On Becoming a Man: On the Bus – In Search of Some Quiet

“I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all the things I’m afraid of.” – Joss Whedon

Everyone is looking for relevance, and more relevance. That is your conclusion after your futile attempt to answer the too-many questions that you and your friends and the strangers around town seem to have.

On the bus, you look around and see smiling faces and angry people. Smiling, because they are lost in a trance – daydreaming. Some other persons on this same bus are angry, yes they look really angry. You can tell because of the scowls on their faces. The young man sitting next to you is beginning to raise his voice over the phone. “What is she taking me for, a fool!? Ken, abeg, I have spent almost a million Naira renting and furnishing that flat. What nonsense charges is that agent talking about again!?” Of course, you don’t have an answer and you wonder why everyone on the bus must be dragged into this. He has only succeeded in reminding you of that apartment you must secure for yourself soon. The third category of people sits there aloof; you cannot tell for sure what is going on in their minds.

While you are still trying to wrap your mind around these things – why we do what we do and all – your mind drifts to a recent discussion with an acquaintance. How she had been in a church for several years and was now feeling distanced and more distanced from the environment with the graying of time. How her mind often drifts during the sermons and she often feels guilty fiddling with her Blackberry. One Sunday, she left in the middle of the sermon for a recreation centre. That was neither the first nor the longest time for which she had abandoned the church; she had once joined a different church for a full year before returning. You had many questions you did not ask her: was the problem with her, the preacher, or both of them? Could she have been better off joining one of those units/sub-units in church where she could have felt a sense of purpose and fulfillment ‘working for the lord’? Had she become so familiar with the weekly dose that the Word had lost its impact in her life? Had she become numb out of inaction on the ‘sacred instructions’? What was the state of her heart?

You are hardly better than her. You remember the so-many decisions you are yet to make. Motions and pressures and the harsh reality of corporate world survival vis-à-vis illusory societal demands stick you like glue to the same spot year-in-year-out. You acknowledge there is a greater power, a most-powerful force in charge of the affairs of the world and its inhabitants. You are tempted to question His existence like many of your contemporaries, but you realize that they all get more confused in a bid to ‘make a statement’ and sound intelligent. You have been there and you know too many people who question their faith openly only to seek God’s forgiveness secretly. He must be really patient, you like to reason.

Mother Theresa of Calcutta said, “We need to find God, and He cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature—trees, flowers, grass—grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence. We need silence to be able to touch souls.” You want to touch souls. You feel the need to be relevant in this world and beyond, but this bus – and most other places you can easily flee to – is filled with confusion and confused people.

You want to be relevant in the scheme of things. You need to find purpose. You need time to find some silence, but they say time is money. You wonder when you would be able to afford that silence. Yes! You need to buy some time from this crazy world. Or, could there be a way to create silence in the midst of so much noise?

Photo credit: soulinmotiononline.blogspot.com
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Gbenga Awomodu is an Editorial Assistant at Bainstone Ltd./BellaNaija.com. When he is not reading or writing, Gbenga is listening to good music or playing the piano. Follow him on Twitter: @gbengaawomodu | Gbenga’s Notebook: www.gbengaawomodu.com | Facebook Page: Gbenga Awomodu

20 Comments on On Becoming a Man: On the Bus – In Search of Some Quiet
  • Laila Ikeji August 31, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Wow. really got me thinking.
    http://www.LailaIkeji.com

    • Gbenga Awomodu August 31, 2012 at 6:44 pm

      Thanks, Laila. I’m glad to know this got you thinking. :)

  • Usaveone August 31, 2012 at 5:22 pm
  • saphyah August 31, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    God is the friend of silence…. :-)

  • Joseph Tom August 31, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    Indeed he is and untill u learn to buy time along with silence, u can nt overcome the pervertiousness of this crazy world we’re living in.

  • Brandigest August 31, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    Just spoke to my soul. Great piece.
    http://www.brandigest.wordpress.com

  • Ib August 31, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    Thank you.I needed to be reminded

  • serita September 1, 2012 at 1:47 am

    Nice piece….silence is sure key to releasn one’s self of evry worry..##communicating
    Wif GOD in d silence of our hearts..

  • purplepearl September 1, 2012 at 6:58 am

    This is something to ponder on…..Thanks

  • Samson September 1, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Since silence means peace,seek God first nd silence will follow

  • cathy September 1, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    we are too busy pursuing irrelevant things to have the time for such silence, our world is crazy and that is why we are faced with all this tragic and horrible stories we hear everyday. silence they say is golden.

    • nmbw September 3, 2012 at 12:55 pm

      You can say that again, cathy. It takes a conscious effort to pull one’s self back from getting caught up in the crazy acquisition of wealth, prestige etc. Life’s a rat race, afterall. And no matter how much you acquire you leave with nothing! So much for all the headaches, sleepless nights… God help us!
      thisisthediaryofanotmadblackwoman.wordpress.com

  • Kehinde Ruth Onasoga September 3, 2012 at 9:52 am

    This beautiful words got me thinking!

  • Nwoke September 3, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Gbenga Awomodu, it is your ‘PROGRAMMING’ that wrote this, not you. Don’t worry. You’re not alone. We’re all in it together – SLAVES!

    • Gbenga Awomodu September 3, 2012 at 6:28 pm

      Now, I’m wondering what you mean by ‘SLAVES’. Slaves to what and/or who? Then, about the ‘PROGRAMMING’? It would be interesting to know your thoughts as well.

  • Bolutife September 3, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    “You are tempted to question His existence like many of your contemporaries, but you realize that they all get more confused in a bid to ‘make a statement’ and sound intelligent. You have been there and you know too many people who question their faith openly only to seek God’s forgiveness secretly”.

    I’d argue on the contrary. Many people profess a belief in God and then they seriously question it secretly.

    • Gbenga Awomodu September 4, 2012 at 12:08 pm

      Hi, Bolu. I like this other view; of course, that’s another angle to it. I’d probably explore this in a future post. Thanks for stopping by! :)

  • Mz Socially Awkward… September 4, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    I am just reading this, must have clicked past it when I was on here the last time. Wonderful summary of how I’m feeling at the moment. My prayer everyday is “Lord, help me to be relevant for Your purpose” because I’m conscious of the days/months stacking up in this year already and I’m scared I’ll have no account to give for it if my saviour should come today…

    • Gbenga Awomodu September 18, 2012 at 3:49 pm

      Amazing! Isn’t it lovely that you have decided to ‘number your days’? I think it’s great to be conscious of the swift passing of time. The only caution thereafter is to beware of fear; we ought to let Faith trash that unhealthy Fear which only cripples us. Thanks for stopping by on this OBM episode, Mz Socially Awkward. Shallom!

  • Temitweety September 17, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    God is a friend of silence… amazing thought. It’s hard to find silence in this world, lots of voices trying to get into our head, standards you have need by pressure to meet.

    I’m tired of the noise, i’m shutting out all the noise and finding my silence, and in my silence, i know i will find the voice of my heart, the purpose of my life.

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