I’m starting a ‘one word series’ with a dear friend who’s learning to write better. The basic idea we’re working on is to take any word and spin 600 words around it. I thought it would be good for me too so here goes…
When I hear ‘soldier’, three things immediately come to mind, depending on where I am, and the circumstances under which I hear it.
The first thing could be ‘soldiers of Christ’ which we are always admonished to be at church. Being a soldier of Christ (and indeed any kind of soldier) requires quantum amounts of discipline, perseverance, endurance, and a very active determination to keep at it regardless of challenges that may come your way. Denying ourselves the pleasures of sin, sharing the Word with others, and more importantly leading lives worthy of emulation are part of our duties as good soldiers in the Lord’s army. 2 Timothy 2:3 says “Take [with me] your share of the hardships and suffering [which you are called to endure] as a good (first-class) soldier of Christ Jesus.” (Amplified Bible – Lockman)
‘Soldier’ also takes me back to my childhood when I wanted to be one! I know, this my crazy, funny mind right? Amongst others, I went to a Police Children’s School in Ilorin, Kwara State, and I remember the driver of our school bus was known to us as ‘Oga Emma’; he was big and we all adored him. One day he was driving us home and at a traffic light a civilian who had been driving rough and insulting him pulled up beside us. Oga Emma (dressed in his Police gear) got down from the bus, went over to his side, and used his boots to ‘brush’ the guy’s face. When we continued moving, he told all the now awestruck kids that if he was a soldier his boots would have been bigger and he would have given the guy a bigger ‘brushing’. I was eight years old at the time, and there and then, I decided I was going to be a soldier so I could have ‘big boots’.
On to the third; a friend in high school was the last child of her parents. She had three elder brothers, with six years between her and her immediate elder brother. She was my friend, and would always refer to her brothers as her soldiers. And yes, she was very troublesome!! In JSS2 she was already driving and in my mind was the coolest kid ever. We all have our stories but that’s where I started referring to boys as soldiers; especially when one family has only them.
Amongst the many characteristics that soldiers should possess, ‘others before self’ ranks high on my list. Whether as a soldier for Christ or in carrying out their duties (not like our Oga Emma o), soldiers have the mind-set that they are there to serve, obey, and defend, and to the best of their ability. They will endure uncomfortable and even dangerous circumstances without complaining, never taking their eyes off the ball.
That’s why you can’t ever have ‘baby soldiers’ (except they’ve been forcefully co-opted into an army by the likes of Joseph Kony and the LRA but that’s a tale for another day). The needs and wants of babies trump everything and everyone else, and they’ll make life unbearable for everyone till they are satisfied. For them, it’s ‘me first’ and then the world can either come second or just go to blazes.
So, two things; what’s your own soldier story? And are you a baby or a soldier?
P:S – Happy Mother’s Day to the soldier with the largest heart I’ve ever known, my darling mother!! God bless you richly, and keep you to see the fruits of your labor in Jesus name!! We love you loads!
P:S – one of us needs a soldier now…. His name is Okeoghene Ighwiwotho and he’s diabetic, has been for going on 10 years now. On the 24th of March 2006, he suffered an injury that’s refused to heal and has slowly consumed his feet. He was supposed to have surgery in January this year but he needs 5 million naira for that to happen. He can be reached through the phone number, 08063255842 and his banking details are Ighiwoto Okeoghene John (0012913007 – GTB) or Ighiwoto Okeoghene John (2054468076 – UBA). God bless you as we stand up for this young man!
- Apologies (tbking.wordpress.com)
- Some thoughts on World War II – Who is our real enemy? (realrest.wordpress.com)
- Kony 2012 and children in armed conflict (graybeardtrail.wordpress.com)