Sometimes the most random everyday encounters force us to stop and rethink the truths and perceptions we have ingrained in our minds. These encounters are educationally priceless. They spawn moments of deep thought and self-reflection that challenge our status quo and mould us into sensible individuals. November 1, 2011 started like every other day for me with me reminiscing my school days and the tall dreams I had back then and how I’d always thought that just getting a degree would help make them a reality. I did what I thought I needed to do. I went to the university; I tried to make a second class grade; and I graduated on time. So why, seven years after graduation was I still jobless? After rehashing these crazy thoughts and nagging to myself about how tough things were, I set out for Wuse Zone 6, in Abuja to cool off at a family friend’s house and indulge in a pity party.
When I alighted from the cab at wuse, I passed what looked to be a mob (albeit a quiet mob). It turned out that they were just a gathering of gossips, gawkers, sympathisers and the sincerely supportive and not a mob. Anyway, I noticed Mobile policemen trying to seize a young handsome lad who appeared to be behaving like one not in complete control of his senses. People were struggling to tie him up in chains and his mother’s (the woman appeared to be) eyes were soaked in tears. I decided to stop and see what was going on, and overheard the conversation between the handsome man they were trying to forcefully take hold of and restrain with one of the guy’s trying to chain him. “I don’t have any friends, my Mum just dey treat me anyhow because I no get job, Mummy” with tears in his eyes, “even you Mummy?!” “ I don’t blame you, na this yeye country, ohhhh make una leave me ooo” he kept screaming. His mum was completely overcome by emotion, she was beyond speechless with the tears now flowing uncontrollably. I tapped the guy in front of me to be sure what was happening and he said “The guy don dey mad small small, him dey wound himself and tear him clothe because say him never get work for two years”.
I stood aside overcome by grief for the lad and watched with tears not just for him but also for myself. What if my incessant mental and express worry over my joblessness had driven me to madness? What if I’d sunk into depression? I cried. I cried because it could have been me but God kept me.
I remember asking myself “how can I not feel grateful?” Studying the book of Genesis 3 yesterday, it hit me that Satan’s temptation involved pointing Eve to the one thing that was forbidden to her. The garden was filled with much desired fruits but Eve focused on the one fruit she couldn’t have rather than being grateful for all that she had been given. The Bible does not say much about her thoughts except “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate.” Could it be that perhaps if she had been more focused wholeheartedly on gratitude she might not have succumbed to temptation? Could it also be that if she had broken into a song of praise to God enunciating the uncountable catalogue of Eden’s compendium perhaps she would have effectively wearied the tempter away from her? Could it be that with every expression of gratitude, the GOD whom she honoured would have drawn close to her before His usual time for evening walks and thus temptation would have been finished? Most likely.
Before that incident I’d continuously felt like a failure, but after what my eyes saw, I could only feel gratitude. I stopped counting my countless nights trying to get each cover letter or application perfect and flawless, re-writing every sentence to make it perfect and how it still didn’t land me a job. Rather I felt gratitude for sanity, and life. I eventually got a job and No, I’m not a billionaire yet, I haven’t written a best selling book but I can tell you this. Don’t let your situation or anyone make you forget who you are.
Truth is you can either whine about what you don’t have yet and end up despising what you do have or you can BE GRATEFUL. My take is to be grateful for the one you do have and enjoy Grace. You are much more blessed than you can ever imagine. When you focus on what you don’t have or on situations that displease you, you take life and other countless gifts from God for granted. Blessings are not only in material/financial but also in the sufficiency of His grace for our daily living! If you have a challenge and you think God has not been there seeing you through, then you have to think again! Think Gratitude!
Photo Credit: postsfromthepath