Showing posts with label Life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Life. Show all posts

Sunday, 23 July 2017

The Big Picture

Written by Olushola Osinubi

As a child, I enjoyed puzzles. I loved putting the pieces together to form whatever landmark, animals or drawing on the face of the puzzle box. I knew what the puzzle would look like when it was finished. But, I still had to do the work of putting the pieces together. 

Sometimes it would take hours. Other times, it would take days to get it finished. I learnt the best way to get the puzzles together was to start at the edges. Putting the straight edged pieces to first form the borderlines and then build from there. 
My puzzle pieces could be so many that each piece would not make any sense. Or the pieces would just not fit. I would try again and again until finally my picture would simply be – picture perfect. 
Life is like a giant puzzle. We usually don’t get the pieces or the purpose of events in our lives. We simply question the reasons for happenings in our lives. Why did I get laid off? Why was I betrayed? Why me? Why do bad things happen to good people.
Your life is like a big puzzle coming together. Missing pieces; lots of pieces; pieces that do not fit. Through the ups and the downs, the tests of fire and the storms. It is all working together for your good. The bible says in Romans 8 chapter 28 that everything is working together for good* (*abbreviation mine). God the master strategist is moving the pieces in your life and connecting the dots to make a beautiful masterpiece called your life.
So instead of fretting over the delays, mishaps, traffic jams and what not, relax! God sees the big picture of our lives and how the pieces would eventually come together. He is making it all beautiful in his own time.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Now, then and the moments in-between.

I recently learned that a friend of mine passed on. The news stopped me in my track as memories of this gentle soul flooded through my mind. I felt a sense of loss and sadness in that instance. Within few seconds of hearing the news, none of my big plans and important tasks mattered. All I could think about was a dear soul that would no longer walk the surface of this earth again…so sad.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the drama of living and the crazy drive to achieve some great feat that we often forget a simple truth. The sum of a man’s life is not in how he was born or how he died but in the moments in-between. I don’t know about you but I know that sometimes I am so focused on what I’m trying to accomplish that I forget to stop and enjoy the little detours that life brings my way. An unpleasant circumstance you have to go through may be more than just an inconvenience, it may be a great opportunity to bless the soul of another. 

However, if we lose sight of the fact that every moment in our life counts, we will misuse a simple opportunity to make a lasting memory.   Every air you draw in is a gift, so treat it as one. Every minute you spend on earth is a blessing, treasure it. Invest it in time with people you love, enjoy it by doing something that matters to you, prolong it by slowing down and taking in the moments. 

All you have is now and that’s all you can influence. It’s the summation of the actions you take in your ‘now’ that make up the story of your life when you pass on. What will you do differently now to ensure you live your life to the fullest that God designed for you to live? What life changes will you make today?

"Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom."
 Psalm 90:12 (NLT)

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Stumble Free

Have you ever experienced that moment when you hit your foot against a stone and you start to fall? In those few seconds, you desperately grapple for anything your hands can touch to keep you steady, to keep you from falling. In that split second you may feel a hint of fear or embarrassment, depending on how hard the fall was going to be. Ever been there?

I have, a couple of times.  And at the end, when I got back up, I always wished I had somehow avoided the stone – or whatever it was that had made me fall. Wouldn’t that be great, to always avoid a fall? To avoid pain and embarrassment and always be on top, on track and on the move? It would be awesome!

Friday, 19 September 2014

If Only.

The challenges of being an adult can be summed up in one word: decisions. The vast amount of choices that come at you in minutes, and the decisions you have to make in seconds, distinguish a grown man’s average day from a child’s. What makes decision-making so challenging isn’t the vast choices, but rather the outcomes of your decisions and the reality of living with the decisions you have made.

In a world where people are perceived based on the judgment calls they have made, you find yourself daily weighing and double-checking yourself before you make a decision. You wouldn’t want to be mocked by your contemporaries or pitied by your superiors. You wouldn’t want coming generations to suffer from the outcome of your decision either.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Reliving Moments

How far would you go to be at rest?
For some it’s more money
For others it’s getting married
For some others it’s extinguishing an adversary
For me it’s ending the day knowing I gave it all to fulfilled my purpose
I hate to go to bed thinking about what I haven’t done
Or what I still have unsettled from the day before
When I end the day with most of my To Do list crossed off
I tend to sleep sounded, longer, my mind at rest
I love the feeling of crossing out the days on my calendar
Knowing I have given my best to each
Acknowledging the little steps I took towards the bigger goal
I love the feeling of knowing my heavenly father smiles
Each time I go to bed knowing I have given my all in pursuit of his will
The roadmap to living in peace is written in the hearts of all
A few minutes of each day given to discovering that route
Pays of at the very end of your life’s journey

When all begins to wind down
And the sands of time slowly drains its last grains
When the sun begins to set on your time here
And you take a few moments to reminisce
On the times and seasons long gone
When you sit idly in the swaying chair
And watch the little children dance in the rain
Then images begin to flash back at you
And you see the days you really lived
The moments you truly gave
The opportunities you honestly used
The lives you lovingly touched
Then you would lie down without a pain
And rest in peace knowing on the other side
God will be gladly waiting to receive you


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Monday, 27 August 2012

Time passes sofly

Picture of dry leaves and trees along a streetAt some point in your life, you have to be true to yourself, stop being foolish, ignore peer pressure, and say, “That's it. I'm done with being stupid.” Sounds harsh, but it's true. Think about the many times you knew not to do something, but still went ahead and danced to the tune of the crowd, only to hurt yourself in the end. What about the days you needed to invest your time in what mattered to you, but did what others wanted you to do because you didn't want to offend anyone? Not very smart.

As you grow older, you begin to realize that all you have in life is time, and the scary thing is you never really know how much time life is going to give you. There are so many popular sayings about making the most of your time that it’s almost cliché to say it again.  But the truth is when all is said and done, when your time on earth is up, all that matters is what you did between the time your mother gave birth to you and the time Mother Nature says that’s it. Doesn’t it make sense, with so much uncertainty as to how much time you really have to spend on earth, to draw up a roadmap of what you want to do with your time and go for it? Some sort of checklist of the little, but meaningful things you have to accomplish by the end of each day to ensure that, however and whenever Mother Nature calls you home, you’re happy to go.

Having a great job is nice, but if your work deprives you of spending quality time with your family, you might need to reconsider your priorities. Travelling the world is wonderful, but if your time away puts a strain on your relationship with your partner, you should think twice. Buying what you love is great, but if your purchases leave your bank account empty and prevent you from helping a friend in need, what’s the point?

Your life is all about what you do with every hour, every minute, and even every second. Take an inventory of the last 24 hours and what you have and haven’t done, and decide whether you would be happy if those were the last 24 hours of your life. In the words of one of my favorite writers, “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven, a time to be born and a time to die.”

You never know what time of your life you are in right now, so quit the foolishness and make each second work for you. Whether you like it or not, time passes softly.

Monday, 9 July 2012

A little this, a Little that.

Picture of  happy and sad faces

It can't all be fun and it can't all be serious; we all need a little bit of this and a little bit of that to live our lives in full. Finding the balance is learnt over time with experience, but it doesn't have to be your experience—you should listen and learn from those who have gone before you. 

Older people have at least one thing going for them, and that's experience. They possess an aura that commands respect; it’s not their grey hair but the look in their eyes, that knowing look that says “I know what I am talking about,” and in most cases, they really do. They may not know how to use modern-day technology or navigate their way around the web, but one thing they do have is great knowledge that comes from experience. Have you ever looked an elderly person in the eye? I mean really stared into those deep black pupils? Sometimes they look distant, almost lost in thought. The layers of skin around them are mostly sagged and wrinkled. In some the eyes are dim, in some almost shut. But if you take some time to look back at the pair of eyes looking at you, you'd see wisdom way beyond your years. 

I have just one elderly woman in my life, and she's now pushing 100. I watch how she struggles to walk for a few minutes and sits when her legs almost give way. I listen to her pray for her kids, grandkids, and great grandkids every night. I hear her intervene in family disputes and calm everyone when the situation is heating up. My grandmother is a strong female figure. I remember watching her when I was growing up. She owned a bakery and created a lot of wealth for her family. Her loving attitude attracted people to her business, and her open heart made customers stay. I watched her lose her husband, lose a child, survive an ethnic crisis, and move out of the house she had lived in forever. I also watched her attend her grandkid’s wedding, eat with the family at Christmas, rejoice with her kids after a promotion, and enjoy incredibly good health for someone of her age.

Her life has been an inspiration to me for as long as I can remember. She raised her kids to fear God and encouraged them to make a difference in their own ways. Her faith in life and her hope for a better tomorrow are stronger than a lot of young people I know possess. In spite of the good and bad days she's lived through, she still has a zest for life and an ambition to be a better person. My grandmother has taught me that finding the balance in life is the key to maintaining your joy. When the good days come, remember to enjoy the moment, and when the sad days linger, remember that it’s only for a while. This aging woman has managed to teach me in her one little way that every twist and turn in life has made you into what you are today and what you will ultimately become. She has taught me to make every experience in life a step toward achieving my goal. She has taught me not to get overly hung up on what's going well and not to get overly down when things are not. It takes a little of this and a little of that to create your life's story. 

If I were to describe my life's story so far, I'd say it has been a little of comedy and drama and suspense but very little action. How would you describe your life's journey so far in terms of movie genres?

Monday, 25 June 2012

Beyond the Tunnel

Picture of a dark tunnel

I have a frame on my bedroom wall to remind me what lies beyond the tunnel—peace.

Dark and lonely times in life can be quite scary. The uncertainty that comes with not knowing what the next day might bring can leave you drained at night. In all my years of living, I have seen people work hard to put their past behind them and move into a new life, but somehow, traces of the past still filter into their new beginning. I have watched people’s attempts at survival in the face of incredible defeat and overwhelming failure. Most times, these people emerge at the end of their tunnel broken and completely hopeless. Failure, dark places, and shattered dreams are things most people are familiar with and have to deal with in this life. However, despite whatever may not be going right, hope remains, and the end for godly people is peace. 

I love to observe people and learn from them. I have seen men of wealth lose everything in an instance following bad judgment and I have seen men of little means become great in a moment of absolute grace. Life is full of ups and downs, winning and losing, but whatever happens during the night, you can be sure that morning will always come. We all go through tough times and impossible situations and sometimes it is a lot to take in. Words fail when everything good starts to crumble, for example, losing a job you thought you could build into a career at a time of global recession, the man you thought you’d grow old with together suddenly walks out of your life to begin again with someone else, the business you built up from scratch goes up in flames due to an electrical fault, or the doctor tells you that the lump you thought was nothing is actually a  life-threatening disease. How on earth do you deal with this? How do you come back from a place of utter despair and maintain your sanity in the face of a life-shattering situation? 

Life can hand you one of these dark moments and force you to re-plan the course you have chosen for your life; rain falls on both the good and the bad. What you do in times like this is what matters. I recently had a dark moment that seemed like it wasn’t going to end. I found myself groping blindly along the wall of a gloomy, endless tunnel. It was easy to keep my spirits high and my faith up in the beginning, but as time went by and the situation worsened, I began to doubt myself and the thought of this never-ending tunnel almost paralyzed me. Thankfully, in the midst of this darkness, I had a ray of hope one evening when I was reading and came across these words: everything that has a beginning must have an end. Just knowing this dark moment would not last forever brought some relief. But just as quick as the comfort came, I was again consumed by the thought of what might be waiting at the end of this dark tunnel. Would I be completely lost, shattered, and unable to return to who I was before? Would I emerge broken, hopeless, and miserable? I battled with that for a while until I remembered something from my favorite book: “Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace”.

I literally felt the weight lift off my shoulders and the strength return to my body, knowing that however long the journey through this dark tunnel took, the end for me was peace. These are great words of comfort for our troubled world. Hang in there, there’s always light at the end of every tunnel.