Mr. Daniel was smiling unwittingly in solitude when his two great grand children walked to him and asked, in unison, “ what is funny great grand pa? “ it took him some time to respond, “ sorry children you will not understand at your age. Well I was hypnotized by thought.” Just then his only child, Mrs. Maria Richardson, joined them. “I can see you are having a nice time with the kids, “she said, “The guests are waiting to hear your speech.” Mr. Daniel stood before his guests from all walks of life and started, “I welcome you to my ninety-two birth day celebration. Most of us here know that the journey of life is not easy. Some forty years ago, I struggled to train my children. My elder brother was in the same situation. We both determined to give our children the best education so that they could be useful to themselves, to us, and to society. Unfortunately after much struggle to pay school expenses, my brother lost his son immediately he graduated from the university. I had to console him and I gave him reasons to move on in life. Then two years later his daughter who also graduated the same year was involved in an accident. My brother heard the news he did not know when he walked towards the high way, without waiting for the full details. Luckily for us, no one could explain how it happened; his daughter was the only one that survived with a minor injury of the eighteen passengers. She regained consciousness some days later and we believed God did it. Later that same year, I lost my son who was in his final year in the university. It was a very painful loss to me but I had to accept it with equanimity and I moved on in life. His burial was fixed a month later in my hometown. On the day of this burial, Maria got sick that morning so I could not join in the convey or ambulance to my hometown because I had to take her to see our family doctor. My wife agreed that she and our three children would join the convey while Maria and I would come in another car after seeing our family doctor. I was on my way to my hometown when I saw an accident that involved the convey, ambulance, a bus, and a lorry. Not only did my dead son died the second time but also my wife and three children died in the accident. The pain was so much for me to bear so I could not accept it. I had consoled others in life but I did not listen to those that tried to console me because I did not believe them. I found reasons to stop believing in God because I thought he couldn’t exist and let such things happen. I planned to secretly commit suicide because it seemed I lost everything. I was on the verge of it when something touched my suffering heart and made me think again. I reasoned, “Maria is my last child; she was only 14 yr old then.” I thought what she would do without me. Then I asked myself, “is it right for me to kill myself because I lost all that mattered to me in life?” I stated laughing so loud that people rushed to find out what is wrong with me. Some of them thought I had gone insane. I told them I was all right. Truly I felt all right and relieved. They had earlier consoled me but I felt better that moment I consoled myself. I laughed because I was lucky to have realized that the devil almost made me quit. I stood and took care of Maria who was all I had left then. But now I have grand children, and great grand children. I also made wealth; and because of my current status some people maybe deceived to think I never suffered, cried, or struggled in life. Today I understand better why God promised to give Abraham as far as he could see. I understand why peter wrote in various time that we look forward forgetting the past. Today I understand why Lot’s wife turned to a pillar of salt for she looked back to where she thought her treasure was. She did not want to let go of her treasure so she held onto it without knowing that the real treasure lied ahead. Today I know that you, my guest, may have a harder battle than mine but we can fight on and push forward by only looking forward and aiming the highest heavens because we can get as far as we can see even when we cannot see it. Yet we can see it as if it is there. Let us never look back expect in gratitude because looking back will stop us from looking forward where the greater things are waiting for those that continues to hold on and move forward despite the odds. Today I looked back in gratitude and I smiled because, that day while I cried for my loss, little did I know that God used Maria’s illness to save my life, if not we all may have died that day. The simple task of looking forward is not easy but it is truly the only key to a higher ground. I do not know how long I have to live but let us not give up in our quest for a more peaceful, and united world where men will live for God. I repeat it will not be easy but let us try and we shall be glad we did. Thank you all for coming.” Maria helped her father down the podium. Truly people say, “ life starts at forty” but Mr. Daniel was among those whose life started well over forty yet he lived honorably and he was a man of great integrity. Send the message across
Written by N. K. David Author of the book “ It Is Time We Truly Know Why Jesus Wept At The Grave Of Lazarus” By N. K. David Available on worldwide sales via online stores like www.authorhouse.com, amazon.com among others.