It appears that the end purpose for many of the things we do in Nigeria are to eat, sleep, have sex and brag. Many of us work, study, go to church, go to mosque, do charity, get positions, marry, get children only to eat, sleep, have sex and brag. This situation forces us to ask whether there is any other reason for which we are sent into this world apart from seeking comfort and bragging. When the purpose of life is not known, abuse becomes inevitable. This gap in purpose of life demonstrates the deviation of religious purpose in the Nigerian society.
Welcome to the 14th episode of Restartnaija
In the last episode, we discussed how societies use education and research to develop their human and natural resources. We noted that the inaccessibility of natural resources to Nigerian scientists and industrialists is a major cause of unproductivity in Nigeria.
In this episode, we shall discuss how religion helps humanity to develop and utilize resources for common good and fulfilment.
Humans are not born with the knowledge of God. They come into the world with their many needs. They try to utilize the resources in their environment to solve their problems. But despite all their efforts, many problems remain unsolved: diseases, death, poverty, hunger, natural disasters, terrorist and injustice.
Hence they started looking for help and to reflect on the forces behind natural resources and human life; they began searching for the meaning and right purpose of man and natural resources. This search for meaning and purpose of human and natural led to the reflection on the creator of man and his environment.
If somebody sends you to work for him and provides materials for the work, you listen to understand the work, otherwise you will waste his time, your time and the resources.
We find the first purpose of things in their maker, and religion identifies God as the maker of man and natural resources. Thus, religion tries to guide humans to use earth’s resources in fulfilling their life’s purpose within the society.
Religion is not an end in itself, it is a means to finding and fulfilling one’s purpose on earth. People pray, meditate and consult to find their purpose on earth, otherwise they may never find peace and fulfilment.
All natural resources and forces are divine provisions for humans to fulfil their lives’ purposes. By trying to find the right purposes of natural resources, humans get closer to the mystical depth of reality from which scientific knowledge comes.
Many of the ancient scientists and inventors were religious monks, who penetrated mystical depths of natural resources through research, meditation, metaphysical abstraction, calculated replication and modification of natural resources and forces. Many of the Egyptian/Chinese monks, medieval Islamic scholars and Catholic priests were religiously scientific. So, they obtained the inspiration and direction for the right use of natural resources.
Religion, arts and humanities direct peoples’ beliefs and dispositions in interacting with human and natural resources for human cooperation, harmonious productivity and fulfilment.
Unfortunately in Nigeria, it seems that religion, arts and humanities are twisted to provide blissful entertainment, consolation and materialistic distractions from fundamental social issues. Some religious leaders urge praying worshippers to respond ‘I-reject-it’, ‘it-is-well’ and ‘only-God-will-help-us’ to problems that other nations solve through research and cooperation. Like we noted earlier, Nigerian government denies citizens access to resources for productivity. Hence, you cannot properly research or produce anything without access to natural resources. You only import
Instead of thinking, working and demanding a change from this situation of basic unproductivity, many religious leaders divert people’s attentions to praying for miracles.
Prayer is an appreciative communication with the divine to obtain motivation and direction for fulfilling our life’s purpose. Unfortunately, there is a faulty idea of prayer and God in Nigeria. Nigerians are now made to see God as a magician, who does what we command in loud prayers, instead of a director of hearts towards productivity, harmony and fulfilment.
When we do not see God as a director of our hearts for productivity, we abandon our roles (intellectual, emotional, physical and spiritual) in social transformation. When we abandon the roles that produce evident results, results become too scarce that any little show of result is seen as miracle.
Why did God send you to Nigeria? Which problem have you come to solve in Nigeria, and on earth. Discover your purpose, get ready to work for it and God will send all the wisdom and resources you need to fulfil your purpose.