When we talk about ironies, two words readily come to mind: surprise and disappointment. We are puzzled by the fact that two apparently contradictory concepts could coexist in the same situation. However, that’s the way of this world; things kind of take some pride in confusing us… Or are we the ones who cannot keep from confusing ourselves?
Talking about situational irony in the light of religion, I’ll be treading hallowed and potentially explosive ground. Religion as we should all know ought to be about man reaching out to God. This compels him to set himself and his selfish ambition aside to be light enough to connect with a higher being. In essence, man usually finds God outside himself. Now, if we internalize God without wisely discerning between our sentiments and God’s requirements, we are bound to spin off at the tangent of extremism. Men perpetrate obscene and rather mean acts against their fellows in the name of God who’s actually love- what could be painfully more ironic than that?! Terrorism and ‘fanatism’ in all it shades and sizes stem from such twisted and mixed up state of mind that tries to squeeze God into the tiny boxes of our minds. God is holy, just and true. Anything he will ever command will never contradict his pristine and immaculately pure nature. Another term associated with religious ironies is hypocrisy – posturing one way and turning out to be another. That sort of mentality that says “do as I say; and not do as I do…” Claiming to love God while having none left over for people around you, this is just plainly ironic. As the Holy writ put it: “how can you love God who you do not see when you don’t even love people you can see?” This is a challenge to us especially Nigerians who are so committed to religion as a way of life without actually exhibiting the life- having a form of godliness but denying it’s power. Friends and acquaintances, the highest expression of the power of God is in changing a self- centered, callous and careless Mortal into a loving, lovely and sacrificing individual.
At the beginning of this write up, I mentioned two concepts usually associated with situational ironies: surprise and disappointment. We are surprised when we get a response that’s not expected and we are disappointed when we do not get as much as we hope to get. Currently, the religious landscape of Nigeria closely borders on ‘disappointment’. But I trust that this write up will touch someone somewhere such that she/he will transcend the natural selfishness of human nature on such a level that we will all be ‘surprised’ that a man can come this close to being as selfless as God…
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