Listen and read before you judge.
For those who know me (beyond the obvious facts that I am male, hung and 5’7), you know that I am not the most religious person you will ever meet.
Ofcourse, I don’t drink or smoke or pork or do any of the obvious sins. I do other human transgressions and I always tell anyone who has committed no ill, to judge me.
I hang out alot. Tuesdays for pool practice at Qz, Thursday Reggae at K1, Sato mostly roaming the city with my sweet Henrietta. So, I have met alot of people. Different shapes, sizes, colors, intelligence levels, pocket depths, ego sizes. Name them!
I meet alot of successful religious people, alot of suffering religious people, alot of successful atheists and alot of suffering atheists. All in equal measure.
Nazizi told us : “You better pray, and watch all your problems just fly away”. So I pray. But things never come out as expected. I once asked someone : “Since it is already decided by God what our entire lives will be, why pray? Is the Almighty so undecided that a little woiyee from us will make Him change His mind?”
It is said in the Holy Quran (Al-Kahf 18:109) that :
”Say (O Muhammad SAW to mankind). “If the sea were ink for (writing) the Words of my Lord, surely, the sea would be exhausted before the Words of my Lord would be finished, even if we brought (another sea) like it for its aid. “
My home Imam explained this to mean : “God is so great and omnipotent, If the waters were to be put in pens as Ink, the pens would dry before explaining How great God is was done, in full.” The human mind is too small to fathom God’s might and plans.
So, what about the simple things?
Forget about the mother praying to God that her dumb and idiotic Class 8 daughter passes KCPE with straight A’s. Forget the HelloWorld guru praying to God that his socket-programming project compiles flawlessly. These 2 are fools.
How about a simple prayer like : “God, make me pass this interview. I have prepared for it for weeks and you KNOW I depend on this appointment”. Why are these not answered? How about a simple prayer like : “God, keep us safe in our journey home today.” Why are these not answered? Why are innocent babies born without limbs?
I fond myself having a mental debate on these.
The comes Mwaniki and he tells me : “Salim, always PRAY like there is no work, and WORK like there are no prayers.” Work knowing that God might or might not answer your prayers. Also, pray for a miracle in your works.
When discussing a case where a child died when the parents refused to take him to Hospital and decided to faith-heal using prayers, JT Eberhard, says (in response to an asking that the parents would have taken the kid to hospital AND prayed for the healing) :
You can’t combine the thing that clearly doesn’t work on its own (prayers) with the thing that does work all by itself (medicine) and then claim they share the credit (unless you’re really desperate). That’s like mowing your grass while whistling to show how whistling can result in a well-trimmed lawn.
Is it possible, that you failed to get that deal/job you wanted, NOT because you did not pray hard enough, but because your competitors had better proposals/contacts? Do prayers matter at all?
If in Matthew 7:7, we ‘ask, and it shall be given.. for everyone who asks, receives’, WHY are people dying of cancer? Are these diseases above God? Just Asking. if suffering is for the sinful, why are there SO MANY rich and happy drug-dealers, killers and thieves, while newborns come blind, with cancer and or with tumors? Can’t the Almighty protect them even if their parents smoke/drink?
Maybe I am just pissed off at something. Maybe I have done so much code, I am over-analyzing the unfathomable.
Like the story of Habakkuk goes :
The prophet Habakkuk had questions for God concerning the timing and agency of the Lord’s plan. Habakkuk, rather than being rebuked for his questions, is patiently answered, and the prophet ends his book with a song of praise to the Lord. Many questions are put to God in the Psalms (Psalms 10, 44, 74, 77). These are the cries of the persecuted who are desperate for God’s intervention and salvation. Although God does not always answer our questions in the way we want, we conclude from these passages that a sincere question from an earnest heart is welcomed by God.
Maybe I need to go back to code.