ALL EYES 👀 CLOSED! IT’S TIME TO PRAY 🙏 . (2)

Hello great people and welcome to the concluding part of the exposition on why we close our eyes in prayer. In case you didn’t read the first part of the subject, you may want to read up on it in order to flow along.

Yesterday, we touched on a couple of explanations advanced for the practice. Let’s take it up from there…


FURTHER EXPLANATIONS…

Some believe closing one’s eyes is conducive to prayer as a spiritual communion of the soul with God. Again, this is mere speculation although borne out of a sincere/well-meaning sentiment. The question for those who hold this view is: what connection does closing the eyes have with the ‘soul’, which is in communion with God in prayer? Or better still, what effect does the closing of one’s eyes have on the soul while in communion with God? If it can be scripturally proved that closing the eyes makes ‘the soul’ more vibrant in prayer, we all should never open our eyes while praying henceforth.

What’s more, according to some others, they close their eyes to show respect and honour God. While this isn’t a bad sentiment, its application is relative. Honouring God is an action that stems from one’s heart and not subjective to the handling of the sense organs. By the way, the mark or sign of respect/honour varies from persons to persons and from a culture to another. It’s okay to close your eyes if you feel it makes you more respectful. It’s okay to close your eyes if, in the course of praying, you feel the urge to do so. However, it’s manipulative to compel others to do so on the basis of that sentiment.

From Jesus’ teaching on prayer in Matt 6, we understand that prayer is not for showmanship. Rather, it’s a private business between the supplicant and God. Unless in a public gathering, it’s conducted discretely. Except for 1Tim2:8 where Paul instructs that “men pray everywhere lifting up holy hands”, there is no other instruction given concerning the posture/mood to assume in prayer, let alone an instruction to close one’s eyes. Whatever state one assumes while praying will be reflective of the intensity of the prayer and one’s expression/extent of emotion and desire. Many times, at some point in the place of prayer, the experience gets intense that the shutting of the eyelids happens unconsciously.

THE ONLY RATIONAL EXPLANATION

So far, the only rational explanation folks have given for closing the eyes while praying is that it helps to block physical distractions and keep one’s mind focused on the prayer.

Experts tell us that the eyes and the ears are two sense organs prone to distractions. For instance, what the eyes feed on has the capacity to alter one’s thought process or state of mind. This is because the brain registers whatever the eyes see. Furthermore, they tell us that closing one’s eyes shut down some stimulus, thereby allowing us to focus.

Thank God for science and its logical explanation of phenomena. However, not all explanations advanced by science are across-the-board.

Although this explanation is logical, its application is not always generally attainable. For instance, psychologists tend to agree on the idea that not everyone is able to keep their minds focused and disallow distractions when they close their eyes. I happen to be one of those people. For some, closing their eyes while praying actually make them think about everything mundane. Truth is our minds/ neural systems don’t get to operate the same way in particular situations and settings.

BEYOND THE REASONS

There is no doubt that many times, in the place of prayer, God communicates things to us via mental images/pictures. However, having those images is not necessarily dependent on closing the eyes. The things God communicate are spiritual things. They are beyond the scope of the physical eyes, whether opened or closed. While it’s true that we need to concentrate and turn our mind inwards while praying, many times, keeping one’s mind focused on prayer takes more than closing the eyes.

🚘 Take the scenario of a man driving on the highway as a case in point. In order not to end up having an accident (ghastly or fatal), he needs to focus and avoid distractions. However, in focusing, he doesn’t get to close his eyes. Instead, what he requires is a great deal of mental alertness and presence of mind. 🚘

THE AUDIO🔉 VERSUS VISUAL👀 BATTLE

Most times, we find solutions to 🔉 distractions by going to some quite place to pray; shutting ourselves up in our closets; gathering in a soundproofed building; silencing every sound-producing device that… However, no matter how well we address the matter of audio distraction, we always have the visual 👀 aspect to contend with.

No matter how isolated/secluded our location is, there is always something the eyes want to see. Are you on the mountain? That’s a vantage position that offers you a perfect view of the beauty of nature. What about a well-equipped church facility? The eye can’t do without feasting on the state-of-the-art sound/musical equipment, the tasteful interior décor, the movement of others…and the list is endless. Although you can block out the sounds, unless you put conscious effort into it, you can’t shut your eyes for a prolonged period of time.

BY AND LARGE…

So far, the idea is not to downplay or discourage the act of praying with eyes closed. Rather, it is to situate the practice within the scriptures to see if it’s ordained for believers. Although there is no biblical precedence for it, it doesn’t necessarily make the tradition unsuitable. Whatever mood we assume in prayer should be to the ends that our minds don’t wander thereby praying thoughtlessly.

If praying with your eyes closed helps you to focus and pray more effectively, be sure to keep it closed. However, whether your eyes are closed or opened while praying, ensure that your mind is opened to God. Also, take care to pray with the right mind-set and in line with God’s will. Meanwhile, while in a gathering of believers, you will be unruly or disorderly to keep your eyes opened when you are required to close it and vice-versa. Wisdom is profitable to direct.


Image Credit:

GIPHY


©ayansolaibukun

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ALL EYES CLOSED! IT’S TIME TO PRAY. (1)

Hello wonderful people!

How about we take a little ride through Doctrine Lane today and consider why we close our eyes in prayer?


In most Christian gatherings, we close (or are told to close) our eyes during prayer sessions. Even when it’s a private/individual prayer, we tend to shut them by default. However, have you ever asked yourself or anyone why that’s the case or do we simply do so because of the that’s-how-it’s-always-been- done factor?

JUST A TRADITION?

My curiosity as to why we close our eyes when we pray prompted me to look for answers in the scriptures. And to my surprise, I found no biblical precedence for it – not one! The only explanation I could advance on the subject is that, somehow, way back in time, the practise came to be a tradition of the church.

That tradition must have begun in the distant past in the history of the church and has come to be generally accepted as the standard mode for prayer. Meanwhile, the term ‘tradition’ refers to a ‘long-established action or pattern of behaviour that has come to be accepted by members of a group and has been handed down from generation to generation’.

So the act of closing the eyes in prayer is merely a tradition. Do we then disregard the practise because it’s simply rooted in tradition and doesn’t have a basis in the scriptures? Not necessarily. For all it’s worth, not all extra biblical traditions sustained by the church are bad. In fact, some of such traditions, when well incorporated tend to strengthen and enliven the system.

According to Stephen Bearle, ‘tradition is strengthened by understanding it, engaging and entering into dialogue with it’. Hence, since we can’t establish a biblical precedence for the practise/tradition, we should investigate it to see its necessity and significance.

MEN STRIKE DIFFERENT POSITIONS IN PRAYER

As we earlier pointed out, there is no biblical instruction for believers to close their eyes while praying. Jesus spent time teaching on prayer but didn’t instruct that we close our eyes while praying. However, from the scriptures, we observe that men assumed various positions while praying. For instance, we see that men prayed standing (Mark 11:25), lifting hands (1Tim 2:8), sitting (2Sam 7:18), hands outstretched (1Kings 8:54), lifting up the head (John 17:1), kneeling (1Kings 8:54), lying flat (Matt 26:38-39)…

In prayer, we make requests, express desires, change the course of things, fellowship with God, make power available for situations, and get trained spiritually. Basically, when we pray, we are in communion with God for different reasons. The question is must we (always) close our eyes when we do so?

WHAT DO BIBLE SCHORLARS HAVE TO SAY?

A number of bible commentators seem to advance that the practise of closing one’s eyes while praying can be traced back to what the etiquette was in ancient times, when a subject comes before a king. During that period, when appearing before a ruler, you dare not look him in the face. Instead, you close your eyes or at best – depending on your status – look downwards. Therefore, since God is known to be the king over all kings, these well-meaning folks simply decided that such display of ‘reverence’ should also be evident while communicating with Him hence, praying with eyes closed.

Although they have noble intentions, their reason does not hold water. We serve a God who wants a relationship with us. He is not only our father but also our friend. What kind of friendship demands that a friend be in a state of fear to communicate with another friend? Interestingly, God instructs the believer to come boldly to the throne of grace because there is no fear in love. Of course, our God is worthy of all honour. However, closing of the eye doesn’t necessarily imply that we are in a state of reverence. We reverence Him from/with our hearts.

One fantastic explanation also suggests that since God lives in a spiritual/supernatural realm, one cannot approach nor have an experience of Him in this physical world, especially with eyes opened. Hence, the need to close the eyes in order to disconnect oneself from this world and try to be a part of a celestial world where He can be found. No other explanation can be more ‘interesting’ than this. First, God is Spirit. Also, those who worship and minister to Him do so in the Spirit. It’s therefore amusing when a fellow thinks he can manipulate the sense organs in order to catch a glimpse of Him.

One who thinks God has a special abode somewhere in space, in the supernatural realm needs to upgrade his knowledge of God. God has taken residence in the heart of the believer. The body of the man who is saved is the temple of God – that’s where God dwells. Such a one therefore doesn’t need to assume a particular mood or close his eyes ‘in order to be where God is’.


Stay stunned for the concluding part of this exposition tomorrow.


Image Credit: GIPHY

🎂🍷HAPPY BIRTHDAY KAREN! 🎁🍫

One of the perks of being on this platform is the opportunity to connect with amazing people from all over the world. People of substance and value. One of those people is Queen Karen from danceinmyshoes. Karen is blessed with a sound mind and profound words. Of course, her blog is a reflection of who she is: Laden with thoughtful, inspiring and informative posts. (Kindly visit her blog to avail yourself of the awesome bounties it offers). Today is her birthday! Because she has been a blessing to me on this platform, I choose to celebrate her.

I wrote this few lines for you Karen:


As fine wine, never losing its savor
As Eagle, soaring to the greatest height
As light, putting an end to darkness
As pillar, upholding godly virtues
As a spring, never running dry!


Your best moments can never be in the past. Just like fine wine, you get better by the day. No mountain is too high for you to surmount. Neither is there any ocean you can’t swim across.

Your feet are planted on the rock. You soar with wings as eagles. Your ways are prosperous and your dreams come true. God’s got you.

Happy Birthday Karen!


The Believers’ Authority!

There is something about the traffic warden at the intersection!

images (39)

By merely beckoning at drivers with his hand, he makes them go in a direction. Alternatively, by holding up his hand, he stops them from moving further. I’ll like to think that the sometimes frail-looking traffic warden was able to wield so much control over those car users and their vehicles because of some magical or brute power he possessed. But no, he didn’t have the power to hold those car back but has the authority to do so. The men behind the wheels simply obey him because they recognise and honour that authority.

Authority is delegated power!


Did you know that the only language the devil understands his authority?

Did you know that God has invested you with so great power/authority?

Did you now that there is nothing more that God will do for you than he already did?


A lot of problems hold sway in our lives today because we simply permit them to; because we don’t do anything about them. In fact, we unconsciously give permission for the oppression of the devil over our lives/things when we keep quiet about them and refuse to speak against them.

Eph 1:18 By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set-apart ones),

Eph 1:19 And [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the working of His mighty strength,

Eph 1:20 Which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His [own] right hand in the heavenly [places],

GOD’S GREATEST DISPLAY OF POWER

I’ve always thought God’s greatest power was put on display in the beginning, at creation. Think about the minutest details that went into the making of our earth. Imagine how vast and indiscernible it is. And just to think that this huge earth is just a tiny fraction of the entire universe God created. It must have taken Him a lot to make that happen. But alas, it’s not so! The bible tells us that God demonstrated the height of his power when he raised Jesus from the dead. I mean it took God to exert all of his power to resurrect him! What an unprecedented display of force!?

But wait for the real deal… Just when I thought that was all to it, I came to know that God didn’t use up that power on Jesus. However, he deposited that magnitude of power in you when you believed on Christ. In case you still don’t get it, I’m saying that there is an exceeding degree of wonder-working power at work in you – the very same that raised Jesus up from the dead! How then can/should you ever feel you are at a disadvantage as a believer?

You need to come to terms with the power/authority God has deposited in you and exercise it.

Luk 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Here is Jesus speaking to his disciples, and by extension to all believers. He has given us power! Of course, you won’t take the reference to serpent and scorpions entirely literally. Those things represent a spiritual reality, i.e. the power of the enemy. You are not just a mere Christian – thank God for salvation! Much more, you are one wired to exert power over contrary things.

Remember the story of the fig tree Jesus made to wither? It’s such an apt account to teach about authority. Jesus’ disciple marvelled when they saw that the tree had dried up just after a couple of hours that he cursed it. In response to their surprise, he tells them to have the God kind of faith! What’s the God kind of faith? It’s the faith that exercises authority by speaking. It’s the faith that speaks with authority and never doubts the efficacy of what is said. It’s the faith that authoritatively says, i.e. addresses/commands mountains to move. That faith that calls forth those things that be not.

LUKE 7:1-10 – THE CENTURION

I love that blessed centurion. He understood the concept of authority perfectly. Hear him speak:

Luk 7:8 As you know, I’m in a chain of command and have soldiers at my command. I tell one of them, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and another, ‘Come!’ and he comes. I tell my servant, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.”

What a man! He recognised that Jesus could only go about doing good and healing the sick because his actions were backed up with divine authority. Instead of stressing Christ by making him walk all the way to his house, he simply asked him to exercise the authority he had by speaking the word of healing concerning his servant. If a man who wasn’t born again (not at the time at least) could come to this understanding and make it work for him, what’s gonna be your excuse as a believer; one who God indwells today; one who is an embodiment of God’s power?

Merely having a tool doesn’t make it useful for you. As a believer, you need to know what belongs to you. You need to come acknowledge the extent of God’s power at work in you. However, beyond knowing, you need to act on that knowledge. Only knowledge acted upon brings result! What’s more, the efficacy of power is dependent on the one enforcing it.

Mat 18:18 “And so I tell all of you: what you prohibit on earth will be prohibited in heaven, and what you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.

How can you complain of thirst when you are surrounded by taps of clean and drinkable water?

The lingering troubling circumstance you’re going through is not the issue; neither is it the persistent sickness, lack or pain. The issue is your inactivity. Indeed, it’s your inability to exercise the authority you have by speaking to those situations instead of speaking about them. While on earth, Jesus did mighty works. However, he told us that, upon his glorification, we won’t just do the works he did but greater.

The authority you wield is in the saying/speaking, not the wishing and hoping. It’s in your constant/consistent confession of faith concerning the situation regardless of its prevailing presence. It’s your doggedness in the place of prayer…

Listen to the Apostle James:

The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]. James 5:16b

How about that? When you pray, you are not just passing time or fulfilling all righteousness. Rather, you are exercising authority and supplying tremendous power towards things and situations you want a change on.

Quit talking about the problem; talk to it. Quit complaining about the situation; address it with/in faith. Quit giving room for the oppression of the devil; exercise authority and tell him to get his hands off your things.

The power at work in you is able to do superabundantly, far over and above all that you dare ask or think. Take advantage of it.


P.S: Much of the insight for this post was drawn from the teaching of papa Kenneth E. Hagin on The Believer’s Authority


©ayansolaibukun

Eli J’s 🎸🎙️To My Unborn Child ✉️🎶

Talk about a short, mind-blowing musical composition with much sense and soul and To My Unborn Child comes to mind!

My encounter with To My Unborn Child by Eli J is one you could describe as that of “love❤️ at first hearing”.

The song, a lyrical ode to an unborn child, is an instructive and sensational piece with a country-like vibe to it.

In this musical piece, Eli J addresses his would-be child and appeals to him not to be in haste to come to the world. As for him, he’ll rather restrain his sexual urge while he works on being a responsible father to the child.

Eli J extols virtues that seems to be phasing out in today’s world, especially as it concerns godly relationships and abstinence.

In a world where incontinency and perversion is the order of the day, Eli J chooses to be responsible. Rather than mess around, put an unprepared lady in the family way, and father a child he can’t take care of, he’ll wait till he is a man and can perform the responsibility of a father.

His resolve is hinged on his identity as a Christian. Hence, Jesus is my light and I’m turning more! He’ll therefore not just be a believer in/by words but much more in conducts.

The maestro himself has this to say about the song:

In life we make varied choices! Some of it, we wish we could take it all back but I say to you… We’ve been given a gift from the past; that is why it is called the Present for with it you can make the right decisions for the future! This is one of those decisions. ” Eli-J

Trust me, merely reading about this song doesn’t cut it. You need to listen to it to get the best feel of it.

Meanwhile, I took the liberty to supply you with the lyrics of the song. I bet you’re gonna love it…

I know you want to come into this world
but I don’t want you to suffer for my wrong.
I see friends having fun, from having fun they are done.
But boy I don’t want it to be my turn.
You see I am trying to build a life
for u and the lady I’ll call my wife.
That’s your mama and talking about
with a ring on her finger, something to shout about.
With a future such as this no need to play around.

You see child, I know someday I will be your Daddy.
I’m sure by then, mama will be ready.
I will be a man and I’ll be fine.
and like a father to a child, all will be fine.

Hello papa please forgive that boy
he didn’t mean to give her a child. (give her a child)
Hey o mama, please forgive that boy
he didn’t mean for her to be gone.
she had to do what had to be done
because she thought her parents would want her gone.
I don’t want that to happen to you.
Jesus is my light and am turning more.

I know someday I will be your Daddy.
I’m sure by then, mama will be ready.
I will be a man and I’ll be fine.
And like a father to a Son, all will be fine.


Makes sense? I’ll like to know what you think about the lyrics.

Cheers!


©ayansolaibukun

WORK💼

(Not a poem dear friends. Just some random thoughtful lines of mine)

dutchnews.nl

Why joke away the formative days?
It’s useless craving vanity at old age.

If hard work beckons, don’t shirk.
Smart work is poverty’s greatest threat.
There’s dignity in labour so do yourself the favour.

Even deity had his time in creation.
So why should your time be an exception?

Only fools make insurance policy of family wealth.
A man’s closest kin is his arm you get?
Shame on the slacker; he should learn from the ant rather.

The cutlass is sharp but he swings with a swag.
He tosses the blade when the grass won’t yield:
Only bad workmen blame their tools.

The only load the loafer carries is a bag fool of excuses.
But nothing instructs the loafer better than hunger.

Lack rarely visits on short notice;
it’s a testament to a lifestyle of tardy practice.
Today’s gain being yesterday’s pain.

Shoulder your own burden in season.
Why be another man’s burden for no reason?

The labourer is worthy of his hire.

The skillful worker his dollar.

What is it going to be for the idler?


Image Credit: Eurodns.com


©ayansolaibukun

🤦‍♂️WORRYless❌

I love good movies. I mean ones laden with sound morals.

One of such movies is the historical drama film called Bridge of Spies directed by the indefatigable Steven Spielberg. No doubt it’s not your regular blockbuster – fast and furious type, it’s laden with pretty instructive sentiments.

Since the idea behind this article is not to do a review of the movie, I won’t bore you with an elaborate account of it. (You can visit Bridge of Spies to see the full movie). Actually, my reference to the movie is concerning the role designation of one it’s major characters – Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance).

I won’t assume you’ve seen the movie so I’ll just do a two-dollar character analysis of Abel. Abel is depicted as a stoic individual with an enigmatic yet intriguing personality. He is arrested by the US Secret Service for allegedly spying for the Soviet Union during the Cold War era. He is later convicted of the charge and sentenced to 30 years in prison. His lawyer James Donovan (Tom Hanks) however does his best possible to ensure the sentence is reversed for a possible future prisoner exchange.

SO?

Now, this is what I find intriguing about the character of Abel: Throughout the period of litigation over his case, he never for a minute showed any sign of concern or apprehension about his predicament. I mean there was not a single moment when he is caught bathing in the pool of self-pity.

Here is a person who was arrested for alleged espionage; locked up in a maximum prison; put on trial and later sentenced to 3 decades in prison. One would have thought he was going to ‘rightfully’ give in to a state of dejection, misery and worry. It won’t be out of place if he languished. But no, Abel was almost unnervingly calm in the middle of the raging storm.

In fact, at some point in the narrative, it was as though his lawyer (Tom Hanks) was the one on trial. Rather than the convicted doing the worrying, his attorney helped shoulder that burden.

In one of their private interactions in Abel’s cell, Donovan observes the unusual calmness with which his client received a particularly bad news. With a baffled expression on his face, he asks him Do you ever worry? The unruffled Abel responds Would it help?. In another scene, Donovan breaks another frightful news to Abel. On a good day, Abel should show concern about what he just heard. However, when he failed to do so, Donovan takes another interesting look at him and commented You don’t seem alarmed. In his usual relaxed style, Abel responds with the same statement Would it help?

The convict’s perpetual expression

The attorney’s perpetual expression

How did it end for Abel?

Surprisingly enough, it ended well for him. After a series of back and forths between the US and the Soviets, a prisoner exchange was made. Abel was repatriated to Russia and was reunited with his wife and daughter.

************************************

Moral of the story?

Worrying won’t solve a thing.

If worries were remedies to life problems, I’ll simply create a space in my room where I’ll call “wallow-central” and spend the better part of life there. I’ll do nothing but worry away till my troubles are gone. But last time I checked, worrying never takes care of troubles. It only aggravates it and takes away one’s peace and sanity.

Every now and then, we are faced with life challenges that seem to try our faith and test our mettle. Sometimes, in our lives, things doesn’t seem to go in our direction, help doesn’t appear to come from where we hoped, our desires don’t get to be realised as at when due… In all of these contrary circumstances, we always have a choice to make: worry or take action. While it’s natural and normal to feel uneasy at the instance of a negative situation, it becomes counteractive to major in anxiety.

Just like Abel would often ask in response: would it help to worry or panic?

Think about it: Have you ever gotten anything (positive) done while you were busy at being apprehensive or anxious? Of course, there is a difference between (constructive/positive) thinking and worrying. While the former makes you ponder over things and helps you find solution to problems, the latter only makes you feel mentally agitated and distressed.

Each time we throw ourselves a pity-party whenever life happens, we shoot ourselves in the leg. The truth is if a problem can be solved, there is no use worrying about it. Alternatively, why worry about circumstances beyond your control?

What’s the WAY FORWARD…

~Take practical steps/actions: Finding solutions to some issues shouldn’t be rocket science. Overcoming some challenges simply require that a fellow turns inward, talk to the right set of people, ask questions, change/adjust his manner of doing things, do away with certain unhelpful habits, activities or associations… Otherwise, worrying becomes an alternative or a lazy excuse for lack of proactivity.

~God Still Cares: Not everything mountain can be surmounted by sheer strength. Some things are just beyond your control and need divine intervention. Good thing is God is always there to help whenever you call on Him. However, there is not enough room in your mind for both worry and faith. You must therefore decide which one gets to live there – Anonymous.

I’LL LEAVE YOU WITH THESE

1Pe 5:7 Turn all your anxiety over to God because he cares for you.

Php 4:6 Never worry about anything. But in every situation let God know what you need in prayers and requests while giving thanks.
Php 4:7 Then God’s peace, which goes beyond anything we can imagine, will guard your thoughts and emotions through Christ Jesus.

Worrying is boring. Try living!


©ayansolaibukun

Obstacles Of Writing – Self-Doubt and Impostor Syndrome

One of the joys of being on this platform is the opportunity to glean from profound writers and writings. This article Obstacles to writing:Self-doubt and Impostor Syndrome was written by a fellow blogger Florence. I find it highly inciting and helpful for writers so I thought to reblog it. I’m sure you will too. Enjoy!

Fiez

When a writer has self-doubt, he lacks confidence in his writing and this interferes with the smooth progress of his writing.

Impostor syndrome is an extended version of self-doubt and happens when a writer despite external proof of his competence, is not convinced that he deserves all he has achieved. In addition, when in the midst of other known writers he thinks he doesn’t belong there and therefore is a fraud.

We’re going to dwell more on self-doubt because being able to control self-doubt means one can be able to suppress impostor syndrome.

~~~~
Truth is, all writers, have this killer disease called self-doubt in them at one point of their writing or another and, it really takes a courageous writer to overcome it and forge ahead.

Self-doubt is all about the negative voices in your head flooding your thought with negativity, telling you what is really really bad…

View original post 985 more words

MY JOURNEY ON WORDPRESS 🚶‍♂️🚴‍♂️🚐🚄✈️

Hello good people. It’s such a great moment to share my ‘progress report’ on this platform with you. I promise you it’s going to be worth the read…

IN THE BEGINNING…

My journey on WordPress began over 4 years ago, April 2015 to be precise. At the time, the thought of blogging never came to mind. Far from it! Truth is, I didn’t know the first thing about blogging then. My decision to be a part of this space was for the sake of honing my writing skills.

By the way, I can’t remember ever mentioning, on this platform, that I studied English. Yes, I did. And from UNILAG too. Now, if you are a student/graduate of English, you’ll understand how tough it is to leave up to people’s expectations of you as ‘an English expert’. Folks expect that your spoken and written English are almost perfect.

Luckily for me, I could/can hold my own as far as the spoken aspect was concerned. However, when it came to the written, especially creative angle, I was a tedious work in progress. Now, don’t think too far… I wasn’t a bad writer. In fact, as far as academic/formal writing was concerned, I always did a fine job of it. (I recall one of my lecturers marking my script in my presence and telling me that I write so well). However, once it was time to put down a random thought/idea, short story, or anything without an intellectual tone to it, I suddenly lose my thinking cap and become pen-shy. It was that bad.

Meanwhile, I had always wanted to build a career in professions where versatility in writing is key – editing, content/copy writing… Seeing that my rigid and selective attitude to writing would hinder me from fulfilling this desire, I chose to challenge my limitations and take practical steps to get rid of them. One of those steps was setting up a WordPress account.

The idea was to have an e-Intellectual-Dumping-Ground where I could dump all the imaginative baggage my mind churned out. I felt I needed to have a serious platform that I could commit to. The idea of having a blog where I could call mine inspired me to task my mind and squeeze out logical and coherent ideas out of it. At the time, I was really not particular about the dynamics of of WordPress blogging.

My very first post on this app was a flash fiction titled Of Costly Assumptions and Regrets published on the 11th of May 2015. Now that I think of it, it happens to be my first successful effort at creative writing. Although I had written random pieces now and then, I didn’t consider them worthy of public consumption. I recall how accomplished I felt after fine-tuning the story and publishing it. It was such a pleasure to know I could give coherent expression to my imagination.

However, ever since my first post, my progress on the platform had been fitful. I’ll put up a post today and won’t post another for weeks. Sometimes, the interval lasted for months. And sure, I had bundle of excuses for the inconsistencies. For instance, I could tell you that the demands of my job in the crazy city of Lagos made consistent critical/creative thinking/writing an uphill task. I could also tell you that my workload as a post graduate student didn’t give me the room to build my blog’s portfolio. What’s more, I could even tell you that life happened, things went south and I couldn’t care less for some inconsequential WordPress post. But the truth I won’t tell you is that I just lacked the willpower and determination to stay the course no matter the odds.

Anyway, I didn’t start taking the platform seriously until some two months ago. You heard that right – two months! As at then, I didn’t have more than 20 following to my name in all of my five-year existence on this space. Also, I didn’t know Jack about WordPress optimization. All I could do was copy and paste content to my page, use the basic editing tools and upload images.

So why did I decide to revive the blog?

✍️For one, I needed to tackle that bane of inconsistency. I tend to start a thing/project on the spur of the moment and allow it die a needles death for convenient excuses. For a start, I decided to make this a pet project which I’ll keep nurturing till it blossoms.

✍️Remember what I said about working on my creative writing skills? Yes, I had been working on that all along but still needed to improve on it, especially as it relates to writing for SEO. Since WordPress provides the basic platform to apply SEO skills, I decided to avail myself of the opportunity and use it to optimum.

✍️However, more importantly, I wanted to bless lives with my writings. I didn’t want to be selfish with my knowledge and ideas. You see, nothing gives me joy than when I see people nourished through the things I write. So I said to myself: Why not take advantage of this blog to reach a wider audience?

NEXT COURSE OF ACTION

I didn’t just pray and wish that a miracle happens to make the blog grow. Much more, I took practical steps:

🎯I went on YouTube and had a crash course on how to maximize WordPress.

🎯 I sought out those who already had a sound knowledge of the app’s dynamics and took counsel from them.

🎯Without delay, I began to practicalise the knowledge: Got myself acquainted with the backend tools, page settings, image/text/font optimization…and began to apply them on my posts.

🎯Nothing works magic like rich contents. I came to understand that the success or failure of a post is dependent on the quality of its content, regardless of the optimization. So while I ensured I put out rich contents and didn’t lower the standard of my writings while at it, I also ensured I put it out in a reader-friendly manner.

🎯People make the world/word go round. Hence, I began to consciously and consistently build my following, one individual at a time.

IN LESS THAN TWO MONTHS…

I was able to achieve, in barely two months, more than I did in over four years:

📌My post The Believer; His Health; and Commonsense, published on the 26th of May (less than two months ago) happens to be the post with the highest number of engagements in all of my four years here.

📌I have come to master virtually all the readily available tools on this app and use them to optimize my posts.

📌In my quest to connect with fellow bloggers, I’ve come to meet profound writers (who are huge sources of inspiration) among whom are Patience and Dawn. God bless their wonderful hearts.

🔥Now to the inspiration behind this post: In barely two months of unrelenting devotion to this blog, I’ve made 500 amazing WordPress followers! That’s a multiple folds of the followers I’ve made over 4 years!

THANKFUL🙏

While this may not call for celebration, especially for bloggers who have followings in their thousands (whether via organic means or not), it means a lot to me. I choose to celebrate this moment and reckon with it as a milestone. I see it as a testament of determination, doggedness and consistency. It’s a proof of the fact that a ‘short’ but steadfast period of diligence and consistent effort can turn things around. The process may be tough (and it sure is) but it’s worth the effort.

So on this occasion of my 500th WordPress Followings, I’ll like to deeply appreciate every single individual who, in their magnanimity, followed my blog. When I see 500 followers, I don’t see mere self-serving social-media statistics but 500 awesome personalities.

I thank you all for every single like, comment, reblog, share and mention. Meanwhile, I promise to always make your following worth the while; to never lower my standards and never stop writing consistently.

God bless you real good!


©ayansolaibukun