Live Everyday Not To Waste Your Life4 min read

I bet you have read some of those stories – someone is living a regular normal life and bam!, some eureka moment happens and they change the direction of their lives. For some others, the change is not so radical. They just get a shock therapy that further refocuses their lives.

A few years ago, I got a dose of the latter and it wasn’t a happy jolt. My jolt came from an unusual source. My best friend at that time, Sunkanmi Olayemi and I had great plans of what we would do in the future. We met during in the first year of undergraduate and used our friendship to help each other become better.

We sort of developed an seamless way of doing things together. We were different personalities – he is Choleric/Melancholy while I am Melancholy/Choleric but we created a bond between us. We had made plans of how the future would work with us in it.

We had already showed we could create change in our environment during our undergraduate days. Like all young men, we figured we could make a dent in the universe. And we really could have together, until the unexpected happened.

He was flying into town on an official trip when his plane crashed in 2002. He and seventy-one others died after a BAC One-Eleven jet operated by EAS, on a flight from Jos to Lagos via Kano, crashed shortly after takeoff from the Kano airport in Nigeria. He was just twenty-six years old and gone forever.

One of the things I remember from our friendship was that we tried to influence the most number of people we could whenever we could and however he could. We came up with this thought that “Eternal life on this side of heaven is not measured by length but by the quality of life you live.”

We used to write out our thoughts – I think we considered ourselves to be budding writers and poets.

He once wrote these words”I don’t want to travel the road halfway before I discover I’m on the wrong road. I don’t want to be midway through my dream before I hear the Lord say “No”. I’d rather ask Him now while I’m still at crossroad, at the outset of my journey, what road He wants me to ply. “Shall I go up one of the cities of Judah?…”Go up”…”Where shall I go up”…”To Hebron”. I like the sound of that.”

That was just his way of choosing to make his life count for something. I loved that in him. You know I still remember some of those conversations when we were coming up with new ideas to help the people around us.

We never always got the results we wanted with everyone. But I guess, there is nothing like knowing you have done what you could have done when you had the chance.

I liked his perspective about living eternity in reality. He was so passionate about not living a wasted life. The eulogy he wrote for himself captures it so well (yep we were that crazy: writing our final chapters at such age!!!).

He wrote – “Because of him (Sunkanmi), our lives are richer and better. He touched the life of everyone who met him – saw him, read him – for good. Because we experienced him, we know God better: in him, God was clearly manifested. He loved the Lord deeply. He lived for Him. He served Him with all humility and zeal. Through him and God’s grace on him, the Church is a more beautiful bride. We praise God he came.”

His death was a huge shock therapy. As you can imagine, it helped strengthen some of my life principles. Let me share some of these with you:

  1. Everyone I meet comes with a God-given responsibility I need to live out.
  2. I must use the opportunities every day offers me to help everyone I meet find the strength to live a fulfilled life
  3. I must always offer people around me the opportunity to benefit from the answers I have found in Christ to live life fully.

I really hope you can pick a thing or two from it and stop yourself from wasting your life.

By the way, I still haven’t forgotten him. I once read that when we grieve the least, we miss the most.

Occasionally, after more than fourteen years of his passing away, I still see him in my dreams. Perhaps, because we never buried a body I still flirt with the idea that he survived and is somewhere living out his life with no memory of his past life.

Sounds like a movie script, well it keeps my shock therapy fresh in mind.

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Tola Akinsulire

A married guy with a precocious son who works his (I mean me, not my son - I bet you know, right?) day job as a financial guy trying to make real estate projects have some sense to the investor. I like to talk about what I learn along the way as I live my faith in life (family, work, friendships, fellowship, community and anything else you can put here).