STRANGE ENCOUNTERS WITH THE SPIRITUAL WORLD
The reason you are reading this, is that you believe in the existence of a world mysterious to us. Even those who don't believe in the existence of God, deep down their souls, have an inclination that something beyond our peripheral vision does exist. There is something out there, and whatever it is, has power enough for us to dread.
Furthermore, there is a craving in each of us for a better life. More meaning. A purpose. You want to change something about your life. You are hoping a light will shine in your heart or mind that will make you say “aha”! I promise you, that moment will come. That light may come while you are reading this hub. It may come when you are walking your dog and meditating on some life's principles. These moments come to us in different ways and times.
That moment for me came when I least expected it. It was a Sunday morning and as was my habit, I was kicking a soccer ball in a little Zambian town called Mufulira.A beautiful morning with temperatures averaging 78”F, the sky was blue with a gentle breeze that would make you feel like singing your favorite tune while relaxing and drinking some pure fresh-fruit punch. Our house was just across the high school athletics field, and so we spent most of our time playing on the school grounds.
Huge oak trees created a fence to the school grounds, nicely wrapping around the field and parallel to the roads on the side and front. Sprinkled among the oak trees were guava trees. Every now and then, kids would be seen ransacking the poor trees for the sprouting fruits.
My cousin Fridah and her friend waved at me as they were leaving the house. They were nicely dressed as if they had a special date. They motioned to me to come with them. They told me they had been invited to a special function on Eastely Road. I was welcome to join them. Off course being a Sunday, I didn't have much to do. I was not going to miss an opportunity to hang out with cool people. So, I quickly got myself ready and we started off.
I did not know that I was going to be in a crowd of over 300 people.
At the gate, a young man, dressed in some nice black pants greeted us. He had a very white shirt that literally caused one to blink, as it reflected the rays from the morning sun. He must have been highly groomed and in his early twenties. He was very cheerful and had a uniquely audible voice, one that could cleanly pass for Hollywood film trailers. “Good morning and welcome! My name is Matthews, but you can call me Matt. I am the coordinating usher this morning and I’ll be ready to assist you with your needs.” We introduced ourselves and he escorted us to the main hall.
Inside the main hall exuded exuberant music. It was a concert like atmosphere. People were trekking in in numbers. The hall was almost getting full and whatever was going on was already in full swing. Loud clapping, jumping, waving of handkerchiefs, and screaming and whistling. The house was rocking. It never took me long to start bopping and I was in it, saying to myself, “that"s what I am talking about!"
It was a modern kind of church. One I had never experienced. It was called Eastely Pentecostal Assemblies of God Church.The preacher was a young handsome man, in his early thirties. His name was Pastor Emmanuel Muwele. His appearance was well polished and dressed in a navy blue suit. You could easily pass him for a corporate lawyer. He seemed to be in his own world. He was strumming his guitar like a rock star. Oblivious to whoever was around him. Being a lover of music, I could not hide my excitement and I felt at home.
The whole shindig took about 45 minutes. They collected the offering and the pastor got to the pulpit. When he started speaking, his voice was uniquely authoritative and convincing. His prayer made you look around for God nearby. I was convinced God was listening. No doubt. He prayed with such conviction and you could literally sense he was talking to someone he was familiar with. I had never experienced anything like that.
He preached about “the unknown hour”. “Where will you be, when that hour comes?” I had been in churches for almost all my young life with my parents. In fact, I had even sung specials in church. I had once collected the church offering. I was not a horrible person, but I was not a righteous person either. I was a teenager, fighting my own pressures.
However, at no time had anyone brought me to this kind of self-reflection. I thought about my family, my friends, the schemes and all the crafts we had been involved. I pondered on my wild thoughts and crazy imagination. For the first time, I thought about the consequences. I felt sorry for myself. Every word that he spoke, was hitting me hard, as if someone had sneaked in my resume and given him some hints about my life. It had to be God or an angel.
When he finally said, “God knows all about you and He loves you,” that was it for me. What must I do? In the middle of his preaching, he gave an invitation to those who wanted to make things right with God. I went to the front and did not care who was looking. This was between God and me.
I committed my life to God and asked for forgiveness of my sins. I promised I was going to allow him to lead my life and that I would work at being a committed student (or disciple as they call it). That turned out to be the most important decision I will ever make in my life. A light came, and my life has never been the same. No longer do I need anyone to tell me, I am special. I know I am. I am blessed and special. I am a joint heir with Christ Jesus.
What I experienced was total transformation. My mind was healed. I began to see my life with a new perspective. All my guilt, shame and feeling insignificant was gone. Finally, I had found meaning and purpose. I know why I am alive. I can now face the future with confidence, knowing that I don't have to face it alone. God is always with me. He never leaves us no matter how bad the situation may appear.
I am so glad I did it. I pray that you will equally have your own strange encounter. A moment of light. When it comes, you will know!
I'd love to hear your comments and your own brief encounters!!