Tue | Mar 20, 2018

Jamaica needs repentance, not prayers

Published:Saturday | January 23, 2016 | 12:00 AM


The Church has just concluded another session of the annual ritual called National Leadership Prayer Breakfast, and in the lexicon of social media, I have to shake my head. After 36 years of praying for solutions, and with the results we see from looking around us, will we ever learn that a single plough is better by far than a thousand prayers a day?

There are more churches per capita in Jamaica than anywhere else in the world, which, together with the national anthem being a prayer, must account for a mighty lot of petitions to God. Yet look at the state of the country. Decay is all around.

We need to shake ourselves loose from superstitious reliance on God. Stop believing that we can plant peas and reap corn or spend our time sowing wild oats, then pray to God for crop failure. We must bring ourselves to an awareness that every choice or decision we make in life carries consequences for good or for ill. We must learn to take responsibility for the things we do or fail to do. As in the words of Shakespeare, "It is not in our stars, but in ourselves that we are underlings."

Jamaica is not in need of prayers. What the country needs is repentance - a conscientious effort to turn away from evil and do good instead.

Those who set the national agenda and establish the parameters of the country's socio-economic order must be willing also to surrender personal convenience and gain for the larger good of the society.

We ignore these admonitions to our perpetual peril.