The Slow Fade

The 7:30am alarm had gone off an hour ago but Patrick was still fast asleep in his hostel. At night, Patrick had been up studying for a test while his roommates, who were now in class, were asleep. The semester had been so hectic since he resumed four weeks ago. And his lecturers didn’t fail to remind his class every opportunity they got that the penultimate year was a very delicate period in their schooling. Every day of the week, besides Saturday and Sunday, had been nothing but bombardments from all angles by lectures, assignments, tests and seminars. As early as 8am, everyday, his lectures had already begun and most times would last until 5pm, with a few breaks here and there. Saturdays were Patrick’s favorite day of the week. He had it all to himself and usually spent it hanging out with friends after having done most of his chores. Sundays, for him, meant two things: fulfil all righteousness by going to church and then prepare for the new week (by reading ahead for classes). It all seemed legitimate to Patrick to be absorbed in his Academics so much that he barely spent time in fellowship with God anymore. Besides religiously going to church on Sundays, Patrick had barely sat down in the past one month to pray and study the scriptures. This was far from what used to be the case when Patrick newly gained admission into the university 3 years ago. It was a slow fade which began by hurrying through his morning devotion (in a bid to get to class early) to skipping it entirely. The one-hour-a-day quiet time with God he used to observe was now history as it had been replaced by the crucial need to cook every evening. After all, “man must be alive to serve God”, he always encouraged himself. Patrick, overtime had forgotten that he needed to put God first in all his life endeavours-as that was pleasing to God. He forgot that the bible instructed that acknowledging God in all our ways was prerequisite for God to direct our paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).

As usual, the noise in the hostel startled Patrick out of sleep. He dashed for his phone. It was a few minutes to 9am!! He had barely 10 minutes to make it to class for the test. As usual, there was no time to pray, but this time, there was also no time to take his bath or even brush his teeth. He quickly jumped into his clothes and took to his heels, zooming off to class. His adrenalin was pumping so fast he could barely breathe. Would he miss his test? Would he get a carryover? Was this the beginning of his failure? Why did God not wake him up? Was he still in God’s good books? Did God still care about him? All these questions ran through Patrick’s head as he ran across the road without looking and was brushed to the ground by a motocycle. A crowd gathered to his aid only to meet an unharmed but crying Patrick. He wasn’t crying because he had been pushed to the ground by the motorcycle but because he suddenly realized how far from God he had grown. He realized it started out slowly by relegating God to the background and accepting ideologies that negated scriptures. He had surrounded himself with only friends who could help him academically but not spiritually. Right there, on the cold tarmac, Patrick decided to retrace his steps back to God!

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