“Great men depart this earth as much as common men do. The only thing that lasts forever on earth is the footprints we have been able to leave behind.”

– George Onyedikachukwu Nnadozie

Today, Facebook threw back a memory that leaves me in tears. It was a memory of the mission I embarked on with a friend and colleague, Uchenna Maduka to Ndubia Igbagu, in Ebonyi State, Nigeria on 11th June 2016. It was a beautiful experience as we preached the gospel of Jesus in remote areas and also interacted with these villagers alongside an Anglican Pastor we had worked with. We had plans of repeating this mission but something terrible happened. On August 2016 as we were planning an annual convention, Uchenna had a fatal accident, had some brain damage and died afterwards at Nnewi Teaching Hospital on 17th August 2016. 

This memory is what inspired me to write this today.

What if God wakes you up early in the morning to whisper into your ears “today is your last day on earth. You’ve got only twenty-four hours to live.” How would you feel? Excited or sad? What would you do within those 24 hours?

Let me guess,

You would go to the best places you’ve never been to on earth, eat the foods you’ve never eaten before or meet those celebrities you’ve always wanted to meet. Or maybe, you’d realize those things aren’t important anymore. If you have only today to live, are you sure that you would be doing just what you are doing right now? I have taken time to think about this myself and I believe 24 hours is such a very short time to spend on adventures, it wouldn’t make any sense.

Maybe you will prefer to make peace with those who wronged you, you might not need their apologies again because you’d be willing to forgive even without apologies. You might want to write a cheque to the charity organizations, offering help to the less privileged and helping those neighbours who had needed your help all these while.

It is possible that you might want to spend that 24 hours walking around the streets, smiling at everyone who comes across you. You may want to call that stubborn son of yours whom you had given up on to say “my son, forgive me for giving up on you. You can still be the best for you.” I am sure at that moment, you’d realize that humility is awesome and your ego may be nowhere to be found. You may want to call your lawyer and ask him to cancel the divorce proceedings and you may want to spend your last moment with that spouse you suddenly never desired because you want to die a peaceful person.

I am sure you may truly have a sudden desire to make peace with every man or woman you have wronged, you may suddenly realize you were wrong at how you reacted to them and you may want to spend the next few hours making peace with them and asking for their forgiveness. You may suddenly become more compassionate and want to advise anyone who is taking it hard on life that it is not worth it. If you are rich, you may look at your wealth and nod in agreement with the popular opinion that says “all these things are vanity” as they will not follow you into the grave.

That morning, you may appreciate the sun or the cold weather, you may never complain about the heat of the sun or the cold of the snow. You may cherish them more now because you know your body is entering the grave in coming hours. This time, happiness may never be derived from people anymore as you may choose to be happy all by yourself knowing that you will be liberated from the busyness of this life. I am sure you would laugh at every joke, you would hug everyone regardless of their class, you’d pay attention to anyone who needs your advice and there must be something different about how you are living now and how you would live then.

So, why not live that way now? Why not make peace with all men now? Why not be more compassionate and offer helping hand in a profound way? Why not forgive those who wronged you now and also seek the forgiveness of those you wronged? The last days on earth often come unannounced, you may not be given such a luxury of 24 hours to start making peace and doing things differently, you may not be given that time to bring back that son you have given up on or that spouse you are about to divorce. There may be no time to give to the less privileged and mingle with people of low class.

At each tick of the clock, our time on earth reduces. Can you just look up at the clock? Can you notice how it ticks non-stop? Do you know that even if the battery of the clock goes bad, the time doesn’t stop? This is why you must fast forward the clock if you change the battery. The tick of the clock shouldn’t just remind you that you’ve got a date this evening or that you are supposed to be on the dining table. It should also remind you that life on earth continues to expire with time, it reduces at each tick. This means life gradually draws close to its end on earth at every tick. There will definitely be that one last tick and your Spirit is set free from your body and those things you left undone remains undone. That was last tick is unavoidable because we will not stay on this present earth forever.

Great men depart this earth as much as common men do. The only thing that lasts forever on earth is the footprints we have been able to leave behind. At some point, no one will remember you again except for the legacies to have set up.

Why not love now? Why not be happy now? Why not make peace now? Why not appreciate people now? Why not compliment people now? Why not tell people how much you love them now? You may just never have that time to do it tomorrow! Uchenna never had the time to say “goodbye”. Live every day as though it is your last days.

Make every moment count…

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