Jason Young on a spiritual transformation
WATT TOWN, St Ann:
IN HIS bright-red, epaulette suit, and pink-and-khaki layered turban, Jason Young walked around the hilltop Zion Headquarters and Jerusalem Schoolroom, located at Watt Town, St Ann.
It was Wednesday, March 4, the day of the first 2015 quarterly Revivalists conference, where scores of Zion pilgrims from all over the island had converged.
In small and large groups, they climbed the hill singing and going through several stages of the arrival ritual.
As Young stood motionless, watching the arrival of the travellers, Rural Xpress asked him why he was not with one of the many uniformed group scattered all over the place exalting, singing and jumping.
He said he had been at the schoolroom two weeks prior to the conference, as part of his spiritual transformation. A transformation indeed it seemed to be, as the 30-something-year-old man from Jobs Lane, Spanish Town, was a party animal less than two years ago, with no intention of becoming a Christian.
"Mi never intend to be a Christian; mi never love Christianity. To be inna the church, that was not me," he said, but according to him, he was destined to be a Christian, despite his lack of interest in the faith. "The heavens know what I was gonna be before I was born, so it done set already," he declared.
So, how did Young get from lack of interest to where he was at, in school learning about Zion? He said, when his then girlfriend found a Revival church and wanted to be baptised, she was told she had to be married first. So they got married last year, and by the time he knew it, he was baptised, too.
But, it was the Revival drumming that hooked Young, and he got interested in his history and the story of Revivalism. And one night after drinking, he got drunk, which was quiet unusual. Then he said, "Mi hear a voice say the angel don't want me to drink anymore." The following week, he bought liquor for himself and his friends, but they didn't drink any. "This must be a sign", he said to himself, and brought the drinks home. Hence began his transition.
His pilgrimage and sojourn at the Jerusalem Schoolroom was in obedience to a divine order, he said, and that's why he was not there with any particular group. It was a personal journey. "Yuh cyan obey man, yuh affi obey God," he asserted, "If God tell yuh say yuh alone go, it's a reason. So yuh alone go, yuh cyan go wid yuh church."
Yet, he said the restrictive nature of his 'education' got to him. "Mi nah go tell yuh say it all nice and all good. No! Because mi no use to stay on this one spot of ground every day, no use to dat. But from yuh go up dere yuh cyan come back down until the days done," he said.
In the confined space on the hilltop, he was spending his days learning the history and the ways of Zion. For example, he was not jumping and trumping like everybody else because, he said, "A learning, dat is a ting yuh mus understand fully before yuh go inna it ... yuh have to know what yuh jumping for."
And he's more interested in leadership, which he said is his "calling". "I am a leader already, just developing, that's why I come to the schoolroom. yuh have to learn," he said, "I learn many tings, angels teach yuh. The elders here teach you things also. People come in an teach yuh."
One of the things that Young has perhaps learned at the schoolroom is that "Zion is the highest religion, it's the highest way to communicate with God, the heavens ..."