With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.
Do you know anyone who was the last in something but ended up as the first in it? Many times, I have seen this happen. Many times, the last has become the first. I have had occasion to work with young people who come into broadcasting on the last rung but work their way to the summit.
A child who is the last in class can become the first.
A child who hails from a most wretched family can end up at the top of the social ladder in the country.
A child who has no signs of leadership qualities can end up as the topmost political leader.
A child who shows no indication of business talent can become a leading business magnate.
A child who is the last in language in school can become a great novelist.
This is great news. Ironically, while this is possible, it is also possible for the first to become the last; which is not the wish of anybody.
How does this happen? And what makes this happen?
Determination, hard work, persistence, are among the determining factors; and to this list could be added focus, courage, faith in oneself, and prayers.
There are people who give up the moment they find that circumstances do not favor them. If they are last, the remain last. They accept their position as last. They resign to it. To them, there is nothing they can do. They lack ambition and determination.
There are other people who take every obstacle they find on their way as a challenge and resolve to turn it around. As commonly said, they resolve to turn their stumbling-blocks into stepping-stones. Most often, those who take this decision and throw their weight behind it succeed.
Actually, a clever person who is behind will work harder to catch up with those ahead instead of giving up. A runner who is behind in the race has to put in more energy than the one who is ahead. Often, many who are ahead sit on their laurels, taking things for granted; while those behind are putting in more energy. The result is soon the extra effort by those behind pays off and they see themselves ahead.
Many times we have seen a football team that is down in the first half coming on very strong in the second half, equalizing and winning. What happens in such a case? The players on that side fight harder, knowing that they are down. They put in their maximum while the other side is sleeping on their advantaged position.
Anyone can apply this strategy to go from behind to the top; or if they are last, to become the first.
Take anything that you are last in now, and use this method to become the first. If you are very poor now, use this technique and become the richest person you know. If you have not been doing well in academics, use this same method and become the best student. If you are a poor writer now, use this same method and become the greatest writer. Whatever your field, if you are not shining in it, use this same method and become the best in it.
Of course, everything will not work out perfectly because you are determined. You might get poor results a lot of times; discouragement and frustration. Persistence must then show its head; and there will be moments when you will have to be courageous to take decisions or action.
Prayers can work miracles. Employ prayers as your permanent partner to work the magic for you.
The truth is many people who are in low level positions at this very moment will rise to the top tomorrow; and many who are at the top now will drop to the bottom tomorrow. The choice is yours. It all depends on what you do. If you are down and want to get to the top, the tools you need are there. I have given the key ones here. Use them and realize your dream.
Our Course topic this week is: “Fast Runners do not always win the race.” It is drawn from the Book of Ecclesiastes, chapter 9.
The course sets out to let you know that no matter how brilliant you are it does not all depend on you.
You are encouraged to put your trust in an Almighty God who has ‘the yam and the knife.’
As you pursue your journey through life, do not be surprised if it turns out that God has much more in his store for you than you imagine. He does. I assure you.
Do not be surprised also if you find people who look brilliant but who end on the rocks.
“Fast runners do not always win the race, and the brave do not always win the battle”? (Eccl. 9:11).
None can boast that they know what will come next in their life.
We live in a hard world, full of mystery and wonders. The answers are not always straight.
“Wise men do not always earn a living; intelligent men do not always get rich, and capable men do not always rise to high positions” (Eccl.9: 11).
“Bad luck happens to everyone. You never know when your time is coming.”
If you are at the top today, it is not advisable to look down on those who are less fortunate than you. You do not know what lies ahead of you.
The Holy book tells us:
“Don’t make fun of someone who has fallen on hard times and is dressed in rags.”
“like birds suddenly caught in a trap, like fish caught in a net, we are trapped at some evil moment when we least expect it.”
(Eccl. 9: 12).
Your success does not depend on you.
“The Lord does many things that human beings never notice. Many are the Kings who have ended their careers sitting on the ground, while their crowns were worn by people no one had heard of before” (Sir.11:4-5).
This is true.
“Many are the rulers who have suffered disgrace. Many are the famous people who have fallen into the power of others”
(Sir. 11: 6).
Look around the world. You will find so-called great men who reigned supreme at one time but who ended in mud. Idi Amin, the one-time mighty president of Uganda ended in mud. Mubuto Sese Seko, the supreme king of Zaire, ended on the run. Muamar Gaddafi the unequaled cock of Libya died and was buried like a dog. Saddam Hussein was a near-God in Iraq. He was hanged. Hosni Mubarak, the mighty president of Egypt after Anwar Sadat became a prisoner.
The list is too long. They got right to the top and crash-landed. Why? Because they depended on their own strength and wisdom. They failed to depend on the Architect of all success – God. Therefore, be wise and wait on the Lord. He will grant you success. His timing will be different from yours; but His time is always the best.
Let the words of the wise man in the Book of Sirach guide you:
“Wait and be patient, and later you will be glad you did. Keep quiet until the right time to speak, and you will gain a reputation for good sense.” (Sir. 1:26-27).
This is wisdom that has lived with us since the creation of the world. Work as hard as you can, and as wisely as you can; but depend on God.
What to do:
Throughout this week, read and master this post. See what touches you in a special way.
What do you get from this course?
Give a biblical example of someone who rose to great heights but came crashing because he depended on himself instead of on God, the giver of all.
We have seen that wisdom is important for us to succeed. The question that remains to be answered is how we get wisdom. That is what we are going to see today.
The first thing is it is God who gives wisdom. All wisdom comes from God. Wisdom is with Him forever.
“The Lord himself created wisdom; he saw her and recognized her value, and so he filled everything he made with wisdom. “ (Sir. 1:9-10).
God gives some measure of wisdom to everyone; but if you love Him, He will pour it out to you.
“He gave some measure of wisdom to everyone, but poured her out to those who love him.” (Sir.1:9-10)
The Bible states:
“To fear the Lord is the root of Wisdom…” (Sir. 1: 20). Fear here means love, acknowledgement and acceptance of the Lord as the Supreme; the Alpha and the Omega; the king of the universe.
Obedience to God also gives wisdom. “If you want to be wise, keep the Lord’s command and he will give you wisdom in abundance.” (Sir.1:26)
Pray for wisdom and God will give it to you. Saint James says, “If any of you lacks wisdom you should pray to God who will give it to you.” James 1: 5).
Wisdom is a gift of God. According to an anonymous writer, we “can buy education but wisdom is a gift of God.”
Wisdom is available to all.
“…those who love her and look for her can easily find her. She is quick to make herself known to anyone who desires her. Get up in the morning to find her and you will have no problem. You will find her sitting at your door” (Wis.6:12-14). “It is not reserved for some people. You have as good a chance as any other person to acquire it” (Wis. 6: 12-14).
Go earnestly for wisdom.
One reason King Solomon received wisdom from God was he earnestly asked for it. When you ask God for wisdom, do so earnestly, not half-heartedly; “Go looking for her, and she will reveal herself to you. Take hold of her and don’t let her go” (Sir. 24: 2-7). Run after her “like a hunter looking for game.”(Sir. 14: 22).
In short, work hard to find wisdom “as a farmer works to plow and sow the fields; then you can expect a good harvest. You will have to work at it for a while, but you will soon be enjoying what you have earned.” (Sir. 6: 6-19).
Wisdom is available to all. God is ready to give it to you; but it will not come as manna from heaven. You have to labor patiently and persistently for it in prayer and faith. As the old saying goes, nothing worthwhile comes easily in life. God will give it to you if you deserve it by working for it.
1. Give in bullet points the various ways we can gain wisdom as stated in this post.
2. In what other way can one acquire wisdom?
“Kings all over the world heard of his wisdom and sent people to listen to him” (1King 4: 34).
The world holds King Solomon in very high esteem. That is why we talk of being as wise as King Solomon. He was wiser than anyone before and after him.
Take a close look to see how he gained his wisdom. When he became King, God appeared to him in a dream and asked “What would you like me to give you?”(I king 3: 5).
He was free to ask for riches, earthly possessions and power to rule the world, especially to dominate and trample on every other person. Curiously, Solomon asked for wisdom:
“I am very young and don’t know how to rule. Here I am among the people you have chosen to be your own, a people who are so many that they cannot be counted. So give me the wisdom I need to rule your people with justice and know the difference between good and evil. Otherwise, how would I ever be able to rule this great people of yours?” (1King 3: 7–9)
It pleased God that he had asked for wisdom and nothing else; so God said to him:
It is God who gives wisdom. Wisdom does not come from us. It comes from God; but like Solomon, we must ask Him for it. The Bible commands us to ask and it shall be given to us.
Why did King Solomon ask for wisdom?
In King Solomon’s place, many of us today would have asked for money, power and fame. In short, we would have asked for riches to get whatever we want or earthly power to do and undo, especially to dominate others. Solomon, being different, asked for wisdom and nothing more.
The reason is he valued wisdom and regarded it “more highly than any throne or crown” (Wis. 7:8). To him, wealth was nothing compared to wisdom. “Precious jewels could not equal her worth” (Wis. 7:8-9).
He was right. The bible tells us:
“And beside wisdom all the gold in the world was only a handful of sand and silver, (and) nothing more than clay” (Wis. 7: 9). “Wisdom is better than strength. It does more good than weapons.”
If you want the best for yourself in life, emulate the example of King Solomon. Value wisdom; have high regard for wisdom.
Ask God to give you wisdom to do the things that He wants you to do during your span of life on earth. He has a great plan for you; and wants you to carry it out perfectly. With your limited wisdom you cannot do it. Only by His Grace can you have the wisdom you need.
He is waiting for you to ask Him. If you ask, He will give you.
Reflect on what you have read. Write notes so that you may easily refer to them later.
Take resolution 2 following what you have learnt here. Write it after the first one you took. Remember the importance of a resolution lies in following or respecting it.
Here we end Week Two. Take the week end for revision, tidying or finishing unfinished work.
Step by step we are moving on. Little drops of water make a mighty ocean. On Monday we start week 3. Bravo! Your feedback shall be highly appreciated.
Live Your Dream Life Course Week 2 day 4
No one succeeds alone. Look at the giants of the world! There are many great brains behind them. Hardly is big success the work of one person.
Election campaigns are going on in many countries in the world. At the end of each one, one person will become President. That shall be the result of enormous work done by thousands or millions of people; who might not be paid for it. No one would become president if they depended only on their own effort.
No one succeeds in a big way alone. You have to look for wa to get people behind you to support you. It does not matter what your dream is. You cannot succeed alone. Get people behind you.
We enter week 2 of our “Live Your Dream Life Course”. Some of you have said how you enjoyed week one. We thank you for your encouraging comments.
The start is not always easy. It is possible to get discouraged at the start if you do not see where you are going. Some of you have seen where this course is leading to; some of you have not. Whatever the case, keep going. For those who are not yet in, things will shape up.
I would like us to start this second week with a quote; and I would like you to read it very carefully. It contains a wealth of wisdom which you may miss unless you read it carefully. Here it goes:
“Make wisdom your provision for the journey from youth to old age, for it is a more certain support than all other possessions.”
Read it a second time. Can you relate it to this course? Of course, you can; and should.
‘Make wisdom your provision for the journey’ of success that you are beginning now until the end, ‘for it is a more certain support than all other possessions.’
To make ‘wisdom your provision for the journey’ of the success that you are beginning’ demands that you follow your course with an open mind, and positive attitude; that you expect the best; that you see everything in this course as being for you; that you put no barriers between you and your course. It demands that you leave out prejudice. That is wisdom. You will see what it will do for you.
WHY AM I HERE?
I am here to journey with you to a great destination. I am here to help you become the person that God created you to become. I am here to assist you to realize the great plan that God has for you. He has a great plan for you; for everybody.
If you are already doing very well in life, that is fine. If you are already shinning and sparkling, you can do more. If you are reading this, I am convinced that the top of the ladder is still far away from you; and thank God He has lifted you this far. You can do more. You have the potential for even greater things.
It is rather unfortunate that when we find ourselves blessed more than others around us, the tendency is to go to sleep; or to sleep on our laurels. Many of us fail to see that the blessings God has given us are meant to serve as an invitation to do more to make the world a better place; and to do more we must work to bring out the best in us. Hence, my friend, you who may already be shinning must resolve to shine even more. To shine more is God’s plan for your life.
You who may not be shining, or who may not find it easy, must maintain your calm. The best begins for you with this course.
It is rather sad that many of us fail to achieve God’s plan for our lives. I want to journey with you with the understanding that what you want is the achievement of God’s plan for your life; and that plan is success or more success.
If you want to bring out the best in you then you want to achieve God’s plan for your life. Realizing your full potential is achieving God’s plan for your life; and I am here to assure you that you can do that. I am here to assist you do that.
I want to assure you that you can become the person that you are meant to be. Did you get that? You can become the person you are meant to be. That is a powerful statement and why I stress it. I like you to personalize that sentence. Instead of ‘You can become the person you are meant to be’, say ‘I can become the person I am meant to be.’
Say it again. Those words are very important. Look at them again. Do you know that they are good but not good enough? You say ‘I can’. That is an expression of possibility. What you are saying is it is possible for you to become the person you are meant to be; but you may not become the person you are meant to be. You may and you may not. That statement is not good enough for someone like you who really want to succeed. It’s not a decisive statement.
You must be decisive. You must be clear about what you want. I want you to modify those words to express your resolve to become the person you want to be and your belief that you will do so. That is the key: your resolve and your belief. Now, let’s go. Put it this way: ‘I will become the person I am meant to be.” If you have said that, perfect!
You must believe this if you want to get the most out of what this course is out to give you. If you don’t believe it, there is no use pursuing the course. You will only be wasting your time unless you change.
I want you to put in your mind once and for all that God brought you into this world for great things and is ready to help you achieve them; but you must believe that you will achieve them and be willing to work for them. If you believe this, then let us continue. The end result will be joy. You will see yourself living the life of your dreams; the life that you have never thought you could live.
It will be to your advantage to go back to the beginning and give this presentation a good second and why not a third reading? Let it never leave you that what you are doing is a course. It is a package that we have put together for you. You will see the while unfolding as we progress and put the parts together.
For your assignment for day one of this second week, give your reaction to this presentation. You may state what has caught your attention; what you agree or disagree with; like or dislike; and which thoughts or lines stand out to you. Say what message you have got from the passage. If something here has inspired you, you may blog on it, and mention your source of inspiration.