A lot of individuals face challenges in life. A time comes when your tribe, nationality, past experiences, race, deficiencies, etc. might become a hindrance.
For Ruth, as a Moabitess, there was a divine edict or statute against any descendant of a Moabitess from entering the Temple until the 10th generation. However, that law was lifted in her case, because she took an extraordinary step of loyalty, commitment, good character, and adventure.
Just like the young man from Mali, who recently rescued a baby from a balcony; although he was an illegal immigrant, his bravery and selfless act to save a child in danger, in a nation that had not granted him his request, earned him instant citizenship, employment, and global recognition. He came in contact with the president of France. In a time in Europe and the world where immigrants are disdained and unwelcomed, he was celebrated. He even gained employment in the fire service. Suddenly, he became accepted and a celebrity. An Indian woman, during the Mumbai attacks by Pakistani terrorists, risked her life to save an Israeli child in the midst of a hail of bullets. She was relocated to Israel, given Israeli citizenship, and a national award.
One of the ways to remove negative labels is to do something extraordinary and beneficial to humanity—acts of selfless service.
The White Helmets—a volunteer group that has been responsible for evacuating and rescuing people from rubbles after bomb blasts in Syria—were, today, rescued alongside other civilians by Israel to Jordan. They’ve saved 114,000 lives; they were nominated for the Nobel Peace prize in 2016. Over 400 have died in their volunteering work. In an unprecedented move, Israel airlifted them to Jordan and the international community will distribute them amongst international nations. The conflicts between the nations did not discriminate against them; the tags of their nationalities, differences in ideas, race, etc. was irrelevant.
Secondly, there can be challenges that have endured in one’s life. The solution, sometimes, comes by acting on relevant information. Naomi heard that there was, now, bread in Bethlehem and she decided to leave Moab to Bethlehem. She had personally changed her name from Naomi, which means sweetness, to Mara, which means bitterness. However, Ruth had knowledge about the provisions of God in the Scriptures for widows, the poor, and strangers. In her difficulties, she was qualified to glean. Gleaning was a provision in ancient Israel for foreigners, the poor, and widows to collect left-over harvests after the main harvest. Ruth knew of that provision. She acted on that information and knowledge she got. It was in the process of acting on it that providence shone on her. If she remained at her home and was shedding tears and praying night and day, nothing will happen until she acted. It is this inability to take a risk that makes many people stay bound with their problems, and their problems become labels attached to their names. It was the information that Boaz was threshing wheat in his farm that Naomi had relayed to Ruth that made her eventually get intimate contact with Boaz.
The next thing is that for every information or knowledge you get, you must develop a strategy to act on it positively. Ruth gave Naomi a detailed strategy of how to attract Boaz’s attention and present her request. Esther had detailed information from the eunuch, who prepared her to meet the king, about the taste that pleases the king; Mordecai also provided mentoring for her.
However, occasionally, you’ll need to devise these strategies on your own. The woman with the issue of blood devised her own strategy and created her own agenda; Jesus wasn’t going to her house.
The crowd is always there between you and the solution to your problem. You need to find ways to be unstoppable and achieve your dreams in spite of the obstacle of the crowd. The crowd can be competitors, cowards, critiques, customs and traditions (the woman with the issue of blood was not allowed to come in contact with people in public. If she followed protocols by asking for permission from Peter, she would have been denied access), capital, criminals, cash, colleagues, and the concerned. (Look for book).
The father of Mbappe, the 19-year-old sensational youngster of France, in the just-concluded World Cup Competition, did not have the money to bribe Cameroonian national team to let his son play for the Cameroonian team. He opted to play for France that didn’t have those restrictions. There’s always another route to reach Lagos than the usual one you know. Blind Bartimaeus had the crowd to overcome; however, he knew that Jesus was the son of David, and that he was merciful—He had the capacity to restore him. His strategy was to shout to attract attention. If a pregnant woman comes into the waiting room of a hospital, if she can scream enough—because of her pain, in spite of a crowd, and her desire to deliver—a doctor would leave his/her consulting room to attend to her.
A lot of people endure too much pain and suffering without shouting out loud. The crowd— “civilized people” —would want to tell you to keep quiet in your desperate time of need. There are some doors that a soft knock would open, but there are some that only a scream can open. For Zacchaeus, he knew the route Jesus would take, either instinctively or by information. He proactively ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree.
In your difficulties, there are flashes of information—that might sound foolish, look bizarre, might be below your social standings—if acted upon can change the status quo. For a person of Zacchaeus’ status, wealth, and reputation, to climb a sycamore tree is an unusual action. Unusual circumstances sometimes require unusual actions. There is that gut feeling, that push, that instinctive trigger that you need to act on sometimes. I heard that the university of Ibadan was about to do their matriculation in two weeks. I had been waiting for an admission letter, to study medicine, from them for months. I instinctively packed my bags, left Warri for Ibadan that I had never been to before. On getting there, my name was on the list but somebody didn’t post my letter. If I had waited at home for that letter, I would have waited in vain; but as a reggae musician sang, “I don’t want to wait in vain”.
Some years back, my son and I went to a village to buy property to build a higher institution. There was no significant development around there, but I had a gut feeling—just as I had before moving to Ughelli— that development was to come that way. Indeed, as at today when I visited the place, a road was being constructed to the site, and a bridge was also being constructed to link the town to other communities. I heard some years back that one of the biggest land owners in Ughelli was selling part of his estates. Even though I had no money, I acted, and devised a strategy. Today, I own a large expanse of prime property by that singular action. The “crowd”—critiques and crawlers—tried to discourage me, but I’ve known to dare to walk alone. Many of the critiques and crawlers are still where they were when they tried to discourage me.
For the men who carried their paralyzed friend to see Jesus, the crowd was at the gate, but they decided to enter through the roof. Consistent pursuit of your destiny will always give you an alternative insight different from the usual front door. The front door is not the only entrance to greatness. When there is no open door to your destiny, sometimes, you have to create the door and walk through it.
Don’t run away from the crowd; don’t get lost in it either; find a way through it or around the crowd to get to the crown.
Don’t accept the automated and general advice from your network provider that all communication routes are busy. Keep dialing to your destination. After all, what are others doing on the network. If the number isn’t reachable now, how will you know when it is reachable if you don’t keep dialing.
God bless you.
Don’t forget to share with Friends if You’ve learnt something.