Order is the first law in heaven while disorder reigns supreme in hell. I have been to heaven many times in my dreams. But I have never imagined myself close to hell. It may be a premonition that heaven is my portion. Anyone who wishes to make heaven must be ordered right from this earth in words, thoughts and actions. If your brain is disordered, then it leads to mental disorder. If your words are disordered, then you become an aerial scatter. If your actions are disordered, then you will end up either in prison (correction centre) or in the reformatory centre. If the disorder leads to death, then hell becomes your abode forever. All souls in hell are guilty of the grave disorder.
Severally, I have been in Magistrate Court and High Court either as plaintiff or defendant for the sake of the Gospel of Christ. Whenever there is any noise during the court process, the court clerk shouts, “Order!” Instantly, everyone keeps silent. Any further misbehaviour attracts serious penalty in cash or in kind. Even any disordered sneezing or coughing during the court process is punishable. If your phone rings, it attracts heavy monetary punishment. One day a defendant while standing at the dock and being cross-examined, released loud foul air pollution which filled the courtroom. Everyone ran helter-skelter. The judge became furious. Consequently, he hit the gravel hard on the table and shouted, “This is intolerable! I hereby sentence you to life imprisonment for your stupid disorder and attempted poisoning!” The lawyers exclaimed, “As the Court pleases!” The police orderly handcuffed the accused and sent him to jail immediately. The judge rose. The clerk shouted, “Court!” All went out spitting and vomiting.
In the Order of Melchizedek, I am a priest forever. Thus I am addressed as Reverend Father. By my priestly ordination, I am a cleric and no more a layman. But something happened in the Magistrate Court one day. My lawyer was sitting among the lawyers in their chambers. As the court was in progress, I went to him to ascertain something. I was dressed in my Roman collar suit. Immediately I stepped in there, the lawyers shouted, “Who is this layman? Please get out of the court!” I was about to tell them that I am not a layman but only for the police orderly to rush towards me and blocked my way. I sighed and went away confused. How can the learned men dare call me a layman? I will go to the Supreme Court for interpretation.
If you go to Police or Army Barracks, you see the order in action. I saw a junior army officer kneeling and saluting a senior army officer, “Yes Sir!” The senior officer slapped him and he responded, “Thank you, Sir!” In another occasion, I came across a policeman bulling a suspect and shouting on top of his voice, “Obey the last order!” He further commanded the suspect to do frog jump while holding his two ears. The order was promptly obeyed.
Once upon a time, out of my benevolence, I offered someone a lift in front of Governor’s Lodge. As I was about to drive away, the policeman on duty accosted me and charged me for the serious disorder. Unfortunately, I was not on my clerical attire on that fateful day. Thus the policeman commanded me to stoop down and begin frog jump. I became ashamed of myself and begged him for leniency. He attempted to force me. Then I revealed my identity as a priest. He looked pitifully at me and said, “But you should know better.” I replied, “Yes, officer. I am sorry.” He sharply said, “Go! But be careful next time.” Indeed no one is above the law. Nevertheless in Nigeria, there are sacred cows above the Law. Are you one of them?
When the body systems are in order, a person is said to be healthy. But when any part of the body is disordered, one becomes sick. Hence the elementary definition of sickness is the disordering of the body system which brings about the breakdown of metabolism. Please give me loud applause for that ‘akpucative’ definition.
On entering the Church of God, you see the order in action. This order is spelt out in what the Catholic Church calls Hierarchy. The Roman Catholic Church is very hierarchical in nature. The Roman Pontiff (Pope) takes the prime place, followed by the Bishops. Then the Priests come in. The deacons follow behind them. Then the religious men and women go in before lay men and women. If there is reincarnation, I shall be a Catholic again.
Just now four persons arrive at the Church to pray. They are Tochukwu (PraiseGod), Ekene (ThankGod), Ebere (Mercy) and Anayo (Supplication). They struggle to enter the church. Who do you think should be first allowed to go in? In the order of Divine worship, Tochukwu should be the first to enter and praise God. We begin prayer by the Adoration of the Highest God who made heaven and earth. He is our Creator and Provider. Hence we should join Tochukwu to praise, adore and prostrate before Him. Even if our bodies are full of mouths, they are not sufficient in praising the Lord. Praise the Lord!
Next, Ekene will enter the Church to thank God for all His blessings, guidance and protection. He is the Giver of life. Indeed it is by the grace of God that you and I are alive today. Therefore it is our bounden duty to show appreciation to Him always, in good times and in bad times. With Ekene we exclaim, “Thank you Almighty Father!”
Thirdly, it is the turn of Ebere to enter into the Church and beat her chest for her numerous sins. Mercy is of divine prerogative. Without God’s mercy, heaven will be empty. Our God is compassionate and merciful. As his creatures made in His own image and likeness, we ought to be compassionate as well. “Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy” (Matt. 5:7).
The last person to come into the Church should be Anayo. Supplication should be the last aspect of ardent prayer. Unfortunately, many Christians make it the prime. Ninety percent of Christian adherents are Anayos. Whenever they kneel in prayer they shout, “God give me long life and prosperity. Make me rich. Kill my enemies. Give me a husband. Give me a wife. Give me children. Give me a car.” Anayo, take it easy!
Recently, four individuals stood at the door of a very poor woman to pay her a visit. They were Love, Peace, Progress and Wealth. If you were in her shoes, whom would you allow in first? The order of rules must be strictly adhered to here. After prayerful thought, the poor woman asked Love to come in first. As Love was moving, Peace followed her. Then progress went in. Finally, Wealth went in as well. The poor woman’s condition changed instantly for the better. Where there is love can peace be found. And if there is peace, progress comes. Progress gives rise to wealth. To be ordered is to be successful in life. In other words, a disordered person is a failure. If you are a failure, then you should approach a psychiatric doctor for diagnosis and treatment. My dear, start now to order your life before it becomes too late. I have ordered my pen to stop here for today.
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By Fr. Pat Amaobi Chukwuma