Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Emerging Greatness 2

By Oluyemi Adeosun & Yetunde Olatoye

Can anything good come out of Nazareth? [ John 1 vs. 46.]

-This statement was made by Nathaniel when Philip told him about Jesus Christ. And Philip said to him “Come and See!”. When the world doubts the veracity of your greatness, do not look down on yourself. If anybody attempts to put you down simply tell them to watch out for you. Tell them to “Come and See!”.

There is a cross to carry on the path to greatness. You will need some help along the way. A Yoruba adage says “it is from a black pot that a white pap comes out”. Your background does not determine your destiny. Carl Jung said, “I am not what happen to me, I am what I chose to become”. There may be giants in the land but if we align with God, we shall overcome them. It is not what you have that matters rather how you handle and optimize what you have.

…Servant of All?

I am thinking upon the man or woman who prays in desperation for the lost souls of those they love and even those they don’t know. This takes a call to action, dedication, fervency and a need to be humble. “Not by might nor by power but by my Spirit.” They are often shunned and disrespected by those they give up their time to help. This is the true understanding to love others more than yourself.

Hint... great men are doing things great men do!

They are expanding their minds, helping others, giving service to those in need, enjoying healthy hobbies, supporting family and loved ones, volunteering, working honestly, living with integrity, connecting with nature, challenging their skills, making a difference in the world... Instances of such greatness come to mind in the persons of Mother Theresa, Mahatma Ghandi, Nelson Mandela and of course Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself: people who for the sake of the all, make personal sacrifices and give unselfishly for the good of all; yet this is done in all humility and love. True greatness is about service. Scripture says it well: Whosoever must be the greatest must be the servant of all…

Count it all joy…

To have “greatness emerge” sometimes does take adversity, challenges, war or calamity, and we are in a very real battle. For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does…For our struggle is not against the flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. These struggles do not necessarily occur in grandiose, spectacular fashions, but are often encountered in the seemingly mundane issues of life encountered everyday.

There are certainly moments of great distress that bring out courage and bravery but then, there are other situations occurring every day which are given absolutely no attention and yet they draw upon “emerging greatness” to display rare bravery and courage. Of course these stories may never be headline news or even become footnotes in history books but humility isn’t looking for a pat on the back. The important thing is that, when the service is needed, despite it all, greatness must not be found lacking.

“greatness only emerges when needed most”

We are living in a time where this greatness must emerge now because it’s most needed!

In conclusion, have a positive attitude. Be rest assured that whatever you are facing right now is working together for your good. Don’t become bitter or angry. Be grateful to God for your present resources and do your best with them. Count your blessings. The future harvest is a function of the seeds you sow today. The seeds of greatness are within you. Sow them and reap your great harvest!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Emerging Greatness (1)

By Oluyemi Adeosun & Yetunde Olatoye

No doubt many readers are well acquainted with the popular Guinness advert “My friend, Udeme”. The advert appeals to the desire in man to be more than their present circumstance; to be identified with power and influence. Indeed, the closing line says “ My friend is a great man, but then, there is a drop of greatness in every man”. Though the focus of the advert itself is questionable, yet one cannot help but agree with this sentence. There is indeed, a seed of greatness in every man, waiting to be nourished and nurtured into a force to be reckoned with. To an extent or the other everyone is on the ladder of emerging greatness.

A run-of-the-mill glance through a regular dictionary gives the following quick definitions:

Emerging means “up-and-coming, rising, budding, promising, talented, starting to appear, occur or develop” It also indicates something that is newly formed or just coming into prominence (nascent); a coming to maturity or into existence.

An individual in the process of rapid growth and development is often called an emerging person.

Greatness means “Prominence, Importance, large & impressive, more than usual, very significant, exceptional talents or achievements, powerful and influential, expert, good or pleasing, useful, long-lasting influence.

The question now becomes: “ How then, can a promising, talented, up and coming individual attaint such powerful, influential, long lasting impact? Simply put, how do we identify and nurture emerging greatness into a full-fledged reality?

The first thing to be done is to make yourself available to Gods purpose and will for your life. He is the Chief Architect of your life, and He it was Who planted the seed of greatness into you. Therefore, it is imperative that we walk in close proximity with him, and that we allow Him to work out His will in our lives.

Attempt great things!

All things are possible to them that believe. Saul told David “you will attempt great things and yet succeed”. Coming from a self proclaimed enemy of David, this was a recognition and acknowledgement of emerging greatness. I charge you to attempt great things. We serve a very big God and therefore we don’t have any limitation. Don’t accept limitations, break barriers. We should not settle for less than the best. Observe the lives of men like Daniel and Joseph, whom, in their youth, attempted and achieved great things. Indeed, it is as the English adage that says “ Nothing ventured, nothing gained”. We cannot know how far we can go until we set out on the road to great accomplishments.

to be continued.....

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Emerging Greatness – the Making of a Butterfly

Educational Inspiration in Biology

Jesus often speak to people and his disciples in parables, not to confuse them but to engrave the lessons of the message deeply in their heart by relating it to what they are used to. So when he was with the farmers, He used the parable of the sower and when He was with a scribe of the law, who knew what definition of ‘right of neighbor’ is, He used the parable of the Good Samaritan . But wait, have you seen a butterfly before? Get ready as you see a tape of your life unfold in stages . Please, pause along and reflect, you will see why you are going through what you are going through now, and the prophecy of where you are heading for, if you are aligned with God’s will . The beauty of a butterfly emerges from an egg. Let’s examine the emerging glory of a dirty egg.

The Egg Stage – The days of little beginning

Tiny eggs are laid by the female butterfly on a leaf. The egg has an outer shell called chorion. The shell protects the larvae inside. The egg has an inner lining of wax, which maintains moisture. Eggs are often laid on the outer side of the leaves of the host plant. They are attached to the plant with a chemical produced by the female butterfly. This chemical looks like gum. Different species lay different number of eggs at a time.

The egg has been laid, because you have been born. You are greatness wrapped and laid, just on that leave of where you were born . Yes, some leaves are green and succulent while some are dry, but the leave has little to do with the egg, the egg has an inner lining of wax. You may be born with silver spoon in your mouth or a plastic spoon in sack , the Maker has a provision for your destiny – the inner lining of wax. Remember, Jesus was born in a manger, lived his childhood in a village.

This inner lining of wax is that something in you, that instinct you have, that is meant to protect the content of your dream from drying up. He is the Holy Spirit of God or that gentle voice of your conscience. There is something like gum that holds the egg in place. Just as the egg that is gummed to a leave, your destiny needs a place to anchor; a school, a church, an association, a training etc. Different species of butterfly lay different number of eggs at a time. There is no reason to be jealous of the dreams of your brother. Stars differ in glory. You may need to stay on that leave till this stage is over but never forget that you are created to fly. This stage is passing. It is very important to note that this stage has nothing to do with age. At every time of one’s life, there is something (an idea, a project etc) in the egg stage. Dear, you can start that thing today, it is never too late. Until it is born, it can never grow . That is the mystery of the egg stage.

The Larvae Stage – Time to Grow

Larvae are also known as caterpillars. The caterpillar is the primary eating and growth stage of the insect. After hatching out, the caterpillar interestingly eats its egg case. Larva has a head, thorax, an abdomen, a set of real legs and a set of five false legs. They have six eyes but do not have well-developed eyesight. They breathe through the holes on the sides of their bodies. Newly hatched caterpillars are small but they eat a lot and grow bigger in size. Caterpillars can have dull color or bright colors. In this stage, tiny wing appear on their thorax segments. They may be hairy or may have bristles. As it grows, a caterpillar continues shedding its skin. Immediately upon shedding its old skin the larva fills itself with air. This allows the new skin to take on bigger size so the caterpillar can grow into this new size.

After each of these transformations, it is possible that the caterpillar can be a different colour or appearance from the time before.
The egg of butterfly does not remain an egg forever. It is time to eat up this egg case and feed your dreams. This beautiful glory cannot be caged for life. This is the stage of motion. The dream is yet to materialize but the carrier of the dream can now walk and feed itself. This is a stage to break that shyness, deal with that habit (laziness, procrastination etc), ask for the help you need, ask that question and identify those opportunities. It is the time to travail to prevail .

Maybe you need to pause and evaluate your life at this point. List the dreams God once gave you, or your aspirations your passion runs for, or that idea you wanted to pursue, that book you wanted to read, that examination you wanted to write, that project you wanted to pursue. The inner lining of wax is gone, but the provision of God exists in other forms. You just need to reach out for it and get all you need for your dreams to grow. But wait, caterpillars have six eyes but do not have well-developed eyesight at this stage. Yes, the dreamers also wander sometimes [Gen. 37:15 A man met him (Joseph – the dreamer) as he was wandering through the fields and asked him, "What are you looking for?"]. It might not be too clear how you will get there, clear the road a stage at a time, just as the caterpillar walks.

A student might find it hard at SS2 to really know what course to study in the University (despite all motivational talks and career guidance in previous editions of HighFliers). Please, pass WAEC at a sitting first. When you safely pass through a bend, you’ll see the road ahead. Your Maker has made all you need to survive this stage. The hole is on your side, so breathe. Oh, no! Stop comparing your caterpillar with that of others at this stage. Caterpillars can have dull or bright colors, they may be hairy or may have bristles; the pattern of your glory is unique to you. And it sheds its skin as it grows. So as you ACT, you will break some walls, so you can have room to accommodate your expansion. Friends, breaking of boundaries cause tears. But that is part of the process toward the shining emerging greatness.

The Pupa Stage – Building the Internal Strength
Throughout the larval stage a caterpillar has to shed its skin several times in order to accommodate further growth. After the final skin, a pupa emerges. The pupa or chrysalis or cocoon is the resting or transformation stage, and within it the marvelous transformation from caterpillar to adult takes place. Pupa may appear to rest but they undergo a major reform during this stage. Pupa usually resembles part of the plant they are on.

I wonder how many of these things I had tapped away from stalks when I was growing up. I even tried to open some and see what was inside. God forgive me for ‘destinies aborted’. There is a time when it seems all is slow. All seeds are sown and all energy spent. It is a time when the choice is made, the investment is done. The prayers are said and the exams are written, the questions are asked and all calls are made. But all you can see is a hard shell, that doesn’t resemble the flying glories of friends around. But that is why the glory, though known to God your Creator, will take its course to emerge for the world to see.

For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry (Hab 2:3). Read carefully, dear. The caterpillar was eating and was growing physically, but the transformation of this waiting pupa is internal . I have found that the measure of a man is not how tall he stands, how wealthy or intelligent he is, but what’s in the heart defines the measure of a man. And in this transformation to glory, this internal strength of a man is built in the crucible of pupa’s waiting time . This is the time when the heart tends to grow weary; when the short-sighted thinks that all hope is lost. Unfortunately, most Pupa drop off at this point and get trodden by the foot of men. Look at the pupa it is attached to the stalk of the leave with a tiny silk. What sustains a destiny in times like this is his attachment to the Almighty God. Pupa takes the color of what they are attached to, your association determines your destiny, so watch the friends you keep, the mouth you listen to and the feet you wash. This greatness is emerging, just a stage to go. Never Ever Give Up, the night will pass.

The Adult Stage
A butterfly emerging now, the chrysalis becomes transparent, revealing colors beneath. The pupa skin splits, the damp butterfly crawls out-now with compound eyes, a proboscis for feeding and six legs. Initially, its wings are very small and shriveled, but as the butterfly pumps blood into its veins they unfurl. A little warming from the sun and it is now ready to fly off to feed and then lay its eggs.
When the moment of hibernation is over, your glory will shine and all shall begin to see. The cocoon will become transparent, and all will see what has taken the Master this long to make. Remember that all it needs to fly is made, though maybe wet, soft and tender and needs the sun to dry. So, when your success comes to you, don’t forget you still need the counsel of God through men and the Sun of Righteousness himself in your life. I see your glory emerging now. Shallom.

Toyin Daniel Ogunmola © 02/09/2009 12:01:43