The Minister of Finance and Special adviser to the President stepped out of his brand new, chauffeur driven Mercedes (it was the new definition of sleek). With the smug look on his face, it was unbelievable that the economy of the country whose affairs he tended to was a shambolic circus. Bald and short and dressed to the nines in impeccably bespoke sewn suit and shirt, he cut a figure of stunning suavity. The man was dapper to a fault! He brushed imaginary specks of his grey suit and fiddled with his red tie before climbing the steps of the presidential villa. A heavy cloud of Tom Ford Oud Wood perfume followed him and rained sweet redolence everywhere with each step he took. All and sundry gave way and it was all he could do to acknowledge their salutations with the most imperceptible of nods and the faintest of grunts.
It was whispered that his finest garb were like rags beside the main garment which he wore, which was that of arrogance. It might be difficult to fault him in this regard though, having graduated with a first class in Economics from the University of Hebrewnia, he had gone on to become the best Masters graduating student from Harvard. The Minister then proceeded to earn a professorship while lecturing in London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). After a while, he had resigned and gone to work with IMF and the World Bank amongst many other revered institutions. Some say, that it was the weight of all the degrees he had bagged that had made him short.
As he sauntered towards the presidential board room, his mind was filled with all the issues belaboring the nation. There was famine, the price of wheat had hit rock bottom, there were no foreign reserves and the currency had been devalued so terribly there was crisis in the land. Inflation, swinging its deadly sickle left and right was not helping matters either. These were terrible times in Hebrewnia. All the man’s purported fiscal policies had met a savage brick wall.
Not that it was really of any concern to him; he had a plum job and was so venerated in the land that he was Mr. President’s right hand man. Three presidents had come and gone and he was still going on strong. The ignorance of Hebrewnia’s new leader was so flagrant; it made the Ministers work pretty easy. The President was more interested in the science and methodologies of reveling and licentious living than the niceties of macro and micro-economics. In view of this, the Professor reckoned that all he had to do was bamboozle his audience, cook up a theoretical meal of Adam Smith, pepper it up with some Karl Max and add a smidgen of John Maynard Keyes. They would lap it up as usual, awed by his oratorical prowess and mental brilliance. It was all going to be easy peasy. Already, he had started thinking of how he was going to break in the new private Jet he had just acquired. Unconsciously, he rubbed his hands in glee.
When he walked into the air-conditioned room, he noticed that the President was clearly burdened by the happenings in his country. The rings around his eyes were not just from a night of inexhaustible debauchery. He noticed only one other person in the conference room. It was a face that niggled at his memory vaguely.
“Sit down Professor” said the President. “It is my pleasure to introduce to you, Prophet Shaeli.”
The Minister was stunned! What was a Prophet doing in the inner chamber of the Presidency??? Has the President gone mad? The man’s face now came to him with brilliant clarity. He was the guy that was perpetually shown on television denouncing the ills of the society and talking about the Kingdom of a nonexistent God. The Professor was a rabid atheist and the presence of the “Man of God” was like a slap on his face so much so he snubbed the Prophet’s handshake. It was embarrassing to say the least.
The Prophet got up to leave but not without delivering his punch line, “Mr. President, God says by this time tomorrow, in twenty four hours there will be a positive economic turnaround. It would be something supernaturally momentous!”
The Professor smirked with derision, sneered with indignation. He had never heard of such crock before in all his years of academic excellence. What poppycock! “Mr. Prophet or whatever you call yourself, even if the clouds were to condense with money and it rained dollars and pounds, how can this airy fairy idea of yours be? If not for your supposedly holier than thou ways I would have wagered you had smoked something!” he said derisively.
The Prophet looked at him with flames of righteous fury burning in his eyes. “You will see it but you will not partake of it! Have a good day Mr. President and be expectant!” He strode off with energetic purpose, footsteps echoing on the Italian marbled floor.
The words of the Prophet struck a chill in the Minister’s heart and the echoing footsteps sounded like a death knell. He shook it off and wondered when he had started becoming superstitious. He felt the stress and heat of the day was beginning to get to him. He greeted the President and left thinking a good massage from some Thai masseuse and the finest liqueur would soon put him back in the best of moods.
That night the country that had the greatest wheat cache in the world and to whom other agrarian nations were subject had a massive terrorist attack that crippled the systems of the economy. The attack was targeted at their power, transportation and food reserves. In the wake of this scarcity that ensued, the prices of wheat leaped like a kangaroo on steroids hitting unprecedented heights. Hebrewnia wheat produce sold off the ports like hot cake, the ports of the nation assumed the frenetic pace of an ant colony. The nation was saved!
The Minister of finance was summoned to the Presidential Villa urgently during the early hours of the next morning. In the haste caused by his shock, His chauffeur decided to take a shortcut over a bridge that badly needed renovation. All the clamouring in the national dailies and news stations had fallen on deaf ears. The bridge gave in! As he drowned, he knew he had been stupid. He died knowing that the supernatural trumps the natural. The cold waters baptized him into death and into the revelation that the wisdom of man pales to nothing beside that of The One who embodies wisdom…There is actually a God whose power is limitless and unfathomable! However, it was way too late for him to believe….( This story is a modern adaption from 2 Kings 7.)
….. The foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men….
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©2014 Ekpo Ezechinyere