My beloved readers, Happy New Year. I also say a big congratulations to all who by the special grace of God made it into 2021 despite the various challenges that befell the nation last year. Special thanks go to the King of Kings who saw us through the disturbing roller-coaster year of 2020.
Now, it is a new year, a new dawn, a new chapter of life and another new beginning. It is also a new opportunity, a fresh opening, chance and break. One can decide to personally take stock of his or her life and turn a new leaf. The traditional system of making new year resolution a big deal is also a personal decision which will definitely take place as usual. It did not start today and will not end in the near future. It has been a practice as old as the new year itself. The best could be achieved when one in all honesty decides to keep appointment with destiny. It is key. The appointment we are discussing here centres on obedience, responsibility and focus. These will not come from the blues rather they stare at us, eyeball to eyeball. Only a few wise ones recognize and hold unto such opportunities. These opportunities could be missed out of carelessness, lack of focus and inattentiveness. This new year message is for individuals who are ready for the new dawn of their lives. May God give us the focus to harness our destiny appointment.
How do I mean? Take the case of Mrs. Augustina Pedro, who is a typical example of a woman who kept appointment with destiny. I was once privileged to hear her tell the story of her destiny meeting and opportunity. She said, “It was immediately after the civil war, there was no serious formal education in the East back then, just that events were picking up gradually. Interestingly, there was an announcement in the Catholic Church that all girls in the Mary League should gather and clean the massive church environment. With the bevy of girls who besieged the compound, we were allocated to different groups.”
While some were practicing to sing during the Sunday service, poor Augustina was among those who were asked to sweep the adjoining frontage of a particular hall near where the choir practice was taking place. She listened to the songs and her intelligence soared immediately, she picked the songs with an almost trained perfect voice, the rhythm and lyrics flew out of her mouth accordingly, yet she was just singing, smiling and suffering unassumingly. It was her voice that attracted the Reverend Father teaching the other girls, and he wondered who could be that perfect with the songs. He became quite impressed as he peeped through the window and saw a young unassuming girl singing and sweeping with effortless ease. The priest beckoned on her and said she was not part of the invited choir members, yet she was beating the invited girls to a standstill, almost perfect in singing. Subsequently, enquiries were made about her, and by Monday, Augustina who had no hope of furthering her education was shockingly and surprisingly driven to the office of Mrs. Beatrice Njiribeako, the principal of Owerri-Nta Girls Secondary School, Okpala, Imo State to be admitted into Class One. The principal was addressed thus: “Augustina is a brilliant girl, admit and begin to train her while I pay her fees.” Fulfilling her destiny appointment, Mrs. Pedro passed the West African School Certificate Examination (WASCE) in flying colours and pursued various degrees, worked in various organisations at high level and became an accomplished sought-after woman until she retired as an Executive Director in one of the old generation banks.
Now, the first recognizable proof in this story is Pedro’s obedience to the call. A request was made to young girls, to come and clean the church. Augustina obeyed and kept her destiny appointment, today she is a retired big winner because she kept her destiny appointment. What would have happened if she had not obeyed the glorious call? Would she have been attracted by the song that paved way for her? It is a lesson for all.
Though everybody cannot be on the same page of life, as all fingers are not equal, but being positive and standing right on the standard practice of life pays and pay well.
Again, it is for those who willingly choose to follow the wrong side of life which has a short term pay. Being responsive, active and alert to opportunities will keep one on the right track. Now, speaking the language of Prof. Ralph Afolabi Akinfeleye of the Department of Mass Communication, University of Lagos, who would charge his students to say what they mean and mean what they say. Those who hide under pretense to perpetrate evil of all sorts will not meet their destiny appointment. And I ask, what does it cost to obey simple instructions? It has become so disgusting why people do not respect constituted authorities. How people choose evil over goodness. Everything around and about such people are complaints, disobedience, disrespect and disloyalty. Augustina Pedro respected her local authority and it brought about a turning point in her life.
In the same vein, Mrs. Enobong Abasi is the Chief Matron of a specialist hospital in Lagos State. Obedience also paved way for her as she met her destiny appointment. After sitting for the WASCE and while waiting for the next option of her life, youthful exuberance also set in when she stopped attending church services. But thank God for her mother, who stood her ground. Enobong’s mother never gave her a breathing space. She was forced to attend all services. It was during one of those forced sessions that an announcement was made for young girls who passed WASCE, especially in science subjects, to apply for a full scholarship under the sponsorship of the diocese in a Nursing school. Lo and behold, Enobong was the only qualified candidate. She was successfully trained as a State Registered Nurse (SRN) by the Anglican Archdiocese.
Destiny appointment is not all about religious piety. It is an act of responsibility and selfless service. Obedience for all we know is better than sacrifice. Obedience is like an octopus that has many legs. It takes a matured mind to be obedient and meet destiny appointments which assist people to achieve their aims, goals and objectives. Obedient people do not fail, rather they progress.
Now, most marriage challenges are as a result of disobedience because when two cannot agree, they would significantly be in disunity. This is not a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Rather, it should be a case of all getting back to the board to get things right in the new year.
Are you in the office as a civil servant? Do you resume when you are expected to and put in your best? Or do you call it business as usual? Even if the superiors do not see you, your destiny appointer would remember you one day if you are responsible to yourself.
Are you an anointed man of God but very envious of the assistant pastor? Is your heart filled with bitterness, envy and jealousy even as you stand at the altar of God to preach the gospel? You need genuine repentance sir, so you can meet your destiny appointment.
Are you an apprentice, who steals from the shop and thwarts business opportunities of your masters? Are you into cybercrime or a runs girl who allows men to run her with fake promises? Are you a dubious caterer who serves three 300 guests with one cooler of rice? Principals that eat students food, nurses and matrons who swap babies and leave nursing mothers in perpetual pain and psychological trauma? Are you an artisan who dupes clients and allows them chase you all over town; lawyers who take bribe and look the other way, domestic workers who take bribe and allow their bosses to be murdered in broad daylight? Co-wives who wish other women’s children evil, house helps who suffocate their madam’s children. Men who are rapists and pedophiles. Teachers who put aside their primary responsibility and focus on their private lessons. Medical doctors in public hospitals who are specialists in double dealing by directing patients to their private hospitals. The list is endless.
Dear Nigerians, this is an opportunity for us all to go back to the drawing board and take a total look at ourselves. The need for total repentance is now, clear and present. Happy New Year All!