What makes a job to be extraordinary is not the cash it brings. Although cash is important, (for a passionate job that doesn’t bring in cash is either a hobby or a mission) an extraordinary job must have also the passion ingredient. A passion that makes an onlooker admire the worker to an extent he or she desires to wear your work robes and gloves.
It is Christmas and I just went to get a shoe for a client. Getting back from Adeniji to the mainland was hell as the popular Isale Eko market was jammed with human traffic. Soon the simple economic forces of demand and supply were apparent as the transport fare had doubled: Eko to Obalende was doubled from fifty naira to hundred naira. The journey from Adeniji to Gbagada had a stop at Obalende. The first trip was dead. I felt lost in the excessive pollution which was a combination of air and noise.
When I got to Obalende I heaved a sigh of relief, as I boarded the Oshodi bus. Little did I know; the experience would make me write this article. A frail looking man in dusty, worn out jacket handed me a piece of envelop. I refused the envelope thinking in my mind, “abeg, I don’t have anything to give all these beggars”. Unknown to me, this man was a preacher. What he preached I couldn’t grab or grasp. He tried had to communicate his sermon in English. All I could hear him say was, “today is your day of blessing, drop something in that envelope and watch God bless you” as he tried to back his poorly delivered bus sermon with a bible quotation: “God loves a cheerful giver”. I vowed not to give him a dime! In fact the more he spoke the more irritated I became. I tried to reach in my back pocket to arrange my bus fare for the bus conductor whom was not doing a good job in getting change for another passenger. As the preacher was chairing his mini fundraising/preaching, he tried to catalyse his bus audience by adding, ‘is anybody still giving cause I want to pray and when I am done with collecting I will pray on the seed and you can’t give after I have prayed” he added, “for these are not ordinary envelopes” . “Imagine that” I scoffed, “see this bloody beggar” all these I said in my mind. When he was done praying and collecting back his envelopes someone in the bus beckoned unto him, “oga, abeg give me envelope I wan add something put” the preacher quickly stretched forth an envelope towards the beckoning seeker, “take, thank you my brother the lord bless you” he prayed. The same passenger quickly interjected in sarcasm, “bross I thought you said, after the prayers you wouldn’t collect any envelope again” the preacher answered, “yes but there is grace this time. Don’t worry brother God sees your heart” the whole bus engulfed in a fit of laughter. The preacher and his message was a joke.
After the short sermon, followed by the collection, the conductor interposed with a commanding tone and a disarming smile, “praise tha lord!” he hollered. The perplexed passengers gave a weary hallelujah but the conductor didn’t settle, he chorused another “praise tha lord” this time, he got a commensurate hallelujah. The conductor introduced himself and apologised for the poor message of the preacher. Although he quickly disassociated himself with the preacher saying,” we do not come from the same assembly although we are Christians, I expected my brother here to preach Christ rather than take offering” he preached. Every one could not help but clap for the conductor. Even I was impressed I caught myself greening as some passengers heckled “preach on Pastor Kris”. The conductor was an orator. As he spoke he commanded listening. I thought he was good. He could pass for a cell leader in my church. He backed every utterance with a scriptural reference not missing quotes. The conductor was so good that people almost forgot to alight at their bus stop. I saw the glow on his face when he was preaching and I saw the look of displeasure when he was conducting the bus. I considered giving him something but I declined. I could sense that this guy was in the wrong bus. His bus was a church and he was supposed to be the pastor!
Many people command tremendous talent in areas of their lives in contrast to their profession. So they experience average or poor performance at work and exceptional performance in their hobbies. They are good choristers and bad account officers. Good strikers and lousy engineers. Good teachers and useless receptionist. Good news breeder; miserable hair stylist, as they always fall on the bad side of their bosses for always chatting up weary eared customers.
When the conductor prayed for us we even shared the grace in fellowship! Someone in the bus raised a suggestion of raising offering for the conductor but he declined saying, “freely have I received freely have I given, money is not my problem” I perceived that this conductor could do this without collecting anything. It was his passion.