Broadcasting icon and former Nigerian Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Dr Christopher Kolade, shared perspectives on the essence of life on Tuesday at a public lecture to mark the 78th birthday of the General Overseer of The Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye.
The lecture, the sixth in a series, was with the title, “Life and living: Examining the essence of life,” and it held at the University of Lagos.
It was chaired by UNILAG Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, and attended by Adeboye’s wife, Folu.
In his lecture, 88-year-old Kolade said he had come to discover that life was a God-given gift and to learn its essence and put it to correct and profitable use, one must necessarily consult God.
Kolade said he had also realised that the most authentic source of information on living a purposeful life was the scripture, since it is a compilation of God’s thoughts and words on how to live.
“So, one of the things that I have learnt in my time is that I should follow the example of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and seek answers from that which has been written in the scripture,” he said.
He said from reading the scripture, he had gained the understanding that “the life given to us is meant for good works.”
He said one of the best ways to show gratitude to God for the gift of life was to “do good works that are visible.”
Kolade said, noticed or unnoticed, one should do good works as an appreciation for the gift of life.
He said, “Many flowers blood and fade away in deserted places, seen by no one. Those lines in Thomas Gray’s ‘Elegy’ are actually a metaphor for ordinary people doing heroic things; for instance, ordinary lay people bringing up children in faith and fear of God and with best values, standards and discipline; also, village folk who contribute funds from their meagre income to finance the higher education of the child of a member of the community.
“These best-practice activities are never reported in the news or recorded in history. Like a precious stone lying dormant at the bottom of the ocean or a beautiful flower blooming deep in the forest, their work may not be seen or known, but it is nevertheless heroic. The sacrificial lives of these village folk are beautiful in the sight of the Giver of Life and will attract His special reward, even if their deeds are never given any media publicity.”
Kolade said in public office, one should do good works without the fear of being harmed as God has promised his protection.
He added that obedience to God’s instructions and humility were also essential to living a successful life, stressing also that man should avoid abusing power, because it is a gift from God.
“We are safe if we remember that whatever power we may have, God is the One who has authority,” he said.
In his remarks during the panel discussion, a professor of Anatomy at UNILAG College of Medicine, Ademola Oremosu, said his 37 years of examining the human body had shown him that “without a soul there is no life.”
Oremosu said no one should have a right to take another’s life because God valued every life.
Also, a professor of Economics, Risikat Dauda, admonished Nigerians on ethical living, recalling how her Ukrainian lecturer often said that, “If you ask a Nigerian to bring a document signed by God himself, he will bring it.”
The third discussant, Prof. Oluwayemisi Obashoro-John, said people should understand that “life is brief and ending but living is for eternity.”
In her remarks, Adeboye’s wife, Folu, praised the depth of Kolade’s lecture, adding that it was surprising that at 88, Kolade could stand for about one and a half hours to deliver a lecture.