I will please ask that you read the whole of the Book of Ruth, Chapter 2, from verse 1 to verse 23.
I have interacted with several brilliant and very talented people, who have very brilliant ideas, but do not have results to show for all their talents and brilliance. I also know very anointed people, particularly young men, who are very anointed, very knowledgeable in the scriptures, who love God very deeply, but do not have tangible results to show.
I suspect I must have written about one who contributed greatly to my understanding of ministry. He has this great anointing—when he is singing, signs and wonders take place. I am talking from personal experience. When I started ministry, he would sing after I had preached. Wow! The presence of God was palpable. He had attended several Bible Schools but never completed any of them. He was so good at preparing people for University examinations; several of those students must have had PhD degrees by now. Tragically, he never went to University, and he should be in his early or mid-fifties by now.
His major problem was restlessness; he could not stay focused on one thing for long. He could not concentrate on one project for long. He has worked with so many prominent ‘Men of God’, but has nothing to show for it.
I know people who always come up with one business idea or the other, but never drive it to fruition. There are some who, like my friend I described earlier, can’t work long with anybody; they must have an erratic behaviour that will make them move on. The funny aspect is that they will eventually drift back to that place they left with anger.
This morning, on our way to the farm, I was sharing this message with my driver, my wife’s assistant, and my son, Ese Apoki. I used Bishop David Abioye of the Living Faith Church; he has been with Bishop David Oyedepo for years. There is no way you will tell me that there have not been times when he felt like quitting. I know that there are times, I suspect, he must have felt uncomfortable with some issues, but he has stayed with the ministry and his boss. He is a very good preacher and very anointed, but he knows his calling and office, and I believe he is blessed.
It is not every grace you tap into to excel in life. There are times you need grace to stay in your purpose, and work with the grace of staying power. Most successful people did not get to where they are now by receiving it by fire or thunder, or by force.
Being born again and your association with a man/woman of God, or wearing church bangles, or putting church stickers on your cars, does not eliminate the challenges of life. Life is filled with challenges. The most successful people in life have overcome several failures and challenges.
I wrote in my previous posts on the challenges I faced with my first experience with cucumber cultivation, harvest, marketing, and sales. There were times my spirit was depressed, but I have passed that road before, and I have learnt to Hold On To My Vision.
Yesterday, we set out to prepare the place to plant the new set of cucumbers. This period has been very financially challenging for me, but I must move on with my dreams. So I do what I have been teaching those I mentor. If you don’t have enough capital to invest, get physically involved, do some of the work with members of your household. It’s called sweat capital.
The man making the ridges agreed on a price if the place would be cleared before he digs. I need to plant the cucumbers soon to be able to maximise my time and the weather, because I am also planting cassava.
There were some trees that were felled with a chainsaw occupying significant portions of the land. I called the chainsaw operator to come cut the trees, but his number was switched off. My son asked a simple question, “Daddy, can’t those trees be cut with a sharp matchet?” I answered in the affirmative, but I knew my worker was avoiding the felled trees and their branches.
My Ese was not used to cross-cutting trees, so I decided to cut the trees. I started from the biggest stem. With every stroke of the matchet, there was a reduction in the girth of the stem. I eventually cut through the first section. I continued until I cut the largest tree to short logs.
Then it started to drizzle, and Ese ran to the car. But I continued. By the time he came back when the drizzling abated, I had finished cutting all the trees remaining the branches of a palm tree in another section of the land. I was a bit discouraged, but I started cutting off each palm frond, one after the other, making sure no thorns pricked my hands.
While doing that, it started to rain again. Ese went back to the car, but I continued, and eventually cleared every bit of the palm fronds.
Ese came back when I did not join him; he met me working. I was passing a message on staying power.
You can’t blame him; he has been in Europe since the age of 17 years, for the past 6 years, but he has to face the reality of the other side of midnight.
Life is not a bed of roses. I eventually closed, and on our way back, he plucked that watermelon you saw in my last post. I still found time to write that post, and sent it to my son, Ufuoma, in Europe to edit and publish it. Then, I shared it with some of you.
This morning, the whole crew set out, as said earlier on, to the farm. My wife and her assistant decided to do some weeding in an area that has been overgrown with weeds; we had just cleared the weeds not more than three weeks back.
On our way to the farm, a hose broke and was leaking brake fluid. Thank God we were close to the farm. That car was not going to disrupt our work schedule for the day. At a point, we resolved that the driver should take the car home because my wife refused to go home, because the weeds were overwhelming the watermelons.
Remember, I married my wife for the wrong reasons; she is a crisis manager. I also needed to apply poultry manure on the ridges before planting the cucumbers. Because of time, I asked the driver to bring another car. Before the driver came back, I had applied poultry manure to 50% of the ridges with my worker.
Initially, it was going slowly, but as we continued, I devised new techniques of doing it quicker and more efficiently. I told the man working with me that I was preparing a message as I was working.
This is the message.
There is no easy way to succeed. It is true you need to work smart, but truths are parallel, you need to be realistic; don’t deceive yourself.
There is a point where hard work is the first step to smart work in crisis situations.
Ruth is a typical example of staying power; she refused to go back when Orpah went back. I refused to stop when Ese went to the car. He left me twice in the rain. Remember, I dare to walk alone. My wife refused to go home with the driver and Ese; she finished the portion she needed to weed.
We got home very fulfilled.
That’s how we have been handling challenges since we got married in 1985, with barely anything.
Staying power will give you what favour, grace, anointing, brilliance, and even connections alone will not give you.
Don’t mind some of these young motivational preachers, prophets, and film star preachers. Check their lives, and you will see that they put in so much effort into what they do, and have staying power despite all their challenges and criticisms.
God Bless You.