Happy new week guys and Happy Mothers day in arrears to mothers and potential mothers. This story was inspired by a sermon I listened to by Pastor TD Jakes. I hope you get inspired by it!
She came into the house looking defeated. She walked into her room without greeting her mum and aunties that were sitted in the sitting room. Her Yoruba aunties who are convinced children of the 21st century do not have respect were annoyed at her, and decided to tell her mum how she is a spoilt child that has no respect for elders. Aunty Bola, the old woman who has lived seven decades was particularly hard on her mum. She blamed her mum for her daughter’s lack of manners and while the mum tried to give excuses for her daughters behaviour, assuring the old woman that her niece is normally a respectful child as she should know, Aunty Kemi left them to go and meet Opeyemi.
Aunty Kemi is the very nice and understanding one. Her mum’s immediate older sister and her mum’s sounding board. She is also her sounding board. Asides her mum, Aunty Kemi is her confidant, the one she can turn to for advice and the one whose shoulders her head has found solace in for as long as she could remember. Aunty Kemi is also the current one, though she is fifty, she knows how to speak and understand the language of the young folks and that is why she has been able to get through to many young people with her wise words. She entered Opeyemi’s room without knocking. Opeyemi let the door open intentionally because she knew her Aunty would always come through and though she felt she did not need to talk to anyone, she still wanted her aunty’s encouraging presence around.
‘The job interview did not go well right?’ Aunty Kemi asked. Opeyemi nodded her head. She had been looking for a job for a year now without any success. Her dad offered her a job in his company but the job has nothing to do with the engineering degree she has, so she turned it down. Her father felt she was been unnecessarily stubborn and was putting herself through pain for nothing. Opeyemi stood up and went to sit close to her Aunty. Aunty Kemi kissed her on her forehead and put her head on her shoulders, she helped wipe the tears coming out of her eyes and when Opeyemi would not stop crying, she told her to shut up. Opeyemi knew what was coming next; whenever her Aunty tells her to shut up, it means it is time for serious talk.
‘You are starting to have withering hands’, her Aunty said. ‘Huh?’ She said confused. At that point, her younger brother, Ben entered the room.
‘Ben, sit and listen. Listen so I won’t have to repeat myself in the future when you are starting to have withering hands’. Ben looked confused but sat anyway.
‘You start having withering hands when you stop producing. You know how beautiful you are; how smart and capable you are and you doubt it. You doubt it so much that you don’t know when your hands start decaying; when your hands stop working and when your hearts stops beating. Do you know what keeps your hearts beating? It’s flourishing hands. It’s hands that wakes up each morning and knows it’s going to be kept busy. Hands that know it will produce something today even if it does not produce as much as yesterday. You start dying when your hands start withering.’
‘Life is so beautiful. It’s full of so many blessings but it is also full of curses. It can be so frustrating, it makes you stop fighting. And you know what happens when you stop fighting? Your hands start withering. Opeyemi, you come back crying every time you don’t get what you want. For years, I have seen you do this to yourself. You cry and moan when things are not working out and you almost forget to shut up and take action. You cry and let your hands and heart waste away. Ben, I see you are starting to do the same. You are starting to let life toss you around, you lose your grip on it. Hold on to it boy, hold on to life and never let go of your grip even when holding on is hurting you.’
‘You know God never gives us more than we can handle right?’, she asked. They did not know if it was a rhetoric question but both nodded their heads.
‘Good! So why do you always come back crying? Do you know what you are saying with your tears? You are saying I don’t think it will work out and you weaken your heart. Your heart sees your reaction to situations and starts doubting its own rhymic beat. You forget about your hands, you forget to release it so it can produce. You stuff your mind with thoughts of impossibilities and don’t let it think beyond the average. You don’t let it think of ways to make sure you keep producing. The day you start sitting back is the day you should take a knife and kill yourself. Opeyemi you are down right now, but woe to you my beautiful niece if you refuse to produce while you are down. Your dogged attitude will make your heart beat with newness of life. It will make your mind jump with ideas so it will make sure you produce bigger and faster than you are producing now. But if you don’t produce now, how will it get the cue that it is not meant to stop thinking?’
‘Opeyemi, I know what you are thinking. You are now letting in your fathers words, you will work in his company and not sweat again because sweating is difficult. Because what you want seems impossible. Because giving up and working for your dad is easier. Because working for your dad is safe, but if you don’t rise up to the challenge now, you will never know how to overcome hurdles. You will always run to a safety net that will not push you to produce beyond average. Focus! Learn focus and ŷou too Ben, learn focus. Focus on what you want, what will push you and not what others want for you. Focus on it and have a grip on it. Stretch forth your hand! Do that thing you think you cannot do. Talk to God about that dream but make no mistake of doing nothing because he has promises for you in the Bible. Use your mouth to say it and use your hands to work it. Try your hands on different things. Keep trying Opeyemi, and like Paulo Coelho once said: “when somebody really wants something, the whole universe conspires in their favour”. So let the universe come together for you. And my darling Ben, I will whoop your ass if you let life deal with you so much, you forget what is inside you; you forget all you need to produce is within you. I love you both.’
They both hugged her and walked to the sitting room together. Aunty Bola looked at Opeyemi and was about to start talking when Opeyemi hugged her. She apologised for her behaviour and sat between Aunty Bola and Aunty Tolani. Her mum looked at Aunty Kemi and mouthed a thank you.
Never allow life deal with you so much, that you start having withering hands!2