ROOM 39: CHAPTER SEVEN BIS
Actually, I was there that beautiful Thursday evening when Ike was called to quickly come to the FBI headquarters for an urgent meeting with the Director. I was on Pirro’s lane because I had an important meeting with the Director of National Intelligence.
Ike was exiting the building when I got to the National Intelligence headquarters. He had just kissed Chika goodbye and was headed for his navy blue BMW car when I bumped into him. We both exchanged greetings and promised to meet when he’s back from holiday. Our paths have crossed on a few occasions although we worked in different departments and different buildings too.
As I entered the building, one of the receptionists offered to lead me to the Director’s office upstairs. It’s been a while since I came here; the last time should be well over 2 years ago.
When we got upstairs, I met an elderly man sitting just outside the office of the Director. I couldn’t understand what a man of his age would be doing there at that time. ‘Maybe he’s a veteran I thought to myself or a pensioner of the National Intelligence who had come to collect his pension.’ Don’t worry, I know that thought sounds stupid, but that’s really the least stupid that flew across my mind. I just couldn’t understand what a man of his age would be doing here by that time too.
Anyway, I decided to sit next to him while I waited for my turn. Who knows how long this would take? I thought to myself. Well, the old man seemed not to care really; he was busy reading a book with his legs crossed. It was as if he had a given number of pages to cover before his appointment.
‘Good evening Sir.’ I said, attempting to break the ice.
‘Good evening Son. I hope you’re vaccinated?’ he responded.
I must say that I was surprised by the question. Not like I have anything against vaccines. I mean, I’m fully vaccinated and even had a nose mask on. Anyway, I answered him respectfully, ‘yes, Sir.’
‘That’s good my son. Now you can come closer, there’s something I want to tell you.’
The elderly man adjusted his seat and began looking at me cheerfully. At first, I was a bit surprised because his attitude now is a stark opposite to what he displayed when I arrived. He lowered his nose mask and in a deep fatherly tone began to reel out some gems.
‘My son,’ he began. ‘I see that you’re a bright young chap who I suppose wants to travel far in life and in career.’ I nodded in affirmation.
‘So, how far do you want to go?’ he quizzed
I told him how I want to become a great military surgeon. I’m currently training at Cabiojinia’s Heart Institute in the neighbouring city. I told him how my dream has always been to help our brave men and women in uniform. And that someday I’d love to become the Director of the World Health Organisation.
He smiled as I said all these. And then he continued with his counsel. ‘You see, my son, all these are quite achievable. But you must be willing to do what it takes to get there. Not bad things of course. But you must know that every position you aspire for requires a price that you need to pay to get there.’ He added
My son, I’d like to give you some things that have helped me get thus far in life. You may choose to leave them, but I think you should pick a few from the list. I call it ‘when you want to travel far, travel heavy.’ I know that this goes against the popular opinion of if you want to travel far, you should travel light. I’ll tell you about that in Part 2.
IF YOU WISH TO TRAVEL FAR, TRAVEL HEAVY
Now, here are some things you’ll need to either travel with or buy while travelling. Without them, hmmm… the journey of life may be impossible to stay in.
Develop an intimate relationship with Him early, and never let go of Him no matter what you face. Of all things I’ll tell you, son, this is the most important. If you’re with Him, you’ll always be in the majority. Know Him, Love Him, Cherish Him. Let Him be The Guide of your life and you won’t regret a moment. That’s all I can say about that. You’ll discover the rest by yourself.
Oh, my son, you need lots and lots and lots of this. Stuff a good space of your vehicle with this. Love unconditionally. Do not expect anything in return when you do. Be genuine about it – just love people for who they are. All that a man has he will leave behind, but all that a man did will go with him. At the end of the day, what will count is how many lives you inspired and touched for good.
Friends are some of the most important items you can ever have in your life. The world is a selfish place, not necessarily because people hate you. But because everyone is busy chasing their destinies. But if you can find people who love you for who you are and your purpose align, and they’re willing to die for you, then cherish such relationships and never let them go. Just a few of them is enough. But you need them because you can’t grow nor thrive in isolation.
My son, the Holy Book says that wisdom is the principal thing to get. So, please, pursue her, chase her, get her and keep her. She will exalt you and guide you throughout your journey. You may not have it at home, but before you travel far, buy some along the way.
I won’t say that you should be yourself because you are born in sin, and as a fallen man, you could have all forms of nastiness. So, don’t be yourself. Rather, being original is different. Being original means being exactly what God created you to be. And in that case, I’d say this: understand who you are in God and remain originally that unapologetically. Imitation is for people who are yet to understand themselves. You are unique. You are different. You are special. Just like everyone else actually.
6. Joy and Happiness
My son, be joyful always. Be happy always. I know it’s going to be quite difficult to be because several things would want to make you angry and bitter daily. But you must refuse to give in to them. This is why you need to derive your source of joy from the Holy Spirit and your happiness from things outside material stuffs that perish. Find joy in the little things people often ignore and be genuinely happy.
This is important to have my child. Travel heavy with gratitude. Be grateful to God for everything. Be grateful to your parents for the little they provide. Be grateful to friends, colleagues, neighbours etc. Show gratitude to anyone that helps you. Don’t only think about it, show it. Gratitude keeps the blessing doors open for more.
Carry a good dose of faith my son. This journey seems short but it’s far. You’ll need him a lot throughout your journey. Remember, I said faith.
Oh, my son, I almost forgot. Please take courage along with you. Its importance cannot be overemphasized. To get to your destination, you’ll need loads of it. You’ll certainly meet with several obstacles along the way, but courage will ask you to keep going forward. And the more you overcome, the more you’re strengthened for the other challenges ahead.
Inasmuch as you don’t trust everyone, you must carry Trust along with you on this journey. Wisdom will help you to differentiate who to trust from who not to trust. But know that you must have people you trust; without trust, you won’t have stability in your relationships.
Please my son, importantly, take moderation with you. You need it before and after you’ve become great. Before you become great, so you are not spending excessively. And after you become great, so you aren’t hoarding unnecessarily. Be moderate in your speech, looks and in your temperament.
12. Discipline and consistency
You won’t get to your expected end if you aren’t consistent and disciplined. Those two elements are important if you must arrive at your destination. As you have set out a target for yourself, don’t look sideways, don’t be distracted by the noise on the streets. There are many noisemakers on the way who are not going anywhere at all. Leave the noise and focus on your journey.
Ehee… Please my dear son, in all you do, always make family your priority. All your achievements will mean nothing if your family is in disarray. All your accomplishments will be wasted if your spouse and child(ren) don’t partake in them. Biko, carry them with you – they’ll support you, correct, edit your ideas, and above all, love you. Always come home even when you’re sad and angry. Once the home front is secured, you’ll be better focused on your journey.
Consider all your efforts as seeds that need time to germinate; need watering to grow; need nurturing to mature and yield fruits. So, between the seed time and the harvest, you’ll need lots of patience because the tendency is to become frustrated when it isn’t sprouting or to rush the fruits when they aren’t mature yet. So, please, don’t leave patience at home. If you don’t have one in your store, please buy one on the way. Lots of it.
You’ll certainly make some mistakes along the way because you’re human. This is why leaning on God and possessing wisdom is absolutely important. However, when you make mistakes, learn to admit them and correct them if possible. But most importantly, learn to forgive yourself afterwards. Don’t be paralysed by your mistakes, rather learn from them. Also, learn to forgive others quickly. Anger can become a big clog on your wheel of progress if you let it.
This is one thing that you can’t do without. If you don’t have it, please buy it immediately you start. Just like wisdom, humility will exalt you beyond your imagination.
Every creature of God should be treated with respect irrespective of race, gender, social, academic, spiritual or political status. Every child and adult, poor and rich, educated and non, white and black, male and female deserve respect.
18. Fast, Pray and Praise
Fasting is both a religious exercise and also good for your health when done in the right measure. There are issues that require that you fast and pray. Even Jesus Himself said it. Then there are matters that you simply need to praise God for, confessing in faith that they are solved. However, not everything requires prayers. Wisdom will help you know them.
Don’t be silent in the face of oppression. Don’t turn a deaf ear to the cries of the poor nor blind eyes to the oppression of the weak. The salvation of some people is in your hands. When you see violence, silence is never an option. And never give up on your values and on doing what is right. People may hate, but that is not your business. Stand for justice and be at peace with yourself when you do what is right before God.
I know you were waiting for me to say this too. Well, I purposely left it out for the last because it’s important but not the most important. Now, God is the most important. But please, get money. Don’t believe people who tell you that you don’t need it. You do. But be careful, if you love it, then you’ll be taking the wrong route. Work very hard or as young people would say, work smart. Get the money that is sufficient for yourself, your family and those in need in your environment. A number of things become easier to do when you have money. But remember, money isn’t the goal, it’s a currency just like many others.
Alright, son, I wish I could continue in this interesting conversation with you but I need to hurry along. I have a flight to catch. Hopefully, we can continue our conversation when we next meet. Or you can contact me via mail if you have further questions.
Thanks for your attention, my son. God be with you as you journey through life.
All the while he talked, I was just focused on the things that came out of his wise lips. I couldn’t believe my eyes. How did God know that I needed to hear these words today? I came to the office to meet the Director for my letter of appointment as the medical director to one of our hospitals. I had known a few of these items the old man talked about. In fact, I have some of them in my trunk. But hearing them afresh was so refreshing.
Thank you, old man. And see you soon, hopefully.
CONTINUE TO READ CHAPTER EIGHT
See you soon. God bless you.