"A smooth sea never made a good sailor"
Intelligent people know that every good thing in life is programmed by God. God has given each person gifts or the capacity to have gifts that will create success. There are three categories of gifts or talents available to man; namely
These are genetic and are often inherited from parents. E.g. Singing, athletic ability, painting, dancing etc.
These are developed by application of mental effort, through learning. E.g. Piloting, medicine, teaching etc
These are only received by grace, from God. In Christianity for example, spiritual gifts are endowed by the Holy Spirit, which a true believer in Christ receives. Some examples of spiritual gifts are; Prophesying, seeing spiritual visions, working spiritual miracles.
Quite often, natural gifts and spiritual gifts manifest quite early in the development of a child. If not nurtured, much of those gifts atrophy as the child passes puberty. Africans are notorious for neglecting to help children develop their natural and spiritual gifts; focusing on intellectual gifts only. But the Bible teaches us that “A man’s gifts make a way for him, and brings him before great men”. This was evident in the case of Joseph, the young Hebrew boy, who interpreted an Egyptian Pharaoh’s dream, and was subsequently elevated to become prime minister in the nation.
The concept of identifying and developing gifts from as young an age as possible is programming. That is organising a person’s development to attain his or her potentials. Without a programme to win, there is no way anyone can expect to get to the top in any chosen path in life.
In a recent seminar on the subject matter, organised by the Sports Prayer Group, in Nigeria, a clergy man, Reverend Ebenezer Kayode postulated that God endowed each person with a unique physique for a purpose. In this, he noted that certain body types respond well to certain programme of actions better than other body types. He gave a brilliant summation that until we are each linked to God, we cannot activate what God intended for us.
From this principle we can imagine a big gigantic man attempting to become a rock climber, instead of going into wrestling. Or a small, skinny person trying to excel in hammer throwing. We find that our programmes for winning are already truncated due to inappropriate selection of gifts.
Even when we can quite clearly identify our special endowments, we still need to observe scientific principles before they can be fully activated. Professor Andrew Ajiduah postulated at the same seminar, that we need concrete objectives, which must be set high, before we develop winning programmes. He explained the importance of knowing the physiological systems, and the scientific principles guiding them if we are trying to excel in physical activities.
We can quite easily adapt the same principle for development of other gifts like singing and painting. The child shows interest and natural affinity for melodies or colours. From here we test them with a range of activities in a system called the Montessori system of teaching. Those specially gifted grow at a fast rate is manifesting the talent.
In spiritual giftings, it is even more critical for the development of a child with these abilities to be closely monitored. There is great danger that such gifts may be manipulated for ill with disastrous consequences for both the gifted and other people. A person with the gift for accurate prophetic dreams may develop a phobia of the future, and can manipulate people for person gain. But the same gift could be useful within a religious environment for the edification of God’s work and the comfort of God’s people.
I would like to lay spiritual foundation for those who are seriously keen on programming themselves to win in life to consider some of the following precepts that I have adapted from the Bible.
“Press on towards the goal...”
The Apostle Paul in speaking to the people of Philipia almost two thousand years ago talks about setting a goal and not looking back, after embarking on the winning programme.
“Run with perseverance, the race...”
Paul also talks here about shedding unnecessary pressures and burdens from our shoulders, trusting on God while having indomitable spirit in pursuing our goals.
“Gird up your loins…”
Here, it is Simon Peter who wrote about preparing for action to fulfil our goals with sobriety and peaceful mind. Focusing on Christ.
“Fight the good fight…”
Paul, was teaching Timothy, his ward, about abandoning un-Godly motives in a programmes, but seeking God’s glory by fighting in faith and righteousness for our crowns.
“We fight not with flesh and blood…”
This principle establishes that we should not focus on people and situations as being our problems, but to understand that a the devil, characteristically, will use people and situations to thwart God’s eternal purpose in the winner. So focus on the real enemy.
“Run to win the prize”
Paul alludes that surely we all prepare our programmes for the purpose of winning, so then it is critical to prepare and train in such a way as to win the crown.
“Compete according to the rules”
Paul cautions us to win in life by adhering to rules. That is, no drugs,
or bribery or use of contrary powers etc.
“We are more than conquerors…”
Peter teaches us that by our faithfulness to God in preparation, we win more than the earthly things we are chasing but the everlasting crown of Christ Jesus.
“We plan...but God establishes”
It is popular knowledge that man proposes but God disposes. King Solomon therefore teaches us to prepare, then hand over everything to our Omnipotent Father.
“Plans should be established after advice”
Solomon is also telling us that there is wisdom in wise counsel. Our programme to win should have the input of mature and God fearing people.
“The vision is for an appointed time”
A Hebrew prophet, Habbakuk, was told that although he had been given a vision of certain events, they were to come to pass at a divinely appointed time. If we a planning in God, empowered by God, then we should wait for God’s appointed time.
“Seek God in your youth”
Here, Solomon advices us to not wait until the difficult times ahead in life before we come into full knowledge of God and walking in His ways. Many of us would have already lost fifty percent of what God had in store for us before we finally go to God for guidance.
A programme to win in life starts with God, is powered by God and will end with God. If this is not your equation then you should go back and rearrange your Golden Path.
From the book, "The Golden Path"
(c) George H. Ashiru