|Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash|
She did not know when she drifted to sleep, and was on the clouds for bed. Her whole being and spirit were the weight of a feather on this bedding. She opened her eyes to find herself felicitating with angels singing about the good tiding that lay ahead. The road spread about her, free of all hindrances and the angels were at every corner, ready for the part to play in this vocational work that lay ahead, with she to lead the way at the Lord’s nudge. She saw Him, just like that! Standing next to her, His face and eyes telling her to walk on as He is beside. Thrilled by all these, she began to walk. At each angel’s corner she took the seed Jesus proffered and planted it there and the angel watered it with a jar which water seemed to never end. As she walked on by doing this, behind her the seeds sprouted, grew and produced fruits. The once empty roads now formed long isles embroidered with different plants and trees. Humans and animals of all kinds began to emerge from nowhere to go to the plants and trees and happily plucked some fruits to eat or perch on to rest. There were increased joy and excitement among the humans [men, women and children], animals and angels, for the gifts of the plants and their fruits which seemed to make all more alive! And so, the song rose to a climax and she thought she heard them sing her name in the last line of it – ONYINYECHUKWU UWAKWELI. She had never really given much thought to the meaning of her name, but hearing it now sung by angels and humans in her dream, she marveled at its significance when the first and last name are combined to mean – GOD’S GIFT EMBRACED BY THE WORLD.
And this was what she woke up to, that she was a gift to the world, and that what she had to offer would be too relevant to be rejected; it would bring joy and life to mankind. It may not be different from all good causes for Christ’s sake, but it was an addition that would join other good causes in increasing love and goodness in the world; and God is love and good. Then she became more aware that her circumstance was due to God’s providence as has been shown in her dream, and it was not too late to work and walk that path she was made for. Similarly, she knew that she must approach this step in the right direction with the social principles of love, justice and the common good. Turning to one side of the wall, her clock shows 2pm to validate the rays that harshly pierced through the window to light up the room in another day; and turning to the other side of the wall, there was no more doubt in her mind, Jesus and Mary were definitely smiling down at her.
Customary of her from her upbringing, she knelt at her wake to pray. She thanked God for the new day and the new life she was going into. Again, she asked for forgiveness for all the wrong she had done: the unholy pride, the doubts and blames and paranoia that characterized her life before now. She asked for guidance as she walked her new path. And she thanked Him for the success ahead. Her meditation was complete without the distraction of the irrelevant thoughts she was used to at prayer.
The following two years saw her immersed gallantly in her career and vocation. She worked, oblivious of all the elements in her past, and her business bloomed. Her business was a welcome development at a time of its need in the world; it was an innovation that took not just her immediate society, but the world, aback and got all clamouring for a piece of it. Hence, it grew fast and healed so many souls and broken spirits; it returned hope and increased God’s faithful. She was no longer a lamp hidden under a bowl, but stood out and lit the world with the fire of God’s love – Matthew 5:15
In the third year she was looking for more managers to occupy some new positions created by the continued growth and diversification of her company. At the company’s headquarter, she walked along the passage leading to the conference room to be used for the interview, and met and greeted the invited applicants seated and waiting. Among them were two members of management in her former place of employment. She could not help but frowned at her observation, but without raising any suspicion from other applicants. These two were discomfited at seeing her too but were also discreet in acknowledging her greeting. Of course! Many people did not know the owner of her company because she had deliberately guarded the identity. In the office, she was only known as the Chief Executive Officer overlooking for the owner/s.
In the conference, she attended to the applicants with two members of her management and some junior and senior human resource personnel. At the end of the interview, those former managers from her previous employment, whom she had seen earlier at the passage, did not answer to their names to be interviewed. She asked the junior human resource personnel to go and find out why, and he returned with the report that one of the two had asked to know who she, Onyinye, was in the company, and when told that she was the CEO, the two left the building.
Then everyone turned to her questioningly, and she answered, ‘They were my former managers in the company I used to work for three years ago’.
‘In that case, I would do the same if I were in their shoes’. Said one of the managers.
‘Not if your conscience is clean’. Said the other manager. ‘We all walk different destinies, and just because you are my superior today does not mean I cannot be yours tomorrow’. He said generically.
‘I guess we’ll never know now that they have left’. Said the Senior HR personnel.
Again they looked at Onyinye for what was next.
She sighed, closed her file and said, ‘I guess we are done with the interviews’. Addressing the junior HR, ‘Collate our assessments appropriately and let me know what the results are next week. Thank you, gentlemen’.
The junior HR collected each person’s assessment as they stood, and all left the conference room. Only Onyinye stayed back, remaining in her seat.Thoughtful, she wondered if indeed these former colleagues’ consciences were clean. If not, she wondered still, that all had worked for her good and according to God’s purpose, just as it is written in Romans chapter 8 verse 28. ‘This, indeed, is why I agree to praying for our enemies as Jesus admonished in Matthew chapter 5 verse 44,’ her thought continued. ‘Although their pettiness hurt us as badly as they intend, no weapon against us shall prosper, according to the Lord in Isaiah chapter 54 verse 17, because all things, even their evil works, work for our good… But I cannot assume they were the enemy,’ Onyinye cautioned herself. ‘… or whether there was any enemy at all but my own paranoia. I just thank God for how all have turned out. And because I am thankful, I’ll seek those two out to help them, for Christ’s sake… and will also be cautious about it for my own sake… just in case; for the heart of man is vile, yet we must do good to our enemies – Matthew 5:39-48. I know my conscience will not let it be otherwise’. She resolved and rose to leave the conference too.
Written by IfeanyiChukwu Oluwafemi Chukwudi