Valley of Decisions
“Excuse me, Mr Smith, a Ben Manda is here to see you. He doesn’t
have an appointment but he says it’s rather urgent.”
“That’s fine, Donna. Please let him in.”
I was staring out of my window, as usual watching people walking
by and going about their business before my thoughts were
interrupted. I wonder
what has brought Ben all the way here to see
“But sir,” Donna said. “Your meeting is just about to begin. Everyone
“It’s okay. Tell them if I don’t step in within ten minutes, the meeting
should commence and I’ll join them,” I said as I stood up. “Donna,
send Mr Manda in, please,” I said trying to keep my cool.
She nodded her head and shut the door as she stepped out of my
Within seconds, Ben loudly knocked on my door and barged in.
“Mr Vice President!” he yelled. “May I enter?”
“Oh please, Ben. Stop playing. Come on in. Well, this is a pleasant
surprise,” I said as I walked towards him and gave him a handshake
and our normal brotherly hug. I shut the door while Ben took in my
office space with admiration. I pointed at a seat but he opted to take a
tour around the office
“Matthew! This is incredible,” he said with excitement. “You really
are on top. You make most of us look like nobodies, man.”
I chuckled. “This is all God, bro. He gets the glory.”
“Matthew, are you telling me you didn’t work hard to get here?” he
asked as he admired some of my diplomas and awards on a shelf.
“Well, that’s the half-truth,” I said. “Christians are not to be lazy so of
course I worked hard but it doesn’t mean there weren’t more
qualified people around. It’s all God’s favour, you know.”
He turned around and shrugged his shoulders. “Okay,” he said with
zero conviction. I walked over to the couches in my office and sat
down. “Anyway, why are you here? I know you didn’t come by just
to check out my office. Sit down.”
“Let’s see. Where do I begin?” he said as he walked over and sat
across from me. “How about from the beginning?” I asked as I crossed
my legs and leaned back.
Ben looked me straight in my eyes and leaned forward. I knew this
had to be serious.
“Matt, I came to you because out of everybody I know, you are the
one who would tell me what I have done wrong, correct me and then
show me the way to correct any wrongs.” He paused. “I know you
are aware of Lola and Dee. I know you don’t approve of all I have
/> I leaned forward. “Where are you heading, Ben? What’s going on?”
He stood up and walked towards my window. “My wrongdoings
have caught up with me, Matthew.” I stood up. “Ben! Cut to the
chase. What happ…”
He interrupted me. “Lola and Dee are pregnant!” I stopped in my
tracks in silence!
“I said Lola and Dee are pregnant, Matthew,” he said, staring at me.
I put my hands in my pockets. “Benjamin Manda! I consider you a
jokester but even you know there is a line that should not be
crossed,” I said annoyed. Ben looked at
me helplessly. “This is not a
joke, bro. I mean it. Lola told me two days ago and Dee told me a
week ago. I have been trying to figure out who to speak to.”
I was at a loss for words. “Have you told Laila?” I asked.
He chuckled. “No way, man. I guarantee I won’t be alive and
breathing right now if she knew. Remember, she doesn’t know about
them, how will she take this?” He turned to face the window.
“I had to cancel dinner with her and her parents last night,” he said.
My eyes widened. “Ben, you still haven’t met her parents? What is
wrong with you?” I asked as soon as I gathered my thoughts. While I
was fuming on the inside, I didn’t want Ben feeling as if he made a
mistake coming to speak to me so I kept my cool. I began pacing my
office as Ben continued to stare out of the window.
“Ben, you need to get yourself together. You’ve joked around long
enough,” I said.
Ben hung his head low and took his sunglasses off his head. “How
did I get here Matthew? I should have followed you when you made
I walked over to him. “Look, beating yourself up is not the answer
now. You’ve done wrong and you have to accept responsibility for
your actions.” I stared out the window as I stood beside him for a few
minutes. “Lola and Dee cannot be left alone because you were part of
making those babies. It’s going to be a long road but you’ll be okay as
long as you’re willing to right your wrongs.”
Ben turned to me. “You know Matthew, for a while now I’ve been
thinking about what you said the last
time we met.” I chuckled. “I
said a lot of things, Ben. Be exact,” I said.
Ben stared at me intensely. “Matthew, you told me a time would
come when I would no longer see accepting Jesus Christ as an
option, and that my decisions would force me to do so.”
“Yes, I remember that,” I said. “But where are you heading with this?”
“I think that time has come, Matt,” he said with conviction.
I put my hands on his shoulders. “Really, Ben?” I furrowed my brows.
“Look, I hope you don’t think that you can just accept Jesus and the
babies you put into those ladies would vanish. You still have to take
responsibility, bro.” He laughed out loud. “Come on, bro. What do
you take me for? I know I still have to bear the consequences of my
actions. I just want a change in my life. I need a change. How do I
make that change, Matthew?”
I could feel the desperation in his voice so I knew he was serious. I
took a step back and looked at my oldest friend.
“Okay, Ben,” I said. “I hear you loud and clear. I know you’ve heard
me talk about Jesus a lot but you have to believe in your heart that
He really did die for your sins and rose again just to save you and
cleanse you of your sins. Then you need to confess Him as your Lord
and Saviour with your own mouth.”He looked at me rather
surprised. “That’s it, Matthew? Seriously?”
I laughed. “Come. Let’s sit,” I said as we walked back to the couches
and sat down. “Ben, it’s that simple. The Bible says that anyone who
calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. That’s it.”
Ben listened to me keenly and I could feel him connect with my
words. I lifted my hands up. “It doesn’t end there though. You have
to begin to make some serious changes in your life until your actions
match up with what you believe. Get it?” I could see the sparkle in
my friend’s eyes and that got me excited. He laughed out loud and
clapped his hands excitedly. “Of course I get it! I’m ready.” He jumped
up. “I know I’ll need a lot of help but I am ready.”
I stood up and put my hands on his shoulders. “I’m excited for you!
And I’m here for you, Ben. More importantly, the Holy Spirit will
help you make the right decisions from today. I paused. “Look, I’d like
you to come to church with me and get settled. Listen to what you
hear and then apply it. That’s the only way you’ll see changes.”
Ben’s countenance suddenly changed. He wasn’t convinced about
how easy it seemed. “Matthew, I have to admit, I expected some
serious drama with this whole salvation thing. I can’t believe how
easy it is. I should have followed you a long time ago. We were all
little rascals running around without purpose just a few years ago
and look at you.”
I waved my friend off. “Okay. that’s enough.
“Matthew, I feel as if a huge load has been lifted off me,” he said. “I
literally feel like a changed person already.” He took a step back,
keeping his hands on my shoulders. “I need to know though, have
my sins been forgiven? Just like that?” he asked.
I chuckled. “Believe it or not, yes. Listen anyone who belongs to
Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone and the new life
has begun. That’s what the Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:17.”
Ben had the widest smile on his face. I couldn’t help but laugh. “You
have made mistakes and you still have to deal with the consequences
but the good news is that now that you are born again, God will give
you all the help you need to get through this… and anything else that
comes your way.”
“Preacher Man!” Ben said as he laughed. “Am I going to start talking
like you now?” he asked. I air punched him. “You play too much. I’m
being serious here,” I said.
He placed his hands on his chest and got serious. “Okay. I’ll stop.
Wow! Matthew, thank you for not giving up on me when I needed
you the most.” I gave my friend a hug again. He was grinning from
ear to ear. He literally transformed right in the middle of my office.
As I walked over to the couch, Ben stopped me in my tracks. “One
more question, Matt. A serious one.”
“Sure,” I said as I sat down. He grinned. “Am I going to start saying
‘thank God’ for everything like you do?”
I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. “Really, Ben? That’s your serious
question? Who knows?” I asked. “Besides thanking God is just my
way of recognizing the fact that He’s the one who has brought me
Ben leaned on my table. “Hhmm I hear you. I was just wondering if
that’s how I’m supposed to start talking.”
“Look, Ben, don’t worry about all that,” I said as I poured myself a
glass of water. “If it comes naturally to you, fine.” Ben quickly walked
over to me, picked up the glass of water before I could, and laughed
as he walked towards my office window. “Thank you,” he said.
I laughed as I poured myself another glass of water. “Right now, I
want you to focus on the new experience of life you’ve just found.
Take it from me – it’s the greatest step you have ever taken in your
life.” He turned around, looked at me rather seriously, and said, “You
know what, Matthew? I believe so too.”
“Do something for me, Ben, will you?” I asked as I stood up and
walked towards him. “Anything,” Ben said. I looked at him seriously.
“I want you to do right by Laila. Whatever you do Ben, do right by
her, Ben” I said.
I opened up the drawer on the side of my table and brought out a
brand new Bible. “Here take this,” I said as I put the Bible in his
hands. “Read it and get to know God for yourself. He is a loving
Father who wants to bless you and help you live right. Don’t ever
forget that.” I squeezed his shoulders. “Ben, this is the greatest
treasure you’ll ever have.”
I turned around and walked towards the door before he could
respond. “I have an important meeting to attend. I’ll call you,” I said.
“Let yourself out when you’re ready.” As I shut the door, I caught a glimpse of Ben leaning against the window in thought. I stared at
him for a few seconds. “Thank you, Lord,” I muttered.
One of my most important prayers has finally been answered.