I’ve been away for a very long time, I know. Many things have been going on in my life for the past couple of months……my friends from the U.K came to visit me in Nigeria and we went on a girls’ holiday to L.A, Vegas and the U.K. I was away from naij for 7 weeks and although it was loads of fun, I discovered that I’m not cut out for long holidays. I was very glad to come back home. I’ve also started my new job and it has turned out to be nothing short of a blessing. The people are amazing; everyone is so good at what they do, so smart and very welcoming, the job itself is quite demanding and very challenging and I have no problems waking up in the morning to go to work. Perhaps it’s early days but so far so good.
Last weekend, my brother’s company had an event; he and a couple of his friends from college developed a robotics summer school program in Nigeria and they celebrated the Finale of the program’s second consecutive year. Now this young man (22 years old) gave a speech that brought me to tears literally!!! I was sobbing like a baby because I was extremely proud of him. When he explained his passion for the program and what motivated him to get involved, I literally felt like a proud mother. While I was crying, I remembered a phone call he made to me about four years ago. He wanted to apply to Oxford University and he was unable to secure the support of his A-Level school because (in summary) he had not done enough subjects in his GCE examinations when he was in school in Nigeria. He was so upset and discouraged over the phone and he wondered if there was any point applying on his own without his school’s support. I told him that the worst thing that could happen to him if he applied was a rejection. Give me rejection over regret any day. Long story short, he went ahead and applied, got into Oxford and even rejected their offer to go to school in the States. Now he’s a wonderful young man who, by God’s grace, will be all that God has called him to be and I thank God because in a small way, I am a part of that.
I think that as young people, we are often so wrapped up in our own daily struggles that we don’t take the responsibility of catering to the people around us. We often use our youth as an excuse to be selfish (and I know that I am very guilty of this) but that just doesn’t cut it. I often talk about how worried I am about the next generation especially young girls because I have a heart for them but after complaining, I go on with my own life and struggle to meet my own needs so I do nothing about it. I know that God has called me to mentor young girls and even though I feel the time is not right to make a big move in that area, there are things I know I can do to prepare but I keep procrastinating because my life is “oh-so-busy”. The sad fact is that one day, no one will care or remember that I once worked wherever or I was the CEO of whatever. The only thing that will matter is what I left behind by way of the lives I touched. What legacy did I leave behind in the people I connected with? Am I investing in the actual lives of those around me or does my life just revolve around me? Were lives changed because of me? Was I a blessing to my friends and family? Were people moving forward in life with me or was I a solo star?
Going back to my brother’s story, I know (and I say this with no pride whatsoever), that because God has given me the grace to make myself available as a support system to my brother, I am part of the reason why he has accomplished what he has done so far (all glory to God). But even more important, I make sure that I plant the right seeds in his heart by the way I talk to him, take care of him and challenge him, so that he understands that there’s so much he still has to do and that God has to be his center in order for him to be truly great. Most importantly, I cover him in prayer. I do this for both my brothers, my family and close friends and I know I ought to do it for my church and my nation (which admittedly, I don’t always do) but this is how I invest in the lives of those around me, for the most part.
What am I saying today people? If your life is all about you then your life is empty, it really is that simple. If the people around you are not moving forward, then you need to check yourself. I know that there are just some people who refuse to move forward in life and we will always find one or two of them involved in our lives somehow. But if you sense that the people around you generally seem to be stuck in the same place in life, then you really need to ask if you’re doing your part. There is so much joy that comes from seeing the fruits of the investments you make in the lives of those around you; it’s part of what allows you to be truly happy for them when they move forward. You encouraged, labored and prayed with them so when God answers their prayers, He answers yours as well. At the end of the day, this is the legacy we have been called to leave behind as children of God.
“The Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give [of yourself] than to receive.'” – Acts 20:35b