I have a confession to make. And I’m just going to say it once.
I don’t go to church.
There, it’s said. Speak of it to no one, diary, and if my Mother sees this and queries me, I’ll deny, Deny, DENY!!!
Anyway, so the last time I talked about that absolute taboo that is forbidden from cropping up in everyday conversations, I mentioned sex. (Read HERE) Well, it turns out there’s another thing you’re not allowed to admit to in public. Know what that is? It is –
Yes, exactly. Exactly what I confessed to earlier. Thou shalt not speak of not going to church to thy fellow Nigerian.
Here’s what happened.
This past Sunday, I did what I usually do on Sundays when I don’t have to go to work. First, I luxuriated in bed for several moments. Then I communed with God using my Daily Manna, and then made a mental note to get breakfast sorted by 11am, before promptly getting settled to the start of my TV series marathon. Sunday’s bingeing was going to be on House Of Cards. House Of Cards Season 2 held me spellbound, with its jaw-dropping performances, Machiavellian maneuvering, and out-of-left-field plot twists I’ve come to expect from the series.
And it was with mild startle that I realized that it was midday, and I was yet to have breakfast. I managed to sneak in a nap sometime in the afternoon, but it’s safe to say that Frank and Claire Underwood commanded my entire day in a way Olivia Pope has never done.
So by evening-time, I was done with all thirteen episodes of the season. And I decided it was time to stretch my legs and perhaps get some dinner.
During my stroll, I ran into a neighbour who lives three houses away from me. We stopped walking so we could gab a little, you know, exchange pleasantries, enquiries about the weekend and each other’s general welfare.
“So how was your Sunday?” he asked.
“Mehn, I was indoors all through, resting and watching one series like that,” I enthused.
“So you didn’t go to church?”
“Why? Where do you worship?”
I paused and looked at him. He had that expression on his face that TB Joshua must have had on before he pounced on Jim Iyke’s evil spirit. For a brief moment, I flirted with the thought of lying; I thought about plucking a name from thin air, like Foursquare or Winners’ Chapel. Then I was like, Whaddaeck! I’m not embarrassed by my non-denominational status. Scratch that, I’m not embarrassed that I don’t go to church. Period!
So I said it.
I said, “I don’t worship anywhere, because I don’t go to church.”
This dude stared at me with eyes so wide, there is no circumference big enough to measure it. First, there was shock, and then incomprehension settled in.
“What do you mean?” he asked.
“I mean that I don’t go to church.”
“Yes, you said that…It’s just…I don’t understand…What do you mean?”
If I’d spoken those simple English words in particularly unintelligible French, I wouldn’t have gotten a more confused reaction from the poor guy. He seemed genuinely incapable of comprehending the notion of someone not going to church.
And then, before long, I…2…3 –
“Look, I want to invite you to my church next Sunday,” he began. “It’s a power=packed service…”
I tried – I really, really tried – not to roll my eyes at that overused word ‘power-packed’.
“…and we’ll be hosting a visiting minister, who is a greatly anointed man of God. It’s a service you just don’t want to miss.”
My dinner was starting to sound like something I didn’t want to miss either. So I quickly disengaged myself from him, and continued on to the Calabar restaurant down the street. Hopefully, the proprietress would be serving a power-packed pounded yam, that’d go down well with greatly-anointed Afang soup.
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