I have decided to share my notes from my session with the teens of the Wholesome Girls Network on Saturday. It was a very amazing time for me and I’m particularly grateful to Oluwaseunbabara Oluwadare and the entire Wholesome Girls network for having me.
For those of you who read my blog regularly, most of the things I’ve shared here won’t be foreign to you. I have however tweaked it a bit, so it looks more like a conversation between us, than the way it was with the girls. I really hope that you find some new insights in this post – (and that, of course is assuming today is not your first time here.)
I started with this story:
Once upon a time, a man called his servants together. He was going for a trip and he needed them to man his business. So, he dished out different responsibilities (in the form of money). To one he gave five thousand, to another two thousand and to the third, one thousand – each one of them got responsibilities according to his abilities. He didn’t leave a single servant out. Then he travelled.
While gone, the servants to whom the man had given five thousand and two thousand respectively, put their abilities into good use and yielded more results in the responsibilities allocated to them. On the other hand, the last servant, to whom the man had given less responsibility, went to bury his and without doing anything, he awaited the man’s return.
When the man got back, each servant came up to him with the results of their work and he was very pleased. Then the last servant, the one who had abandoned his responsibilities, came to him and said, “ Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound, down to the last cent.”
On hearing this, the man was furious. He replied, “That’s a terrible way to live! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least…?” He then sent the servant away, withdrawing his responsibility and giving it to the servant who had made the most out of his.
As some of you might have figured already, that story I just shared is the famous parable of the talents from Matthew 25:14-30. When I read it, some things struck me hard – things about ‘not quitting even when you feel like’, which I’m going to share with you today.
1. Each and every one of us has a purpose:
The man in the story, that man is God and the servants – us. Right here on this earth, we have all been created to do certain things. Just like when we purchase an object – say a blender, we buy it with an intention to grind things with it; not to wash clothes or drive us around. This is because we are aware of the reason the blender has been created in the first place.
The same applies to us. God has created us when He did, as humans and in this particular generation, to do certain things. These things are our responsibilities.
Also, each one of us has been given potentials, gifts or talents to fulfil those responsibilities. Note, as it is in the story, the man did not leave any one out. It says there that he accorded responsibilities to each servant according to his abilities. This means that no matter how little it seems, you have a responsibility and you have the potential or the ability to fulfil it.
2. You have to know God:
You might be wondering how this might relate to you not quitting, but just stay with me, you’ll see. Now, I don’t want to assume that because you are here, you already know God and that’s why I’m telling you this again. You have to know God. This is the only way you can know that purpose God has created you for.
When you know God and you ask His Spirit to guide you, everything that you begin to do will be in alignment with His plans for you. As you begin to go through life, you will begin to know one step at a time the things you are meant to be doing and you’ll also begin to go through the different processes that it takes for you to become the person God has created you be. This is very important.
3. Some of the processes you will go through will be hard:
Now, like I said earlier, as you know God and begin to know the responsibilities that He has created you for or you begin to go through the processes of becoming the person He has created you to be, you will find that some of the processes you will go through won’t be easy, but in those times, don’t quit.
I already told you guys before about my friend Deborah and how, even though Debby was one of those people whose relationship with God was really personal and intimate, she found it really hard getting admitted into a university.
Debby tried for 5 years. Within this period, she got her first admission into Unilag to study Law, and while she was preparing to go, she found out that the admission had been withdrawn from her. Still, up till the time I got to know her and we became friends, Debby’s relationship with God wasn’t affected. She was still close to Him, always talking to him, always writing in her journal but occasionally, she would say something like that she didn’t understand why people who did not even know God were entering school so easily.
Then in my final year, Deborah again gained admission into Unilag. This time, to study mass communication, (I think). You should have seen the joy! Everybody was excited and I even told Debby to come to my house, so that we could have something like a vigil, where we would just be praising God for her admission.
We did that and guess what happened a few weeks later? Unilag withdrew her admission again. Haa, this time, we were all just baffled. Like, what’s happening, God? We’ve prayed and you’ve promised us, so why is this happening again?
This period for my friend was really very hard and even I didn’t even know how to encourage her again. She wanted to stop trying and just throw herself into a business, but God kept telling her that he was sending her to Unilag for a reason.
Today, after 5 years, Debby finally is in Unilag. She is approaching her final year and as a result of the things that has been happening there through her, we all can now see why God wanted her there and at the exact time she eventually got in.
Was the process easy? No, it was hard but the timing was all part of God’s plan from the very beginning.
So as you go through life, you will most likely hit very hard processes but instead of quitting, learn to trust God that because He has your life scripted and because He loves you, everything will go according to His plans for you at the end of the day.
Instead of quitting, learn to trust God that because He has your life scripted and because He loves you, everything will go according to His plans for you at the end of the day.
Instead of quitting, remember that for this hard phase, there is an end and because God’s plans for you are good, that end will be good.
4. Some of the processes you will go through will be long:
Now, as we are going through life, we may also meet times when we are expecting some things and they just won’t come at the time when we think they are supposed to.
Asides from expecting things, it could be that we are waiting to be seen. Perhaps, we’ve started doing what God has called us to do but nobody just seems to know us.
Waiting for something can be frustrating you know?
But, I remember a period in my life when I was seriously waiting for something and God gave me an analogy that got me through that phase. It was from the parable of the seeds. You know that story where the farmer was going to plant some seeds and some of them fell on shallow ground? Yes. You know the Bible says that those seeds grew but because their roots were not deep, when the sun came to scorch them, they withered and died.
Reading that, I was reminded of how we sometimes use to pour pepper water in my backyard and before like two days, those pepper would have started growing.
However, when we planted our orange tree, it look weeks before we saw the first shoot.
God used that analogy to show me, that though it took time before the orange tree surfaced, it didn’t mean that it was not already growing in the ground. Meanwhile, the pepper plants also grew but they sprang quickly because their roots were not as deep as that of the orange.
So today, one of the things I’d like to tell you is that when you go through those times that you have to wait. Wait. Instead of quitting, use that season to grow. To get closer to God and let His Spirit guide you.
When you go through those times that you have to wait. Wait. Instead of quitting, use that season to grow. To get closer to God and let His Spirit guide you.
That way, when you eventually get what you are waiting for, or when you are eventually seen, there is substance. Your roots are deep and you don’t get withered when the sun comes scorching.
5. Some of the processes you will go through won’t be comfortable.
This is the final point I’ll share today.
Back in Uni, I was really really really asking God about what He wanted me to do with my life and the thing with purpose is that when you ask, God’s Spirit will begin to lead you and bring opportunities your way.
For me, one of those opportunities I got was to become a minister in church.
If you know me, you will know why this wasn’t even comfortable at all. One, I hated anything that would put me in front of an audience to speak. My hands and voice would always shake and I would end up forgetting like half of everything I had planned to say. So whenever I had the responsibility to go to the altar and talk to the congregation, I would run. Like run away. They just won’t find me in church again.
But anytime I ran, I would end up feeling really bad. Because I knew I was avoiding the responsibility that God had given me and also because I didn’t like that somebody else would do what I had ran away from and do it so well.
But I couldn’t stop running.
Then one of those day, I ran into the bathroom and I sat there crying. While I was crying, I heard God’s Spirit ask me ‘Seun, why do you run?’
And I replied and said ‘God, I can’t do this. I’m not capable of doing this. I don’t have the ability for it.’
I remember saying that there were people who could do this way better than I am and truth is, when you look at it, I really did have a good reason for always running.
But there, God told me one thing. He said ‘it doesn’t matter your capabilities, my Grace is sufficient for you.’
That statement sealed everything for me.
Now, if I am asked to speak in front of an audience, I tell myself ‘I can do it.’ I then think of all the possible worst case scenarios that could happen while I’m at it. My hands will still shake. My voice will still shake. I’ll probably still forget half of what I might have rehearsed. Other speakers may have a better delivery but all that do not have a hold on me anymore. ‘I can do it’. That’s what I tell myself, instead of giving excuses. This new found confidence however does not come from a sudden belief in my abilities. No. It came from that one statement God told me in the restroom that day. His Grace is sufficient for me.
This has also come to be my mantra whenever I am faced with difficult or new tasks, asides speaking to an audience.
So, sometimes as you go through life, you might be faced with things that are beyond your comfort zone, things that you think you are not capable of handling but don’t quit.
Instead remember that God is there with you and His Grace is sufficient.
As you go through life, you might be faced with things that are beyond your comfort zone, things that you think you are not capable of handling but don’t quit. Instead remember that God is there with you and His Grace is sufficient.
Remember Moses was a stammerer. Remember David was a dwarf compared to Goliath. Remember these people and remember that when God gives you a purpose, He will adequately equip you with Grace to fulfilling it.
Now, back to our parable of the talents, if you look at the excuses the servant gave to his master, you’d see that they were legit. He was afraid that he was going to end up disappointing his master. Why? Because this new responsibility was way out of his comfort zone. This new responsibility looked like something that was going to be way long and hard, so before he even started, he quit. Still, the master came back and was very furious.
See guys, everything God has given to us, we will eventually account for it. In this phase where you are or the phases that you might have to go through, when it looks hard, don’t quit. When it looks long, don’t quit. When it looks uncomfortable, don’t quit.
Instead, ask God for the grace to push through the processes and to live a life that will please Him at the end of the day, when He comes back for us.
I hope this helps someone.