The Time Grandma Walked from Ibadan to Lagos (no joke)
My grandma walked from Ibadan to Lagos and back, several times. I know that just sounded like a spontaneous playground fable; almost a probable response during ‘My-grandma-is-better-than-Your-grandma-war’. It’s the truth though, she walked 260 kilometers whenever she had to go to Lagos, which was quite often. She was a trader who would go to Lagos sometimes, to buy her goods; and, well, back then, feet were the new Über.
She was a remarkably strong woman. She died at almost 100 years. In her final years, she was still funny and chatty. She handed out relationship tips on a whim (don’t ask) and had her wits about her, a little too much too. However, she wasn’t the same young entrepreneur who would have bounded down the street and walked 260 kilometers in a weekend. No, not anymore. She hardly walked 50 feet even. Strength fades. Hey, Selah.
We all have our physical strengths (some more than others). We also have our other strengths; our mental strengths, spiritual, emotional, financial, intellectual strengths. Definitely, some more than others. In fact, i’ve come to realize that in the places where i struggle, someone else is doing extraordinarily well! Yup, our weaknesses are the strengths of others and our strengths, the weaknesses of others. In the past, i often wondered about people who were lacking in my areas of strength. Why wouldn’t they be strong? ‘It’s easy. Look, watch me do it. Trust me it is’, I’d say, but they sometimes struggled. It bothered me.
Then one day, i realized that my strengths had a higher purpose. They were not mine to begin with, they were for those around me who are weak; those that struggled and who could not do 10 feet, when i did 260 kilometers.
Sometimes we think about how better-off we are, as a member of a race or group or class, how better we are than our friends or family, how pretty and popular we are, how decisive and emotionally strong we are, how spiritually fervent we are, while others around us struggle with meager strength portions.
Good news again, strength fades. During the moments when we are strong, we need to optimize this strength by being there for the people who need it and not to hit them over the head with it.
Of course, i needed nothing less than a screwdriver and a spanner to reconfigure my mind to think this way; to think that all my awesomeness is really not my own.
Don’t be stuck on my self-profession of my awesomeness. I am awesome. You are awesome. We all are, in one way or the other. It’s a God-given ability and gift. We, after all, were made in his image. These gifts, though are to be used to help people up when they are down-trodden and out. It was what Jesus did. He was strong for us till death and even after death. It’s the whole essence of Easter. One man being strong for us all, so that the weak could have a chance at life eternal.