Time check 2pm. I am driving through the neighbourhood and heading to the city centre. Suddenly, my eyes chance upon an interesting sight. Yes, one that is characterised by a group of guys assembling iron sheets to make some sort of shelter.
Time check 9pm. I am heading back to our crib and guess what? The shelter is up and filled with a huge congregation singing out loud, dancing and praising the Lord. My mind then quickly started to worry about the distraction that awaited me upon entering my bed. Not like I had a problem with the newly established place of worship. If anything, I love worshipping and praising the Lord too because it is always a special and defining moment.
But you see, after the long week, all that I wanted was to rest and get up fresh the next day because I needed it so badly. However, as expected the effort to catch some sleep, proved futile despite the fact that the noise coming in from a further distance did so without mercy!
Now, with all due respect, why do certain people believe that worshipping God at any time of the day or night gives them the right to put up shelters anywhere and make noise for all and sundry without even considering the people in the particular neighbourhood?
For starters, these particular church services take up to random phases. At one point, the congregation goes quiet making you go like, “Pheux! Now I can catch at least 30 minutes of sleep,” as if feeling relieved. Only for the silence to be followed by slight murmuring that quickly increases to rapid movement of the tongues uttering so many words that you can never even figure out – it is called speaking in tongues.
Suddenly, the lead singer oba, in a shaky-ish voice leads them on through a chorus, “Hallelujah Hossana Kabaka….” in a tone that is as loud as thunder… to scare even the dullest part of ones five senses. Then you wish for at least the sermon to begin because that is when the disturbing noise is expected to at least go down. But then the praise leads to worship, which is characterised by drum beats, poorly played guitars and pianos straight up to the sermon.
As if to add salt to injury the preacher then shouts out, “Turn to your neighbour and say ‘you look so smart’ today. Are you done? Now, shout Halelujah and back that up with a huge high five, I did not see that! Praise God! Praise God again! Now let me hear a loud handclap to the Lord Almighty.” Then before you know it, a Wilson Bugembe CD interrupts aloud, “…Ani ayinza okutula w’atula Mukama…” to which they all chorus in unison. Gosh!
And in all this, you wonder, do they ever think about the people around in their beds, struggling, tossing and turning trying to sleep or even trying to have some quiet time and proceed with their programmes but all has been halted because the congregation has decided to conduct an overnight session? To question this further, why do these establishments have to be put in residential areas?
Bars, for example, are regulated and until a certain time, they cannot play their music at loud volumes to inconvenience the neighbours. In the same way, these worshippers have to borrow a leaf and at least respect the fact that everything does not have to come to an end because they chose to praise at any time.
There is a reason as to why God even set a certain day aside to rest and we all respect that. Therefore, if this noise was made on a Sunday, I doubt anyone would bother to complain. But banange, these guys do not have a schedule. Like the lot above, it took them less than 10 hours to have this shelter up. Before we knew it, the rest was history only that the rest of us have to suffer with eye bags due to lack of enough sleep.
With all due respect, can some of these churches constructed in residential areas, always endeavour to put the rest of the community into consideration before putting up any form of structure? We all love and respect our Father in Heaven but do not stand at the top of the roof each time we want to say a prayer, sing a song for the rest to hear amidst all forms of distraction.