Johannesburg rose to an ecstatic frenzy in the dying moments of extra time as it became clear this was no ordinary match! The West Africans travailed buoyantly against the unrelenting South Americans. What an impressive performance this had been for them through the world cup tournament! No one had expected the prayerful black stars to come this far. This was a defining moment for the continent; as defining could get!
From Rabat to Gaborone, through Cairo, Conakry, Djibouti, Brazzaville and Bangui across Yaoundé, streets, households, malls and churches came alive in a sustained crescendo. It was already official all fifty-three African heads of state would be represented in the event of an African presence in the final. This was the night it would all be decided! Would Africa make it to the last four for the first time in history? In the last seconds, the West Africans were on the offensive yet again in a game they were clearly dominating. Could they convert an opportunity?
They poured into the southerners’ quarter in a spirited show of resilience, attacking in short dazzling masterpieces. The world watched. There was danger in the southerners’ box as the marauding stars closed in on what would definitely be a breathtaking final moment of the game. The South Americans extremely overwhelmed bravely fought to hold back a sustained volley of shots on target within the area. For an instant, it seemed the ball had crossed the line but the game continued amid wild protests.
Then suddenly the elusive decisive moment sprung forth in a clear handball inside the post! The verdict from the gods was swift! The showdown was going down to the wire! The referee pointed to the spot as he flashed a red card. The commentators went on a rapturous mode as the full capacity calabash shape stadium broke into a roar of euphoria! What an incredible climax! Africa was at the verge of breaking the deadlock! The Moment!
Then came forth the critical mass. So much was going on in his mind as he placed the ball and took a few historic steps backwards. He felt the weight of the continent heavily weigh on him. It was a psychological battle as was spiritual and physical. The odds of an unsuccessful past, inferiority, unfavorable statistics, poor perceptions and a blurred world view, to mention but a few all not uncommon among the inhabitants of the vast continent were hitting solidly against him. In spite of all this, history had somehow set him up for this decisive minute. The stadium went eerily quiet.
He managed a glance at his colleagues on their knees united in prayer. This had been a characteristic mark of their progression, earning them all manner of labels, yet deep inside he knew it had been key to their getting here. The brief duration before the whistle was blown seemed to last an eternity as he felt deeply gripped by the intensity of the moment. He paused and stared at the sky above the magnificently lit massive structure as if seeking help from above! Suddenly he saw the picture all so clearly, far beyond the spot kick, written on the galvanized faces of the tens of thousands of spectators in the stadium and the millions he felt certain were following round the globe. He perceived it all so well in his heart. He knew he was a representative sample of the unfolding moment of visitation, a golden opportunity for the continent.
Amid a stormy sea of challenges, Africa was presented with a silver lining in this divine opportunity that properly seized could change the course of history for her and the Nations forever…a widely acknowledged truth, that had curiously remained easier said than done over time. There were many who like him were in their respective spheres of influence standing at the threshold of triggering in this new dawn. He marveled at the thought of the result of a concerted synergy in this cause.
The long-awaited decision that had been doing numerous rounds in speculation was now official. The church in Africa would be adopting a common position ahead of the general elections, a move that had received a phenomenal boost across the board. It could not have been timelier. No longer would the body of Christ remain passive at the expense of the masses. Plans for the all decisive live National debates featuring contenders for the presidential seat were at an advanced stage as the historic campaign dubbed We are Returning took the headlines in a hurricane.
It was a new season where values, accountability and servant leadership would be taking center stage in the very practical sense of the word. A season of dominion. Friend and foe, critic and conformist were all united in this very realization: A new dawn had set in. In a formidable show of unity, members of the clergy readied themselves for the grand season.
Significantly backing the campaign were the youth, leaders in key sectors, young professionals, economists, strategists and media personalities, all driven by one desire to see the continent exalted in righteousness.
The whistle tore through the densely expectant evening air. There was momentary silence as everything went still. The critical mass took a deep breath and said a quick prayer before charging forward in full throttle. He knew this was not the end but a beginning; not a moment but the start of a long compelling journey. “Lord, if it is you, tell me to come to you in the water!”
©2011 The Blazing Trail
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