Last week, the news of the death of someone I wish I had the privilege of meeting broke. It started with a Facebook post by one of my friends, then a Blackberry message by yet another friend and by the end of the week, a telephone conversation with one of my Sistas. What was the subject of these different messages?It was the news of Pastor Joshua Adah who was killed in Jalingo on the 23rd of January on his way to a remote area in Northern Nigeria, where he served a large number of children who otherwise would never have had the advantage of education.
Like I mentioned, I didn’t have the opportunity of meeting this great man; I wish I had. However, I have listened to everyone who spoke about him and they all agreed that he lived his life serving others and making a difference. With lots of pictorial proofs, everything written about him attests that he lived a life of impact.
So even though I didn’t get to meet Joshua Adah personally, I grieve with his family and friends. I grieve with the 400 or so young ones who have lost their key to hope and change in a land where individuals have to provide for themselves the basics of life, that government should provide… But more than that, I grieve for those of us who are left and I cannot help but wonder if the way we are living our lives right now will deliver impact like he did.
Though his life was brief from what I now know about him, it was a life well spent. So the question I cannot stop hearing in my head is ‘Bidemi, will your life be well spent in the end?’ I may not be able to nod or answer in the affirmative boldly today; that yes, my life will be well spent in the end- whenever the end is, but I can tell you that I am thinking about it seriously!
The more I pondered on Joshua Adah’s life, the more I realised that none of us has an excuse not to give our best in the world that we live. It doesn’t have to be much, but we need to re-evaluate how we live and begin to think beyond success. It’s time to think significance.
‘What is the difference between success and significance?’ you may ask. I may not be able to do justice to the explanation, but what I do know is that a life of significance is that life that is lived meaningfully, regardless of its length and can be said to have made other lives better. The significant life is lived in such a way that it is beneficial to others around us. It is a life lived with others at the centre. This in my opinion, is how Joshua Adah lived…
So how does one live a significant life? I know a few ways and I do hope they will get you thinking.
1. BE INTENTIONAL – From all I have read, heard and now know about Joshua Adah, he served his National Youth Service in the northern part of Nigeria and upon seeing how difficult it was for some to acquire education, he decided to stay back there and help in whatever way he could. According to mySista who had the opportunity to interact with him just before he proceeded on that fateful journey, he was inspired and was willing to put his life at risk to fulfil what he believed God called him to do. Mr Adah was not ignorant of the risk working with children in that part of the Country presented. Instead, he was well aware but refused to let that deter him. To be intentional is to recognise what you are equipped to do and be willing to do it even when it is not convenient! Sometimes at the risk of our lives even!
2. MAKE SURE YOUR TALK AND WALK ALIGN – Not one person in all I have read and heard said that Mr Adah lived a double life. Everything he said and did, at least from what I read aligned perfectly. He wasn’t dancing to the gallery, he didn’t do what he did because he wanted others to make the sacrifices on his behalf; he was there on ground and ultimately died serving the people. You want a life of significance, don’t you? There is a need for you and me to be authentic and transparent enough so our talk and walk will be aligned. It is my humble opinion that if everyone jostling for political office today understand this, our campaigns will be different and our methods will differ. We will be looking at what we can do and not what we can get!
3. YOU DON’T NEED A WORLD STAGE – A life of significance does not require a stage or lights. It doesn’t need to be on TV or Radio, except that is where one is called to. A life of significance doesn’t need to be advertised, it is not a popularity contest. A life of significance is simple and it really only seeks to make a difference. Significance isn’t measured by size- Joshua Adah had about 400 children. Even if he had only 4, his life would still have been well spent. So it is not about how large your dream is, not even about how many people know what you are doing. A life of significance can be lived anywhere in the world. Just take your corner and push as hard as you can, leave a mark, a dent or a hole. Regardless of what you leave, your life will be well spent too.
As I close today’s blog post, please stop and think for a moment as I have: what kind of life are you living; in the end what will others say about your life? Success is good, really it is; however, significance is in a class of its own! So answer this one question: what are you doing today that benefits others?
Mr Adah has finished his race and from where I stand, he ran a really good one. The race is now left to you and me. How will we run?
You will make it NeverTheLess!
Discover Purpose, Live Powerful!
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