Friday, September 07, 2012

Ramblings on my Birthday


It is my birthday in another four days...and I thought to share the article I wrote for my birthday last year... Alert: every sentence is worth your time!

"It would be easy for my facebook friends who finished from Ife and were fellowship executive members to understand the thoughts that run through my mind as I write this.

There is this cornucopia of emotions that fills me to the brim and threatens to spill over, but I understand all this as being part of a 'transitional process' - one that has the capacity to launch me on a path to further greatness in God if 'optimized'.

 Today, I celebrate my last birthday as an undergraduate (by God's grace) and I hand over my office as General Secretary of the University Joint Christian Mission - two landmark events by my own standards.

Being the overly emotional person that I am, my birthdays are often a dry affair. I would rather learn to 'number my days and apply my heart to wisdom' than catch fun and hang out with friends - however 'smh' that might sound. However, this year I'm trying to do the thinking ahead so that I can take on a semblance of liveliness when I'm around people later in the day.

So, as I look back on the past year - and by extension at my stay in Ife, a number of disjointed thoughts course through my mind.

The single most important lesson I have learnt in the past year and would love to share here is this: "pay more attention to people than you'll ever pay to processes". That phrase was first spoken to me by Pst Tolulope Moody in front of IGI on the 4th September last year, and those words have shaped many of my actions over the past one year.

During the Missions that brought me into office, I think I remember seeing Pst Adesina Adedeji (2006) walk into the Amphitheatre unannounced. Not a single usher recognized the man who only five years ago was the President of the UJCM, whose word was virtually law, who was graced by God to lead His body on the land... Who only five years ago sat down in the best of seats right in the front of Amphi.

Not many people here today remember any land-mark decisions he made then; not many people remember the contents of the release he 'wrote' before the school closure - or if he even 'wrote' one at all; not even many Pastors today would recognize him if he walked past them.

Not many people here today know that the UJCM has a constitution, or that it was last reviewed during the tenure of Pst Jide Bakare (2005); not many people know that he was a fire-brand, one of a kind; not many people here today would recognize him if I were to have him start my final service tomorrow.

But the people that were here in their time?

A few years from now, I too will walk into the Amphitheatre on a visit and the Ushers will not recognize me; the church will not know my face; they will not know if there was any special flow to my services, if there was any 'swag' in the way I served.

But the people that were here in my own time?

I have met great men and women, people whom I would never have met except for the office of General Secretary. I have found friends such as Titi who only came my way because she needed my help with an Amphi booking; and friends such as Tinuke whom I first interacted with during a premeeting. I have grown close to people such as Pastors Olumide, Kolapo, Deolu TREM, Ayo YCCF, Zaccheus, Niyi and many others who I would never have met otherwise; and people such as Tosin (Afefe) whom I would have continually admired from afar but never met in person. I have become close to students of the Word, such as P Soj and Tolu Ajayi; and passionate people such as Mighty Chi, Idowu Caleb and Ajuasegunlo of CAPRO. I have experienced the love and the safety that comes with working with the supper support team that can only be bred by the diversity of the Action Committee. Time and space constrain me.

My time will pass, and their times will pass too, but the collective history of our times is ALL that will remain. I borrow from Ecclesiastes: "There is no rememberance of men of old, and even those who are yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow".

Posterity is over-rated.

And so that leads me into something else: "this is your time, this is your chance; live every moment, leave nothing to chance".

I am deeply convinced that a linear timeframe is a key part of what it means to be human. There would be no meaning to our choices if we could always go back and reverse major decisions. I make a simple deduction from everyday life: you will not be at this point in time and space twice, so make the most of it. Live your life such that you never have to say the words "Coulda, woulda, shoulda - but I didn't do that" in a negative sense.

Do not be afraid to make mistakes, at least you gain experience. Be secure in your call, it is God who makes you sufficient - men can say whatever they want. You will not always have all the ends covered, so just get out there and DO it! God will make a way only if you will step out in faith.

As I step into a new year, a new phase, and a new season - I trust God for clarity and direction, for the strength to live a life that shouts his fame... (Yeah, and maybe for the right girl... Y' know? :D)

I'm not going to settle for a good life, I'll take a great one. You?"

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