Happy New Year.
Thus far, I had delayed in posting my thoughts for 2016 disagreeing with what you have come to expect of me at the turn of every New Year. It has been my practice for the past 9 years to share my thoughts at the brink of a new year. Though the earth had achieved a complete orbit of the sun, I was still mentally in 2015 hence I had no thoughts to share about 2016. I had a few ends to tie up before I could hit the ground for 2016. Well… 16 days after the official turn of the New Year, I am fully in 2016 mode now so here are/is my thoughts/thought – Build Strength.
Before I proceed, I must of necessity sincerely appreciate you for just being you. I have a very small social circle because I am very deliberate about the bonds I form. This is partly because I am fiercely loyal and loyalty is costly. I don’t have enough of it to go around for all and sundry. My circle is small, yet so diverse that a snapshot of my interactions would portray me, though wrongly, to be socially schizophrenic. My point is that you make my life better in very unique ways. And for this, I am deeply grateful.
At the risk of sounding unoriginal, I would say that I truly believe this will be a year like no other. It will be the inflection point for various global courses and personal destinies. This year, those of insufficient strength will drop out of the race – sadly for good, while those who have consciously built strength will successfully negotiate the inevitable inflection point of destiny. So without pointless rambling, my foremost thought for this year anchors on the need to ‘build strength’ – spiritual, intellectual, and mental. If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small; and it is visible to the blind and audible to the deaf that these are days of adversity. The global socio-economic outlook is gloomy at best. There is not a country out there today not facing one severe test or the other. I wouldn’t want to focus on the macro-sociological and macroeconomic factors nonetheless because these are common to all. My interests for this minute lie in the microcosm of our personal, seemingly unique individual challenges. Let me explain…
The path to your destiny is loaded with adversity. This is the way God designed it (a topic for a different day). There is no destiny without adversity; it is therefore prudent that one develops strength. As a matter of fact, the story of every great person is typically an account of adversities overcome and obstacles surmounted. There is always a cross before a crown. However, we must remember that even the worst challenges are common. There is nothing unique about challenges in general and by extension the specific challenges we face. Some other people have gone through the same matrix of events and I am guessing some overcame while some were consumed by it. What side of history will you fall on? Paul did say to the church in Corinth that no temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man. Understand that adversity isn’t special. Mrs Adversity doesn’t have it out for you, neither has she decided to camp out at your house alone. Please ladies, don’t message to ask me why I have used the feminine gender to describe adversity… remember Hurricane Katrina? In general, adversity is common to all. More specifically, your particular challenge is also not unique to you. It is common. Having this perspective empowers you quite a bit. It does something for your mental posture and I don’t believe it is simply because misery loves company. It is empowering primarily because we as humans are wired for reference. If others have gone through or surmounted certain obstacles, then perhaps I can overcome as well. Trying not to be preachy on this post, but I must hang my thoughts on Scriptures which present a sure foundation.
When Jesus was at a major intersection of destiny – the Garden of Gethsemane, He was overwhelmed with emotion and was exceeding sorrowful unto death as the King James Bible puts it. It was non-negotiable that He must tread the alley of pain and suffering or you can call it adversity because His earthly destiny required it. At this point, He prays for God to spare Him the journey ahead. Oddly, God wouldn’t grant His request but responds by sending an angel to strengthen Him. What He needed was strength to endure the cross and emerge with a crown. I believe strongly that many will enter the figurative Garden of Gethsemane this year; a place of potential spiritual weariness and mental exhaustion due to the magnitude of what lies ahead but the discerning will interpret this for what it is – a pivotal crossroad of destiny where you must get it right or would have missed it for good.
2016 is the beginning of something new. As my Pastor said sometime last year, ‘nobody has ever lived 2016 before’. Even if you are a prophet, the best you could have is some insight into 2016. You have not lived it or experienced it. 2016 is brand new. At the beginning of a new phase in Joshua’s life, God advised him repeatedly in Joshua 1 to be strong and very courageous. You must understand that God’s advice has the backing of His credibility so much so that they should not be considered optional. To Joshua, He is basically saying, ‘If you must fulfill your destiny and succeed in your assignment, you must be strong’. The absence of strength is the collapse of the pursuit of destiny.
Be strong precious people. Build mental strength by developing a resilient mindset, intellectual strength by seeking knowledge with the desperation of an addict, and spiritual strength by seeking God diligently. It takes strength to rise up and set out in pursuit of meaningful goals… most people will not. It takes strength to stand up again after falling down. It is much easier to stay down. It takes strength to maintain your integrity. It takes emotional strength, not weakness to ignore offenses. It takes strength to remain focused in a world of many attractions that distract. It is strength that stops you from caving in when under intense pressure. It takes strength to make the hard choices required to fulfill destiny. It takes strength to take risks. It takes strength to see failure as an education and not an obstacle, or as an event and not a permanent state. It takes strength for one to deduce the cost of success, discern its extreme requirements and yet pay it no questions asked; no excuses.
2016 will be a great year… Only be strong and very courageous. Shalom.
PS: I have resumed posting on the blog weekly. Look out for the new posts and share as you deem appropriate. Thank you.