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Death’s Sting

Jim Rohn passed away on Saturday. I didn’t know the man personally, I never met him but I would recognize his voice if I heard him speak because  I listen to him regularly thanks to my small collection of audio CDs. Jim was a motivational speaker, successful entrepreneur, author, philosopher etc. He was funny and witty and genuinely wanted to touch people’s lives by constantly staring them toward success, and he did. I think he knew Christ but I’m not certain, I hope so.
I guess that’s what started to bother me. He lived a full life and died at 79. He impacted millions of people’s lives. As at last night there were nearly 4,000 names on his tribute page- that’s a lot in three days!

The last time a death disturbed me was Michael Jackson’s. And the time before that was a former schoolmate’s that I hadn’t seen in over 20 years. Unlike many of my school friends, Jide wasn’t one of those I got reunited with. As a matter of fact I never actually thought of him at all, there was no real reason to. But when I heard that he passed away suddenly I was perturbed to say the least. It bothered me because I knew he wasn’t the most popular kid in school, so of course I started to wonder what life as an adult was like for him. You may already know about my hyperactive imagination. Armed with memories of over 20 years ago I began to carve out Jide’s life for him- it was a sad one too, not that I wanted it to be but that was how my mind chose to weave his story. The story carried on from how unhappy he was that he wasn’t the coolest kid with the coolest nickname. Do bear in mind that the boy never told me this, it is all the workings of an animated psyche. For all I know he could have been the happiest kid around! Then I began to feel really guilty that he had this unhappy life. I felt bad when I learned that he even lived in the same city as I did for years. It got worse as I faced up to the fact that if I had found out that we lived near each other I probably wouldn’t have bothered to visit him. But all was forgotten when I was told he knew the Lord! I was also assured that he had no lack of friends.

Here’s my conclusion: No matter how full or how empty one’s life turns out to be, what is truly lasting is the positive impact you make on others’. To have 4000 mourn you in a couple of days is no small feat especially without being a rock star. And no matter what impact you make on their lives, there is no impact greater than staring others in the direction of Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God. In the same vein our knowledge of Christ should lead us to have fulfilled lives so that if we do die empty,  it will be because we gave away so much and not because we had Christ lacking. I pray that you live long and full and die empty.

7 responses »

  1. Hmmm. True talk.

  2. Yea Jide aka War. I learnt of his death with a shock never reuniting with him. this was why i went on jamboree to see a lot of friends from school days in three cities and if God permits hope to be in another four soon, i spent a lot and even felt stupid but it was worth it. We never can tell what will befall us, but knowing God and Christ is the ultimate. Michael Jackson may have had fame but he lost his soul. Yes many may ask why i say these, i never heard him give glory to his creator. In life whether crowd or few remember one it should be that our life changed theirs to follow christ and know God. period.

    • Amen bros, thanks for reading.

      • My memories of Jide was as a Pioner, if you will call it that. He enrolled in a subject which many boys back at boarding school would never dream of – Home economics! and was actively engaged in the practical sessions. In these days of Jamie Oliver et al, I think he was way ahead of his time. I was not one of the cool kids on the block, but I know he got more flack than most for his braces. I know he liked his food (talk true who didn’t in boarding school), but he also seemed to take the yabbis (aka ribbing) with a good dose of good humour.

        RIP Jide

      • I agree! If only some of us were not so short sighted in our youth.
        Thanks for stopping by IJ

  3. Sis, great read and great reminder of what matters most.


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