I stepped out of the house to pick the Uber. He said he had arrived but there was no car outside. I didn’t order for it so I didn’t know the car number. The only car packed outside was a car branded with the colours, sticker and flag of the New Patriotic Party(NPP), one of the major political party in Ghana. That car also had a lady standing by the driver having a conversation with him. When my friend who ordered it came out, he said that was the Uber we requested for. I could not believe it. Why would anyone brand their car with stickers and flags of a political party in this election time and be working as an Uber driver. My friend came out and we sat in the car. We thought we were running late and the last thing on our mind was whether to go or not to go to church in that car. Just before we moved, a woman walked to the driver and had a short conversation with him. All she said was that, God will help them win the election. She looked excited as she spoke to him. I thought she was an old friend of his only to inquire from the driver and be told he doesn’t know her from any where. So she came to talk to you because of your party branding? He said yes. I couldn’t keep my thoughts to myself so I asked him why he’s done that. Branding his car with a political party colours and stickers. In Ghana, doing such things are risky. We’ve heard the stories of how people have lost businesses and work opportunities because they openly campaigned for a political party. We have not developed in our political world to the extent that one’s open declaration and support for a political party will not have any negative impact on their business. So even though everyone has a political party they support, they will never own up to it unless it’s at a safe place like in their home or an environment with people who also belong to the same political affiliation. I remember an advise my dad gave us when we were searching for Jobs. He told us to always be neutral if a question about politics came up. And he warned my sister never to show her political affiliation at her workplace. He said some people have never been promoted because they openly mentioned the political party they belonged to and someone didn’t like them afterwards. This Uber driver was breaking all the rules..lol.
The driver answered my curious question with a simple silly answer. It’s his car and he decides what to do with it. We all laughed. Obviously, you can only do this if you own the car. I continued with my questions. I asked him if it hadn’t had any negative consequences on his work as an Uber driver. He said several times. He told us about how people have refused to sit in his car when he arrived and they saw the branding of his car but he didn’t mind. It’s his car and if you are not ready to go with him, another person will. He went on to say that, the worst thing they can do is report him to Uber but he didn’t even care about that. At that point I realized he’s a hard die fan of the political party and he was standing by his actions no matter the consequences. Those people will do anything for their party. He was use to this conversation. I bet everyone is likely to ask him the same questions I did if they order his car for a ride. The good part of the trip was that he didn’t campaign for his party. He didn’t bring up anything related to politics. He just drove. I was kind of expecting him to try and campaign but I guess his car branding alone was enough. 😂😂😂
We got to church early. Service was yet to begin so I picked my phone and staying writing about this guy and his boldness to stand for his political party. It reminded me of the three Hebrew boys before King Nebuchadnezzar. These boys refused to follow the King’s decree irrespective of the consequences their decision came with:
“As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace”.
The threat of ending up in a blazing furnace could not scare these boys. They stood for their faith and the commandment to worship no other god apart from the God of the Hebrews. This disobedience did not go unpunished. They were sent before the King to defend themselves. Their answer to date is one of my favourite. Talk about radical faith and this statement comes to mind:
“Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
I highlighted the last sentence because sometimes things doesn’t end like we expect. In the case of these Hebrew boys, God delivered them in the burning furnace. Stephen’s story in the same Bible and that of James didn’t end like that. God did not deliver Stephen from the people that stoned him to death and he didn’t deliver James from prison like Peter. They died defending their faith.
I asked my friend what he thought about the Uber driver on our way home. “He is not a serious guy”, he said. I asked him why and he said you can not mix business with politics. Then I asked him again. “Let’s say as Christians, we had a gown or some form of clothing that when you wear everyone will know you are a Christian, like that car branding, would you wear it? He said he would have worn it. I know my criff friend would but would you? We don’t want to be seen as “too spiritual”. We want to be cool. I think I wouldn’t want to wear it out there like the car branding. Yeah, I’m a Christian but I don’t need the whole world to see me as one immediately I pass by like that car. Yet that’s exactly what the scripture expects of us. I’m not saying go and brand yourself from head to toe with “I love Jesus”. It won’t be bad though..lol. The scriptures say that by their fruit we shall know them. Every good tree bears good fruits. What fruit are we bearing? Is it the fruit of the spirit or something far from it? To an extent, I feel that is the branding we are reflecting as a believer. The Uber driver looked ridiculous with his party colours all over the car and even in the car but he got me thinking about all these. If there’s something I learnt from him that Sunday morning, it was to boldly stand for what I believe in. What I believe to be right. What I know to be the truth like the three Hebrew boys, Stephen and James. I didn’t need to please anyone. Like he said it’s his car and he decides what to do with it. So yes, even though society and the world makes it hard for us to stand for the truth and what we believe in, let’s close an eye to all their unnecessary stares and comments and stand boldly for that thing we believe.