Lessons from the Book of Ruth
When Ruth decided to return to Bethlehem with Naomi, she did not know she will travel 50 miles for about 5 to 7 days over very difficult terrains through mountains valleys and rivers.
They crossed the River Jordan and the River Arnon.
It’s very easy to make decisions, but you must contend with the following D’s.
Some decisions will take you on a very long journey.
The three most difficult trips I have taken are:
- First by flight from Nigeria to Sierra Leone, and then by road to Monrovia from Makeni via Bo. It was terrible, very dusty and had difficult terrains, and we finally pulled by hand-drawn ferry through the River Moa. We finally got to Monrovia after 24 hours on the road.
- Another difficult journey was from Lagos to Nairobi, to Antananarivo, to Morondava. Antananarivo, by road, to Morondava was through very high mountains and steep valleys at night. Venerable Sullivan Odike can testify about that journey. For three days I slept on my belly because my bottom was sore from the journey. It took from 2 p.m. one day, to 7 a.m. the next day.
- The journey from Port Harcourt to Lagos, to Nairobi, to Melbourne and Adelaide was another long trip. The time difference confused my system. But I was determined to reach my destination.
Imagine how these two widows must have felt, especially Ruth, with a complaining Naomi.
My father wanted me to be a medical doctor in Primary 4.
The dream took another two years to enter Secondary School, 5 years of Secondary School, 2 years of higher school, one year of teaching, 5 years in Medical School, one year of internship, and one year of National Youth Service, before I could get full registration from the Nigerian Medical Council. That’s 17 good years of my life before I was 25.
Joseph’s dream took 13 years.
For Mary, mother of Jesus, to travel to Bethlehem, it took about 2 to 3 days through very rugged terrains. Then there was refusal by those who know her and even the Inn to accommodate her. Eventually, she delivered in a manger. God did not arrange transportation and accommodation for her, even though she was carrying the savior of the world.
What are you carrying that has given you such an entitlement-mentality and an attitude problem?
Mary and Joseph hand to run at night to Egypt over a decision that she did not ask for.
Why are you complaining so much about the decisions you deliberately took even against wise counsel?
Such routes that they took were prone to danger from wild animals and bandits.
Imagine the courage of these two widows.
D5: Disturbance and Distraction
The commonest killers of destiny are disturbance and distraction. To record this message, we had to pause several times. But I insisted we must complete it.
When the aforementioned 5 D’s combine, they precipitate doubt.
There were days I wondered if it was the right decision to sell my hospital and go into full-time ministry.
There were days I would sit on transport motorcycles (okada) from Elele Alimini to Elele main town, on my way to preach at Owerri, and it will start drizzling just after the army barracks. Sometimes, I will see a fine car with a Nigerian Medical Association sticker on the windshield, and my heart would sink. I will feel as if I made a wrong decision.
Have you reached that point before?
I used to go deep into the crevice of my soul to draw up strength.
Keep pushing! The darkest hour is just before dawn.
Christopher Columbus would have turned back 3 days to sight the shore line of America if he had listened to his crew.
PRESS ON! THERE IS SOMETHING GREAT AHEAD.
For every season, there is a crop being harvested. Plug into one or more of the activities.
You might not start from the peak like Ruth, who started by gleaning with the servant girls, but became the madam of the household where she once gleaned. But there is hope.
God Bless You.