Most Africans have something they do or say when warning a child. I have seen it most among the Yorubas, but I’ve also seen others do the same.
When a warning is coming, they will tug on their ear and call the child’s name 3 times. “How many times did I call you?” they’ll ask, and from this, a warning follows. “Obedience is better than sacrifice,” is a good example of one of those warnings. It is very true.
Often times we are told things that we ought to do or ought not do. We may be told by an elder, a peer, a spouse, or even our own dreams. But due to stubbornness, doubt, forgetfulness, being too frugal, etc. We go against these warnings and later suffer the consequences.
Should one choose to go against a warning, solving the problem (the “sacrifice”) often can be the hardest thing to do. If only you had listened. Or according to Jamaicans, “If mi did know…”
There was a time when I was rebuilding my ancestral altar. The one I had torn down after I had gotten together with High Grade (the ex-husband). He was “of the world” and ganja-toting, (nutten wrong wid ganja, but he over did it) and at that period in my life something wanted me to run away from spirituality. The burden was too much and for a long time I just wanted to be “normal”.
And so when High Grade came to live with me, I tore down my ancestral altar.
The consequence of this was that my eldest child ended up in the hospital for a short period. When I realized the consequence of my actions, I ran to remedy it and I did.. And this is where we are now in the story as it begins…
I had erected the altar and replaced everything that was once there. Yet there was one more thing left for me to do. I had to “feed” the ancestors using a chicken. I foolishly mentioned this to High Grade, who, with his ganja-toting voice (or “Area Boy” voice to you Nigerians LOL) said, “No, yuh nuh need fi do dat man,” he said, telling me I did not need to do that.
Here I was, Obara Meji, a spiritualist, in the bid of trying to become “normal” again, I listened to him and did not give the ancestors what they had requested.
These are the nonphysicals who have lived with me before I had ever met High Grade. They had protected me and children, fed me, and kept a roof over our head. They had guided me in my life and loved me dearly, and at the time of “feeding” them, I decided against it at High Grades vehement protests.
Nevertheless, I was to know that they were there with me and they would show themselves. 3 days after this, it was now a Saturday morning on a Summers day in New York. The day was beautiful and bright and High Grade awoke early around 8am (which was strange because he is not a morning person). He wore his soccer clothes, took his ball, and went outside. I went out onto the balcony and watched him play “keeping up” with the soccer ball (meaning kicking the ball from one foot to the other).
Bloggers, there was a strange feeling that I had in my body… It was a strange happiness that flooded me with warmth. I felt as if I had no care in the world. While watching High Grade, my children were all still asleep. I saw the landlord of our apartment walk to the gate, turn around and suddenly run fast down the street.
This was very odd.
High Grade stopped kicking the ball and looked at me. I looked at him. We were both puzzled. After a while, High Grade resumed kicking the ball when a police car pulled up to the gate slowly. The landlord came out of the police car and walked into the gate. There was a machete that was in the garden and he pulled it out and handed it to the two officers who were now out of the car and entering the gate.
Everything was like slow motion to me because I wondered what was happening. Even High Grade looked on confused. The policemen proceeded to place the machete into a clear plastic bag, walk out of the gate and went straight to High Grade.
They told him to put his hands behind his back and proceeded to handcuff him while reading him his rights. I was shocked. He was shocked. Other people on the street stood around looking on. There had been no incident. Why was he being arrested? But the police didn’t say. They just took him away.
When they did, I ran into the house to get the car keys. Still in my nightgown and duster, I was like a robot. Not thinking at all, just acting. I grabbed my purse and got into the car and drove straight to the poultry farm. I literally had to pass the Police Station to go to the poultry farm. This was automatic, without conscious thought. My mind is not on High Grade at all, I just had the impulse to head straight to the poultry farm. I was like a zombie in my actions.
I quickly got back home and as I stepped through the door with the intention of giving the chicken to the ancestors, the chicken squawked loudly and died in my hand. Shocked, I had to run back downstairs, drive back to the poultry shop and get another chicken. Got back home, went to my ancestral altar and proceeded to the sacrifice and prayers for the release of High Grade.
As soon as I finished, I heard someone shout from downstairs that High Grade was at the gate. He was released.
When I stepped onto the balcony and saw him, everything came to me why all of this happened at all. I was taken back 3 days prior to the ancestors instructing me to give them the chicken, and to High Grade telling me not to do it. If this had been a scene out of a movie, the camera would have faded with the look on my face with some benign music in the background. You would have seen me remembering those instructions 3 days ago…
They (my ancestors) realized that he stood in the way of me doing my work and they had to remove him out of the way, and give me a situation to allow me to give them what they requested. But since it had taken 3 days for me to give it, they no longer took only one from me, but two.
That day, when he came upstairs, I paid him no mind. My heart, mind, and soul were on these beautiful non-physicals who are benevolent to the core. Because if they were malevolent, the way to get rid of him would be to kill him or send him to prison. But the consequence was mild and lasted only a few hours, yet had I listened at first, being who I am and knowing what I know, there would have been no police situation at all.
Often times we are warned in dreams and visions or messages that come to us through different channels including divinations. There are some who prefer to do what they wish to do instead of adhering to proper advice or to what their own Head or spirit tells them to do. We are all responsible for ourselves and each and every human being has his own path to walk.
I can testify to you that me becoming myself as Obara Meji, has been wholly through obedience. Obedience of spirit, allowing them to lead me through I knew not where I was going or what would happen to me. I followed the way of what I now call light, and for the better part of the year, I spend most of my time in Nigeria where writing a post is too difficult because of overwhelming heat or no electricity. At times while writing a post, I would reflect back to New York sitting under my AC and comfortable, but I was led by spirit to be in Nigria as a pathway to my journey.
At first when I arrived, I went through Hell as everyone saw me as someone to be used and abused, as a foreigner. But I endured. I cried. I prayed. I quarreled with God. Why am I here? Why can’t I go home? But I know I was placed there to assist others who needed me, near and far. I endured and obeyed spirit.
I share this post with you all because a lot of us do not understand the simple things that can push us so far in life. What you think may be too simple, is actually written in your destiny for your growth. There are many secrets to our existence and to allow us to complete our journey.
One of these secrets is prayer, which I wholly believe in. It does not matter who or what you pray to or how you pray. What matters is your intention and your belief. The second secret is curiosity. Your curiosity can lead you to the place you ought to be. The third is passion, passion and curiosity walk hand in hand. Your passion allows you to stay on your path. Another is sacrifice or atonement, which walks hánd In hand with prayer, and it is my deep belief that this is the solution to everything. And now obedience… which is the root of every human being’s existence.
Why is it so? Because all of us are in this world to serve each other.
Therefore, for our light to come into form, there must have been some type of preparation in Heaven, (heaven heard means the world we come from), and before that preparation was a calling: Who will go to the world to help “this person”? Which child will go to the world to assist the mother from that abusive father? Which group of people will go to the world, make a pact with each other and die on the same airplane so that the humans in power will know to ground those planes and save many more lives?
We are spirit beings having a human experience, I know you know this. But we are only here to assist each other into Light continuum, consciousness, elevation. If you were to speak to a spirit of light that had no form, they would tell you that the Earth is chaotic and no Being wishes to come here. Most often when spirit is released from the form, they are happy to go back to their world, not even paying attention to they body left behind.
May this post serve as a remembrance to you that you must not only listen to things you are told or evaluate them, but also trust yourself, your Ori, your ancestors and continuously trust God and know that obedience is a secret key to life.
The man who follows the crowd will find himself no further than the crowd. The man who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been before – Unknown
Obara Meji is a spiritualist, Ifa-Orisa practitioner, and teacher of metaphysics. Since 2011 she has used her online platform to share her personal experiences to those seeking answers about spirituality. Her teachings will expand into short stories, novels, and public speaking to continue her mission of bringing enlightenment to the world.