THE S.P.I.R.I.T of greatness: The trade-off – 1

For almost one hour, the Pastor observed the woman as she prayed with unusual suppliant fervency.

“Lord, please take this terrible habit from me. I am tired of smoking. Please deliver me from this scourge.” Then she held aloft a pack of cigarettes in a way that suggested that she expected that God or His designated angel would personally descend to collect it from her . After observing her for a while, the Pastor decided to intervene. He moved towards her and tapped her gently on the shoulder saying, “Madam, can you just hand over the pack of cigarettes to me now? I believe God has answered your prayers.”

With incredulity written all over her face, she retorted, “No you cannot have them Pastor. They are mine! I cannot give them up!”

Funny did you say? That woman’s story is the story of many people who express the desire to succeed without locking their will into the expressed desire. Unfortunately, on the journey of success, desires alone don’t cut to the chase. Desires must dictate choices and choices must be narrowed down to decisions. A decision is the choice you make when all possible options have been considered. We make our choices and our choices in turn make us.

The picture of a man’s life purpose can never be fully captured in words. Words become absolutely inadequate to express what makes a man go to sleep late and wake up early or what makes him keep going even when everyone around him is telling him to stop. There are not enough words in the lexicon of any language to describe what makes a man of purpose take a few more steps even when it seems that everything around him seems to be collapsing! The true picture of a man’s life purpose and pursuit is best expressed in the choices that he makes. Our choices mirror our persuasion and predict our outcomes. Choices are nothing but the exercise of responsibility that make the difference between our status quo and our ideal life.

By the time they got to Samaria, Jesus was as tired and hungry as any of His disciples. But on getting to the well of Jacob, He decided to stay back while His twelve disciples went to look for food. The reason for this was later to be seen in the woman with whom no one wanted to publicly associate because of her reputation for serially ruined marital footprints. She had made it to the well to fetch water at a time no one else was likely to be there. But she was not prepared for what – or shall we say who – she met on arrival at the well. By the time her encounter with Jesus was over, she had become a disciple and an evangelist for the cause of the Messiah. That was the reason for Jesus’ wait! By the time the disciples who had gone to look for food returned, they saw a different Jesus from the one they left at the well. He looked refreshed and when offered food, He did not sound too enthusiastic about eating because, according to him, He had eaten food that the disciples knew nothing about. Seeing their confusion, He said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work” In other words, to Him, purpose superseded pleasure.

“The zeal of your house has consumed me” was not just an old testament prophecy to Him. He demonstrated it by cultivating the habit of attending synagogue services. On one occasion, He was so enraged by the derailment of purpose that He observed in the temple that He flogged and chased some people out of it for desecrating its essence!

“Necessity is laid upon me to preach the gospel” was not just a verbal confession to Paul the apostle, it was a lifestyle for which he had to forsake an enhanced social status and the attendant material privileges!

To get the most out of life, you must be willing to give part of your life. Personal discipline is not about masochistic asceticism. It is about conduct serving purpose. According to Henry David Thoreau, “The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it”

Any imbecile can make a living. Champions distinguish themselves by making a difference. The man that seeks to walk on water must be willing to forsake the security of the boat

Louise Boone says that “Don’t fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of life contains three descriptions; could have, might have and should have”

To live a life of addition, ask, “What can I do for others?” But to live a life of multiplication, you should be asking, “What can I do with others?”

Your destiny may give you a destination. However, your rituals determine how or whether you will get there. Every man’s routine is determined by his choices and decisions.

It is stupid to assume that the purpose of life is to mark time or fill it up with activities while awaiting death. As a matter of fact, a man dies not only when his heart stops beating but when his reason for living no longer makes his heart skip a beat while pursuing a God-ordained goal.

The journey of a thousand miles does not actually begin with the first step but with the decision to travel to a predetermined destination.

Greatness does not just happen. Success that comes by accident will ultimately lead to failure as incident. If you stumble into success, trust me, you will fumble out of it. Whenever you sign up for success, you also sign up for discipline. True success is spelt S.A.C.R.I.F.I.C.E. It entails intelligent choices and trade-offs.

True success is never only about what we desire to pursue. It is also largely predicated on what we are willing to give up or walk away from. It is about trade-offs; the things that you are willing to forsake so that you can more effectively pursue your God-inspired dream.

To go up in life, there is always something to give up. Only a fool attempts to climb the ladder of success with his hands in his pocket. A decision to lead the orchestra is also a decision to turn your back on the audience until the performance is over and it is applause time! No driver makes progress in forward motion while his eyes are glued to the rear view mirror.

If you must set sail for tomorrow’s destination, you cannot be powered by yesterday’s wind!

Remember, the sky is not your limit, God is!

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