One dark, rain-beat evening years ago on the lonely streets of the University Of Port Harcourt, thinking about my past, present and future; trying to comprehend what all the fuss about life was, i looked up into the sky as i looked back through my life and projected into the future. There in the alone-ness of it all, i ran a scan through the events, processes, experiences, pitfalls, heartbreaks, losses, pain, joy, happiness – the entire spectrum of the intimate details that had defined my life up until that day. You get in there, in that moment that defines other moments, and you realize how really deep life is. Things got so emotional, heart-wrenching and heavy for me that day in UNIPORT, that in the final analysis, a few things seemed to really matter, even if they didn’t answer all the deep queries of my complicated looking life. The only things that were easy to figure out were love, peace, hope and faith. Love of my family and close die-hard friends, peace that comes from having a clearly defined end – God! Hope in the dreams that i consistently held on to that would change the present state of my life and the world; Faith in something bigger, more powerful and more in-charge of all the many little details of life. I mean, it all came down to the simple things.
This is over ten years after those periods of thought in my UNIPORT days; having gone through various cycles of life again, and experiencing some of the most intense emotional, psychological, spiritual and mental seasons, i am in a place far away from Lagos, and i am running wild, calm and wide in my mind; re-thinking my experiences so far, especially in light of the fact that i have grown older, learnt more and experienced much more…
You give so much and get little, you try so hard and results seem not to replicate your effort; you love so hard and fall over the cliff in the attempt to get the best out of love; you do so much for everyone around you, they exit your presence happy and leave you to deal with yourself; you find God in the most amazing ways and places, and then get into crisis and seem not to find him anymore. On the other hand, you are confused whether what you are doing is why you are on earth. There seems to be an embargo on your money, yet a thousand on your side and ten thousand on your right are awaiting your benevolence. In the mad rush for success in the 21st century, things have gotten more complicated, more demanding, more draining, but still what gave me any sense of purpose and relative calm was when it was all resolved down to love, hope, peace and faith. It is clearer by the day that what we all truly, really seek for, is simple – the simple things.
It is 4:03am and i have hardly slept; i am thinking about my daddy, and all the years gone by. He used to be much younger and handsome back then, he still is handsome and older now. He was Daddy! Hero, villain, disciplinarian and friend all rolled into one. I think about my mummy and as the first child i seemed to have had a rare privilege of spending a lot of time with her in her younger years, till today we still share an amazing bond that our regular quarrels can’t seem to destroy. She is still my number one girl friend. I remember the years i would tell her any and everything, those were the years before i decided to chart my path and had to always defend my position. Life was a bit more simple and innocent. Today i am taking decisions on my own terms and sometimes disagreeing with their positions, but why did they go through so much to do what they did? Why did they sacrifice as much as they did? What was their motive for enforcing most of what they enforced? What made them think, feel, analyse, decide and execute things the way they did? Why did they ensure i got a good education and an exposure to books very early in life? Why did my younger ones have to sacrifice access to private schooling at a point just so i could get mine? What do i even have or have become that i was not given? The love respect and admiration of siblings.. PRICELESS! I am dreaming daily of making mummy and daddy happy that they took a chance on a difficult one like me. I owe all of me to none of me, that is a huge realization. I can’t wait to show them more than anything that i am grateful. Telling them is one, showing them is another!
I am thinking of lifelong friendships that were crafted in the crucible of less than pleasant experiences; i am thinking about people who have my back without getting paid for the strenuous job they are doing. I think about those i fell in love with and who were crazy enough to return the favor; i am thinking about those who loved me but couldn’t get me to return the privilege; i also think about the many i loved but who didn’t think the same about me. How about those who may possibly have loved me but i never even noticed? Life is not straight-forward, it is not a story book filled with ‘logical’ tales. People fall in love and can’t explain why and end up spending 40 years with the same trying to explain why we loved them; some others fall in love, get married for 30 years and keep asking themselves how they ever got married. Life is deep!
I am thinking of my journey in God. Years in the Anglican church, then off into Pentecostalism and then to really finding the kingdom of God, away from denominations! My journey in life, business has been a journey in God opening me up to new opportunities for growth, relationships with helpers, opening my eyes to deep truths, using my knowledge of a practical God to help people around me. I wonder what my life without a greater power directing me would have looked like. If you know me, i am not the easiest person to deal with but i have found God saving me from myself because i deferred to Him. I make more mistakes than the average person, mess up more than the regular dude out there, but i have learnt that those who win big, lose big too. I am glad i know the part of God that restores.. Once again, i am reminded that all i am, i owe to none of me. Many things don’t make sense yet, but in time they will do. I am even comforted that i really won’t know and understand all, but will have a chance to ask God face to face one day.
What are we looking for? What are we searching for? Why are we doing all we are doing? What do we have? What do we own? Who are we? Where are we going? What is the point of everything? What is the payment for all our striving? Why do things get crazy, painful, broke, abundant, bloody, political, random, ordered, special, dreamy, still, chaotic, splendid and all sorts but never satisfy in themselves? I figure that all the success and experience of life would never be enough unless it brings us back to the simple things. Because really, the truly deepest things in life are the simple things:
- LOVE of your family, friends, a soul-mate and God who just decides to have your back because He wants to
- PEACE that comes from having a clearly defined end – God!
- HOPE in the dreams put in our hearts would change the present state of our lives and the world (Legacy)
- FAITH in someone bigger, more powerful and more in-charge of all the many little details
I need to pray and pack my bags, its time to get back home to Lagos!
Dedicated to Muinat, Lightening can strike twice or for as many times as it takes to get us to our shores. It is by our choosing. And i have chosen to look for that better strike next time out; it will strike better for you too. Thank you boo-boo!