This month has been very hectic.
I was at Calabar for the Church of God Mission Eastern Regional Conference till the first few days of September. I got home on a Monday, I had to dash to Rivers State to speak at another of our branches at Port Harcourt on Thursday night. I left very early to Ughelli on Friday. I had another speaking engagement on Saturday in a Church at Kotokoto at Ekete in Delta State. I had to fly to Abuja on the invitation of Governor Mimiko, the next Tuesday. By Friday, I was back and had to fly to Lagos to speak at the Gilgal Parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Victoria Garden City. I spoke on Sunday morning, and on Monday, in the morning, I spoke at a fellowship of a company. On Monday and Tuesday evenings, I was in the Gilgal Parish again. On Tuesday morning, I spoke at the Divine Treasurers Fellowship before the evening session at Gigal Parish.
I got to Ughelli on Wednesday, and by Friday I was off to Church of God Mission, Bomadi, to speak in their Men’s Convention. I left there at 12 noon and was at Oleh to address a group of youths, predominantly Catholic youths. I met my friend, Rev. Father Steve Oghenovo, Apostle Emagha, his wife and their Miracle son, and my Bishop friend from Bethesda Gospel Mission.
Yesterday, I was at Church of God, Benin Bishopric Headquarters, to speak (on Becoming Outstanding, The Power of Knowledge, and Becoming a Financial Giant) at Professor Bishop Iyawe’s Church till Sunday. Someone came to buy The Oil of Marriage for a couple that was about to be wedded. It turned out to be the son of my childhood friend. Ironically, the wedding reception was happening in the hotel where I am writing this post now, but I was not invited. I moved on to my room when my ministerial duty was done.
Why have I gone through this monotonous rundown of the schedule of my movements? My movements are in fulfillment of my role. I am playing the role God has assigned to me in the Body of Christ. That is my duty. However, I have learnt to have no emotional attachments to any of these churches.
Life has taught me not to have emotional hangovers with the people I meet in the course of fulfilling my role. I first learnt that in the hospital as a young medical doctor at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital. I was too entangled with my patients that I was manifesting their symptoms in my body, until a professor told me that once I left the hospital, I should remove everything about the hospital from my mind.
I have always learnt to move on. There are countries I have been to and had very great times with the wonderful people, but I had to move on—Makeni in Sierra Leone, Lafto in Ethiopia, Primrose in South Africa, Antananarivo in Madagascar, and Busia in Kenya. I must not fail to mention my experience in Durban and Port Elizabeth. My 13-day stay in Adelaide was quite another experience. However, I always had to move on when my duty is over. I have a responsibility to move on to another duty.
I have a responsibility to my school pupils and my workers. I have a duty to the parents who trusted me and brought their children and wards to me. Even in the school I have also gotten used to students and workers moving on. It is my responsibility to give them the best of training and mentoring; I don’t, however, get emotionally entangled with students. Some will receive the best of teachings and training from your school, but they will go and register for exams where they can cheat and engage in exam malpractice. I have learnt to let them move on.
When I got married and went to the Eastern part of Nigeria, I left most of my childhood friends behind and dared to walk alone. I also learnt that, at a point, friends will disperse and start to chart their own paths in life. Sometimes, you might not meet again until more than 30 years later like my recent reunion with Dr. Leroy. When the time to leave Aba came I left.
When I was going into ministry after selling the hospital, I had some great counsel from Rev. Mrs Ego Daniels of Christian Pentecostal Mission, Ojike lane. She told me to have a base to always return to and fulfill my purpose in life. I started a Church, and it was not growing because of my travels; I had to move on. I became an auxiliary usher in the church I was pastoring. Papa Benson Idahosa said that instead of a church to kill you, leave it and move on.
Travelling ministry involves staying in all kinds of hotels—some extremely comfortable—but when the time to move on comes, you have to pick your stuff together and move on. One thing you must realize is that people have their own agenda and motions; it is not mandatory that you must be in their plans always. Learn to let them be; if your paths cross again, learn to treasure the relationship.
I also found out that a big pastor can invite you to preach, but when he sees you in the midst of his fellow big shots and you don’t run a church, he might behave as if you are not familiar with him. For some, you were just a hireling. In fact, some will tell you they want to use you for a program; for them, you are just a tool and a bait to attract a crowd. You are disposable until they need you again. If you are a gospel artiste, it is even worse off.
I also noticed the way you are very tactfully and securely prevented from interacting with any of the members. That is because some pastors have had very terrible guest speakers. Very early, I made up my mind not to get emotionally entangled with members. In fact, my brother wanted me in their house fellowship on one of my trips on a Sunday evening; I told him I don’t get too familiar with church members because if care is not taken, you will soon lose value due to over-familiarity.
What shocked me most, however, was that you can preach in a church and they will give you the best of treatment and praise God for your sake. Immediately you leave after preaching, they will not even call to know if you got home safely.
My family also contributed a bit to the attitude I’ve cultivated over time. My elder brothers were too far ahead of me, age-wise. The first two were old enough to father me. My immediate elder brother was mentally retarded. I had to realize that I had to leave him behind and face my future, else, the whole family will remain poor and be in obscurity.
Before now, I had been so worried about what will happen to my legacy, but I have also learnt to do my best now that I am here in this world; it won’t really matter what happens after I move on. Those who are alive, then, will have to worry about that. If they fail to improve on it, it is to their shame. I would have moved on.
If people don’t call you or establish relationships with you after you have played your role or duty in their lives, let them move on. If they come for you again don’t let them meet you where they left you. Be so busy with yourself such that you would so improve in value that it will cost them more for your services. Improve on your life in such away that they will realize they have been missing.
There is a hard reality of life—my appetite for many things in life is fast declining. It is only my role in life that gives me joy. I was wondering why, and I found out that it is a gradual process of separation from this earthly body and those around you in preparation for a glorious journey to another, and better, realm.
Even for my family members, I have so conditioned my mind that I don’t really care who decides to move on away from me. I have a role and a responsibility to give you the best in life; however, if you choose otherwise, you can move on.
Very sadly, I don’t really care who does not like me; it gives me so much freedom. I don’t really care who has outgrown me. I have my self-esteem not based on you, but on my roles and responsibilities.
Don’t be an emotional trap or net. Live involves constant movements. The one place, I know, where there is a constant relationship and no outward movement, is the Dead Sea; it has no life in it. The only place where you have fixed and constant relationships and neighbours is the cemetery.
Learn to move on. God bless you.