The Sunday Mail
Bishop Lazarus had a pleasant revelation on Monday and is seriously considering participating at next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
With Usain Bolt happily retired and sipping margaritas into the sunset somewhere in the Caribbean Islands, I reckon I might have a clear shot at the coveted gold medal.
Admittedly, I am not quite in shape. Nor do I look the part.
You see, over the years, I have grown bulgier, bulkier and circular, and I really do not fancy anything that involves physical exertion.
But, hey, there are situations and circumstances that force one to forget about these supposedly inconvenient inhibitions.
Well, the Bishop found himself in a particularly sticky wicket on Monday – a day he usually cools off after his fiery sermons on Sundays.
As a creature of habit, he blissfully drove his jalopy (a Datsun 120Y) – which is not unusual for someone who has taken the vow of poverty – and decided to check on some of his congregants as part of his pastoral work.
But, alas, his ill-fated journey was cut short.
Before he could even visit a handful of his flock, he had the misfortune of being cornered by a phalanx of youthies brandishing an assortment of intimidating paraphernalia – stones, sticks, metal bars et cetera.
He immediately sensed trouble.
After quickly surmising that in the worst case scenario, the ramshackle couldn’t possibly help him make good his escape, Bishop Lazi quickly alighted from the vehicle and decided to civilly engage the gang. (Mistake number one)
“Iwe mudhara iwe. Urikuenda kupi? (Hey, old man, where are you going?)” bellowed one of the youthies who was leading this coterie of yobs.
“My child . . .” (Mistake number two)
“Handizi mwana wako! (I am not your child!),” shot back the unusually hyperactive youth.
“The Bible says. . .” (Unforgivable strike number three)
The marauding band of yobs, hoodlums and firebugs would have none of that.
Although his snow-white alb, cincture and stole screamed that he was a respected member of the clergy, the Bishop was tossed around and bashed by expletive-laden rants.
After convincing himself that he could not possibly negotiate himself out of this quagmire, instincts and adrenaline naturally kicked in.
You should have been there to see his sleek move: a signature Tauya Murehwa body swerve wrong-footed the angry youths – whose sense of balance was already compromised by gallons of an impairing brew – and from the subsequent gap that presented itself, the Bishop bolted at an unimaginable supersonic speed.
The few that foolishly tried to pursue the speedster quickly abandoned their mission in a mini-sandstorm conjured in the wake of the Bishop’s pious sandals.
In those nanoseconds it took him to escape from the clutches of these dangerous youths to the sanctuary of his priestly home, the Bishop convinced himself that he was actually the fastest man on the planet.
But there is something that exercises my mind till this day. I could swear that a decent number of those youthies were from my church choir.
Is it because my fiery sermons are failing to hit the mark? Or we are not the Christians that we make the world believe?
One thing I know is, human beings by their very nature are very fickle: The same crowd that will cheer you during your coronation is the same crowd that will jeer you during your execution.
“Never trust in man/woman of flesh and blood, but always trust in God,” is what Bishop Lazi always tells those who turn to him for wise counsel.
This is the reason why He uses ordinary man to accomplish extraordinary feats.
This is why a French pint-sized emperor by the name of Napoleon Bonaparte almost conquered Europe, only for his designs to be pushed back by imperial Britain.
And this is also why the 80-year-old stammerer, Moses, managed to rescue his kith and kin (the Israelites) from Egypt.
But, again, the journey to the Promised Land is never easy.
When ED announced in September last year that it wont be easy, no one ever imagined that it would be so hard.
As a deeply spiritual man, who believes that everything in life happens for a reason, the Bishop, while sitting under a mango tree to reflect on his great escape, found himself meditating on the great life-lessons told through the Holy Book of Exodus and Numbers.
Even when God sent his messenger to rescue the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, the latter actually became sceptical as the Pharaoh piled on their misery to spite them.
Exodus 6 verse 9: “Moses reported this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and harsh labour.”
But even after they were set free, the journey to the Promised Land – Canaan – was not easy as many of them thought it would be.
During their 40-year journey, the Israelites met unimaginable grief.
They ran out of food, water and clothes.
So unbearable were their woes that they began complaining to God.
Perhaps the most notable verse that highlights how fickle man/woman is, is Numbers 11:1-7.
“The people began complaining out loud to the Lord about their troubles. When the Lord heard them, he became angry, and fire from the Lord began to burn among them. It destroyed some people on the outskirts of the camp. 2 The people cried out to Moses, Moses prayed to the Lord, and the fire died down. 3 That place was called Taberah (Fire) because fire from the Lord burned among them there.
“4 Some foreigners among the Israelites had a strong craving for other kinds of food. Even the Israelites started crying again and said, ‘If only we had meat to eat! 5 Remember all the free fish we ate in Egypt and the cucumbers, watermelons, leeks, onions, and garlic we had? 6 But now we’ve lost our appetite! Everywhere we look there’s nothing but manna!’”
Well, you really need to understand what happened here: the Israelites were on the brink of starvation, and God gave them manna; when the taste of manna and quail (zvihuta) became all-to-familiar, they now wanted meat. Ah! Kikikiki.
I would imagine that if we had them in our midst today they would probably be saying, “ED, take us back to Egypt where we used to have Coca Cola on Christmas.”
To them, Pharaoh’s supposed “magnanimity” was now relatively palatable than God’s daily bread.
No holiday is ever fathomable without the beverage, they said.
But no matter what God did through his servants Moses and Aaron to appease and guide the Israelites to the Promised Land, they were not convinced.
And they thought retracing their footsteps to Egypt was the solution.
“If only we had just died in Egypt or somewhere along the way in this wilderness, rather than the Eternal One leading us out here to have us slaughtered and our women and youngsters dragged off as plunder, too, as objects for their pleasure.
“Wouldn’t it be good just to go back to Egypt? Let’s figure out among ourselves who should head the group and then make our way back to Egypt.” (Numbers 14: 2-4)
Even Moses even wavered and failed to reach the Promised Land.
As the Bishop continues to say ad infinitum, reform is a painful phased process which takes time.
China walked the painful journey, which was similarly marked by episodic teething challenges, for three decades.
Even the father of the “Chinese economic miracle” (Deng Xiaoping), who died in 1997, only lived to see the green shoots of his efforts, but not the blooming flower that it is now.
Zimbabwe’s journey has begun.
Pharaoh’s pursuing rag tag army of jecharists that we saw in our suburbs last week will definitely be swallowed by the Red Sea.