…Continued from last week.
I tried as much as I could to stay awake but I must have slept off because when I opened my eyes again I was laying on my bed still with me facing the door but my wardrobe door was opened. As my eyes adjusted to the dark room, I noticed that a ceiling tile above the wardrobe was no more white but black, and while my brain scrambled with the confusion as to why it was painted black, I saw it. A leg and then two and then a whole body began to lower itself down through the black ceiling. It had not been a black ceiling but a hole. I bolted up from the bed and woke up from my dream.
Had I dreamt everything? I wondered. I looked under my pillow and saw my kitchen knife there, so that much was real, but the part about the black ceiling and the burglars finally coming through the ceiling had been a dream. By now the sound had stopped. I looked at the time and it was 5:56am.
“So who had been robbed yesterday” I wondered.
If they hadn’t broken into our house, then who had they burgled? Due to the fact that it was still dark, I waited till dawn to go ask my neighbors. At about 8 am I went out and knocked on my neighbors door. I knocked for what seemed like eternity and was begining to worry that they had been murdered by the burglars and was already considering running to go alarm our neighbors downstairs when the door flew opened.
“Good morning Mr. Nelson” I said
“Good morning Tolu, how far?” he said
” I dey” I replied “I heard some noise on the ceiling throughout the night yesterday and was sure it was robbers” I continued.
“Me sef o” he said
“I actually slept with a kitchen knife” I added
My neighbor thought this was funny and laughed for a while, then he confessed that he had initially been very terrified but had eventually gathered enough courage to bang on the ceiling and scream “I know you are there, come down!”
He said he had eventually taken a flashlight and climbed through his manhole to investigate and who do you suppose he found there?
Yes, rats. Somehow half a dozen rats had found their way into the ceiling, obviously through the drain pipes that run from the bottom floor to the roof.
“But how can rats be so loud?” I asked
“They were very big o” he said
“So you bin sleep with knife?” he asked, while he tried to keep a straight face, failing miserably.
I didn’t respond.
“Wetin you be wan do with the knife?” he pressed
“Maybe just threaten them small” I answered. And he burst out laughing again.
I walked away feeling stupid. I couldn’t believe I had stayed awake, almost ran myself mad and turned myself to a night time commando all because of rats.
The more I thought about it, the more comical it begin to appear to me. Two neighbour’s reacting to loud rats turned robbers; one tiptoeing round her house with a knife the other banging at his ceiling screaming “show yourself!”
I called my husband after that and narrating the whole nights events and how funny I thought it was. But my husband was not amused. He had picked up on only one aspect of my story. The fact that I had gone to get a knife.
“So why exactly did you go and get a knife and what were you planning to do with it?” he interrupted me as I rounded up my story. I didn’t bother responding because I knew no answer could save me.
He continued, ” Did you ever stop to think that you had actually gone to get a weapon for the intruder to harm you with? That you could have actually provoked them to harm you, if it had really been burglars and they had seen the knife in your hands?
He grilled on, “How exactly did you plan to use it? What if they had had guns? How can you manage a knife against a gun?”
I was honestly begining to see the stupidity of what I had done, but I wasn’t willing to admit it.
“If only you had gotten me the tazer and pepper spray I asked for, I probably wouldn’t have gone to get it.” I retorted.
“That is even one of the reasons I am worried about you having them, because you might become over zealous and start tazing people all about the place” he responded.
“Why didn’t you even call or text me? Did you even pray?”.
I had no response at all.
“God forbid that it happens but don’t ever do that again, this is not the movies where you play hero and get away with it” he half reprimanded, half pleaded.
Later that day as I ran through my actions, 1 John 4:18 came to my mind “…fear hath torment…”
Though what I had been doing had seemed rational at the time, my actions had actually not been properly thought through. I learned that day as my actions showed me what I trusted most in this life – myself.
That even though I said I trusted God, prayed and read the word, He had not been my first, second or third option when I ran into a problem. I trusted myself and my limited ability much more.
I repented that day, asking God to help me trust him more and make Him my first help in times of trouble.
In Isaiah 43:2 God promises “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” So no matter what, He will be there for us.
And from 2 Timothy 1:7 “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of sound mind” , we can ascertain that fear is foreign and not from God and even in the face of danger or imposing threats, we have been given sound minds that helps us rationalize accurately.
God built a “flight-or-fight” mechanism into us for our protection. The rush of adrenaline known as a “panic attack” is actually in the face of real danger, built to give us an instant boost of strength. But the devil just like he always does with every good gift from God, tries to corrupt it and use it to cripple and demoralize us, but we know better and have proof through the word and through the Holy-Spirit.
Have you ever had a similar situation or story that ended up funny? How do you respond to threats, “fight, flight or freeze”?