Lessons from My Weekend – Part 1

Lessons from My Weekend – Part 1
22 Jan 2018

This weekend was a great one for me. I broke out of the norm. I made a trip to Akure, the State Capital of Ondo State in South West Nigeria. I discovered that there were lessons I picked from the trip and I will like to share this with a larger audience.

What necessitated my trip?

I have a Mentee of about a decade. He called me up last year that he was getting married. I was excited because we had looked forward to a day like this. But there was a perception that my people – especially my mentees – have about me. They believe that due to the nature of my work and my normal life demands, I don’t attend social functions. This appears to be true due to unbroken records over the years.

My mentee called me repeatedly to reconfirm if I was going to come, kindly guess my answer – Yes!!! But if I don’t have work demands. Then in December he made a final call – Sir, are you coming? To break the jinx, I said “Yes”. Then he said “Sir, you will be preaching in my church on Sunday…. OMG!!! This guy just busted my bubble. My plan was to go into Akure on Friday evening and leave on Saturday by Noon.

Lesson 1: What you don’t ask for you may never get

Lesson 2: Persistence pays – may be not in the immediate but it pays in the long run

Lesson 3: To break a cycle you must be deliberate.

The Journey

I have not recovered from my NYSC almost-happened-accident experience. I used to enjoy long distance driving because it gives me the honour to assess the strength of the car engine. On a particular day, while making a trip from Jos to Bauchi, I nearly had a head-on collision. After this near miss, I made up my mind not to embark on long distance trips again (as the driver) ….. hmmmm may be that’s the reason I seldom attend distanced social functions in places without an airport. Fantastic excuse. Back to my Akure trip. I decided to go by a commercial vehicle. The driver was well known by his people at the park. I felt comfortable with him. That was fast. As we journeyed through various States in the South West, his true character was unveiled. He was stopped by a Policeman and to my dismay, he didn’t want to stop until the Policeman pointed the gun at us. Afterwards, he began to speak arrogantly to the man in uniform. His wings were clipped when the Police requested for his Dirver’s Licence and the vehicle Particulars.

Beloved, the renowned driver could not provide either of the requested documents. Then the car key was seized, and the car impounded. We had to plead on his behalf. I believe money exchanged hands in the long run.

This driver never thanked us for the rescue. He felt he was entitled to the support we gave. He gave us a ridiculous reason why he didn’t renew his Driver’s licence – the price was high.

It was not up to an hour later, another Policeman stopped us. They requested for the same documents and hmmmmm, we were back to square one. He started exchanging words with the Policeman again. This time around, we were given a lovely spot to park the car, the keys were collected, and the police went about his duties. Only this time, we chose not to interfere with their discussions. The delay was longer than the former. The penalty was also more. After a long while, the journey continued. My host had started calling because of delay. We eventually arrived Akure almost 2 hours behind schedule, but I was able to join the Couple at the reception.

Lesson 4: Ignorance plus arrogance is perilous

Lesson 5: Courtesy is cheap to give but it worth more than gold in the hands of the receiver.

Lesson 6: Stupidity is personal but never private – It rubs off on the people around you.

Lesson 7: Entitlement mentality stinks especially when it is arrogantly demanded for. You came into this world with nothing and you will leave with nothing. Whatsoever you have, you were given. If you received it why do you boast.

Chairman

I arrived Akure and was received by amiable Protocol. I was taken to the hotel to change into my native attire with a nice cap to match. Then we went to the Reception. The arrogance and ignorance of the Driver caused my absence at the Church service. When we got to the Reception, I was invited to the High Table as the Chairman of the Occasion.

Pause….

I forgot to tell you that the Groom called me on Friday evening to reconfirm my coming and to inform me that I will be the Chairman at the Reception Program. This was the first time I was given such a privilege. This affected my dressing. Thanks to my wife. As a Chairman, I had to give a speech. I had prepared for this.

Back to the story…..

As I walked to the high table, all eyes were on the young chap that was made the chairman for a wedding reception with at least one thousand guest – Hall filled, canopies filled and another hall was used. Since they didn’t make me the chairman, I took my walk with style and I had my seat in front. We welcomed the couple and I was told to make my speech. I gave my speech trying my best not to preach because they had heard a sermon in church. I told the couples 4 things to note in their Journey to marriage. The 4 things are

  1. Make God the 3rd party in your union. Love your parents but they are not part of the covenant of marriage. Keep your friends but they didn’t sign the register as a couple.
  2. Law of Agreement. Two of you are more powerful than one of you. Learn to agree on things.
  3. Forgiveness: Practice advanced Forgiveness. Conflict is natural when two people with different background and orientation come together to form a team. Learn to forgive each other
  4. Enjoy yourselves: Enjoy each other’s company…stay together…travel together…don’t sacrifice your marriage on the altar of ministry or professional advancement.

That’s the summary…. I believe I tried. That was my first time as a Chairman.

Almost immediately, the MC requested that the Chairman and the Parent of the couple must dance with the couple.

Jesus is Lord…

I am on a Fast. Fatigue had set in ….

I don’t spray money at parties….. you must spray money in a typical Nigerian wedding party.

I left my wallet in the hotel because of the design of my trousers. Thanks to my fashion designer. I only went to the Reception with little cash in case you collide with an egg seller.

Suddenly the Best Man approached me to ask if I wanted mint….. Chairman has been casted.

What did I do?

I gave him the amount I had… I danced a bit….dropped the mint on the fall….I went back to my seat.

The reception ended well and I went to the hotel to rest and prepare for my Sunday Sermon.

Lesson 8: Age is not synonymous to Grace. Grace beats Age at any time T

Lesson 9: Time is a continuum. Time wasted elsewhere affects time need somewhere

Lesson 10: There is always a first time to do a new thing. Because it has never been done does not mean it can not be done.

Lesson 11: Intimidation is not an excuse for poor performance. Self-confidence is self-protection.

Well the church service carried its own experience on a whole and that I will share in the next episode on Lessons from the weekend.

 

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Femi Luther

Father, Teacher, Pastor, Speaker, Consultant

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