Preparing for the great call

The call is inevitable. Every mortal is aware of this. When and how it comes is what every mortal is unaware of. The great call is as old as creation. It has been experienced by people of all ages, sexes, colours, nationalities and religious backgrounds. As I write, it is warming up to rap at the doors of many people.

Some had already answered it before I picked up my pen. My turn will arrive one day. This call is necessary because it is part of life. As I said earlier, the call does not announce when and how it arrives. So it behoves every mortal to prepare for it.

A bus conveying people for burial ceremony somersaulted two times and fell into a river. Only two survived. Similarly, a plane with many passengers on board crashed and all but three turned into ashes. Six children were playing under a big tree and suddenly a branch of the tree detached itself and descended on them and three answered the call.

Many school children returning from an excursion were involved in a ghastly road accident and only four survived. Similarly, the driver of a car lost control of the brakes and it hit a building a few metres away from the road. The driver and two of the seven people in the building answered the call.

An armed robbery gang visited a bank and carted away an undisclosed amount of money. The only casualty was a boy who went to pay electricity bill for his friend. He was not really a customer of the bank but he answered his own call there. An explosive device was thrown into a gathering and a few people survived. The rest answered the call. Some people answered the call as a result of flood occasioned by a midnight down pour while others answered theirs from electrocution. A young man who was walking along the road slumped and that was how he answered his own call.

After graduation abroad, a young man from a wealthy family turned down every job offer and insisted on returning to Nigeria to secure a job. His father wanted to use his influence to secure him a political appointment in this country. This he turned down too and opted to work in an oil company. He answered his own call through what they call industrial accident.

The aforementioned account constitutes an insignificant fraction of the various ways the call expresses itself. The casualties were not the worst sinners on earth. In fact, some of them might be better than many of us on earth today. It is not my intention to inculcate fears in anyone or to strengthen the fears many people already have about the great call. Be that as it may, it must come to each of us when it chooses whether we fear it, avoid mentioning it or avoid going to where it registers its presence.

To this end, it is of no avail to dread the great call. Instead, we should prepare for it by putting our houses in order so that when it comes ,we will earn ourselves a good place in realms beyond this earth. Putting our houses in order implies having good thoughts, saying good things and doing good deeds.

Udodilim Ijeoma, a public affairs analyst, wrote from Sapele, Delta State.

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