Sinner (A short story)
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On God’s riches and the fear of death.

by Sanusi IsmailaNovember 9, 2014

I think one of the least debatable facts among those who believe in the concept of God is the fact that He/She is rich. However, I had always wondered how. My first thoughts about this were in primary school when I first heard about ritual killings for money. I asked everyone who cared to listen where the money was actually from and whether it was legal tender.

Think about it.

The stories then involved someone’s death, some rituals and money that came out of a calabash. The African in me was willing to accept that – it wasn’t so far from much of the folklore I’d heard and read growing up, so it was almost logical.

The only thing I didn’t get was where the money was from. If it came from the spirit world, did it have legal serial numbers or were they counterfeit bills? If they were actual legal currency bills, where did they come from? Printing and Minting? The Central Bank? Any bank’s vaults? Did the banks not notice when these monies disappeared only to reappear in a calabash somewhere? No one could answer these questions sufficiently so I expanded it a bit – if God was rich, in what currency was he a zillionaire? After all, I had heard so many stories of God blessing people with money and a lot of those stories were equally ridiculous to my young, inquisitive mind.

I knew God was rich, I just didn’t know how.

This question was stuck at the back of my mind until last week when someone gave an explanation that suited my mind. It’s an explanation that I now fully subscribe to on the concept of God’s riches.

Riches aren’t necessarily measured in cash. In fact, they are usually measured in assets and investments, so it makes sense that God’s riches are his assets and investments. If that’s the case, what can you think of that God has invested in more than anything?

Human beings.

Us.

Now to the question of death.

First of all, I don’t even know why people are afraid to die. You’ve never died before so what makes you think it’s not a much better experience than living? That’s a discussion for another day though.

Is there anyone that would see his/her investment going down the drain and pass on the opportunity to save it? Especially when it’s in their power to? I doubt that very much.

So, seeing as you are God’s investment, why then are you afraid to die? Obviously, if you choose to be silly, it’s a different scenario. A parent can invest money and time on a child’s education, but if the child simply refuses to learn, there’s not much else you can do. Same thing here.

I think a story that best illustrates the confidence one can have when they realize they are God’s investment is one that has been passed on from generation to generation since around 8 B.C (according to historians).

It is a story that is in the Bible, Quran and Torah. It’s the story of Jonah – the prophet who disobeyed God and was swallowed by a whale. I won’t go into the details, but the links above have the various versions of the story.

Two things from the story stick out for me:

  1. While others were panicking and tossing cargo overboard in a bid to save themselves, he – Jonah was sleeping. The fact that he was the only one sleeping in such a storm is the first indication of his confidence in the fact that he wouldn’t die yet.
  2. At the point when he confessed to being the problem, rather than suggest a “safer” option…like just asking for forgiveness, he asked to be thrown overboard into the sea. He wasn’t afraid of drowning in the sea. Why?

I think the simple reason for Jonah’s behavior was that he knew how much had been invested in him and realized that the Investor wasn’t going to let him go that easy.

Does it make any sense to you? Yes? Then the question now is ‘Are you delivering any returns on the investment in you?’

Food for thought.

I’m curious to know what you think? Do share your thoughts in the comments. Thank you.

Image via dawnaldrich.com

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Sanusi Ismaila
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