TEXT: 1 TIMOTHY 4:7
"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have
kept the faith:"
The human life is an embattled one: war and fighting are constantly present; when a fight is over and victory won, the fight to sustain and maintain the said procured victory would begin. It is an endless circle, with the result that man grows and appears older than his age as a consequence. The times of war and battle are momments of actual dissipation of energy, time and resources; many vital projects and things of utilitarian value are ignored. A man on the battle field care less about his appearance, for his forcus and strength are totally consumed by the fight before him: every fighter normally become fixated in their thought pattern.
Man is constantly fighting to stay alive, relevant and clear of any charges. The desire to be free, rich and known are in themselves battles. The proclivity to stay in the good books of fellow men is a battle. In-laws are there to be pleased; husbands, wives, children, employers, employees and even our pets in the house need to be attended to. To some, they need to be alert so that they can cover their sinnister tracks. The stress that is involved in covering sin and keeping a saintly appearance is unimaginable. Take for instance, to cover up adultery, a person would need to be witty and restlessly awake to every suspicion from men, especially his or her spouse. Take it or leave it, life is a battle! King Solomon, the preacher, in Ecclesiastes 1:4- put life this way in the following lines:
"One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh:
but the earth abideth for ever. The sun also ariseth, and the
sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose. The
wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north;
it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again
according to his circuits. All the rivers run into the sea; yet
the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come,
thither they return again.All things are full of labour; man
cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear
filled with hearing."
However, a man has a sole prerogative to choose the battle and fight to give his energy to: he can choose to fight a battle or lay down his arms: a man can decide to even totally ignored a fight! Battle decipates and tires; during battles somethings are naturally suspended. No man can be fighting on the street and still be found writing on his table at home or reading. "No man can serve to master..." When fighting, a man seems to think of nothing but about his enemy. So, not all battles are to be entertained at all!
The scripture says there is such a thing as "...good fight..." This kind of fight is worthy, honourable, important and instrumental! There are some fights that breed more enemies than friends! Some victory put us in the bad book of men: not all victory are worthy and honourable. Sometimes the easiest way to become a perpetual enemy of somebody, is to prove that person wrong before men. Sometimes our response should be no response: when men ask us to respond to some allegations, it is better some times to simply tell them that "our response is not to respond!" If there is a good fight: there is also a bad fight. Paul chose to fight the good fight.
We may not be able to place our fingers on which battle to fight and the one not to fight, but of this we are sure: any fight that must worth our attention and strength, must be honourable, worthy, one that enhances our lives and the lives of others. The big question to be asked at the brim or threshold of any battle is this: "To what purpose is this fight: is it to save face? Or to promote God's kingdom and His righteousness?"
Some fight and kill just to get advanced adult toys and earthy goods: others are ready to suffocate anything and anybody on the ways of their targets. Others are involved in troubling thoughts and anxieties about their comforts and reputations. Many feel that they are losing their place among men: so they are always devising novel means to stay relevant. Such persons, go for new fashions and detest repeating wears: they deem it degrading wearing a cloth today and the next day! They are crazy about what they wear and how they look...they change with the fashion of this world.
Moreover, various individuals are on their tiptoe, constantly fighting to stay respected and admired! The craze for women to keep their men has driven a lot of women into all kinds of things; ranging from plastic surgery to a restless monitoring of their man. Men should fight, but their is a good fight. If I am not believed, I need not fight to be believed...I need not swear on the Bible to get any man's trust: my yes or no should be enough!
If my wife suspects me, I need not improve my demeanour with the powder of pseudo-smile and wear a saintly look just to prove my faithfulness to her. If I hear things that are not true about me, I need not stoop low and write or speak volume just to prove anything. I have nothing to hide or to prove! My yes or no is enough! Anything beyond this is an evident token of weakness! Anytime we feverishly make explanation to men, we place them above us and make them our judges.
Brothers and sisters, the time is short! There is no time to carry extra cloth; no time to carry purse; no time to carry a begger's bag; no time to even stop and exchange pleasantries! I would have you without cares...I would have you to attend upon the Lord without distraction! Stay alert we are like sheep running through a wolf pack, so let us not call attention to ourselves. Let us Be as cunning as a snake, inoffensive as a dove! Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour. Choose the battle to fight and the one to own up or ignore! To what is a good fight we would now turn! To be continued!
Emeka Joe Uzosike