Solomon Islanders stand proud as they celebrate 30 years of independence on 7th July 2008. People reflect on what has happened and what is yet to happen. Excitement fills the air as celebrations take place with people coming together with a common purpose. As a Christian nation, Solomon Islanders reflect on the many blessings God has bestowed on the small young country as it celebrates a milestone in its chapter. However, we the people and the leaders of this land despite ethnic background and religion really need to understand in our hearts what this independence truly means.

Set aside the physical and natural excitement, we need to put into light what it is that God is really trying to tell the nation. Some thirty years ago, Solomon Islands was under the ruling of the British government. God intervened and gave the little known scatters of islands the honour and blessing to be on its own. God made the way for the islands to become one and independent purposely so that the Solomon Islands may be dependent on Him. However, over the past thirty years, the islanders have side-tracked God.

The sole purpose of this nation's independence is to be dependent on God and walking in accordance to His will. Leaders over the years have missed the point and while continuously calling this nation a Christian country, what is displayed in leadership speaks another story. Ordinary citizens ask many questions as they witness the nation spiral downwards and the simple fact is that God is being placed out of the picture. In other words, God is yet to take His rightful place in this nation.

As we mark 2008 as an important year for the nation as a whole, it is high time that our leaders recognise and understand that there is a need to connect back to God. The only way to gain the much-needed peace and harmony in the country is for leaders to be in the front line of turning the nation back to God. Leaders need to recognise that Solomon Islands should not only be a Christian nation just by name but also in conduct. To tap into all the God-given provision and blessings, leaders need to seek and acknowledge God into this nation, and to allow God to take His rightful place to rule and to reign in all areas in life - political, economical, sports, educational to name a few.

Legacy passed on for the betterment of the nation is another issue missed by most leaders. It can be said that most are in for their personal benefit while the ordinary citizens are left to suffer the consequences. Each passing government enters the scene with their own legacy instead of it being passed on from one government to the next over the past 8 successive government in Solomons' history. The legacy dies off as a government bows out because nothing is passed on to the next government to be implemented. There is a difference in lifestyle and interest in each ruling government. There is no common ground. But the one true steadfast common ground is through God, who is the source of everything from the development of this nation to its prosperity in all that it pursues. Leaders need to come to a place where they commit themselves and the nation to God in order to see His work in place for Solomon Islands.

What should be prominent in the minds of our leaders as we proudly proclaim thirty years of independence is building this nation and not building themselves. Leaders should not just have the minds to build but also have the heart to build this nation. Building this nation should also be in accordance to what God is saying right now and that is: TOGETHER CHANGING THE CITY, THE NATION AND THE WORLD. In doing so, people will see that leaders are truly having their interests at heart and it will, therefore, encourage people to join hands with their leaders to help push the nation forward for the years to come.

Joseph Carey
Lengakiki, Honiara