You Looking For A Sign From God? Part 1
Last time when I was home in my village in Imo State Nigeria, a friend of mine visited me from Enugu city. At the end of his visit, he convinced me to come with him to Enugu because he wanted me to see something very important. I agreed to go to Enugu with my friend. However, it was late into the evening when I finished attending to other guests and family/community concerns of the day, but we were sure to leave for Enugu by car nevertheless. My relatives were worried that we should embark on such a journey very late in the day. It was considered very dangerous considering the menace of deadly armed robbers who ply the route to Enugu. But we had to make the trip that evening because my friend’s family would be very disturbed if he did not return home to Enugu that night. Besides, I had limited time to spend at home, and a postponement would result in an inability to make the trip. We had to choose the difficult option of making the trip that night.
The highway to Enugu (Enugu-Umuahia-Aba-PortHarcourt Expressway) had become notorious for deadly attacks by “highway robbers” that could chase cars down or block the road once it was dark. My friend and I were to make our journey by a Volvo car, and I had to make sure that the car was mechanically fit to at least drive fast and help our get-away in the event of an attack by robbers. My ever-willing-to-help younger relatives were on hand and in a moment, they hand-washed the car, checked the oil and water
levels, the head lights, the tires, the spare tire, and so on. Such checkups have to be done regularly with most cars used in Nigeria since most affordable cars are fairly used cars that require constant maintenance, and believe me; we have very interesting and imaginative car maintenance culture in Nigeria. For instance, the village car mechanic lost the real cover of the engine oil pot of the Volvo car, and in place of the proper cover, he picked up the engine oil pot-cover of another car, wrapped some rubber sheets around it to make it tight and then he used it as a replacement on the
After my ever-willing-to-help younger relatives gave us the “clean bill of travel” on the car, my friend and I embarked on
the daring journey against all odds. We had to make sure that we surrendered the journey to God because that was our main source of confidence, protection, and guidance in making such a risky trip. So, we did a brief praising of God’s Name, and then I popped in a tape that sings a love song to God. Assured that we have done our physical best, we then sat back to enjoy the journey as I stepped on the accelerator pedal and swerved the car from one corner of the road to the other avoiding the many potholes on the local road that led into the expressway/highway.
As we approached the highway, we heard an unusual sharp and loud noise that filled the car. My friend and I wondered where the sound came from and then we realized it was coming from the tape. I popped the tape out and looked at it to see if it had a problem but I found none. I tapped it on my lap and replaced it and the love song continued to play again as if nothing happened. Was that sign number 1? Having put our consciousness on a high alert, we were open to any sign from God and fortunately we caught the signal that a tape song alone may not be enough to guide us through the journey, so we quickly started supporting the tape song with our natural voices gearing ourselves up but refusing to
In a short while we entered the main highway to Enugu but after only about a mile away from the highway shopping area, the hood (we call it “bonnet” in Nigeria) of a Mercedes car driving ahead of us flew open, blinding the view of the driver who quickly swerved off in the direction he imagined was off the road. No one was hurt. We were at a safe distance behind the Mercedes car and could have continued the journey. But wait. Was that sign number 2? Why did that have to happen just in front of us? We were the only two cars on the road in that area at that time. I had the nudge to stop and without explaining to my friend, I swerved off the road and brought the car to a stop. My friend asked me why I stopped. I simply told him that the Mercedes incident ahead of us was a sign for us to stop and open the hood (bonnet) of our own car. My friend could relate to my conclusion having had such experiences himself. Without an argument, he alighted from the car with me and we stepped to the front of our car to open our hood (bonnet).
As we raised the hood (bonnet), we noticed that the entire engine was covered with smoking and burning oil splattered all over. The engine oil pot-cover was gone and the entire oil in the engine has poured out while I fired the engine as we drove. Not only would we have engaged on a highway of many hundred miles without any oil in the engine, all the cables in the engine would have melted if we drove another five minutes. That was not all. Any spark whatsoever, would have set the car ablaze. If the car had stopped when we were way off into the trip and very far from the highway shopping area, we would have been stuck and exposed all night on such a dangerous highway at the mercy of any marauding robbers or prowling attackers. Is it possible that we were saved because we asked for God’s help AND we looked out to notice His ever-present signs?
Were we stranded on this dangerous highway? Were we attacked or robbed? Did we get any help? Did we complete the journey? Or did something stop us? All the answers coming in
PART TWO where we will also consider the existence or non-existence of Angels amongst men.
A SIGN FROM GOD
And for a sign from God
Many of us would ask.
But in the expectation of it
We many times fail to vest
As in the recognition of it,
We many times fail to live.
And yet the sign never fails
But remains forever revealed
To the ever watchful seeker
For God’s love and presence,
Lives and stays ever with us
And in all is ever so conscious.
©Oliver O. Mbamara,
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Oliver Mbamara is an Administrative Law Judge with the State of New York.
He is also a filmmaker and a Published Poet and playwright. For more on Oliver, please visit
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