The price of Beauty

I had goals and plans for the future, I felt I had it all worked out, but out of the blues, I felt my life crashing down. It looked like my world was crumbling and there was nothing I could do about it. I watched as everything seemed to slip away and I was tempted to ask if life was worth living at all. Then I remembered my sister…

My sister loves to bake and would often make cakes and other pastries for the family and for parties. Whenever it was time to bake, she would bring together the necessary ingredients: flour, egg, sugar, milk, flavour, colouring, etc.

She would start off with the flour, egg and sugar, mixing them thoroughly until she had a fine consistency – if any of them could talk, I am sure they would feel like screaming, going by the stress, rigour and discomfort they were going through in her hands. She then adds the other items and mixes them some more until she is satisfied with the mixture.

As if the discomfort during mixing was not enough, she would then place the mixture/dough in a very hot oven. When baked, she brings out the cake and proceeds to decorate it, producing a very beautiful piece. Everybody who saw the cake would say whoa! This is lovely, even before tasting it. The cake then goes on to get more attention at the party than the attendees, as it gets photographed and complimented more.

The ingredients (flour, sugar etc) that were uncomfortable and complaining bitterly initially, suddenly started smiling and waving at every one and the cameras.

The flour on it’s own is not edible, sugar on it’s own can be dangerous (where used in excess), eggs on their own … well, I can only think of frying or boiling… but when they are all mixed together, they complement one another and the outcome is great and exceptional.

Cake

Are you presently feeling dejected, neglected, unsure of the future and angry at God? Are you asking the questions: “Why me? Why is this happening to me? Am I the only one? Why am I so unlucky? Can this be happening to me? Is there a God out there?”

Whatever you are going through now is just a piece of the puzzle and an item included in the process just like the components of the cake. You may not fully understand the events of the moment but as long as you trust in God and follow Him, He is sure to make a master piece out of you. He can take the different unpleasant experiences of your life and make them all into a beauty to behold. Your day is coming!

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Are you a Good Driver?

Every car is fitted with a rear view mirror and 2 side mirrors, have you ever wondered why? The rear view mirror gives the driver a view of his rear and the side mirrors complement the work of the rear-view mirror. Every car has its rear view mirror located in the centre of the windshield, and the mirror is sized to prevent obstructing the drivers front view but big enough to capture everything happening behind him through the “eye” of the rear windscreen.

Let us imagine for a moment, cars without rear-view mirrors, how convenient will it be to driver cars? How will the driver know what is happening behind the car? How will the driver be able to drive and manoeuvre the car effectively?

Can you imagine what will happen to a car that is going forward but the driver has chosen to turn his head and look through the rear windscreen as he moves forward? Disaster!

mirror

As amazing as this illustration may sound, that is what a lot of people actually do with their lives! They are moving forward, thriving and making progress but have their heads turned around, looking back.

While some are wallowing in regret, self pity, shame, disappointment, devastation and despair, others are glued to their past success, achievements and awards. When you hold on tight to the past, whether it was a positive or negative experience, you are like the driver described above.

The past should only be a form of reference (rear view mirror) and not your focus (looking into the rear windscreen). A good driver looks into the rear view mirror regularly but is not looking back while driving forward. We all have issues, situations, events and occurrences that whenever we remember, cause us grief, sorrow, regrets, or joy, and gladness.

However, if it is true that you can not succeed in going forward by looking backward, then it is time for us to become good drivers. Break away from your past (if negative), don’t dwell too long on past successes… move on!

Where have they all gone?

kids photot

I called my uncle over the weekend and his daughter picked up the phone. Our conversation went thus:

Me: “Hello”

Cousin: “Hello, who am I speaking with?”

Me: “My name is Seye”

Cousin: “Hello Uncle, how are you?”

Me: “Am great, how are you and your sisters?”

Cousin: “They are fine, do you want to speak with anybody?”

Me: “Yes, I ‘ll like to speak with Dad” – my uncle

By this time, she was close to her dad and gave him the phone. While the phone was in transit, I could hear him say: “No, he does not want to speak with anybody”.

As I spoke with my uncle who was laughing about what his daughter had just done, asking if I wanted to speak with anybody…(so why was I calling?), I told him about a similar experience I had about 25 years ago…

My older cousin was in the room when the land phone rang and it was his call. I went to tell him the call was for him and he said I should tell the caller he was sleeping. Can you guess what I did? I went back to the phone and said: “He said he is sleeping!”

The two stories show the innocence and transparency of kids. They are very uncomplicated about life. They take it easy and keep it simple. As we grow older, we seem to loose all these traits (innocence, simplicity etc). Why? Where have they all gone?

What do you think?

…on your way to where you are going

When I was less than 10, I used to envy my uncles, aunts and siblings. It looked like they had it all; at least they could afford to buy me biscuits, “suya” (Nigerian barbeque), drinks, and take me out. It was a good time whenever my elder brother came home.

How I wished I was all grown up like them so I could also have what they had. I loved the fact that they drove, went out without mom or dad being with them, and I liked the freedom they had.

I could not wait to get out of primary school and into secondary school and even when I got into secondary school, my eyes were on moving on to the University. It was not any different in the university as my eyes were on life after university.

This showed me that we are usually in a hurry; we want to move from our present phase to the next one…the grass always seems to be greener on the other side and we usually forget to enjoy the green on our side of the fence.

In our bid and longing for the next this, and the next that, we sometimes fail to enjoy the present. This message is for everyone who fails to pause and savour the pleasure of the moment, those who feel there is nothing to hope for or live for, and those who believe that their situation is the worst.

I discovered that when you live your life as described above, you seem to be less grateful, and feel miserable that you don’t have this or don’t have that – forgetting to count your blessings. You seem oblivious of what is working in your life and are more conscious of what seems not to be working.

If you find yourself trapped in the chain of “only the next this and the next that”, learn to take a break and savour the moment…Like Joyce Meyer said; “Enjoy where you are on the way to where you are going”. Life is a journey, so take it in your stride – this is not to say you should be complacent, but to enjoy the experience along the way.

Pause and enjoy where you are and what is working in your life. All cannot, and will never be bad at the same time; there must be something working, good, enjoyable, etc. about your present state. The challenges and difficulties of today will pass away at some point, what will they leave you with? Will you be bitter or better?

I wish I hadn’t focused more on what I did not have and things that were out of my reach, but instead focused more on what I did have at the time!

Now that I have some of the things I once longed for, sometimes I secretly wish for those other days and times when I was not responsible for the bills or anything, but just woke up, ate and slept…those times are gone and there is nothing I can do about them. No point wishing I had enjoyed those days more than I did as it does not change anything!

All I have is today and tomorrow and I have got to make the best use of my NOW.

When I realised this concept, I decided I was going to enjoy where I am now, on the way to where I am going. I am still working on myself but felt like sharing this story so we could all learn to enjoy our lives.

I’ll leave you with this quote from Sam Adeyemi: “When you have what you want, will you want what you have?”