Speaking to the students of Petra Christian Academy on Wednesday, the 13th of February 2019.
I was recently a guest speaker at the Government College Ughelli Old Boys’ Association Dinner at the Presidential Hotel, Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Seated on the head table with me was Engineer Mathew Edevwie, Executive Director of Income Electrix, one of Africa’s largest energy companies. In the hall also was Dr. Emmanuel Ocheli, a cardiothoracic surgeon and a consultant surgeon in a University teaching hospital and a classmate at GCU. None of us felt inadequate meeting each other. We had become what and whom we had set out to become.
In the United States, some years back, a criminal was brought to court. The presiding judge was her schoolmate many years back and she recognized the man in the dock as a former schoolmate. She wondered aloud how such a nice young man ended up as a criminal. That day, the criminal wept bitterly; he had met someone he could or should have become.
I met a man many years back who was passing through financial challenges. He asked me to pray such that a then-civilian governor of his state would remember him. The governor is now a Federal Minister in Nigeria. The governor was visiting Lagos State, and the man got wind of it and strategically located himself where the governor could see him. As the governor was about to pass through the gate, he called him the name he used to be known as in secondary school. The governor stood still and beckoned him to come. Lo and behold, the governor was his junior in secondary school in their community. The governor used to squat with them in his father’s house. The governor told him he should try and get in contact with him. Before he could talk further, the security aids prodded the governor to move on because there was a crowd forming behind them. That day, the man met someone he could have been.
A few weeks back, one young man I taught a few strategies years back took me to see his new home he was about to dedicate. He informed me that he was a servant in one of the compounds just a few buildings away some years back. The day the foundation was to be dug, there was a man hustling to chart the refuse away. He was the son of the landlord of the compound where he used to serve as a house help. The landlord’s son met someone he could or should have been.
When Mephibosheth bowed down before King David, seated on the throne of Saul, Mephibosheth, as a grandson, met someone he could or should have been as a Prince.
- The problem started with Saul, Mephibosheth’s grandfather.
He was rebellious against Jehovah’s instruction to kill and destroy everything including animals in the land of Amalekites. He had his own rebellious agenda; he was also very stiff-necked. He displayed all the attitudes of those who don’t do well in life. He had a problem I call ‘oversabism’—when you behave as if you know too much about a subject you don’t know the details, scope, and purpose. Such people are usually illogically adamant about some decisions. Most times, they don’t have what it takes to face the consequences of their stupidity.
About two weeks back, I was the guest speaker during the 60th birthday celebrations of my friend. A classmate of his preached to him in secondary school and they both set out to a Bible School without completing their secondary school education. They were admitted because of their zeal and the urgent need for Pentecostal pastors then. A few weeks to their graduation from Bible School after much studies and suffering an incidence happened.
The man who preached to my friend was told to wash dishes in the cafeteria. He was so angry that he stamped a cassava meal called eba on the wall. My friend appealed to him to remove it, but he refused. He pleaded and reminded him that they would soon graduate. The matter finally got to the authorities and he unceremoniously left the school without graduating.
My friend went back to school to get his Secondary School Leaving Certificate. He went back to his community and preached to them that he made a mistake by abandoning school for ministry. He was not stiff-necked. He has a master’s degree in theology now. He pastors the elite of his state. His friend is struggling in ministry and nowhere to be reckoned with. He did not attend the birthday party because he did not want to meet the man he should or could have been.
- Saul became angry and upset because the women accredited more successful military exploits to David than him. An injurious spirit came upon him and he sort to kill David.
Saul could have killed Goliath if he had insight about the fact that because Goliath was uncircumcised, he had a death sentence upon him. Saul failed to follow the doctrine of war stipulated by Jehovah in Deuteronomy 20. I don’t know why he ran away from his challenge; after all, he was the tallest in the nation of Israel.
There are challenges at each stage of life. You must confront them. I noticed that Engineer Mathew Edevbie had done several management courses in some of the most prestigious business schools in the world. He started early to pursue his career and business. When I was 29 years, I opened my first medical practice. He too had started his company and was doing electrification contracts in the newly-created Akwa Ibom state.
If you don’t do what you are meant to do at a certain time and confront the Goliaths your mates run from, you will regret it later in life.
Anger, jealousy, vindictive behavior, blame, excuses and self-justification are the attitudes of such people.
- Mephibosheth was crippled because of the fight started by his grandfather.
There are consequences of our actions that can affect generations after us and make them less than who they are or should have become.
- Beware of Ziba
Ziba was illegally occupying the land of Mephibosheth’s grandfather. David ordered Ziba to work for Mephibosheth and his son. Don’t ever think that all the servants of your parents like you. They, most times, detest you and wish that they could replace you. If they have an opportunity to humiliate you, they gladly would do it.
- Build and protect your turf, improve on your legacy, and have an eye for opportunities.
Ziba discouraged Mephibosheth from going into exile. He used the resources of Mephibosheth to gain favour from David and got the lands of Saul again because Mephibosheth was naive. When you miss the opportunity to preserve your legacy and handle opportunities with decisiveness, you will gradually miss who you should or could be.
At the Secondary School level, you receive the same lectures and you most likely have the same time. Make the best of your life.
Two men made some money when they were young. One bought a piece of land with his and the other bought a TV and some electronics. Many years later, the piece of land had increased in price. One day, the TV guy saw his friend erecting a structure on the that land and he wept. He said he did not know if the TV he bought was watching him or he was watching the TV he bought years ago. Remember those big TV sets with sliding doors. He met a man who did what he could or should have done.
God Bless You.