DANA Plane Crash: The Things That Are Really Important.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

– Steve Jobs, 1955-2011

 

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012 is a day that many Nigerians will not forget in a hurry.

Churches were attacked by bomb blasts in the North and there was a plane crash in the South. Both events were bloody and resulted in heart-wrenching fatalities.

The soul of the nation was steeped in dismay and despair. Gloom and grief hung thickly in the air. From newspaper headlines to radio programs, from Television reports to social media commentary, our social circles were saturated with heart-wrenching stories of the passengers aboard the Dana flight. For many people in my immediate circle of influence, it was a personal loss. For me, it sure was, considering the fact that one of my colleagues and closest brothers in the ministry, Reverend Akinola Olumodeji was aboard the flight. We didn’t see very often but whenever we did, we shared fellowship, we laughed, we played, we encouraged each other, we prayed for each other, we talked about life, God and the future. He teased me about getting married ‘early”. He was always full of hope, enthusiasm and joy. Besides, he was an exemplary giver. It was never a contest, but he always out-gave me.

You can only imagine the shock and disbelief that overwhelmed me when I got the news. Perhaps, the only time I have ever felt that way must have been when I lost my Cousin a few days after she was delivered of her baby. She was not even 30years old yet.That was over four years ago. Like the news of my cousin’s death, the news of the Dana plane crash and particularly Pastor Akin’s death hit me in a way that I may not be able to aptly describe. It was a very personal loss and I’ll miss him so dearly.

Like millions of Nigerians, I sincerely pray that we do not have to endure such a terrible and painful plane disaster ever again.

I believe in the power of prayer and I hold our dear nation up before God on a daily basis. Many times my prayers for Nigeria intersperse my activities several times a day however, I realize that while prayers are vital, praying ALONE will NOT bring the transformation we seek. God WILL NOT do for us the things that WE SHOULD do for ourselves.

We have become adept at flinging phrases like “It is well”, “God will save us in this country”, “One day, e go better”, “Na wa for dis our leaders o”

Some of these expressions may hold within hints of hope but they are often indicators of our perceived helplessness or unwillingness to take responsibility for our lives, families, nations and future.

For sure, this is not the first time we are losing people to air accidents so the question is

“Have we learned from the previous accidents?”

“Is it enough to lament and sigh?”

“Do we prevent such crashes in the future by simply sending doleful blackberry messages and chanting somber syllables?”

“Have we come to grips with the fact that the number people we lose to air accidents is only a fraction of the number of people we loose everyday to preventable diseases, poverty pangs, avoidable road accidents, molestation, domestic violence, assassination, manipulation and witchcraft.

“Are we going to remain a Nation of analyst or are we going to IDENTIFY THE THINGS THAT REALLY MATTER and DO THE THINGS THAT WE SHOULD DO if we are serious about making progress?”

It’s important to note that Grief alone never brings relief. Today’s sorrow doesn’t translate to a better tomorrow.

Let’s also remember that at times like this, not everything being printed or said is important. It’s key to process information intelligently and identify what’s really important.

I have taken out a little time to reflect and I have a few recommendations that could help us forge ahead as individuals and as a Nation. Some may strike you as simple. You may consider some profound but the important thing is to make positive difference in any way you can.

1. Comfort and Care For Those Around You

We often fall into the trap of selfishness. We lead such busy lives that we seldom take a break to give a helping hand. It will be so shameful to do nothing else than lament at such a time as this. Our analyses will mean very little if we do not support those for whom we claim to mourn with or for. It is important that we reach out to those who have been hit either through bomb blasts, gunmen, explosions, road accidents, the plane crash or simply by life. No matter who you are, I am sure that there is someone around you now who needs some comfort and or care. You could send a prayer right now. You could send a note of encouragement. You could donate some money to a TRUST FUND set up for the families of those who are bereaved. You could send clothes, cash gifts or decide to sponsor a child’s education. Think of something you can do and do it.

2. Construct What You Control

There’s something you control.  You may not be the president of a multinational conglomerate. You may not be a lawmaker. You may not be the General Overseer of a mega ministry but you exert influence in some sphere of human endeavor. Even if you are a gate-man, you control the flow of people and vehicles in and out of a property. What you control is ultimately a reflection of your commitment. Be careful how you handle the things you control. A little oversight could lead to a dismal failure. A little nut out of place…a little bribe that beclouds your judgement…a little outburst that could destroy someone’s future…don’t let the little negatives lead to a cataclysm. Build up the things you control. Don’t tear them down. Make the things within your jurisdiction better. Don’t make them worse. Be an agent of construction not destruction.

3. Control What You Construct

A true champion isn’t just one who builds great institutions and organizations. He is one who is able to control himself and hold his faculties and organization(s) in balance. Don’t let your achievements get to your head. From my interaction with people we generally consider successful, this is often a challenge. Nevertheless, it’s a battle that no one can afford to lose. Don’t just conquer your obstacles, conquer yourself. We have a tendency to indulge in self-worship after we relish the taste of success and are honored with a few accolades of accomplishments. If we dance to the tune of our praise-singers, like many who have gone ahead of us, we will dance out of line and find ourselves in places we never dreamed to be. Success is a continuum. It’s a journey, not a destination. Control your appetites. Control your feelings. Conquer yourself. Don’t let your error land someone in horror

4. Carve Out Lessons From Your Losses

A person who at 50 years old believes exactly the same things he believed at 20years and behaves exactly the same way may have wasted 30years of his life. We make mistakes and we suffer loses but if we keep making the same mistakes and suffer the same loses, it means we are not learning key lessons. A loss is often a proof that we overlooked or sidestepped an integral part of a process. It is only wise to reflect on our losses and carve out important lessons. You may have heard this before: “Lunacy is doing things exactly the same way and expecting a different result” You can’t build new experiences on the foundation of old expectations. The lessons we learn and apply determine the results we get and replicate.

5. Carefully Consider where you will spend eternity

A lot of our decisions will be different if we walk in the consciousness of eternity. You may have been putting off the thought for donkey years but it is important that you face it NOW while you have the “luxury” of time. Can you confidently answer this question “Where will you spend eternity?”

People die everyday. It’s a part of the cycle of life. Realize that death is just a door. Doors lead to places. Death leads the human soul somewhere. Your soul will pass out of your current body and live either in heaven or hell. You may consider this scary or eerie but you have to face it. Death is NOT EXTINCTION, it is SEPARATION. It’s a separation of your soul and spirit from your body. Where will you live after you leave here?

I made this decision almost two decades ago and even though I was still a child, I am glad that I did. It’s so simple, you can do the same now if you haven’t done that already. Accept that ALL men are unworthy to stand before a Holy and Perfect God.

Accept that Jesus Christ died as a man and through His consequent resurrection has made it possible for you to be accepted before God by God’s grace and mercy. Then believe that as you say this simple prayer aloud with faith in your heart, you have the GIFT of God’s nature and righteousness and that you will spend eternity with Him when your soul and spirit are separated from this body.

Lord Jesus,

I thank you for dying for me.
I believe that you are the Son of God.
I believe that you died for me and you are now risen
and now seated at the right hand side of God.
I accept your sacrifice for me.
I confess that you are my Lord and Savior.
Today, I accept your forgiveness.
Write my name in the book of life and make me yours forever.
I will spend the rest of my life on earth for you
and be with you for all eternity.

Amen.

Do let me know if you said that prayer and I’d send you some material that will help you on your spiritual journey.

18 thoughts on “DANA Plane Crash: The Things That Are Really Important.

  1. God bless you and continue to use you mightily for His works. Its so true that in every mess there is a message and I pray that many will read this and the Holy Spirit will reach out to the lost through this, those who need to re-priotise their time,talent,money and resources would do and well as challenge many church leaders and above all comfort everyone of us that is mourning at this time. Just an observation that i want to point out. I thought the last point is more crucial and should be put first. I want to also point out that many church leaders in Nigeria are leading many people astray with the way sermons are delivered and I believe this is a wake up call for any man of God who has been sleeping in the spirit or just preaching their own sermon and not God’s will. sermons are centred on themes like ‘its your time to be blessed’, it’s ur turn, its ur time etc. well it is a good way to start but I believe strongly they never get to finish the sentence. ‘…it is ur time to be blessed and be a blessing’ that is the whole essence of God pouring his blessing out on us but what do we do mostly in nigeria? when the blessing comes in financial form we relocate, we change our taste as well as people we hang out with without asking the one who blessed us with the money what to do with it and ask how can I be a blessing… why? vanity upon vanity.
    I believe strongly that God wants us all to renew our mind, stop thinking material wealth is all we need to show we are blessed, lets be a blessing to others by reaching out to the less privileged. Churches are now business centres and I believe God’s judgement will start from there when its time for cleaning up!

  2. Wao!a masterpiece,God bless u real gud pastor,I’m so so touched and I av learnt sum key lessons from dese,I now have to develop a gud attitude towarda life,pple around me!I’m so sori about ur loss!!

    1. Dear Debisi. I’m glad to know that you learned something. God will continually strengthen you to apply what you’ve learned and you will see tangible results as you go along.

  3. Pastor Dami!!!! My frnd nd Mentor long time.This piece is a typical Damilola oluwatoyinbo kindof material nd am proud to know u personally.Evrythn uv written is so true and the funny part is what you jst wrote is the exact thng I wz speakin to my frnd abt. The world is waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God.whch means they are there bt not manifesting,Nigeria needs a chance and that change wld come from us. God bless you sir and am sure we can change this nation and make it the most desirable place to live in come 2025

  4. A good piece. I do agree with you and would also want to add that we should not just talk about how we can do it, let each one of us be and cause the change we want to see. We should act more and talk less.

  5. Exactly what needed to be said. Exactly what needed to be read. Exactly what we need to do!
    Thank You!!!

    PS. Long time no yarn, sir (my bad). We should talk soon.

  6. Very inspiring and true. I will control what I construct…and make sure my error doesn’t become anothers horror.

  7. This is apt, I had to stall my “busyness” at work to read this. We tend to lament our woes as a people and hope against hope that things get better, as I read the message my mind went to Gideon in Judges 6:11-16 who was very angry at the predicament of his people, in spite of all his excuses(perceived lack of capacity to act), God assured him through the angel that he has all it takes. We should not shy away from doing what we can to make things better in this country. Let us go in this our might.Bless you P.Dams

  8. Pastor dami!!! U are indeed a Man of many colours. Having read dis piece of words .I feel so touched Sir. ! my prayer for U is dis, May God continue to uphold and strengthen U in the knowledge of HIM. As I reflect in retrospect all that I have thus committed myself with in the past I realize that I’m just enmeshed with my own Will and not the WILL of the Father….I’ve made Up my mind today to Walk with you and be in God presence at all times. Kindly fwd me materials that will help me in the Knowledge of the Infinite and ethical GOD.

  9. God bless you P.Damz. This is thought provoking and a call to action. Even though the task of building this nation seems daunting, it can be done building one man at a time. If we all commit to doing the above, there will be a noticeable change. Thanks again.

  10. My one and only Pastor Dammi!Thank you very much for this
    Beautiful and inspiring article:I’ve heard it again!The truth
    Of the matter is,Nigeria will never change unless we ask God
    to change us so we can have what it takes to change this
    Precious country of ours!No man has the capacity to offer to
    Someone What he doesn’t have!If Nigeria must change WE MUST
    CHANGE!

    1. Of a truth, this piece is indeed a timely clarion call to every one who desire change especially in Nigeria, to know that the change we long for begins with us. Pst Dami, since my very first contact with you, long before I made your acquaintance, I knew you needed no second chance to create the indelible first impression you made on me. That you are a catalyst and a meteor in our nation and in the globe at large. I do pray that God will keep you un-spotted to fulfill the mandate of Heaven over you. Well balanced with your last point. This nation shall become the kindgom of our God and of His Christ…

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