Let me begin on a GRATITUDE note. I am grateful to men, women and children, who visited and called to express their concern over the experience about health I shared last week. I value your kind words of encouragement and advice. Words fail me to expression my most profound gratitude and space fails me to do a roll call.
Of important note to me is Seyitafe AKINLAMI, my 8 year old nephew. His father, my twin brother had been called and headed for my place. Seyitafe, who had gone out on a brief errand returned home and her mum told him of the situation. Seyitafe, thinking his father was still outside, ran out to follow his father to come see me. Getting outside and not seeing the father, he headed out to my place, which is like 25 minutes walk, without informing the mother that he didn’t meet the father outside. He walked to and fro my place desperate to know the state of my health by which time the mother had discovered he wasn’t with the father.
Seyitafe had never come to my place alone before that day. I was not only marvelled at his concern and bravery, I am in awe of the goodness of the LORD, who preserved him from all possible evil on that very busy and volatile road under the shadow of emerging darkness of the night. Please rejoice with us.
Now, to my lessons, as i promised last week. First let me point the fact that I am self-driven person. With me there is no idle moment. There is always something to get busy with and I am fanatical about results and can be very fastidious in my work life. I think I can be loyal both in the present and the absence of those to who I make commitments, knowing that I do not owe anyone performance but myself, my conscience and personal dignity. For me, I think half measures are no measures and are abominations.
The fact again is that I am a man of many concerns. I think I also nurse a deep-rooted holy indignation against many ills in our society, not by being judgmental or being unconscious of my own personal failings and foibles as a man, raised in the dark side of the Third World.
Above all I am energetically passionate about everything I am involved in. I was not surprised in 2005, when my host at a program considered my views too radical and accused me of being ‘too passionate.’
I would rather not be involved than to be involved and not be passionately involved. I use a lot of energy and always put my sugar level to seemingly insurmountable task.
I live passionately
I love passionately
I serve passionately
I follow passionately
I lead passionately
I befriend passionately
I support passionately
I oppose passionately
I converse passionately
I speak passionately
But there one thing I do not do passionately…I do not rest my mind and body passionately. I work physically and also in my dreams. Taking things easy looks to me as if it is an abandonment of faith and fate and acceptance of defeat. I always think I am needed by those to who I have made commitment and I must show up at by all possible means even when I get signals from my body that it is overworked and threatens to go on an indefinite strike. I dared my body so often, instead of encouraging it by putting it to first-needed-and-now-demanded rest.
I pet my body with the talk that there is much to be done and there is only a short time do it…I tell those around me, ‘ojo iku lo jo isimi.’ It means ‘the day of death is the day of rest.’ I have this undisclosed but work philosophy that since there is rest for man in eternity, we are here to work as the world is nothing but a marketplace and heaven is the place of rest. People call it being workaholic, I call it an unalloyed commitment to a cause and people.
These things are so deep-seated that they rebuff warnings from the dearest of people to me.
I think my experience of Wednesday, November 25, 2015 seems to have upset my perspective. I guess that I overrated my importance to my concerns. I now feel health is wealth and I can do much more with rest. I find that the challenge is not with my concerns and the passion, with which I express it but it with my work approach. These concerns and the passion they draw out of me are of God but failure to take it easy isn’t of Him. Adequate rest, exercises, recreation, healthy eating habit are all of God as natural rejuvenating mechanism for the human spirit, soul and body.
Since Thursday, November 26, 2015, I embarked on period of deliberate laziness. I have refused to have to-do and I shut down my schedule until further notice and I am careful about the commitments I make. Since that day, I have not reported to my office not to talk of sitting on my hollowed seat in the office. I am shutting down the old work style and I hope to create a new one, which agrees with divine order. I am looking at every possibility to reduce my workload and focus on only that which is critical. I am praying for direction and yet I full of hope to fulfill destiny and achieve the mandate of heaven over my life.
Now I remember a story I read years ago while in the Law School. It was the story of Robert Murray McCheyne. He graduated from Edinburgh University at age 14 in 1827. At 23, he was leading a Presbyterian congregation of over a thousand.He worked so hard, paying little or no attention to his health until same finally broke down. On his death bed at the age of 29, he wrote sadly, “God gave me a message to deliver and a horse to ride. Alas, I have killed the horse and now I cannot deliver the message.”
I hope I have learnt these lessons. I hope these are not heat-of-moment decisions…Anyway time will tell…Yet I feel I have learnt my lessons.
Thank you for enduring my so-long treatise, 2 weeks running. I promise to repent from this, at least till the end of the year. Do have an INSPIRED week.
I am Taiwo AKINLAMI and I remain sober on my knees on this LORD’S day