Here is a story:
Where the people resided, there also lived the kings who ruled over different countries. In one of these kingdoms, there lived a Giant. He was very tall, had enormous hands, long legs and was very strong. One day, the Giant thought: Since I am so strong and have everything; I can defeat almost anyone I want. But he said to himself: I am not a king so I cannot. If I were, I would start a war which would destroy the country. He reasoned: Since I cannot wage war on my own, I must find a king, one more powerful than all of the others that I can serve. The Giant chose a day to go off and search for a powerful king.
On the first day of his journey he stopped and grabbed a tree called cesa. He tore it out of the ground and then ripped off all of the leaves, saying to himself: I will use this tree as my walking stick. When the Giant arrived at the first village, he greeted the people: Good morning. The people greeted him back with: Good morning. He then asked them: Where can I find a king who is more powerful than all of the other kings. They replied: Go and see king Nsunsu as he is the one all of us are afraid of because he is always carried on our shoulders and wages many wars.
Then he left and found the King with his councillors. He greeted the King. The King said: I agree to be served. But being so big, the Giant said: Certainly not, this one is very weak and is afraid of me. Only his councillors are working for him. He has no real power any more. The Giant left him and went to another country. When the Giant found some people, he greeted them: Good Morning. They answered: Good Morning. He said to the people: I have come from King Nsunsu’s village and I thought he was the most powerful king. But he wasn’t. I have heard he is afraid of the King of Evil Spirits (Satan). Where can I find Satan? I would like to serve him because he is the most powerful. The villagers replied: You have already found him. They showed him a way to the palace. As he arrived at the palace, the Giant took out his walking stick which was a real tree with some leaves and roots still attached. When Satan’s court laid eyes on the walking stick, they were shocked and started to tremble with fear.
That particular day was the day of Satan’s ceremonial parade to celebrate his power. His horses were showed off, and he put the king’s robes on. They were going around the village to the cheers of his people with a great feast waiting at the palace. As they were celebrating, going around the palace, the king was on horseback and the people quickly cleaned the streets where they were passing.
There was a path leading to God’s house, a church with a cross on top of it. As they approached this house, Satan said to the one in front: Do not go up there! He covered his eyes and began to cry out with fear: Not this way! Not there! The Giant said to himself: Why is King Satan afraid of a little cross? When they came back to the palace, the Giant went to the Evil Spirit and asked: What are you afraid off? The Evil Spirit answered: That little cross which has defeated all of the other kingdoms. And the Evil Spirit said: Also myself, I was defeated because Jesus Christ died on it. The Giant said: I want to serve him, now…not you! Let us go to Jesus. They said: Follow the river until it drains into the lake: that is where you will find him.
The Giant got there and he met a little child and asked the child: I want to serve the King Jesus Christ! The child told him: I will tell you what to do. The child was going and coming back he said: If you want to serve him, you must fast. The Giant said: That is something I cannot do. The child said: Then you can serve him through prayer. The Giant said: I do not know how to pray. The child said: In that case, you will serve him by taking people across this deep lake as there is no bridge here. The Giant said: I am strong, tall, and I will not sink in this lake; therefore, I shall do that.
The Giant was always at the river taking people across from morning until evening. One day, a little child came up to him and said: I would like to go to the other side; and he asked the Giant: Would you take me across? The Giant said: Of course I will, you are so small. The child said: So go and help me. The Giant put the child on his shoulders and noticed that this child was very heavy. He was half-way across the lake when he began to think he was not going to make it; he started to sweat and breathe rapidly. The child was becoming heavier and heavier. When they got on the other shore the Giant collapsed and shouted with a great voice: You child, you have worn me out. The child jumped down from his shoulders and spoke to him: I am Christ, and you have done a good thing by helping everybody.
And that is the end of our story.
The moral of the story: no one is greater than God and all men should serve Him.
The Mambwe proverbs say: The life (heart) of a fowl is in the hands of the owner (Mwenzo wa nkoko, uli ku mweneco); First begin the chief’s duties, then yours (afterwards) (Talu wa mwene, ng’uombu wako).
Subjects: God Almighty – human power – priorities – duties
Written by Joseph Sicivula, 07th of September 1994.