Chidera, a woman of nascent devoutness, casts a glance at the moonlit firmament on a solemn night and utters longingly from the depths of her soul: “Lord, I pray for health and prosperity so I can be an effective instrument of Your Will!”
Two days later, in a sudden round of terminations, she loses her job. Overnight, anxiety grips her as stress begins to mount at the thought of piling bills and expenses. Overwhelmed, she frantically applies for any and every possible job…but to no avail! No employer responds. Days pass, weeks pass, and anxious months pass…still no response. Lamentations swell to grief, and grief burgeons to sorrowful desperation. She feels abandoned. She prays…but nothing seems to happen. Expenses suffer a self-imposed anorexia as she tightropes the fatal decisions of which bills to prioritize.
With dwindling funds, she walks often and sometimes uses the bus to avoid incurring the hefty price of burning through fuel. By so doing she salvages every possible note of her disappearing money. Only for pertinent matters is the engine called upon. Hopelessness woos her, while despair proposes for engagement. Sifting through coupons, Chidera hops in the car to pickup groceries one evening. Her bank account is malnourished as the fuel level in her car. At a traffic light, the speeding car behind her fails to press their brakes on time…a collision occurs! Dazed, minutes passed before she reorients herself to exit the car and assess the damage. But the other driver sped off just as recklessly as they hit her car. The car is totaled! Anger awakens, desperation mounts, tears fall despondently, and a scream of agony breaks through her throat that violently pierces the evening air. Stares of insouciance, pity and annoyance accost her from passersby. At home now, she sinks unto the floor haplessly with depression smiling. Crying, wailing, and weeping alone and dejected. With the last sand in the hourglass of forbearance almost falling…her faith cools, her zeal dwindles, her enthusiasm withers. She is completely broken.
But then Chidera summons the last of what she has and utters in a quivering voice, in a plea upwards for guidance: “Lord, I beseech thee, help me see Thy Holy Will!” Weary, she collapses and falls asleep.
Rejected by almost every employer, she was walking one evening when she saw a flyer advertisement for seamstress school. Suddenly, a sparkle of nostalgia twinkled in her eyes. She recalled her rollicking childhood when she would spend hours thinking of lovely fashion ideas and creating them through household items and anything she found in nature. The joy, the bliss, the contentment and the creativity that coursed through her was indescribable in those moments; it seemed timeless. The flow of innovation and ideas was endless. She even kept a book, and would draw whenever inspirations came. But what happened? She went to school, got bogged down by homework, belabored by empty responsibilities, chose a profession for money, and got a job in the hamster wheel of society. She was good at what she did, but it was a job. The longings of her heart was the child always crying for affection, but the comforts of life deafened her to its petitions. Now, however, she saw an opportunity to pursue that once childhood fascination of hers. To possibly swim again in the inspirations that came so natural during which she felt connected to the heavens. Yes, she would call this school and enroll!
During her doctor visit to ensure she suffered no long-term complications from the accident, she met a nurse, a lovely woman with whom an immediate spark of affinity blossomed. Amara was her name. Propinquity fostered the connection of their hearts that seemed to dance to the same melody. From that moment on, they became best friends. True friends. Chidera and Amara. For this friend invested her heart in everything beautiful, everything good, everything lovely and everything kind. Her deepest aspiration was to serve God with all her being. In this, they resonated powerfully. In the reciprocity of their exchanges and time together after this, a joy slowly returned that was missing in Chidera’s life. But a deep joy such as she had never experienced hitherto.
One day Chidera narrated to Amara the entirety of her lugubrious tale that appeared like a series of misfortunes. But her friend only smiled. Once Chidera concluded her narrative, Amara began speaking:
“Do you not see? You prayed for prosperity and you lost your job. This occurred because the prosperity of joy and happiness that you needed was through pursuing the inspirations that once filled your soul as a child, and with that the connection upward. The inspirations that express themselves as the opportunity to be a seamstress. Only by this forceful severance from your previous career with the inability to secure other employment could you be in a position to follow this path. The true path on which you will flourish and add value and beauty to others. The road upon which you will spill blessings and joy. For in this road, the connection is natural. In this road, there is no competition, only attunement. In this attunement lies the infinite protection and peace which you have sought for so long.”
“As for the accident, it represents your heart. Rather, the final vestiges of stubbornness, doubt, and distrust lurking deep within your supposed devoutness that you failed to see. The umbilical-link through which you clung to old thoughts and ideas secretly that would prevent a true cleansing. But the accident brought your despair to fever-heat and forced a complete collapse and revelation of everything within you. It was the fire from which you would either sink away in irreversible depression or surrender and be born anew through earnest effort. A crossroads of inner death or rebirth. In that moment of darkness, you held fast to the last shaft of light. Utterly shattered, you found humility and beckoned for help to truly see the Divine Will. It was a turning-point and a great step towards real purification after which you started seeing possibilities and finding clues that were there all along. Our encounter was also aided by this. For once you reached your lowest point, you found you could no longer tolerate any presumption or even the mere appearance of pretense. Thus you lost resonance with many friends, clearing room for something true to emerge. Through this change in your heart, we then met and became friends. Forging a new friendship on a real foundation that now flourishes, free of pretension. Our eyes fixed not upon each other expectantly, but upwards with individual fervor.”
“So you see, my dear friend, this was the answer to your prayer. The prosperity is the richness of joy and happiness you will perpetually experience through the infinite inspirations of pursuing the childhood longings of your heart. The bliss of standing in that place you were destined. Of blooming where you were meant to be planted. Then the health is the purging of all impurities from the spirit that had to be shown to you in order to finally be burnt away through your own inner change. Through the increased purification of the spirit, through this refining and ever brightening radiance, you are granted true health. The health that also pervades and sustains your body. Do you see, my dear friend, your deepest prayers came true. You are granted the opportunity for both eternal health and prosperity.”
Chidera sat motionless, overwhelmed by a flood intuitions. Her eyes streamed tears of gratitude, cascading a liquid symphony that echoed the rapture of Handel’s “Dank sei dir, Herr”. She could only whisper a few words, but now in the jubilant exultation of a glorious recognition:
“Every manifestation of God’s Will is driven by the intention to encourage the greatest unfolding, ensure the continual progress, and foster the everlasting happiness of all concerned.”
~Ikenna Q Ezealah