Holding On

Met a young Nigerian man (igbo, to be precise) yesterday whose accomplishments fascinated me. He is a graduate of ivy league universities, worked in fortune 500 companies, consultant to international organizations and Governments etc. Having accomplished that much at 35, I was keen to hear his story. He said quite a lot in 45 minutes; the crux of his entire success hinging on Perseverance. As a lad in high school, he had discovered his passion and had a sense of what he wanted to spend his entire life doing and began to pursue it to the ‘little’ details. He narrated how he had dropped out of his graduate degree at the university of lagos after hearing God say that is not where he was meant to be. Shunning the mockery and disdain of friends, he applied to the university God had spoken to him about even though he didn’t have the funds and kept applying for a full scholarship until the institution eventually granted his request. According to him, the degrees and exposure obtained from that institution have been pedestal to the success and fulfillment he has achieved thus far.

Another fascinating account is that of Noah; the man that took animals in their pairs into an ark, that Noah. Now, God spoke to Noah about wiping out the Earth with rain; something he had never heard, experienced or read about and instructed him to build an ark; another element he had never seen before and probably wasn’t even skilled at building. Yet he chose to believe an invisible being and follow seemingly crazy instructions. Did folks mock, laugh, scorn and hurl insults at him? Oh, yes! Were they right to? Maybe… he was warning them about an occurrence that had never happened before; information given by some God that had never been seen. He had no facts, had carried out no research, was no skilled meteorologist, had no degrees or certifications etc So what was the basis of this prediction! “C’mn Noah!” they must have mocked “Go get checked”. But Noah didn’t seem to have been moved by their unbelief. What they thought didn’t matter. He didn’t need their buy-in. He knew what he heard and it was enough he trusted God; though he’d never seen him. That was all that mattered to him. So he went to work, labouring night and day for weeks, months and maybe years pursuing that word he had heard.

Stories are told of business moguls who pursued their dreams and ambitions defying the odds. Many are drop-outs, a good number failed several times and lost huge investments before eventually hitting it big, many lost friends, were constantly mocked by peers and were even alienated for being ‘different’ and pursuing their passions and goals so vigorously, but in the end, they made it!

There’s the story of a barren woman who trusted and hoped for children of her own. On hearing the testimony of a once barren woman who conceived after several years of waiting, her hopes were renewed and faith strengthened. This got her buying baby clothes, decorating the nursery, picking out children names etc even though she had no womb. Friends thought she had eventually lost her mind while other people advised her to adopt children and let go of the idea of bearing her own. “It’s as good as bearing your own, you know”, “You can adopt day old babies”, “Maybe you should try surrogates” People were always so quick to give their comments. But, she would neither listen nor accept anything less. Weeks became months and months years until her babies finally came. Yes. Babies. She gave birth to triplets. Without a womb! All things are indeed possible to him that believes.

You know your dreams. What your heart earnestly craves for – your passion; that burning desire inside of you, what gives you ultimate fulfillment. We’d be damned to abandon our dreams just because life isn’t fair, the economy is receding, there’s no one to ‘help’ etc Millionaires and numerous success stories emerge daily and have all thrived in these same circumstances. We really should stop making excuses and get moving. Hold on! Though it tarries, wait for it, it will surely come to pass!

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