“…the vanity of it. I saw humans running around chasing pretty shadows that never brought fulfilment. And even when men caught their dreams they could hold them for just a moment before time took them away…” Jason Henderson
Sho Baraka came to town last December. This was one of the most anticipated moments of my life last year. I mean this was Sho. Ever since I listened to “We can be more”, I was hooked. I loved his style of rap, his sarcasm, his kind of manliness. This guy was the best rapper I knew. And he was coming to town. And a friend would hook me up so I would meet him and talk. This was a dream come true! Sho Baraka!
I remember by the time he came I had been ill for a while but I decided I would not miss this for anything in the world. I made it to Kyadondo.
The concert was definitely better than the one I had last attended (PhatFest). It wasn’t just Sho Baraka being there, it was the artists, the arrangements, the short speech interludes. When Sho came on, I swear I should have lost my voice. Here was my idol, literally, rhyming live on stage. I screamed, my heart rate increased, felt like flying, I was excited!
I felt like I was the only one enjoying this part of the show. I was so happy. Ten , fifteen minutes later and the performance was over! I felt cheated. I felt there needed to be more. Then I remember my friend had promised I would see him backstage. I made my move and you guys, I was standing right next to Sho. Baraka. The 116 Clique
rapper. The Lions and Liars
rapper. The High Society
Taller, bigger, crazier but also, calm, funny, humble and normal.
Sho spoke to me like a regular dude. He had no airs. His nose wasn’t in the air. He was human. I was unhinged. I did ask for an autograph. And he wrote one of his favourite verses on the piece of paper I had carried specially for this moment from home.
After this moment, something changed. All the excitement, all the fire about Sho suddenly ended. He was now a fellow man, like me. Sho remained a good rapper but I was not going crazy about having met him or expecting to meet him again.
I’ve been thinking about this for a while and I remembered – “1Co 3:21-23 So then, let no one glory in men, for all things are yours, whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things about to be–all are yours, and ye are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.”
I did not force or thrust that reality upon myself. It suddenly dawned on me after meeting Sho. He became less than a musical/Christian giant, and became someone standing next to me; flesh and blood. Awe had passed.
I realised, like Jason, dreams come true, may stay a while and pass. What are we left with after that? Paul says a very interesting thing in his letter, let no one glory in men, for we are Christ’s and Christ is God’s. I cannot tell you how many people I have wanted to meet before Sho but when I met Sho I thought to myself, now what? If I met Michael Jackson, or Switchfoot, what would change? Wasn’t it just a momentary filling for the soul that after a while passes. Or perhaps I had a check list, ticking off people I wanted to meet.
People will do things that impress upon our lives but is that true? Do those things stay deep or are they held by a part of us that glories in men? Could it be the only one able to impress upon us is Jesus? And that when we see Him, we no longer look at stature, wisdom, or other earthly things and find the heart of matters?
That I will not feel strange if I do not go to Don Moen’s concert, or Israel Houghton’s concert; that I will simply enjoy things as they are life and not exalt them on pedestals. That I will not exalt people, or buildings, or things which come and go but will find a place of rest in one who never changes. What if I finally see Him and find rest, no longer swayed to and fro by the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life?
I can tell you one thing; I do not feel the same way about a lot of things after meeting Sho, but meeting him itself was the Son, revealing to me, that only He is able to fill the soul. (Col 3:11 …Christ is all, and in all.) I know I forget, from time to time, and look for life among the dead but He still reminds me this even now. May I know this, as a rock – Him, sure footing. Rest. Hope. Peace. Love. Life in one – Jesus. Amen.