Speaking on Friday, 29th of October, to members of several cooperative societies in Ughelli and environs at the legislative chamber of Ughelli Local Government Area.
It is very important to walk and work with God in life.
Eighteen years ago, when I came to Ughelli, it was as if I made a serious mistake. I had sold our medical practice at Aba and moved to Ughelli. There were times I would go to the post office and other public places just to see if I could see someone from my past who knew me that I could relate with.
One of the problems I had was that I had a lot of preaching engagements at Aba and the eastern part of the country then. But here I was at Ughelli with people who hardly knew me. I would see banners of programs I knew I could handle very well, but no one knew me then.
One sure thing was that I had great confidence in what was in me and great conviction about the calling of God upon me. Only my wife, I suspect, had great faith in what God was going to do with me. But there were days when you felt you were in the wrong place. There were days when people made terrible comments about you that make you resolve not to fail even if they hurt.
The caterpillar does not look like a butterfly; it crawls instead of flying like butterflies do.
In life, there are times you might need to crawl; there are times you do not seem to resemble your future. The picture of today looks so different from your tomorrow picture.
You might have to take a lot of “greens” and vegetation during your crawling stage. Learn to take a lot of rubbish from people when you are crawling. I took a lot of rubbish from in-laws, pastors, neighbours, and parents who brought children to our school then. But it helped me to develop a simple lifestyle. I learnt how to sit on the floor. When you sit on the floor, no big man or proud person will ask you to shift for him or her to sit down.
On Thursday, I wore a pair of shorts I bought from my visit to Australia to go buy a drink from a nearby store and someone realized that I was the man he listens to on radio. He was so shocked and dazed that he kept asking if I was the Dr. Apoki. He was expecting an imposing man.
I have found the caterpillar stage to be most stable and comfortable.
The caterpillar stage is a preparatory stage, a learning stage, and an experience-gathering stage.
Then there is the pupa stage. One thing I noticed with itinerant ministry is that some denominations will get so attracted to you and will keep passing you from one branch to the other to preach for them. Once they find another preacher, they ignore you and concentrate on their newfound love.
God helped me that that period of quietness was used to develop my spiritual life, my mental capacity, and my financial base. When people seem to abandon you, please don’t abandon yourself. It is a time to move on and internally develop yourself. To keep marketing your old self, develop a new you for the market.
The pupa stage is very important. That is when you form your colours and your wings. Cockroaches don’t have the pupa stage. They have what is called incomplete metamorphosis. Cockroaches don’t really fly like butterflies, and are not definitely as attractive. Cockroaches don’t suck nectar; they eat cellulose and stay around damp and dirty places and toilets. They are also suspected to be transmitters of diseases.
A time comes when the pupa can no longer restrain and contain the destiny of the butterfly inside it. The emergence of the butterfly from the silky cocoon of the pupa could be a very difficult struggle, it is the struggle that pushes a gelatinous material into the tubes of the wings of the butterfly. When the material hardens, it gives strength to the wings.
When I look back to when I was a school bus driver in my school and when I was I used to clean the toilets, I thank God for the training.
It was the radio program I started last year that suddenly gave me the opening to a larger audience and the wind under my wings to soar. A great percentage of those in the pictures above were meeting me for the first time. The invitation came because of my radio program. Those who knew me before and had concluded my case were shocked at what they were hearing from me. They bought more than two hundred copies of my lecture material. I had to run with a motorbike transport twice to replenish the stock after my son had brought more copies when the first set got exhausted. I was just wondering if I was in the same Ughelli and if I was the same person that was ignored years back.
My neighbour in those days, who must have thought I was a crazy fellow, was so happy to identify with me.
Be patient with God and yourself; your time to fly is coming.
Butterflies suck nectar; today I sucked nectar.
Your turn is not far away.
God bless you.