‘Boy o boy, na you be dis?! Kunle and Tony embraced each other in a teddy bear hug.
‘Hanhan Kunle! So you can be fat like this?
‘Meet my dear, she’s the secret’. Kunle said as he proudly showed off his amiable wife. ‘Dear, this is my best friend since when I was three…’
‘Kunle, how did you remember it’s since when we were three?’
‘I remember na; leave me jare, let me finish my introduction’. He said, turning to his wife. ‘We ate together, stole chickens together, jumped fences together, you know, back then in the village, went to the same primary and secondary school; until we both parted. This my friend here you see, is a scholar; so I think you get the full gist of how we parted’.
‘Pleased to meet you sir’. Sola replied in a poised manner. ‘My husband has said a lot to me about you and it’s quite a delight meeting you in person’.
‘Thank you, ma’am. It’s a pleasure meeting you too. Kunle must be quite fortunate to have you’. Tony replied, shaking a blushing Sola.
‘Oya, it’s okay’. Kunle said, clearing his throat. ‘Let’s get inside’.
‘So, how’s everything now. It’s good to have you back in Nigeria’. Sitting on the verandah, the two friends reclined in a bamboo chair as the trees cast a shadowy glance towards their direction from the Sun’s ray.
‘Yea boy! I’m glad too. The weather here is cool. Nothing seems to have changed much, except that the traffic here in Lagos has gotten worse.’
‘Na so. So, that’s the only thing you noticed’. Kunle chuckled.
‘How far with your brushes now? I don’t see any around your house’.
‘Brushes? What are you talking about? You need a toothbrush?’
‘Of all things to forget, a toothbrush? Comman, don’t tell me you don’t know what I’m talking about?’
‘You’d have to remind me then. I have no idea’. Kunle answered, as a golden-yellow leaf flew towards his feet and he picked it up, sliding it around his fingers.
‘Brushes and chisels, palettes and pencils, “get me a canvas” or whatever it is you used to call it; the way you used to scream like a squirrel then. Remember?’
Suddenly, Kunle sat up straight, starring at the trees like he’d had a brain freeze.
‘Oh my!’ He exclaimed slowly.
Realization gradually hit him like cold ice spilling on the skin; the shock and amazement that followed was much harder.
‘Tony, I can’t believe this. How could I have missed it?’
‘I’m more shocked than you are, Kunle. Painting was the only thing you talked about! You literally slept and woke on it. Remember those days you stayed up all night trying to work on a painting, just to get the perfect picture? Those tools and books you bought because you just wanted to be the best?’
‘I know Tony, I literally dreamt of myself painting. It was the only thing I thought I’d do in life’.
‘I can’t forget the look on your mum’s face the day you painted a large bird on the wall of her room; she didn’t even know what to say or do to you’. Tony recounted, laughing. ‘But how come? It’s like it’s all faded from you’.
‘No, it’s not all faded from me, a part of me has faded. I think it all happened the year I applied for an art scholarship to Manchester then and I didn’t get it. It was a fatal blow. Painting was all I could think of. But because of time, I had to fall back to something else and that’s what I’m doing now. Mum encouraged me to sit ICAN exams, which I did’.
‘But that’s not enough to have dropped painting. It was your passion. It was you’.
‘I agree but so many things clouded my mind. Schools, making money, business, family… life happened. No wonder the drudgery feelings I used to get every time I came home from work. I can’t believe I’ve let down the dream to use painting to touch lives. It was always my desire to creatively use my painting to bring relief to sick people, relay life’s lesson to man and connect it to science in a way that would impact the world.’
‘Man, you really need to go back! You were so good, you could paint yourself while painting. Get ‘dem brushes back!’
‘Yea Tony. Thanks so much. You’re an answer to prayer’. Kunle said. ‘I’d be asking God if this was all to my life. It didn’t seem like I was doing what He wanted me to do. Thanks for bringing me back to this. I’m getting those easels and oils and palettes and the rest back. I feel life again’.
‘It’s all good bro’. Tony replied, patting him on the back. ‘I think we should get back inside, it’s getting all hot and uncomfortable outside here’.
‘I thought you said the weather is cool, huh?’ Kunle joked.
‘Leave me bro’. Tony jerked. ‘Things change’.
‘Yea, right. Just like you said nothing much has changed’. Kunle said, laughing.
‘All the best for you, guy. You can enjoy the hot sun outside’.
Desires and positive passions are seeds God plants in our hearts to guide us in the right path to destiny. It is and has always been God’s way to put in His creations what they need for survival and existence. A tree springs from a seed, not the ground. The seed is only put into the ground to get favorable conditions to foster its growth, but what is needed to get the tiny, little seed into a big, blooming tree is found inside the seed, the same with man.
God puts desires and passions in man to serve as pointers to what he needs to do to fulfill destiny. Without a sense of purpose that comes from within, you can’t be fulfilled. Most times, a burning passion to do something, a desire to accomplish or change something is always a pointer to what you’re supposed to do in life. I’ve had people say ‘I don’t know what my talent or gift is’, ‘I can’t seem to define my purpose’. If you fall into this category, then you need to sit down and look inwards because the seed of destiny has already been planted in you right when you were conceived and formed.
It’s also a mishap when the passions and desires that once drove us to dream and aspire great things, especially when we were younger and had less distractions, get lost amidst the process of finding means to live and eat and just get through the day. We seem to have interchanged the means to the end with the end to the means; quite an unfortunate exchange! What God put in us is the means to the end of finding satisfaction but in one way that’s quite inexplicablewe pursue the end (looking for money, making a living and just getting something to eat) neglecting the means to get there and even more, finding lasting fulfillment.
God won’t give you a purpose outside what’s natural for you; that’s why it’s easy for the animals to find their niche, know where they strive and to effectively operate in their clime and zone because it’s naturally inbuilt in them.
‘What have I always wanted to do since when I was young?’, ‘What has always been my driving force? What’s that thing that gives me inspiration and pleasure. ‘What has been my dream?’ These are questions you should ask yourself and more but note that there’s an emphasis on ‘When I was young’. It’s natural and easy for children to do what’s natural with them because they’ve not been distracted or refined by the world’s view and society’s influence of what’s lucrative, trendy or profitable. Well, you may ask ‘What if what I have passion for or love doing or have a desire to achieve something is not lucrative or societal trendy at the moment, what do I do?’ First of all, that’s not true. God would never give you something that’d be obsolete because every gift or talent you have or passion and desire put in you is an answer to one of man’s problems. That’s where the environmental factor of the Sun, nutrients from the soil and water come into play to make what’s inside the seed grow out to become a tree. You must groom what you have for it to be profitable to you and the world around you.
Perhaps you have a dream but you figured out you don’t have the resources needed to execute it at the moment. Don’t worry; just make sure you keep the dream alive. Dreams find wings to fly in an environment of hopeful expectation and constant preparation. At the appointed time, things will work out for good. Just like Paul’s admonition to his son, Timothy, stir the gift of God that is in you. Selah.
Proverbs 18:1 ‘Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom’.
Proverbs 17:8 ‘A gift is as a precious stone in the eyes of him that hath it: whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth’.