Fr Pat Amobi ChukwumaWednesday, March 29, 2017
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ave you sown your seeds? If not, why not? The rainy season is about to resume. The clouds are gathering and the storm is giving a warning that it is about to rain. It has already rained a little here in the Eastern part of Nigeria. In some parts of the West, the rain began with heavy storm, causing great material havoc. Thank God no life was lost. It has been foreseen by meteorologists that there will be late arrival of rainfall in the Northern part of the country. When I was studying in Germany, one of my Professors always remarked negatively after each day's weather forecast in these words: "Alles gelogen." That means "All is false." In other words, after forecasting God has the final say on what the weather will be.

Nonetheless, the rain-makers are already dusting their stones to resume their scientific and often diabolical act of rain making. One of my friends believes that no one can make rain. All my efforts to convince him that it can be possible during rainy season proved abortive. As it is impossible for the fowl to urinate, so do rain-makers find it impossible to make rain during dry season. Could you believe that a giant local cock crew and urinated last week at Nwagu junction Agulu in Anaocha Local Government of Anambra State in broad daylight? I was an eye-witness. The fruit and bread sellers at the junction including okada riders abandoned their businesses and rushed to the scene to see things for themselves. Indeed the impossible is beginning to happen. So, I put it to you rain-makers that come next dry season you must make rain. If not, then you must throw away your stones and find something else to do.

Sowing of seeds begins with clearing of lands occupied by tender and wild bushes. Please avoid bush-burning during the clearing. It kills macro and micro organisms that aid the process of germination and growth of seeds. The cleared weeds can be kept to decompose and later used as manure. The woods should be preserved for cooking when they dry up. Kindly keep your rakes, hoes and seeds standby. If you are doing mechanized farming, kindly service your machines. In case you are hiring, make concrete plans immediately. If you need fertilizer, then make provision for it. But make sure you do not use fertilizers that can cause cancer. Excreta from the poultry are also useful. During the time of Akubuzo in the Book titled "Okpa aku eri eri" he never went to pit or water system toilet to drop his excreta. For him that is a waste of manure. Instead he dug holes in his farmland and went one by one to defecate in them which served him as natural and 'akpucative' fertilizer. Nothing is a waste. Even buried human corpses form manure and help our crops to grow to maturity. Hence no one can swear that he or she has never eaten dead human bodies. So, it is highly recommended to bury our corpses in farmlands. Even when they are buried in the cemetery or inside family compound, the floods help to carry the decayed useful particles of the corpses from underground to farmlands near and far. Let us eat well while we are alive so that our bodies at death can form good manure to feed those we leave behind. By so doing, the dead feeds the living while the living prays for the eternal repose of the dead. It is a symbiotic action.

Now that recession is biting hard on Nigerians and hunger is mesmerizing everybody, the way out is to go back to farm. Scientists have surprised the world. On the other hand, hunger is beyond the manipulation of scientists. Consequently, every Tom, Dick and Harry must begin to sow seeds as the rain is about to moisten the soil. If a lazy man goes to bed, hunger will wake him up. Saint Paul emphatically says, "If you do not work, do not eat" (2Thess. 3:10). It is generally said that there is no food for a lazy man (woman).

I was born and brought up in Jos, Plateau State of Nigeria, before the outbreak of the Nigeria-Biafra Civil War. My parents ran home with me as a small child when the trumpet of the war was sounding louder. At the end of hostilities in 1970, we went back to Jos. By then I have attained the age of reason. Whenever our father went home by then, he brought us corns, pears and other edibles cultivated at home. I and my siblings consumed them in Jos joyfully without knowing that the sowing of the seeds before maturity was stressful. It was only when I volunteered to go home and live with my paternal grandmother that I realized that there is great labour in the sowing of seeds. The spirit of consumerism is a vice. Hence we must endeavour to sow seeds wherever we live, no matter how small. The Bible tells us that anyone who sows little will reap a meager harvest. But if you sow in abundance, you will reap a bumper harvest. Farmers sow with tears and reap with joy. If you cut down trees, please try to plant new ones to avoid deforestation of the environment. God himself created Adam and Eve and housed them in the Garden of Eden to sow seeds as they consumed those that God himself sowed for them. Laziness led them into consuming the fruits from the forbidden tree. Laziness pushes one to steal from those who sowed their own seeds.

It seems that I have been beating about the bush. Now let me go to the crux of this write-up in order to drive home my point. From all indications, there is a modern trend in the sowing of seeds. It has automatically shifted from the farmlands into the church. A baptism of fire has taken place. The modern Pentecostalism has developed a new concept of the sowing of seeds. This new trend has even affected orthodox churches. The pastors or ministers in those churches instead of concentrating in preaching the Word of God call on the gullible congregants to come out and sow seeds with money. The bigger the amount of money you sow, the greater the blessings you will get. Girls who are looking for husbands sow this type of seeds in abundance. If suitors fail to come, the pastor urges them to sow more seeds for his own advantage. Those who want to get rich overnight also sow greater seeds. Childless couples and the sick also fall victim of the sowing of seeds. Most often they get disappointed. Often the church ministers smile to the banks after each sowing of seeds service while the sowers go home more wretched than they came.

There is nothing wrong with asking people to make donations for the upkeep of the church and for charitable deeds. My quarrel here is that those priests, pastors and men of God involved should call a spade a spade. Instead of deceiving people with the terminology of sowing of seeds, they should rather ask for donations. Also they should be specific on the projects the donations are meant for. In addition they are bound to give account of the money donated by the people and the areas the money was channeled into. In fact, duping of unsuspecting persons, in the name of sowing of seeds, calls for serious concern. Often the minister or pastor organizes stage-managed giving of testimony of what God has done for those people who generously sowed seeds. There was the case of a promising young man who bought a jeep after years of struggling in his ailing business. He brought the jeep to a man of God to bless it for him. Do you know what happened? The man of God prophesied that if the young man drives the car, he would die in a fatal accident. Consequently, the man of God asked him to use the jeep to sow seed for good of the church and promised him God's blessings in many other ways. The gullible young man thankfully submitted the vehicle key to the pastor. If you were in his shoes, would you do otherwise and die in accident? Some priests, pastors and men of God instill fear into the hearts of their followers which propels them do their biddings. I have overhead one pastor hammering it on the congregants: "If you do not sow seeds in abundance, you will be wretched forever. If you do not sow seeds for the building of God's house, you will die in your sleep." Some tell false stories in their preaching in order to buy the hearts of their listeners so that they are compelled to sow more seeds. Fear has led many Christians into religious coma and sudden death.

What happens in the sowing of seeds is also obtainable in the paying of tithes. Yes, we are bound to pay our tithes by giving God through the church one tenth of what we get monthly or yearly. However, it should not be forced. We should be controlled by our consciences. In some churches huge boxes are constructed for collecting the tithes on Tithe Sundays. The preaching of the Word of God lasts about five minutes while tithe preaching lasts for two hours. Even some of the ministers have totally abandoned the preaching of the Word of God and work of conversion to preach about money, sowing of seeds and payment of tithes. Those ministers of God neither sow seeds nor pay their own tithes. Often the money realized is channeled into their private pockets. There are priests, pastors and men (women) of God who ride chains of costly cars while their followers who made the donations, sowed seeds and paid tithes walk about barefooted. These ministers smile to the banks while the donors smile to the toilets.

Corruption is not only found in the civil society. It has entered into some churches. Some failed business men and women end up founding churches to enrich themselves. They practice the art of magic and perform false miracles. They lack accountability and transparency. Recently in a town in Enugu State a self acclaimed pastor was caught red handed burying people alive in the foundation of his church edifice. He did it as a source of devilish power of performing miracles. Those who move from place to place searching for miracles fall into the hands of such evil pastors. The devil can never give you anything for free. It is bring and take. Your life is never assured in such unholy exchange. Please beware of some miracle workers. God performs miracles to save while the devil performs miracles to deceive.

The quest for miracle has also affected academic studies. Some students sit for their final certificate examinations at miracle centers and succeed by all means. The devil is the chief examiner there. The satanic agents are the invigilators. At the miracle centers the WAEC OR JAMB questions are solved and the students just pay money for them. They enter the examination hall to affix their names and examination numbers on the answered scripts. Every student involved come out in flying colours. With their bought certificates they become nuisance to the public. The quack medical doctors are products of the miracle centers. Most of the kidnappers, armed robbers, cultists also passed through the miracle examination centers. The corrupt politicians are also products of the miracle centre. That is why they look for quick money and power. They rig elections by all means. Often they sacrifice innocent human beings at the altar of the devil just to win elections.