there was no harm in passing not just one night but many nights at your fiancé’s place. She met with Christians who felt Jesus turned water into wine so there was no harm in drinking alcohol as long as you do not get drunk. They even backed their theory up with I Timothy 5: 23 where Paul advised Timothy to take a little wine for his stomach’s sake. She came across Christians who felt it was not bad to go to strip clubs and night clubs once in a while as long as you do not engage in the activities of the regulars. Never being able to overcome the fear of being left out and viewed as different, she never agreed nor disagreed.
Work was in another part of the country where a lot of the staff had to relocate. Many singles left their families, many married left their spouses and children. The only way to kill boredom was to fraternize with colleagues every once in a while. There were lots of parties; there were lots of outings, enough cash to throw around. Joyce couldn’t say no, she didn’t want to be tagged and that was where it all began. It started with a glass, it started with one night. By the time she realized it, she was all the way down. It now became at least twice during week days and every weekend. She who couldn’t bear to leave a skin out was now comfortable in baring it all. She justified flirting with looking for Mr Right. She laughed at sensual jokes and called it adult talk. Church attendance dropped and became non-attendance. She left her conventional church with the excuse of seeking a church that was more youth prone. Now she didn’t feel like an outcast anymore but deep inside she knew she was dying, she had gradually allowed what others think separate her from the only one true love of her life; Jesus. The devil then kicked in. He rightly spoke his words of condemnation and discouragement and knew when to do just that; in her sober moments when she knew she was far from God. Moments after mum and dad called to ask if she was alright, when she feared they had picked the fact that she was far from home, far from how she was raised, far from the godly truths instilled in her.
Dapo seemed to be steadier and more reserved of all the guys, more focused than others. At last she had found her man, so when he considered a weekend with him, she did not see any harm coming. Though she considered being a little tipsy at the Friday night out, the events of the night began to slowly replay. She had always fantasized about her wedding night. She never thought she would give it away in such an unloving, rough manner; but in that way she did lose her virginity. She did not expect her downward spiral to end up this way. These events were meant for novels and movies but the reality was that it had become her story.
Joyce’s story might be an extreme imagination of mine but I bet one or two of what happened to Joyce is the story of a lot of people all over the world. You wonder when you meet someone years after you knew the person as a strong vibrant lover of God and you can hardly believe what the person’s beliefs are at that moment. Preacher’s kids and those raised with strong and deep convictions in Jesus Christ veer off course in such a scary manner. They who started off in the church choir now get into showbiz and their songs, lyrics, videos and dressing becomes completely the opposite of what Christ would want for them. Without even going far, can we just take a look into our own lives. What are the many things we have compromised just because we won’t stand up for what is right and Biblical, because we don’t want to be tagged, because we don’t want to be viewed as the outcast? So slowly we let down our guard, a little at a time. A fall does not happen suddenly, it starts by accommodating one at a time, the things we detested before just as listed above; drinking alcohol, excessive partying, backbiting, gossip, talks and jokes characterized with sensuality, outfit that reveal too much and leave nothing else to the wild imagination of others and so on.
This is not the of any living or dead individual I know but was borne out of a heavy heart of concern for what people go through when they find themselves in the midst of so much opposition to the sound Biblical doctrines they believe. I am a very good example of this. So far, as a secular office worker, I have not been able to escape the taunting, ridicule and mockery of co-workers when it comes to my faith and my beliefs about a lot of things such as drinking alcohol, partying and a host of others. I very much thought with time it would reside but it only gets worse and will get worse because we are in the end times and the love of many as the Bible instructs will wax cold. I believe this is the persecution some of us will face and not necessarily scourging and death, but a daily verbal persecution and test of our stand and values in Jesus Christ.
I want to encourage every one of us. One of my husband’s fondest statements is “the story does not end here, eternity will reveal the truth”. This referring to the fact that our end is not here, we all are going to cross over to the other side and face the judgement seat of God and then the reality of who was right (Jesus Christ or the World) will dawn. Howbeit, this should not come across as vengeance from us, expecting the last day and waiting for all those who mocked us to be proved wrong at judgement but should spur us on to pray for every man with the same passion that made Jesus Christ sacrifice himself for us on the Cross of Calvary while we were yet sinners, vehemently snatching every man we come across from the jaws of hell and eternal damnation.