As readership of my blog grows, I find myself under greater pressure to generate content that a broader group of people can relate to. And because I base my write-ups on the lessons I learn from things that have happened to me, this has become more of a challenge. But I will always try to draw parallels that everyone can understand, and I pray that God will continue to give me the grace to do this.
Olaitan (not his real name) is one of those people who have that uncanny ability to fascinate and perplex you, all at the same time. We met during my first year in the university, and we have remained friends to this day. Olaitan was a Humanities major, but he would always tell anyone who would listen that he wished he were studying Medicine, or Engineering, or Art, or whatever course of study caught his fancy at the time. He was never content with what he had, or what he was doing; he could play the keyboard and the guitar quite well, but he wished he could rap and write poetry like me. He was a gifted Judoka and Wrestling champion, but he would rather envy me because of my skill in Taekwondo. Whatever talents and gifts Olaitan had, he would always say that he preferred the talents and gifts of someone else. This inability to appreciate his own strengths led Olaitan to end dozens of relationships with many lovely women, just because he would observe another happy couple enjoying their intimacy and immediately wish that the woman was his instead. To Olaitan everyone else had it better than he did, and he was never satisfied with just being himself and enjoying the things that made him unique. The last time I saw him was when he came to me to borrow money to start a business that he was not suited for, even after we all advised him not to quit his well-paying job as a Human Resources Manager at big company. The reason he gave for leaving the company was simple; people who were into that business seemed to be so happy…happier than he. Olaitan is now in his forties, but is still unmarried and unable to appreciate the good things and good people in his life.
As children we all envied something about someone else, and I’m certain that we have often wished we had the nice things our friends owned, which we did not have. This is normal. But at some point you have to begin to appreciate yourself and be grateful to God for who you are and what you have. This is one of the cornerstones of maturity, and until you can appreciate your own, you can never become the best of who you are. Yes, there are certain talents that shine like a beacon, but because you cannot sing or dance…because you’re not an academic prodigy, or a gifted athlete, doesn’t mean you’re not special and loaded with potential. Some people have their talents bubbling just below the surface, while some of us have to dig deep and work hard to discover our unique abilities. This is the fun of living in this world; the diversity of people. I have done some checking, and I discovered that indeed God has equipped everyone equally. He did not equip us the same; He just equipped us equally in different areas. Whatever it is someone around you has in abundance, know that you too have something else in equal abundance. That is the wonderful mystery of God that we must all appreciate. But like the servant who was given one talent (Matt.25: 14-30) we would rather hide our talent and envy those who seem to have more. Please do not do this. Be yourself all the time, and make full use of the little you think you have or are. Look at it this way; there are people who carry a heavier burden than you do. Would you rather exchange with them? So if you would not accept a heavier burden why would you envy a greater talent?
In conclusion, know that God does not see our service by quantity; He judges our thoughts and actions by proportion. If you believe you have little, but you do all you can with that little, you will be given more. But if you do nothing because you believe you have little then you are abusing the existence that you have been given. So please, look less at the blessings of others and more at the abundance of opportunity that you have been given. I pray God will give us all the grace to be truly happy with who we are and the strength to make the best of what we have, even as we appreciate His grace in the life of others. Check out my website www.ifeanyiubawords.com for more inspiring content. Cheers!