|Rev Deacon ONYEAGOLU, Tochukwu|
"I can't believe I am a human being. I have searched for the meaning of a human being in the best of literature and humanities. The findings are sobering for me. The image of man found in the sacred pages of the scripture is too exotic. The book of Genesis, that sacred volume reveals man as the image of God. With all my flaws as a man, those golden words are not meant for me. Of man Shakespeare wrote: "What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the world. The paragon of animals. And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?" These ornate lines are beyond my constitution as a man. As a man, I have lived below the biblical and humanistic ideal of a real human being. Yet I am still a human being. O God! Why me?Why do I mean so much to you? The best have died. Some who could have been better than me had they existed, were not allowed to see the light of day. Yet you gave me life. It is not for any merit that I know. Life is a privilege. Let me never forget this truth.There is a saying that privilege blinds. Let me never be blinded by my privileges. As I say this, I call on history to educate me on the pitfalls of privilege. Let history always remind me of Marie Antoinette, the last Queen of France and Navarre before the French Revolution. Marie Antoinette is mostly remembered in history for one careless remark she made. When the noble French lady was told that French peasants had no bread to eat, she was quoted to have said: “Let them eat cake.” Her audience were stunned. How can poor peasants who could not afford ordinary bread be told to eat cake instead? Alas, wealth and royalty have spoiled this lady of gold and purple, this great matriarch from the bloodline of kings and rulers. The queen does not understand the poverty in the French of pre-revolution era. The remark probably reflects her majesty’s blindness from the privileges of French royalty.
As I commemorate my birthday today, this beautiful day of Ascension, I want to make it clear that I am no Marie Antoinette. Neither wealth nor royalty has spoiled this little man. I am rather overwhelmed by the full weight of my own sense of privilege. It is weighing me down like a mighty pendulum. My sense of privilege comes from the knowledge that so many factors have made my life what it is.They are factors beyond my designs and foresight of planning.
My first sense of privilege comes from the Almighty God who has made even me a human being. To him be honour and praise forever. Amen.
My second sense of privilege comes from my many fiends and well-wishers who have always stood by me despite my obvious flaws. I thank God for my family: My mother, brothers and sisters. Stanley Chinenye Mbo Arinze Onyeagolu Chekwube Onyeagolu Jessica Ani Bebra Kenechi Akunechendo Obeleagu, Ngozi, Uche, Ify.
I have the love of God and that of men before me as I celebrate my birthday today. They are indeed gifts of grace, privileges that have given this day its unique appeal. . HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME."
Re-produced with Permission. The copyright of course remains the property of Rev. Deacon ONYEAGOLU, Tochukwu.
What a great Blessing he is for the Church in Nigeria and what a great and holy Priest he will make in the coming months. God Bless him more and ,more and all to whom he ministers.