Once upon a time, there was a rich king who had four friends who always came around to keep him company. They did not become his friends at the same time, but one after the other. Incidentally, he liked and appreciated his fourth friend more than the others and adorned him with rich robes and always treated him to the finest of delicacies. He was closest to the king, from whom he received nothing but the best gifts. The king also liked his Friend Number Three very much and was always travelling with him to neighbouring kingdoms. However, he had this lingering fear that this his friend whose company he always cherished might desert him one day to ally himself to a rival king not far from his kingdom.

He also loved his Friend Number Two. This one was his confidant, and always kind, considerate and patient with him. Whenever the king was faced with a problem, he could confide in him and he would help him get through the difficult times with his famed wisdom. Friend Number One, however, was very loyal and had made great contributions to the maintenance of the king’s wealth and kingdom. However, the king did not quite appreciate him like he did the others, although he is the one that loved him sincerely and wished him well.

One day, the king fell ill and he knew that his time on earth had become very short. He thought of his luxurious life and wondered, saying, “I now have four close friends who had kept me company on earth, but when I die now, I will be all alone by myself”. So, he said to Friend Number Four, “You know that I love you most among the other friends, endowed you with the finest clothing and have showered great care on you. Now that I am dying, will you follow me and keep me company?”

“No way”, replied Friend Number Four and walked away without uttering another word. His answer cut like a sharp knife right into the king’s heart. Then he turned to Friend Number Three and said, “I loved you all my life but now that I am dying, will you follow me?”. “No”, he replied, “life is too good, so when you die I am going to look out for another rich king to become his friend”. The king’s heart sank and turned cold.

The he called Friend Number Two and said, “I have always turned to you for help and you’ve always been there for me; when I die will you follow me and keep me company?”

“I am sorry”, he replied. “I can’t help you out this time. At the very most, I can only walk with you to your grave.”

His answer struck the the king like a bolt of lightning and the king was devastated. Then a voice called out, “I will go with you, I will follow you wherever you go, no matter where.”

The king looked up and there was Friend Number One. He had become somewhat emaciated because the king’s provisions for him had declined over the years and he had suffered serious lack as a result, sometimes, hardly finding anything to eat. Greatly grieved, the king said, “I should have taken better care of you when I had the chance.”

Now, of a truth, we all have friends in our lives. Our fourth friend is our Body. No matter how much time and effort we lavish in making it look good, it will leave us when we die. Our third friend is our possessions, status and wealth. When we die they will all go to others. Our second friend is our family and friends. No matter how much they have been there for us, the farthest they can stay by us is up to the grave. And our first friend is our Soul often neglected in pursuit of wealth, power and pleasure of the world.

However, our soul is the only thing that will follow us wherever we go. Cultivate, strengthen and cherish it now for it is the only part of you that will follow you to the throne of God and continue with you throughout eternity.

#Extracted from “The window”: A Magazine For Younger Minds; No. 005. Year: 2016. Page: 19.

The truth is that our spiritual person should never be forgotten or ignore in the pursue of other things for it is the part of us that goes with us beyond the here.

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1) They say your darkest hour comes before your dawn. They say you never know what you got until it’s gone.

2) When you are down, confess your weakness to God and you will find strength to move on. A lot of times, we are not really tied down by outside forces but by forces within us which are birthed by our own ego of wanting to always control everything to our own advantage. We may have to admit sometimes that certain things should be left alone and seek God’s opinion on such matters.

3) You can’t control what people say about you. Even those who know least about you will want to say something about you and would say a lot of negative opinions that will hurt you and diminish your reputation. What is important is that you take note of those who are really ignorant about you and those who really know you.

4) A broken home destroys a child far more than a broken society.

5) If you can’t find a reason to be happy, please try to thank God for your life and health. Someone somewhere is begging for a chance like this to right the wrongs in their lives. Everyone has a pain but some people are just stronger.

You can begin that activity you just procrastinated a while ago because you felt it ain’t worth your time (you might be wrong). Certain things are not interesting until you boldly stand up against all odds to START them.

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1) Don’t complicate your life by going to the altar with the wrong person to vow before God that you’ll remain together for better and for worse.

2) Choosing to LOVE someone is a huge risk. You chose to love them knowing they are not perfect. You open your heart to them, knowing they can break it into many pieces. You know the dangers, but you still want to love them.

3) Love him everyday. Cherish her everyday. Treat each other with respect. Value what you have now or value it with regret when it is permanently gone.

4) Choosing to let go of a relationship that does not value you isn’t giving up, it means you’ve finally realize your worth.