Preserving The Legacy
Speaking today at the 60th birthday celebrations of my dear friend and brother, Rev T. Y. Emmanuel at the Doxa Family Church, Yenagoa, Bayelsa state.
Text: Proverbs 22:1
Legacy is the balance sheet of your life here on earth. It is what you will leave behind for the next generation.
Most dictionaries define legacy in terms of inheritance of properties or assets. However, there is an avalanche of stories of children who inherited great estates but squandered them, because they lacked an understanding of the processes that built the wealth. It would have been much better if they knew the principles that created the legacy; then they would have preserved the legacy.
We are all witnesses to the destruction of the legacy we inherited from the colonial masters and the founding fathers of Nigeria.
The emirate of Dubai is a three-generation development plan handed over from generation to generation. We are all witnesses to the destruction of the legacy of Pentecostalism we inherited from people like Archbishop Benson Idahosa. A great percentage of the Ministers present were products of Idahosa including the celebrant. However, the legacy is being eroded by “penterascalism” and mammonism. The quest for wealth and prominence without following the processes that built the legacy of Idahosa has led to Pentecostal witchcraft and commercialization of the Gospel. Today, Pentecostalism in Nigeria is an object of mockery.
Rev T. Y. Emmanuel is an icon in ministry. People like Apostle Zilly Aggrey and Bishop Bob Manuel of Church of God Mission International, Yenagoa, the Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, the former Secretary to the State Government of Bayelsa State, the current Accountant General of the State and several prominent citizens including doctors, lawyers, senior bankers, and businessmen grew under his spiritual Influence in the early stages of his life.
Rev Dadyken Bitere, The Anglican Bishop of Yenagoa, a justice of the Court of Appeal, Bishop Bob Manuel of Church of God Mission International, Yenagoa.
What we were celebrating today is the years cascading into each other and investments in the lives of young people who have grown into butterflies just like in the post on The Caterpillar, The Pupa, and The Butterfly.
The challenges of the legacy at the age of 60 years
- When younger people add years, for every new year, for those of us above 60 years, we subtract years. If you live up to 90 years it means you have 30 years left. The irony is that as you age, the years end and change very quickly. As for me, it creates panic sometimes, and other times it creates motivation. You wish you had done things quicker and more efficiently.
- Your mind is more mature, richer in content, but your strength is not as it used to be. I have not recovered from the three services I preached in on a Sunday in Port Harcourt a few weeks back. I was not bold enough to tell my wife.
- Your dreams get bigger, your responsibilities increase and grow, but your resources do not increase commensurately. That’s why people set up foundations and seek partners to help them leave an enduring legacy. Ironically at age 60, your priorities change from females, fashion, food, fast life, fantasy, fermented drinks, flashy cars to lifting people to your level—that’s self-actualization.
Remember what I wrote on The Principle Of Accumulation And The Cascading Years, quoting Bruce Barton, “I am tempted to say that there are no small things, when I see the great consequences of small inconsequential actions”.
Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia should be about 60 years this year and my age mate. In 1984, he was 25 years old just like me and he was also in medical school too. News recently broke that he allegedly took a racist picture where one person wore a mask of a black man and another person wore the attire of the Ku Klux Khan. That picture surfaced now and there is a massive protest for him to resign. The past is about to destroy today.
It is not safe nowadays to act recklessly as a young man. Your actions when you are young can destroy your legacy at 60. To err is human, to forgive is divine, but time and the people hardly forgive. Don’t take reckless actions at 60.
Recently, a retired top government official asked me to speak in an occasion on why my State Governor should be re-elected. I told him the governor is a political leader while I am a spiritual leader. I told him I would destroy all the legacy that has taken me years of sacrifice to build. At 60 you can’t afford to destroy the past and the future because of the meal of porridge of today. Always remember Esau.
God Bless You.