Exactly one year and few months ago, I completed the statutory National Youth Service in far away Kogi State. It was an exhilarating and never-to-be-forgotten experience. Many friends and families were made there. It was as though a part of me stayed even after I left there. In fact, I have oft-times fondled with the idea of adopting Ijumu, and indeed Kogi State as my third state of origin. Now, while pondering on paying a return-visit to Kogi for a plethora of reasons, chief of which is the N.C.C.F. Batch-A hand-over ceremony to be held in a couple of days at the memorable Asaya orientation camp, many thoughts dangle across my mind like a pendulum. I’m suddenly caught with a rushing apprehensive feeling of high expectations from people in all the places I’m scheduled to visit; from the Principal, Teachers and other members of staff as well as students at my erstwhile PPA, Unfamiliar successors at NCCF who would like to know what has become of a “Gee”, Community members and chiefs, Personal CDS project partners, Disciplers, and most especially the lives God helped me touch.
As I brace myself for the right (underline right) answers to give to several questions that would be fielded from several quarters, I can almost certainly feel a lot of eagerness from people expecting to know what has become of their favourite corper. I’m cocksure questions like: Have you gotten a job yet? Have you settled down yet? Are you engaged now? Have you started your PhD? Are you still active in what you used to do? Are you still keeping true to your dreams? What are you into now? How has your walk with God been? et cetera, et cetera, will most definitely be asked by people unsuspicious of how much I’m trusting God to help me give the right answers. But while I was soliloquising and taking stock of all God has and is still helping me achieve so far and after having realised that I still have a long way to go, do you know what stumbled across my mind? I thought to myself;
“Wait a minute oo, Oga Ade, you still have Christ, don’t you? Even if you think you haven’t gotten to where you hoped you would be, you haven’t lost Jesus so far, and if he’s all you have, then, dude, you’ve got all you would ever need”
I wonder how many of my colleagues who we finished together can still hold true to this testimony despite all the disappointments and upheavals the world has thrown our way. How many can still say that after all those temptations to change their birth-age or ‘edit’ their C.V. to meet up with that job requirement, to settle for just any partner because there’s overwhelming pressure from everywhere, or even to deny their true identity and purpose in class because one wants to make a Ph.D grade, after all these and much more, how many can still confidently say – I haven’t lost Jesus. God knows that I, even I, have struggled with a lot of challenges so far, but after all is said and done, I still haven’t lost Jesus.
Now after almost a year and three months, all I’m prepared to say to every expectant heart back in Kogi State is – I still have Jesus, but however, like Big Bros. Paul said in Philippians 3:13 “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. This, my friends, is all I live for EVERYDAY. I hope you too can say the same?
Do you still have Jesus?