SOMETIME in the 1970s,Mr Jacob Akindele ,an old acquaintance ,told me a short story about SHARING or GIVING which influenced my life till this day.The setting of that story was a wooded village which border of Ogun state with Lagos state.He and a gentleman sat on a concrete garden bench beside a growing apple tree.Before them,a concrete walkway rose from a small valley towards a standard earth road.From the intersection of the walkway and the earth road,you would see ,till this day,a huge bell tower and, behind it,a huge temple going up.The bells in that bell tower would someday call thousands of worshippers to worship in that temple,reminding them,as each of the three bells takes turns to ring,of the love,justice and purity of the Almighty Creator.
As Mr Akindele and this gentleman turned over questions of existence in their conversations where they sat,a woman and her son walked by ,greeted them,and walked on.The gentleman called the boy,and when he arrived,gave him a Nigerian currency note of the highest denomination at that time.The mother returned,thanked the gentleman and took,for safe keeping ,the money from her son who reluctantly gave it to her.
After they had gone from ear shot,the gentleman asked Mr Akindele:
“Between the mother and the child and me,whose money is that money?
Mr Akindele replied that it belonged to the gentleman and was a gift to the boy.The money belonged to none of the three, according to the gentleman.The answer was that everything belongs to the creator and ruler of all the worlds.Whatever we have has merely been lent to us for use(s) in ways that would provide for not only our upkeep but of those people around us as well who,like us,are the creatures of the Most High Creator.So also are ideas.Thus,it is not only money that we can give to other people to support their needs.A solemn prayer that they find help may,infact,help better,if we have such connections with the universe which they lack.Kind words which warm the heart and disperse dross and sorrow are also beautiful gifts.
I remembered Mr Akindele and the gentleman this week when I heard a beautiful saying in a radio programme credited to someone whose name I do not remember now.The saying (in my own words)is that…when you receive a new blessing,do not immediately think of upgrading your standard of living .Think first of those people around you who need a chip from out of that blessing to be happier people.You may just have been positioned among them to help them attract this blessing .There is no doubt that you,too,may enjoy part of this blessing.Afterall,it is longknown by our forefathers that…eni ti o nse ni ibi pepe ni o nje ni ibi pepe.(It is those who work at the altar who eat at the altar).
One more point on this.When we fervently pray,our thoughts or wishes are guided by certain forces to where they can make connections with people who can bring positive changes about,once these laws of nature certify that we deserve those answers.Through a wonderful mechanism,we are linked to these persons .James Redfield says in his CELESTINE PROPHESY that the link ups may be through those events what we mistakenly call co-incidences.There are no co-incidences or accidents but natural order.You may have been praying for a contract.Something leads you to have lunch in a resturant.That something also made someone else sit opposite you.As you are both eating,you are looking up and your eyes are meeting.But you fail to link up by,for example,saying hello and chatting him up and starting a conversation that may yield contract dividends there or later ,if he is the one who has been sent to provide an answer to your prayer.
So,when someone approaches us for help,we should not thoughtlessly refuse the request.If the request is beyond our capacity to meet,we may oblige a bit of it and prayerfullyand lovingly wish that he would receive the remainder of the help from someone else.Our prayer would be guided to someone who would be guided to this person.Thus,when the recepient knows joy,we,too,will know joy through the reciprocal action of someone doing us a good turn.This happens many times and we wonder what we had done to make us deserve this favour or blessing.This is in line with the Law of Sowing and Reaping.When a prayer for help is guided to us,and we blatantly or selfishly turn it down,we automatically remove ourselves as helpful links in the chain of guidance for the fufilment of that prayer.Nevertheless,that prayer would be fufilled irrespective of our selfish action.For the prayer will be guide someone else who may provide the connection which we refused to offer.These connections are going on all the time but we will not know of them if we do not live a concious existence.In an unconcious existence,we see events unfold before us,we think they are coincidences or accidents,and fail to probe or examine them for the messages they are bringing to us.People who behave like this are numbered among sleepy souls or spiritually dead people.
When I was editor of the Guardian newspaper ,my wife taught political science at Lagos state university.One day,one of her female students turned up at our flat in Obanikoro.She did not know her lecturer as my wife .She was married to a man who was so constrictive that she became sick of marriage.She began to long for her boyfriend ,an edo man,whose parents did not let her marry on account of religion and tribe.Yet they loved each other naturally and dearly.I had just written an article on so called guardian angels.I say guardian angels because they are not angels in a strict sense of the nomenclature,but human helpers in the world beyond the earth who are priviledged to be permittes to guide our steps here now and then.She was longing to meet her boyfriend again but had no clue about where to find him.Then,one day,at a bus stop in Opebi,Lagos,she and a mail man bumped into each otheras they struggled with other would be passengers to board a bus.The mail scattered on the road.She apologised to him and helped him pick some of them.Lo and behold,on one of the letters she picked was the name and office address of her boyfriend.It was stranger than fiction .She told him her story and begged him to let her copy the address.She obliged.
When she surfaced in his office one day,she found love all over again.She came to me as author of that article to ask if this was the case of her guardian angel at work and to ask if she could marry him.That question I couldn’t answer ,as it was personal and beyond me.Where did she want to keep her three children ,I asked.Would she not plunge her husband into sorrow?I did not wish to be dragged into the karma that would follow that decision ,so I asked that she jad a frank talk with her husband.She wanted to be sexually free with him and express herself fully beforehim.But he was the type of man who would lock his bedroom door if he wanted to change his clothes.If she as little as tried to put her arms around him in the house,he will retort…won ti kon e(they are already teaching you).They had a strange talk and their relationship improved and they stuck together.
You can see from this episode that sharing is not limited to sharing money.We can share business ideas if we are blessed with receiving ideas.We will not on account of sharing business ideas become pauperized…oju orun to gbogbo eiye fo (the sky is wide enoughfor all birds to fly without colliding).So,remember to give when you receive.It is a law of nature.When you inhale,do you not exhale?When you drink water,do you not wee?When you eat,do you not defecate? When water is evaporated,doesit not fall back to the earth later as rain?Everywhere,we are taught about giving and taking.The Lord Jesus,whose birthday we would soon celebrate taught us that …it is better to give than to receive.So today,count your blessings one by one,remember they all belong ,like yourself,to the Almighty Creator,that you hold them in trust for him,to enjoy something of it and to use the remainder to improve the well being of his other creatures.