HAPPY NEW YEAR!
The above title has been ringing in my head and heart recently. As I meditate on it, I came to the realization that a lot of us have engaged in such labours at some points in our lives albeit unknowingly. If we must make progress this year, then it is imperative we understand what this labour is because your actions (labour) are a function of your understanding, a pointer to the level of wisdom your possess. Ecclesiastes 10:15 say, "The labour of the foolish wearieth every one of them, because he knoweth not how to go to the city". Let me explain this scripture with a personal experience I went through when Adeolu Akinyemi visited Port-Harcourt (PH) sometime last year. When I got news of his presence, I decided I was going to meet him in flesh and blood for the very first time. You can imagine how excited I was to meet one of those I hold as mentors for the very first time. I took excuse from the office so I could attend the meeting he was holding in his hotel suite. You can imagine how i felt seeing the man whose words (write-ups) burn like fire in my bones and have always set my soul ablaze. Part of my time there was spent gazing and wondering at his person and not actually listening to what was being discussed. lol. In fact I had to repeat my visit the following day to really get some of my questions about the subject of the meeting answered. What I didn't tell him was that the journey to locate him wasn't an easy one although i endured the pain for the joy of meeting him. I knew fully well that he was lodged at Amanda Hotel along Woji road in New G.R.A. He even called to give me his suite number. I was born and brought up in PH, in fact I had my primary education in the same G.R.A., but what i went through that day trying to locate the hotel sums up the above scripture.
I had the options of accessing Woji road either from Olu-obasanjo road where u have everyday supermarket or from G.R.A. junction at Aba road. I went for the later option. Just behind Manuchim (OCJ Okocha's) Chamber on Tombia street, i asked a guy if he could direct me on how i could get to Amanda Hotel. He did using Le meridian as a marker and I followed his explanations but when i discovered i had missed the way, i asked another guy who also obliged me. I followed his too with Amanda Hotel not yet in sight. I eventually arrived at Woji road at everyday supermarket (i.e my first option above) and right there i asked another guy who told me that Amanda Hotel is still ''miles'' away from where i was. Well, i decided i was going to do the trekking since am on woji road but how wrong i was. I met another guy down the road and he told me that the hotel is still a bit far but advised me on a short cut to take. Surprisingly, he told me that the short cut would lead to an area (where polo golf club is) which was just a stone's throw from where i started off from at manuchim chambers. Poor me! After about 30 minutes or more of trekking i still haven't arrived my destination. Funny enough, there was no mass transit or taxis service per se in the area so I decided to take a cab (a drop) at that point and the guy was glad to take N150 from me or was it N200? I have forgotten. In less than 5 minutes, we were at Amanda Hotel though i noticed tha the driver played smart as he, kind of, lengthened the drive a bit.
After the meeting as i walked out of the hotel and walked a little to my left, there was Tombia street where the primary school i attended is situated. Oh my God! so this is where this hotel is? i quipped. How things have changed, if the hotel had been there during my primary school days some 20-25 years ago, i definitely would have known it like the back of my palm. Most of those areas were undeveloped then. Well, I trekked (or is it strolled?) down to my starting point at G.R.A. to find my way back to the office. Of course! my visit the next day was a straight forward one.
That experience taught me an instructive lesson about life: It is one thing to know where u are going and quite another to know how to get there. It is also one thing to have what it takes and quite another to know what it takes. Having what it takes and not knowing it, is worse than knowing what it takes and not having it "for my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge" (Hoses 4:6). Although the difference between both may be the willingness or unwillingness to take the necessary actions. Most of us do have what it takes! One may have what i takes and in ignorance, waste it while someone who knows what it takes is in a position to acquire it if he doesn't have it. Sure, he can tell whether or not he has it. Well, that is a food for thought.
This is 2010 and most of us already know what we want: we have visions, goals and targets we want to hit this year but do we know how to go about or achieve them? The labour of the foolish wearieth every one of them because he knoweth not how to go to the city. Mind you, he knows which city it is, he may even be able to describe this city to his co-travellers but yet, doesn't know how to go there. Very pitiable indeed! That is ignorance and i think, a pathetic one at that because it may lead to self delusion. I thought i knew how to get to amanda hotel and if any one had questioned my confidence about it, i would have fired back reminding him that i schooled there. That would have settled any ensuing argument.
You have no bragging right to wisdom until you have demonstrated same in your works. You are not wise because you say so, let your works (labour) do the talking. No wonder a scripture in Psalms, speaking about God, testifies that by (or in) wisdom he created the world. His works are a manifestation of his wisdom.
Your destiny is so precious to be gambled and run on trial and error this year. Wait on God for direction and guidance. Acquire information relevant to your goals and vision. Knowledge makes your journey easier. Associate with the right people because "he that walketh with wise shall be wise but a companion of fools shall be destroyed" (Proverbs 13:12). Find better ways to do things; they may be the same things but there are better ways to do them than you have been employing. Persistence simply means having your eyes on your goals while modifying your approaches or methods. That is, being dynamically focused. It is not doing the same thing over and over again yet expecting a different result. Lets not engage in the labour of a fool this year. The labour of the foolish wastes energy and resources including time and money and may prove too costly.
"Persistence means being dynamically focused"-Prince
Wait a minute! But the scripture says "'in all labour there is profit' (Proverbs 14:23), so it means there is some kind of profit in the labour of the foolish'', someone may remind me. Yes! but the profit in it is the lessons that experience teaches and some are better imagined than experienced. If we have engaged in such labour in the past, God expects us to learn from it and get on with our lives, avoiding the same mistake.
I have a strong impression in my spirit that 2010 will be a turning point but it will not be enough setting goals or making resolutions without any action plan on achieving them.
"Having what it takes and not knowing it, is worse than knowing what it takes and not having it although, the willingness or unwillingness to take the necessary actions may make the difference between both"-Prince
Stay with me, there is another aspect of the labour of a fool that we shall look at in my next post but till then, let me have your take (comments) on this one.