On The Value of Reading the Finer Print (Giving Attention To Details)

I have been reading this book, Bonhoeffer – Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy – by Eric Metaxas, in pieces and bits for the past couple of weeks. Reflecting over this in the office this afternoon, I reckoned that if I am to finish this book (all 608 pages of it) in a reasonable and meaningfully comprehensible way, I just must double up on my act. So, in the office this afternoon, I resolved to finish at least 2 or more chapters at every reading session. On getting home, the sweet-lady of the home has gone for her Women’s meeting. Willy asked if I will like to eat eba with the remaining ogbono soup. To which I replied, “No, I don’t feel like eating now. Thank you.” Thanks to my sweet-lady for the delicious & massive bowl of jollof rice, moin-moin and “fowl-leg” I had for lunch in the office. I was in no mood for eba. My tummy was still heavy and all the more so as the taste of the delicious afternoon lunch still lingered on my taste-buds.
Off and on, off and on, NEPA played with the power before the “light got steady.” So, I ran to the laundry-room. I want to wash the 4 pair of jeans before NEPA take their “light”. Again, I had earlier asked the sweet-lady to soak them for me while I was away at work. I intended to wash them when I return from work.
So, I set the washing machine. Unfortunately, the machine failed to cooperate. With the laundry in the machine, it spinned lazily a few turns and then dissolve all the washing powder in the wash water and then spew out the wash water in a very long stream. Something must be wrong! I must find out! This machine wasn’t behaving like this before. The wash-cycle ought to be longer and my jeans ought to be cleaner. If this machine keeps on this way, what a waste of my hard-earned money and time. To this assertion, the first lady again replied, “but the machine has been behaving like this almost since the time it landed on the shores of our abode. Didn’t you notice it? ” No it wasn’t like this. It used to wash better and cleaner in reasonable cycles. I must find out! I decided to go through the user manual again. With my second pair of eyes on to augment the first pair, I started poring over the user manual. If that fails to resolve it, I will go back to the guys I bought it from.
Going through the manual one more time, I thought to myself, but there is no great-deal about this machine. I’ve been following the right procedures all along now. Why all this hiccups?
Then, I remembered that it was our son Bobby, that set up the machine for first time use. Apparently, he did everything right except for one step, that he might have missed out – the initial calibration step (to be performed before first time use). I decided to go through the Eco Drum Clean step (even though not necessary). This step took over 1 hour. Next, I carried out the calibration procedure on the machine. Easy, just follow the manual. This lasted about 5 minutes. Next, I did a mock-wash (no soap used). And finally, I tried the machine wash cycle. All went well. What a relief. And so I washed the children dirty clothes. And so I washed my T-shirts. And finally, I have to re-wash the half washed jeans aagain. With a satisfying sigh and smile of relief, all is well that ends well.
Not to mention that I eventually finished over 6 chapters as against my initial goal of 3, inspite of many interruptions. The time is 2.45am. I will check on the boys in their room, and have a warm-bath in preparation for my weekend “office-runs”. My boss has required me to be in the office by 7 am. Anyway, don’t worry about me, sleep or no sleep, I’m going to rest my back a fulfilled man.

The morale of this story is this, always give attention to details (read the finer print). That is the pathway to excellence.


“Let your light so shine… “

Mat 5:14-16
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill can’t be hidden.

Also, people do not light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand. Then it gives light to everyone in the house.

In the same way, let your light shine in front of others. Then they will see the good things you do. And they will praise your Father who is in heaven.
All that the follower of Jesus has to do is to make sure that his obedience, following and love are entirely spontaneous and un- premeditated. If you do good, you must not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, you must be quite unconscious of it. Otherwise you are simply displaying your own virtue, and not that which has its source in Jesus Christ. Christ’s virtue, the virtue of discipleship, can only be accomplished so long as you are entirely unconscious of what you are doing. The genuine work of love is always a hidden work. Take heed therefore that you know it not, for only so is it the goodness of God. If we want to know our own goodness or love, it has already ceased to be love. We must be unaware even of our love for our enemies. After all, when we love them they are no longer our enemies. This voluntary blindness in the Christian (which is really sight illuminated by Christ) is his certainty, and the fact that his life is hidden from his sight is the ground of his assurance.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer – The Cost Of Discipleship