The 21st century has seen the rise of a people who understand the abilities of man, a people who are able to drive themselves to attain ever-increasing heights in technological advancement. Space exploration has advanced to the point of including tourists – who for the right price are taken on a ‘field trip’ into space – wouldn’t that be interesting to see? I’m sure some of you reading this would love to go on that particular field trip.
The men in black, in the boardrooms of multi-million-dollar corporations are most times able to predict the rise and fall of the financial markets and so they sit like demi-gods – in control of the affairs of these huge businesses, full of knowledge and financial prowess. It is indeed interesting to observe. One question comes to mind though when I observe these things – when the ‘impossible’ happens, when that which is deemed impossible happens, what is the response of these ‘larger-than-life’ individuals?
When you hear of misappropriation of funds, it not only an African phenomenon. It is often shocking to hear of the so-called elite of the developed world being caught up in these scandalous affairs and what do they do in response? A number of them end up destroyed for life. They end up in huge debt, with broken homes; they end up seeing a psychiatrist for life.
The world looks perfect from the eyes of the young right now; it looks like a huge adventure park that is just begging to be explored. The world looks full of promise and you are all eager to apply the academic and social skills you have received in this institution. That is all well and good. I ask you the same question I asked earlier though – what will you do when your predicted career paths don’t follow through? What will you do when you don’t get into the university that has been earmarked for you? What will your response to the pressures of life be when they come like a tsunami and hit you? How will you survive?
In the book of Proverbs, chapter 14, verse 12, the bible says, ’There is a way that seems right to a man (or a person) but in the end it leads to death’. The definition of death that I would like us to focus on today is separation from God. Death means separation from God who is our source of life, our protector, our provider and our Lord. There are many ways that will open up to you as you leave the four walls of any university. There are many opportunities that you will encounter. My question to you is…how will you make your choices? Who will be your counsellor? Parents are there to give guidance to a certain extent but even the parents know that most times, their teenagers/young adults prefer to listen to their friends or other young people instead of the old parents who don’t know what’s up.
There is the need for God in your life as an individual. It is extremely important to have a personal rapport, to have open communication lines between you and God so that when an earthquake hits, for instance in the case of Japan (and all the systems that you have put in place to withstand it hold up, but don’t withstand the tsunami which may follow), when a tsunami hits, you will be strong. You will not be among those who commit suicide because of despair. There is a strong need for God when you are young and the entire world is your open doorway. You can become anything you want to be. You can achieve any objective you set out to achieve. You have the opportunity to explore space, to join some grand expedition and find some oil or natural gas reserves somewhere in Africa – hopefully in Nigerian waters. You can do anything… but, what will you eventually do? Who will you become in the next 10 years? Who will we see when we look to you in the next few years? Will we see a young man who is heartbroken because even though he had such a promising career path after graduating with honours, he has spent the last 3 years job hunting? Will we see a young lady who has had to compromise her dignity in order to get ahead of her peers in her work place? Will we see married couples struggling to stay faithful to their commitment to have and to hold forever because they cannot trust each other?
How are you going to survive the pressure that life throws at you, as you leave the secure world of childhood and enter through the gates of adulthood? In Proverbs 3:5-6, the bible says, ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.’
Over 14 years ago, I got married to a very nice man and after the first 2 weeks on our honeymoon, I thought… ‘Oh dear, what on earth have I done? Was I blinded by love? Why did I marry this man?’ This is a true story, after only 2 weeks, I questioned my vows. Thankfully, I had an active connection, in terms of my relationship with God and my dependence on him so I asked him a few questions. Suffice it to say, 14 years down the line, I am still married to the same man and I do think he is still a very nice man. If I didn’t have God to speak to about what I was feeling at that time, I’m almost certain I would have ended up a single parent today. I’ll tell you one last story. In November 2009, I had to close a business that I had run successfully for 4 years. It was a tough decision but again I spoke to God about it and he walked me through the process. By January 2010, I got one of the best jobs in my chosen career in Lagos – I am a teacher incidentally, have been teaching for 16 years now.
The world is full of tough times and it’s not always possible to be the tough person who outlasts the trouble! There is the need for God in the times we are in. It is important to have the privilege of access to divine guidance in your daily lives. It is not an exclusive affair for a select few; it doesn’t mean you won’t live life to the fullest. God is not a bore who will keep you stuck in a rut. God will empower you to live your own life to its fullest, achieving your full potential as you go along. I encourage everyone reading this to find God while he may be found, to call on him while he is near. Ask his opinions in prayer and express your gratitude to him in worship. Learn about him through the study of his word and keep you communication lines open by speaking to him and listening for his responses.
Finally, the bible says in Isaiah 40:28-31, ‘Do you not know; have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even the youths grow tired and weary and young men (and women) stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.’
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