The King of Trees


The olive tree, one of the bases of Greek agri...

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I was going through mail from one of my various free email accounts and saw this piece by Seth Godin about the US congress.  I am reminded of a parable I saw in the old testament. Now, as many people know, the parables of Jesus are more popular and rightly so. However, this struck a chord in me because it reminded me of what the Nigerian situation is like. I will quote it below…

Now when they told Jotham, he went and stood on top of Mount Gerizim, and lifted his voice and cried out. And he said to them: “Listen to me, you men of Shechem, that God may listen to you! The trees once went forth to anoint a king over them. And they said to the olive tree, ‘Reign over us!’ But the olive tree said to them, ‘Should I cease giving my oil, with which they honor God and men, and go to sway over trees?’ Then the trees said to the fig tree, ‘You come andreign over us!’ But the fig tree said to them, ‘Should I cease my sweetness and my good fruit, and go to sway over trees?’ Then the trees said to the vine, ‘You come and reign over us!’ But the vine said to them, ‘Should I cease my new wine, which cheers both God and men, and go to sway over trees?’ Then all the trees said to the bramble, ‘You come and reign over us!’ And the bramble said to the trees, ‘If in truth you anoint me as king over you, then come and take shelter in my shade; but if not, let fire come out of the bramble and devour the cedars of Lebanon!’ (Judges 9:7-15)

Reading through it, it’s so obvious that the speaker could be Nigerian for all I know. For the (now superflous) explanation, here goes. We all in Nigeria, myself included have long left politics to the bramble bushes. Not because it isn’t profitable, but because we thought more about why we should leave our duties and go to pursue an unsure thing. I can only hope and pray that someday, the useful ones, with meaningful contributions – the fig and olive trees, the vines – will take their pride of place in our leadership.

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