SEPTEMBER 11 is a day remembered by several people in different places for different reasons- some positive, others negative. The Scottish explorer, Mungo Park was born on this day. He is known in this part of the world for his exploration of the River Niger.
America remembers this day in 1941 for the ground breaking of the construction of The Pentagon. Unfortunately, 70 years later, the country remembers that day when out of the skies came gleaming wings of evil that left about three thousand people dead and several others injured. Two hijacked aircraft had crashed into the World Trade Centre in New York City, while a third smashed into the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia and a fourth into a field near Sharksville, Pennsylvania, in a series of coordinated suicide attacks by 19 members of the al-Qaeda.
This day also marks the day of my birth and more than two decades later, I am grateful to the Creator for the gift of life and an understanding of its purpose.
You might have heard it said that “experience is the best teacher.” Maybe. Maybe not. We definitely don’t have to learn all of life’s lessons by our own personal experiences. We can choose to learn lessons without having to acquire the experiences that birthed those lessons.
I am a very young man. I cannot say life has taught me much but I want to share four lessons I have had the priceless opportunity of learning from experience perhaps because no one shared from his own experiences or most likely, because I chose to learn them myself. Either ways, I have no regrets, and I am without excuse. By sharing these, I hope I get to save you from attending a class of Experience and yet have the certificate.
1. NOTHING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOUR PURPOSE DISCOVERY
This has been my life purpose- helping people discover why God has placed them here and helping them see their potentials to fulfil that purpose. I believe I can do this because for a long time, I had lived without a clear understanding of my assignment. I did anything, went anywhere, walked with anybody and lived anyhow. But since I learnt to be intentional about my life, I can say that there is nothing more important than finding the purpose of your existence. There are three dates important in your life- the day you were born, the day you are born again and the day you find why you were born and had to be born again. You are not an accident. You are here on purpose!
2. NOTHING IS MORE SECURING THAN SELF-DISCOVERY
Like most young people, I have struggled with issues of insecurity and low self-esteem. I have lost relationships and said nasty things out of my insecurity. Insecure people are unhappy people. You’ll be frustrated and miserable. Take this from me: there is freedom in knowing who you are. Walking with God and getting to know what He says about me has helped build my security against identity theft. When you know and accept who God says you are, you are free to become all that you can be. Finding the answer to the question “Who am I?” is key to emotional security.
3. NOTHING IS MORE VALUABLE THAN RELATIONSHIPS
John Maxwell rightly pointed out that “almost all our sorrows can be traced to relationships with wrong people and our joys to relationships with the right people.” This is very true!
I have learnt, although in a hard way, to value my relationships. For a long time, I did not know how to keep old friends and make new ones at the same time. I changed friends easily. But I have learnt that we need both categories of friends for the freshness and the adventure our new friends offer and the golden moderation that comes from the closeness we have shared with our old friends. Nothing is just more valuable than your relationship with God, your mentors, your colleagues and even your subordinates. You cannot achieve much as a lone ranger. That only happens in the movies!
4. NOTHING IS MORE UNRELIABLE THAN YOUR FEELINGS
We are emotional beings and we have feelings. But our feelings are just not good enough to give us a perfect picture of any situation. I have taken decisions relying on my feelings and they have mostly turned out to be unwise. I have learnt that knowledge is a better source of wise decisions. Your feelings are a function of several factors, chief among which is your environment. Because your environment is subject to change, you cannot depend on your feelings to be happy. You cannot depend on your feelings to be in a good mood. You’d just be miserable. Learn to walk by knowledge and live by the Spirit. Be directed by a clear sense of vision!
Life is a gift and as Rick Warren puts it, it is a test, a trust and a temporary assignment. Every storm, famine, harvest, wilderness and success in life is a class in which we must learn. God must teach us to live well! He must teach us to live wisely and well!
This piece is dedicated to the Giver of Life to whom I commend the families of all who were lost to the horrifying darkness of the 9/11 attacks. Come, Lord Jesus!
©2014, Alabi AimPurpose IfeOluwa
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