I know people who have fairytale birthdays; lots of surprises, gifts, food, chocolates and attention. I’m not such as lucky. I may therefore, as a matter of experience regard mine as a foremost "Imaginary escapade". My birthdays have in times and time again broken every boundary of convention. So many times, I lack the best expression to describe it.
I am not a very ceremonious fellow; in fact, the idea of birthday parties for me, clearly eludes me - I’ve always wanted a solemn birthday with prayers, goodwill & wishes, and a measurable amount of gifts (preferably books and neckties, OK money also) from people and associates within my closet. That want has never been fulfilled even when I ask for it to be so, except on about two occasions when I was far from home and acquaintance.
I know someday, my birthday will become a big deal to a lot of people (I’m working on that) and although today: Tuesday 21st June 2016 is not that "someday"; I’ve still, typically branded it with a theme. Since 2013, there has always been a theme for this day. It was "The day Heaven touched the earth" in 2013; 2014 was "A gift of life for life"; then there was "A new man" in 2015; while 2016 had the theme "freedom". These themes are inspired by the experiences, people or accomplishments prior to that day. So, with that enraptured lay rested state of mind; thus the theme.
This year, I thank God for Eunice Agi; whose first call at midnight suggested that she wanted to join in a conversation with God. Super-girl she is. And Martins Odogwu’s last call at about 11pm which lighted my spirit for a perfectly spent night rest and to epilogue an awesome day. Awesome guy Martsy. Wilfred Lucas just made me laugh until my cheeks were hurting. Agi Williams sent me the most mind blowing message — his qualification of me almost made me pass out. Sir Felix Odofin’s description of me practically reduced me to tears — i didn’t even think that highly of myself. I bless God for such great and profitable friends.
Like I said from the beginning, my birthdays are more Imaginary than real; because after the whole motion of the day: I be like "did these things really happen?" such as was today. I was preparing myself for a conference today that I really couldn’t celebrate today, so it had to be on the 22nd of June. Cool, my birthday was a 2-day event (lol). Nevertheless, goodwill messages rocked my social media page, inbox and every possible means of correspondence. Also, I bless God for my new woolen ash-coloured sweater with a large maroon Adidas logo in front today. For My very good man Nate, who thought a new pair of HighTop shoes were the perfect present for me; although he’s aware I won’t wear it and it would probably belong back to him after a week. For Awesome Funmi, who brought a massive cake to the office on my behalf and then later, pushed me into the pool while I still had my regular clothes on: well, I should have suspected when she collected my phone and car remote. For Mummy, who got me a bottle of wine to share with friends and then giving me an ungodly amount of food - you could almost see me bleeding fried rice from my eyes. In all these, the whelming happiness within me was like a volcano under eruption. I was just exploding with uncontrollable joy. I didn’t scream however, I am no drama queen. Plus I was wet.
I sat reflecting tonight and I resolved that I was indeed a blessed fellow. Life appeared so graced for me. Just then I started counting my blessings. Let me give you a summary of my seasons, resolutions and lessons through over 2-decade adventure on earth. Please, I beg you to reflect also as your individual birthdays approach. I once read that there were two very important days in a man’s life; that day he was born and the other day he realizes why he was born. I hope you learn a vital lesson from mine.
First and foremost, my relationships. I may as well say that my immaturity in a lot of things and probably my playfulness have made me a "romantic relationship flop" . Every other type of relationships have been OK. Once, I fell helplessly in love with a girl that loved me even much more than I did. Unfortunately, she was a second cousin whose family had just relocated back to town and I had never heard of or met them before. It was heart-rending the day we were introduced as cousins, good thing we didn’t start a relationship by then. I was also once in a relationship that I didn’t even know I was in up until the day she broke up with me and I was like "woooah, Wait a minute - we were dating?" Not funny though, but it makes me laugh even till this day. After the cousin debacle, I started dating a girl "who made life come alive for me". Because of her, I daydreamed and built a future around her. I was still a teenager then and it was just jolly sweet, despite that it was a distant relationship. It ran for four awesome years until life, people, distance, drift opinions, personal philosophies, desires, doubts, insecurities and maturity started to tear us apart. It turned out we were only teenage sweethearts and became incompatible at early adulthood. Another time, my best female buddy fell in love with me when I least suspected and we ended up separating, because I didn’t feel the same way: but on account of that, I practically ended friendships when emotions begin to set in - I was already far too bruised and rigid. Well, I’ve since, lacked emotional stability and caused some very good people heartaches. A new era however began, erratic though but with much more prospects than any other time, since choices propelled it. In all these, I’ve learnt a very crucial life lesson: to be honest and outright. It saves us emotional aches, sleepless nights, regrets, needless tears and self-destructive resolutions. God bless the day I stumbled on this truth.
See, When I eventually die someday (very inevitable) if I live to be 90 (I’m gonna live to be 90); my tombstone will read 1992 - 2082. Within this dates is a life, my life, the one in which I exist now. Noticeably, the shortness in length of the dash between them is indicative that life is indeed very short.
My experiences both as a human and as a Christian has pierced the facade men like me have great tendency to live behind. The honesty and practicality of Life in the word of God as provided me with all the answers I search for.
I’ve learnt thoroughly in my human frame of mind, how to distinguish and balance between culture and Christianity; riches and wealth; work and family; money and lifestyle; personal devotion and witnessing; career and ministry; wants and needs; ultimately and most earnestly, ambition and purpose. As well as the toiling and suffering that comes with them.
I want to be a loyal person to all humanity; to be a faithful husband to my future wife that I’ll cherish for life; and an inspiring father to the children that I’ll adore and father all through life. More than anything, to be a man after God’s own heart.
Therefore, I have decided to build my life with "silver, gold and costly stones" on the foundation that will survive; foundation of Christ Jesus and The Word. It’s true that I can never control the length of my life, but sure enough; God has blessed us with the remarkable gift to be able to manipulate it’s heights, depths and widths.
The question now remains, when my stay on earth is over: will I have left it better than I found it? Will there be a legacy after me, left by me?? Will I be greatly missed??? Will I have achieved purpose???? Will God be proud of His efforts in my life????? Am I even guaranteed a place in Heaven?????? And if I do make Heaven, will I wear any significant crown???????.
Our lives (every man’s) was written alongside creation (Isaiah 43:7).
KJV: Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him. Isaiah 43:7
Therefore, we are all big deals - we’re no small issue or plan, we’re indeed big EFs. Just imagine creation right now and consider yourself just as profound. So don’t joke with your life, don’t even try it. You’d be selling yourself short of recommendation.
Finally, for the few of you that will attend my funeral in 2082; I wish above all things that you will point to my grave and say because of the life I’ve lived that "Here, lies a deeply passionate man who was faithful, available and teachable".
Life is a pilgrimage. Along the way, we reach some milestones that makes our spirits soar. We also reach pitfalls and sometimes fall back to places that makes us wonder if maybe or not life isn’t all a hoax or a cruel joke of nature.