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Opinions of Sunday, 9 January 2022

Columnist: Benjamin Osei Boateng

Lost for a moment in cogitation

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New year resolution is normally the set of commitments that we make as the new year begins. Everyone in his capacity being a father, mother, youth, adult, child, friend, family member or university student keeps goals to improve personal living standards for the new year.

Some keep a long list of resolutions whiles others prefer concise expectations. Others also believe that resolutions are not necessary, “live life as you go”. Personal goals vary from person to person. It may include building one’s spiritual life, changing one’s profession or job, getting married, building a house or home, buying a new car, gaining or losing weight, and so on. Some people might like to have a look at prophecies, zodiac signs, or even stars prediction in line with their new year commitments.

Even though these resolutions are good, many do so without taking stock of the happenings in the previous year. There is a school of thought that holds the belief that the previous year is gone and no one can bring it back or use a white marker to correct mistakes and so it is a total waste of time.

I hold the view that reflections give overview of the main events, actions, and reactions I encountered throughout the previous year so that I can use them to my advantage in the new year. It also helps me to notice my patterns of behavior, learn lessons and make amends for a brighter tomorrow.

2021 was an eventful year for many around the world, with the devastating nature of the coronavirus pandemic. On October 3, which was my birthday, I was privileged to have spent half of the day in church worshiping and seeking the face of the Lord. The presence of God provoked me to think deeply about my life’s journey, my purpose on earth and the lessons learnt so far. In my state of cogitation, one simple question kept coming, “what is the meaning of life?”
The question may sound quite abstract but it has a deeper meaning. As simple as it sounds, I will not be surprised if most of us have not really taken time to find the answer. I am not referring to dictionary definitions but rather our perspectives on what life is. My experiences in 2021 have thought me to strive to appreciate the world in which we live today; to understand how to make my own life as meaningful as possible; and acknowledge not only why I am living, but also whether or not I am living with purposeful intent.
I made the following observations in my state of cogitation, I would like to share with you.


In this life, strive to seek God in all your dealings with men. He is the giver and taker of life. If you seek God first in all that you do, He comes through even in your darkest hour. Regardless of your academic or social status in society, until the Lord builds the house, the labourers labour in vain. The Akans normally say “obi nkyer3 akwadaa Nyame”. To wit, no one shows the child who or where God is. No wonder the fear of God is deeply rooted in our cultural. Unfortunately, our educational curricula now place less emphasis on the God factor. It fails to tell the younger ones that there will come a time in their lives where all the knowledge and experiences they have acquired in academia or industry will fail. Yes, there are limitations to human capacity. Indeed, the negative impact of the dreaded novel coronavirus that has swept through every country across the globe serves as a reminder. Do not ignore the God factor, keep your focus, trust in the process and always have faith in Him. One thing I know for sure is, when God selects you, it doesn’t matter who else has rejected you. When the favour falls on you, protocols get broken. So, be patient, stay humble and trust God.


On my birthday, I had people from all walks of life expressing gratitude for the little acts of kindness. Some of them I still remember the kind of service I rendered to them but many others I have never met in person. Note that not everybody will appreciate you but I can tell you for a fact that out of every ten (10) people you encounter along life’s journey, you will have at least one (1) who will acknowledge the little support you gave. You may not meet all their expectations but they will certainly acknowledge your efforts. A simple smile from you to that stranger can make all the difference. Of all the things you were, your smile is the best form of make-up. Even the smallest act of kindness has the power to turn a dire situation around for someone. Anytime you show others kindness, you are telling them “you are important and you matter”. Be good to people anyway. Remember, the little acts of kindness can make a difference.


There are people in your life who will curse you even if you are good to them. Not everyone is happy for you when you succeed. Some of your friends follow you just to track your progress for them to re-strategize and cause more harm. The Bible gives credence to this in the book of Proverbs chapter 4 verse 16 "For they do not sleep unless they have done evil, and their sleep is taken away unless they make someone fall”. Some friends or acquaintances will never be happy until they have seen you fail. They will slander or defame you unreservedly so long as your thoughts and actions are not in sync with their evil agenda.

It gets to a point in your life where you need to remain calm and carefully watch people fail woefully after they have embarked on a smear campaign, ostensibly to injure your reputation. I know people who vowed to themselves to malign and destroy me spiritually and physically. I have come to know people who hitherto were my close associates, conspire to denigrate my persona. You see, life is what it is, you cannot change it, what you can do is to change yourself even checkered by adversity. I have scars that were caused by my own mistakes but many of the scars were caused by friends and family. Just as you are careful who you allow into your bedroom, not everyone deserves to be in your inner circle. Carefully choose your friends and regulate who you allow into your inner closet. Your best friend today, can be your worst enemy tomorrow.


One of the lessons life has thought me is to be meticulous when it comes to battles. Be selective of the confrontations, arguments, or problems you engage in. Many of us unwisely engage in unnecessary banter with people for no cause. Be selective and save your time and energy only on battles that truly matter. Do not go fighting every problem that comes your way without properly evaluating the consequences. To do this, anytime you encounter a problem, take a moment to calm down, think through it, and review your motivation. A lot of harm can be prevented.

It is imperative to note that not every person is worth fighting for. There are battles you may never win, so when you pray to God, ask for the spirit of resilience to accept things you cannot change. Listen, your friend’s enemies must not necessarily be your enemies unless there is justifiable cause. Do not fight battles without a cause. It may not be worth it wasting your arsenals on the wrong targets. Some people hate others for nothing so be mindful when and where to draw the battle lines. If not, you may find yourself tagged with the wrong label.

No matter the reasons for your fight, your energy is one of the priceless resources you give without realizing it. Choosing your battles right is very important to prevent you from experiencing drainage and then keep you focused on important and bigger things.


In my opinion, the present generation lives in three (3) different worlds: the Physical, Spiritual, and Virtual worlds. The Physical World is a crazy world full of wickedness and evil. Whiles the Spiritual world is made up of machinations and manipulations beyond the physical realm, the Virtual world (social media) is full of conspiracies and deception. The explosive growth of social media applications has revolutionized the way we connect. However, the emergence and use of this online environment have also created new opportunities for deception. Unfortunately, most people don't recognize this and tend to believe every information they chance upon online. A greater number of the youth follow irrational trends and so-called celebrities blindly.

The emergence of false prophets and spiritualists has been a source of worry to most Christians and people of other religions. Pentecostalism has deepened, criticisms have also grown along with accusations that pastors have deceived members to get rich overnight. Similar allegations have been leveled against "mallams", fetish priests, and so on.

Spirituality is very important but your ability to discern or hear from God is critical in these times. Some religious charlatans target and exploit the feebleminded because they lack knowledge of the true nature of God. Do not believe in every information you come across online or anything you hear from the pulpit. Wrong information may be more dangerous than ignorance. Forget not the differences between the three worlds, to know when to hold on, when to walk away and when to run.


The world seems to be spinning out of control especially in the face of this global health crisis. The problems we face today are unimaginable. Across countries, we see the storm clouds of catastrophic global peril. Disasters of all kinds and shapes are increasingly transforming how we live and interact. Will there ever be a solution? It brings into sharp focus the reasons for our existence.

Well, in my moment of reflection, I concluded that life in itself is a gift from God. Yes! A priceless gift we usually overlook. Some say, Life is short, and interestingly, the older one gets, the shorter it turns out. When you place a bowl of water on the stove, it gradually heats up to the boiling point, where the water turns into steam. Within a short time, the steam also disappears without a trace. Such is the priceless gift called life.

God’s Word gives credence to this when it says that our lives are like a vapor that appears for a little time, and then vanishes (James 4:14). What are your resolutions for this year? The Book of James warns us of making plans and leaving the Lord out of them; of making plans without realizing that it is also possible that we may not even be around to complete them. 2021 taught me that life is spiritual and with the current happenings around the world, no human has the answer to the problems confronting the world today. At the centre of my resolutions for 2022 is my resolve to get closer to God and how to build spiritual immunity. In my revolving doors of perception, I saw Christ as the only anchor and centre of life!