Good can come out of evil
In 1984 I was a fourth year student at St James Minor Seminary. On one mid-morning, I was summoned to the Rector’s Office. When I arrived, there were other staff members there. I was offered a seat to sit down and then the Rector holding a sheet of paper with handwritten notes on it asked if I had written it. It was at a distance for me to actually know what was written on the paper but I responded no. He then invited me to come closer and have a look but he was still hold tightly on to it probably fearing that I might snatch it and run away. I drew closer and had a look at the content. It was an abusive letter somebody had written to the staff and signed my name at the bottom. I became so enraged that I could hardly utter a word. The rector asked me again, “did you write it or not? I replied, I did not write it and I had never thought of anything of the sort. I then added that should the culprit be found later, he the culprit and I, one would say farewell to this world. With that I begged to leave.
When I left the office, I fuming so bad that even when my friends asked me, I could not tell them. My foregone conclusion was that sooner rather than later, I would be sacked from the seminary. I was not too bothered by the thought that I would be sacked as I was about my reputation that had been tarnished or damaged for no reason.
When I was eventually able to tell my friends the bad news, they were very sympathetic but were powerless to do anything to help my case. A lot of the students who heard it disbelieved it and said, it was a plot by an unscrupulous student to get me sacked from the seminary. Prior to this incident, I had asked to be the sanitary inspector of the seminary because the bathrooms and toilets were filthy and smelly. There were worms in the bathrooms so that nobody wanted to take a shower there. Students were taking shower outside in the open and I felt that was not right, hence my request to be made the sanitary inspector so that I could to something about it for the good of everyone.
The Sunday following my summons to the rector’s office, we had a conference with rector. Rector’s conference was a weekly routine so it was nothing new but for me, it was the day that could have ended of my seminary days. Looking at the rate of dismissals from the seminary in those days, it was difficult to have thought of any outcome other than dismissal. The Saturday night following my summons to the Rector’s office, one of the staff members approached me and asked what I would do if I was sacked?. I replied, “whatever happens, happens for a reason” my is to find the reason or the purpose for what has happened and that I had a home to go back to. I also told him that God’s word is true so though there was nothing in what had happened to be joyful about yet that’s what the scripture says, “count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2-4) and that “all things work together for good for those who fear God” (Romans 8:28).
The Rector showed up for the conference and after prayer, he announced, we received an abusive letter sent to Seminary staff and signed it in Simon Aidoo-Boateng’s name but we have found that Simon did not write it, he is innocent”. There was such a rapturous applause and spontaneous cheers from the students that shocked me to the core of my being. Never before did I think for a minute that so many of the students were on my side. The rector was shocked at the students’ response and did not say anything again and brought the conference to a close. It was the shortest rector’s conference I can remember.
Even though I was pronounced innocent, I could still not stop myself from asking the question, why me, why God allowed somebody to put me into trouble like that etc. One thing that I noticed was that, since that incident, the rector trusted me more and we became quite close.
Two years later when I completed my O’Levels and had to go to a sixth form school, I was pondering over who would assist me. Upon hearing that the results had been released, I decided to go to the seminary and collect mine. When I met the rector upon my arrival, before I could greet him, he asked, which sixth For school would you like to attend? In my confusion I said, Rector, I have not even seen my results and you are asking me about the sixth Form school I would like to attend. He repeated his question, which sixth Form school would you like to attend? I replied that I was willing to attend whichever good sixth Form College you could get me an admission into. After that he showed me my result slip and told me to wait for three days and go and see the Head Master of Pope John’s Secondary & Seminary.
Following my admission to the Sixth Form College, it dawned on me why somebody had to tarnish my name two years earlier. It was designed for my good. Had that not happened, the Rector wouldn’t have known me the way he came to do because of the incident and if he did not have that trust and confidence in me, he would not have helped me gained admission to one of the most prestigious Sixth Form College at the time.