It was a Sunday morning, the weather was cold and drizzly, with everyone running helter-skelter to get ready for church service. I was not fully ready for service because I had doubted God after praying and seeking a job here in Lagos but to no avail. I could remember very clearly what my mother used to say:
“Believe in God with all your mind, body, and soul and He shall make a way for you where there is no way. Do not believe in the things of the world, for they are all vanity.”
Her words always amazed me as there was no way we could do without the things of the world to earn a living. My mother was truly a believer. She was the type of woman who believed in the totality of God’s word. I also believed that God exists but sometimes as a human being, I doubted His faithfulness.
Thus, on that fateful Sunday morning, as it was drizzling, I dressed up and went to my church. When I walked in, the pastor was preaching about repentance.
While he was preaching, he walked up to my seat, peered into my eyes and smiled to himself.
“See me after the service,” he tapped my shoulder and continued preaching.
On hearing that, I was filled with joy, thinking that the pastor had secured a job for me. Therefore, after the service, I walked into his office with beams of smiles.
“Good morning, pastor. You requested to see me after the service,” I grinned.
He stared at me for some time and shook his head. “I asked you to see me in my office because while I was preaching, I saw danger and hell in you,” he said.
His words terrified me. My breath ceased and my heart leapt in terror. I glared right into his eyeballs and shook my head in disagreement.
What could he probably mean? What danger? Why me? No, not me. That’s not possible! Different thoughts ran through my mind. He fixated his look at me and heaved a long sigh.
“You have to be prayerful and trust in the Lord and He will bless you in abundance when the time comes. Don’t involve yourself in the things of this world for God knows what you are facing and He alone will wipe away your tears in due time,’’ he urged.
“Thank you very much, pastor. I will pray over it.” I stood sadly and left his office, like someone that just failed an interview.
A few weeks later, I was coming out from the bank after laying a failed transaction complaint to customer care when I bumped into Kayode. Kayode was a very good friend of mine since childhood, we graduated from the same high school back in Ogun state.
He glimpsed at me in amazement and embraced me tightly to himself. “Where have you been, Collins?” He asked, feeling so excited.
“I have been around,” I grinned with a shrug.
We talked for a few minutes, trying to catch up on old times. Then, he excused himself. “Let me make a deposit, I will get back to you in a jiffy,” he requested.
I watched him walk to the cashier with a brown bag in his right hand. Not knowing how long it would take him, I followed him back to the banking hall and sat on one of the chairs at the reception hall. I could hear every discussion he had with the cashier. It was a lady.
“Good morning, sir,” the cashier greeted him with smiles. She winked at him and stretched her hand for a handshake.
“Good morning, Blessing.” He accepted the handshake and handed over the bag to her. She unzipped it and there was a lot of money inside it.
“In this bag is 4.5 million naira. Deposit it to my account and call me in case of any emergency,” he authorized. Then, he waited for her to count it. I could see the way he stood, one hand sunk in the pocket and the other placed on the counter, watching keenly as the cashier counted the money with a machine.
The cashier finished and nodded in agreement as she entered his details and handed a bank slip to him. He left her presence, while I followed behind.
Kayode had changed. His outfit reeked of wealth. It was obvious he had made some money. When we stepped outside, he shook my hand and hugged me for the second time.
“I missed you, Collins,” he spoke excitedly.
I stared at him and sniggered. Should I say I was shy? I think I was because Kayode’s standard had elevated and I looked like a pauper before him.
“Are you done with your transactions or do you still have something else to do?” He asked in a croaked voice.
“Oh! Sure, I am done,” I replied.
We walked out of the bank premises. He stood by the gate and turned to me. “Did you come with a car?”
I smiled without uttering a word. He did not need a soothsayer to decode the reality…I did not come in a car.
In his hand was a car remote control. He raised it a bit and pressed a button. A black Benz beeped among the cars parked adjacent to the gate. It was a flashy, tinted Benz with a gleaming rim. I was lost in astonishment as I fixed a look to feed my eyes with its alluring design.
“Is this your car?” I asked, as I walked around the Benz, feeling it with my right palm. He glanced at me and chuckled.
Kayode had this infectious laughter that always brought out his side dimples. I remembered very clearly back then in school, it earned him the name, “Kayode, the dimple guy.”
After satisfying my curiosity, I walked towards him and tapped him on the shoulder without uttering a word.
“Collins, this is one of my rides, by the special grace of God.” he tapped back at me.
My eyes almost popped out of their sockets when I heard that. “Did you say one of your rides, meaning you have other cars?” I had to ask to be certain I heard him right.
“Yes, one of my rides. I have a fleet of cars parked in my compound. When God blesses you, always give thanks to him, for the angels that watch over you are continually awake.” He smiled as he opened the car. Then, he continued, “The angels are always protective. Why not hop in, let me give you a ride to your destination?” he proudly requested of me.
I glanced at his multimillionaire ride and exhaled heavily. To say that I was marveled was an understatement.
“Come on. Hop in, let’s ride on,” he cheerfully urged me.
I hopped into the car and we drove off.