One person asked me what my business is with just one roofing sheet. I knew he was just impatient. He couldn’t fathom what the story line will be and he didn’t want to wait.

The first time I heard this story from an old man some years ago, it sounded like one of those tales from Arabian nights or those famous fables.
On hearing the story the second time from a rather more reliable source, I began to believe it and started seeing the lessons inherent in the story.

So here is it!

The setting was a small town somewhere deep in South West Nigeria. These small towns and villages usually have one church which is located on the outskirt. In these places, everybody knew each other.

One Friday morning a motley crowd of people, gaily dressed, had gathered in front of a story building. Traditional drummers and singers filed out of the building singing praises of Pa Samuel popularly called Saamu Alaso (Samuel the clothes merchant”. Saamu Alaso was arguably the richest man in Town. He had a flourishing business and vast investments in properties.

The musicians were followed by pall bearers carrying a very beautifully crafted coffin made of glass. 

The family followed and the crowd completed the procession.

It was Pa Samuel’s funeral.
The procession grew as it snaked across town towards the village Church. 

The Church Officials and Ministers were ready, they came out to receive the funeral procession.
As was the tradition, the coffin was first  placed on a pall outside the Church while prayers were being said. The prayer session was half way through when some movement was noticed through the glass side of the coffin.The Pastor was informed. The Ministers of God communed and consulted quickly. By the time they were done, the “corpse” had started banging on the side of the coffin. 

The people stood back astounded!

The lid of the casket was opened and Pa Samuel sprang to sitting position sweating.

An eerie silence pervaded as he kept shouting “Where is Gebu (Gabriel)” “Ah mo daran, Abala Paanu kan)”

The people were confused and didn’t get too close. But not his closest friend on earth Pa Gabriel. Gebu was a very poor man. Pa Gabriel calmed his friend down and asked him to explain. 

Pa Samuel said he had got to the “Beyond”. He saw many houses. Some were beautiful. Some were not so beautiful. There were also the ramshackle and decrepit. There were mansions on one side.

Going by his status on earth, he expected his place must be one of the mansions.

And it was raining cats and dogs.

Saamu Alaso was ushered down the road to an uncompleted building with nothing but a single sheet on top. That was his place. He looked across the lane and there was a very beautiful mansion. He pleaded to be allowed to stay in the place. The reply shocked him!!! That edifice was reserved for his friend Gabriel who was still alive.

He requested to know why he was so treated.
When the village Church was being built, all the villagers contributed according to their capabilities. Pa Samuel refused to play his part neither did he assist anyone. After a lot of pressure, he gave them a single roofing sheet. 
According to the angels, Pa Gabriel couldn’t afford even half a roofing sheet but he joined the labourers throughout the building of the church. 

Pa Samuel was sober and was ready to redress and make amends. He sent his son to run home and bring his cheque book. The young man dashed off.

Pa Samuel was given a chair and he asked for a glass of water. He drank the cool water and slumped.

Saamu Alaso died finally without having a chance to right his wrongs.

I see in Saamu a man with an opportunity to do good but flunked it. 

Whatever position you find yourself, whether in Business, Politics, Governance of life in general, always be good, right and just.

Whether you will end up in a Mansion or under a shed with just one roofing sheet, in the rain, depends on what you sow today.

Mr President, Your Excellency the Governor, The Senator, Member House of Representatives or State Assembly, Minister, Commissioner, Alaga Council, CEO, Mr Employer, King, Queen, Vice Chancellor, Primate, Bishop, GO, etc, Lords Spiritual and Temporal. You may never have any opportunity to right the wrongs of today.

Lessons learnt?
Be and do your best in whatever position that you find yourself and allow your conscience to tell you that you’re offering your utmost best.

Settle disputes with everyone who offends you.

Bear no grudge against anyone, however bad you may feel.

A single act could debar us from making it to heaven!

We shall NOT end up in hell, by God’s Grace.

Go out and make peace with all men.
God bless your hustling.

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