Last week, I shared on my Whatsapp and Facebook based platform, JustPurposeDaily, about how people sometimes experience disparity between the substance of their life message and the reality of their lives. For example, you find someone who says God has called him to help people live sexually pure lives helplessly languishing in all kinds of sexual addictions. You probably can point to one guy who claims he has been called to liberate men from the shackles of poverty and who still cannot afford a three-square meal daily. The question then is why?
While I have identified a lack of understanding of the leverage of purpose as one reason for this disparity, I believe there is another reason that is perhaps more practical and more applicable to most people who have this issue. This is the issue of PREPARATION.
Sometimes ago, a friend of mine started a daily broadcast that communicated his life message to his audience. Then, he stopped. When I asked why, he responded that he found that much of what he shared were theoretical truths he had learnt and not practical insights he had practised. He believed he was not yet ready for that level of impact, he needed to focus on preparing for the task of his life assignment. My friend had understood that without thorough preparation, there was no way he would be a proof of the message he preached.
Today, I want to talk briefly about PREPARATION for your purpose pursuit. I believe this is the most important factor that determines the level of your impact. Everyone who will effectively do purpose must undergo two types of preparations.
1. Prerequisite Preparation: Preparation as a REQUIREMENT
This the kind of preparation that is necessary before any meaningful step can be taken in the pursuit of your purpose. If you are called to be a lawyer for instance, you have to be trained in the University and at the Law School before you can be called to the Nigerian Bar. But then, this only gets you qualified. To be great at what you do, you will need to not only pass through these institutions, but to also grow your mind and learn to reason like a lawyer. You will need to be mentored and exposed as a necessary prerequisite to becoming the kind of lawyer that is worthy of your calling.
There are too many folks out there who jumped into the pursuit of purpose too early without the necessary preparations. The end result usually is their inability to deliver the kind of impact that is required of them. Perhaps the greatest secret to the phenomenal success of Apostle Paul was the 14-year period he spent in Arabia before returning to Jerusalem. I believe those years were the time he encountered Jesus more intimately and was empowered to be effective in the pursuit of his assignment.
While, you can take some little steps in the pursuit of your purpose, the time of prerequisite preparation is not the time to make noise. It is the time to learn, grow and study so that you can show yourself approved when your time of manifestation comes.
2. Concurrent Preparation: PREPARATION AS A CULTURE
Your pursuit of purpose will be in phases as you expand your influence and break new frontiers. Thus, you will need to embrace the culture of preparation. As you take a new job or receive invitations to speak at different conferences and events; as you meet new people or travel to different places, you will always need to be prepared for whatever comes your way.
Peter Senge has rightly observed that what distinguishes most outstanding leaders is not usually their public speaking skills, brilliance or eloquence. Rather, they stand out because of their clarity and the persuasiveness of their ideas, the depth of their commitment and their openness to continually learn more. People who deliver impact are learners. For us who do purpose, all of life is a school. You cannot let up on learning.
A young man approached the foreman of a logging crew and asked for a job.
“That depends,” replied the foreman. “Let’s see you fell this tree.”
The young man stepped forward, and skilfully felled a great tree. Impressed, the foreman exclaimed, “You can start Monday.”
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday rolled by — and Thursday afternoon the foreman approached the young man and said, “You can pick up your pay check on the way out today.”
Startled, the young man replied, “I thought you paid on Friday.”
“Normally we do,” said the foreman. “But we’re letting you go today because you’ve fallen behind. Our daily felling charts show that you’ve dropped from first place on Monday to last place today.”
“But I’m a hard worker,” the young man objected. “I arrive first, leave last, and even have worked through my coffee breaks!”
The foreman, sensing the young man’s integrity, thought for a minute and then asked, “Have you been sharpening your axe?”
The young man replied, “No sir, I’ve been working too hard to take time for that!”
Like that young man, there is a kind of preparation that is necessary to get your purpose started, but more importantly, you must embrace the culture of preparation if you will remain in business. So, what steps will you take to prepare yourself for your life assignment? What is the cross you must carry today to be able to be the saviour of the people you have been called to serve? What new information must you acquire to keep your axe sharpened and keep your place in the charts?
Whether you have just discovered purpose or you have been in pursuit for a while, the culture of preparation is a necessary prerequisite to playing your role in God’s global plan.
I call you blessed!