I’m a calm person by nature but like everybody else, there are a few things that get on my nerve and get me simmering. One of them is being taken for granted.
Everyday our lives are filled with delays, missed opportunities, setbacks, and if you live in Lagos, you can add to that list, “annoying nuisances”.
These experiences could be you missing a bus and being late for work, forgetting your change with a commuter bus conductor or quarrelling with a commuter driver for refusing to stop you at your designated stop or worse, having your new, shiny iphone 6 slip out of your pocket in the bus, realizing half an hour after stepping off the bus.
Yes, I’ve experienced even more.
These experiences may not seem like the end of the world, because of course, they aren’t. But at the time, they always feel like a big deal and they always happen at the worst possible time. Right on cue of atmospheric forces or fate or something, I suppose.
A few years ago while job hunting after the completion of the compulsory National Youth Service, I had an encounter that changed my outlook on these annoying experiences altogether. That year, I had an interview in Abuja and decided to do a road trip as my financial muscle could only afford that. I was at the bus station in Lagos to get my ticket and begin my journey. I paid my fare to the lady at the reception and was handed my ticket for a particular bus with my seat number written on it. Few minutes later, I was called by the transport company, and asked to return my ticket as a particular lady had supposedly booked for my space previously.
I totally refused the offer of another bus with a much more convenient seat. It was some serious scene as the lady starting creating a scene. I didn’t want the drama the issue was attracting, so I finally gave in following pleas from other passengers; I don’t enjoy people just begging or pleading with me so much because it makes me feel like I’m been strong headed.
Naturally, I was angry, frustrated, feeling like I lost a very important game. Furious, I decided to accept defeat but for some strange reason, I felt peace letting go. Often it is difficult for us to see too far past our current circumstances. In doing so we forget that God is always up to something good, if we will just put our faith in Him.
I then “inconveniently” missed the bus due to this drama. We eventually left late as it took some time for the next boarding vehicle to get filled.
At about 6pm, we experienced a flat tire and had to stop to fix it. The driver of our vehicle then reached out to the other driver of the bus that left before us to check up on him and to give him a situation report as is their custom, only to learn that they were three armed robbers in his bus.
They were all robbed of everything and I mean everything, including the clothes on their backs.
Had I been so stubborn to still hold on to that bus, I would have been caught up in a horrendous tragedy. I could have been hurt physically or at the very least witnessed something so horrific it would have left me traumatized for life. I was then more than grateful for only being in a bad mood and missing that bus.
There are several similar situations I’ve come to learn of, some on a much greater scale than my story. It is, of course, tragic that anyone has to experience this type of suffering and loss, but it’s also tragic that we don’t always recognize just how fortunate and blessed we are. These fortunate and blessed things happen every day; we just don’t know about it.
We’ll miss a bus and be late for work; we’ll get stuck in traffic and miss a life-changing job interview; but we have no idea what hardship or calamity God just saved us from. Nonetheless, we experience blessings in disguise in small ways every day.
I feel one of the blessings that comes from this sort of experience is God’s need for us to see things totally ripped apart in order for Him to get our attention and give us what He knows is better. He uses that person, that circumstance, your situation, to give you unimaginable, unexplainable blessings. Then you can sing, “I can see everything turning around, everything turning around, turning around for my good”.