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The journey

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To borrow a phrase from Pastor J.T Kalejaiye, “you must pass through to breakthrough. And to further reiterate what I said in an earlier message, success is the entire journey and not just the end point. You don’t arrive at success but you “become” successful. It’s the victorious culmination of all the experiences you garner along the way. King David, the greatest king Israel ever had and a progenitor of Jesus Christ was anointed three different times over some decades before he eventually ascended the throne of Judah and then that of a united Israel. He passed through the crucible of persecution from King Saul for no just reason. Joseph, the enigmatic dreamer and natural born leader who God so favoured had been thrown into a pit, enslaved and unfairly imprisoned before eventually taking his long ordained position as the Prime Minister of a foreign land, Egypt. The most powerful nation on earth at the time.

Moses grew up in the palace of his enemies as a bona fide member of the royal household, learning along the way all about their customs, strengths and weaknesses only to later sojourn in the wilderness for forty years; all the while being prepared by God for the herculean task ahead of delivering the Israelites from the mighty Pharaoh. Paul wasted many years in the wrong line of business, persecuting God’s people instead of winning souls for the same God. Even Nebucadnezzer, though he acknowledged the brilliance of Daniel and his fellow Hebrew boys, knew they still needed a year or two of tutelage before meeting the mark to serve as his advisors. All these illustrious men of God paid their dues. They passed through the often painful learning curve to attain greatness.

Samson on the other hand, born with superhuman strength that he didn’t have to work for, where did it get him? In terms of anointing he had skipped all the bus stops between A and Z (much like many of our youths nowadays who want to breakthrough overnight) and made no attempt to learn of anything in between which could have adequately prepared him for his divine assignment. His tragic end is legendary. A very apt biblical verse to buttress this is Proverbs 28:20 which says:

“A faithful person will be richly blessed but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.”

This may sound a little cryptic but success actually has as much to do with our failures as it does with the things we get right. That’s why Dale Turner said, “Some of the best lessons we ever learn are learned from past mistakes. The error of the past is the wisdom and success of the future.”

If you still don’t believe me then ask Thomas Edison who after failing for the 999th time didn’t regard it as failure but was grateful he had discovered 999 ways of how not to get a light bulb to work. This wasn’t the end for him. Far from it. The failed attempts only took him closer to his breakthrough. Hence why the Bible itself says, “ALL things shall work together for your good.” This includes the disappointments, the losses, the failures, the highs and the lows, everything. But if you are wise enough to learn the appropriate lessons from all of these, which Samson failed to do; with God as your guide and as He aligns you to His will, success is your sure heritage. It is said that out of every disappointment there is a latent breakthrough. The bible puts it like this in Proverbs 25:4a where it says, “remove the dross from the silver and a silversmith can produce a vessel.” Metaphorically this simply means from a heap of apparent garbage lies a precious diamond waiting to be revealed.

Some years ago I asked my younger brother to come and stay with my family and I, as he was going through a rather rough patch. This was after I had a heart to heart with a good friend of mine, who said to me, “Dapo, your brother needs you at this time, ask him to come and stay with you for a while.” Thank God I listened. After asking my brother to come and stay, I went on my knees and asked God to make his stay with us a blessing to him and a blessing to us too. Me especially, as I was at a crossroad in my life where I knew in my spirit that I wasn’t doing what I had been created to do. To cut a long story short, his stay was a godsend as it berthed the idea for my initiative, M.I.N.D.S, though it was my wife who actually gave me the name. I had already been working on propagating my ideas on manners, integrity, discipline and success when my wife pointed out that all I needed was an “N” to form M.I.N.D.S and that’s how the acronym came into being. It couldn’t have been more appropriate as the critical thread that ties all my writings together and is also the desired goal of my initiative, to positively influence our collective mindset as a people. God in His divine manner used my brother to help me truly discover myself and my essence. God spoke to me through my brother as he recognised my passions, my strengths and my skills. Some of which, I must admit, I never consciously knew I had. All of a sudden I found myself excited, energised and driven by the sense of freedom that comes from knowing I’m finally taking those steps that will align me to God’s plans for me. The specific assignment my DNA has been wired for. Feeling blessed I found myself at a place where I could intuitively operate at my best. A wise man once said:
“There’s something God wants done that makes your existence necessary.”

I ploughed in the field of retail for 21 years in pursuit of Good Success but somehow, through God’s providence I’ve eventually found myself at my place of promise and here I am; teaching the younger generation in particular about the place of character and the role each of us must play if we truly desire to transform this society; highlighting qualities I believe will give our youths the right perspective on life; values that can only but benefit society and benefit them too, as the ultimate beneficiaries of a society that works for all. This is a concept otherwise known as the common good. Going further still to point out how the pursuit of the common good forms an integral part of fulfilling one’s purpose. This is Good Success. Good Success emanates from discovering who you are and your very essence in life; the essence of life itself (which is bigger than you) and the part you have been created to play in it. Here I must refer to a statement I made in another message which says each of us is just one small jigsaw piece in the big jigsaw puzzle called Life. Good Success is inextricably tied to us correctly fitting into the right slot in this big puzzle. “Success” of which you are the sole beneficiary is not the same as Good Success, just as a jigsaw piece that remains on its own doesn’t fulfil it’s purpose. Good Success comes when learning during the course of one’s journey, the truly important things in life, the ones that indeed give it meaning. I’ve learned during this sometimes tortuous journey that some things which I hitherto attached so much importance to are in reality severely limited in value while some now appear to have no value at all. And this is by no means limited to material things.

Barack Obama miraculously became the first black man to be sworn in as the President of the USA, the most powerful nation on earth, at a time when racism was still rampant and innocent young black men were still being summarily knocked off by policemen who, to put it simply, just didn’t like the colour of their skin. At a time when his contemporaries on the African continent still preoccupied themselves with devising the most innovative ways to milk their nations dry, Obama listened to that still small voice that whispered, “just a little further”, until he won the Senatorial seat representing Chicago at the youthful age of forty three. The voice wasn’t done. A couple of years later it whispered once more, “just a little further” and because he listened to that beckoning voice of destiny the rest as they say is history. He did the impossible. He broke the glass ceiling which proclaimed a non-white, especially one with a Muslim name could never become President of the world’s only superpower. That was his purpose, that was his journey. Of the experience this is what his wife Michelle had to say:

“We learned about honesty and integrity…that the truth matters…that you don’t take shortcuts or play
by your own rules…and success doesn’t count unless you earn it fair and square.”

Success indeed is a journey.

Changing the nation…one mind at a time.

 

Dapo Akande

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