In search of all-round fulfilment.
I could have titled this blog post Don’t marry your best friend (Part 3) following the Part 1 and Part 2 of my earlier post but, I think I have sufficiently gotten it off my chest now. I am fully aware that talk is cheap and action trumps speech as fortune favors the doers. I pray earnestly for myself and others that God will grant unto us marital success and all round fulfilment in life. This blog post is about all round fulfilment. I have always thought to myself how may I achieve success in every ramification of my life. This desire has led me to ask certain questions. Questions like; If it was possible to narrow down life’s struggles and categorise them into departments, what would the departments be? How can one achieve healthy balance in these departments?
God, Family and Work.
So far, I believe there are three of such departments. For the purpose of symbolism, let us call these departments; balls. Yes! The business of life and living is very similar to juggling balls. What makes it harder though is that the balls are very delicate. The three balls are (1) God, (2) Family and (3) Work. This order of listing starting with God and ending with work is deliberate. If we are going to ever enjoy all round fulfilment we must order our priorities and form the necessary habits that will help us to strike a healthy balance. This pursuit (striking a healthy balance) is so important as well all know that more often than not, these balls are truly difficult to juggle. My personal experience is that these three balls are all calling for my attention. For want of a better analogy, I believe they are like jealous housewives.
Our reverence for God makes it automatic that he is No.1 and this is rightfully so. Without God at the very center our lives, life would be very frustrating. There is a vacuum in us that only God can fill. Its the way we are designed. Whether as insiders who have encountered God or outsiders who are yet to experience God, we have an understanding that we need God. So how do we truly get the best of God in our lives? Let me share an analogy that I heard from the founder and President of Living Faith Ministries A.K.A Winners Chapel (Bishop David Oyedepo). Its about aviation. According to him (I also did my findings to corroborate this), seniority among pilots is determined by the number of hours they have flown. It means that if we have two pilots and we have to determine seniority, we won’t consider the date they graduated from flight school. Instead, we would consider their flying experience; the numbers of hours they have flown. Interesting huh?
The same principle applies to our relationship with God. What determines our growth and maturity is not when we became “born again” but how much time we log into his presence. This is why our priority must be right. Our walk with God is not a 100 meters dash. Its a process. We can’t just talk about it. We must live it. Everything in our lives must bow to God as he won’t share his glory. To love him with all our heart, might and soul is a commandment and a choice. Nobody can compel us to wake up early to pray and study his word (seemingly arduous tasks especially for those who live in places like Lagos where life can really be tough). Same for fasting. Prayer, study and fasting are spiritual exercises that bring us closer to God. What is scary though is that a prayer less believer is a depreciating asset. There is no relationship without communication.
I have friends and colleagues who hardly see their kids during the work week. The kids are asleep before they come back from work. It is easy to justify why this is so. There are bills to pay. Men are particularly guilty of this and you really cannot blame a man who is trying to play his role as a provider. Even the bible refers to a man who cannot provide as being worst than an infidel. Nevertheless, meeting the emotional, physical and material needs of our family is the second ball we have to juggle and like our relationship with God, our choices determine our outcomes. Familiarity is a disease we must fight. You cannot take people for granted. Little things matter here. We don’t have to wait until its Valentine’s day or anniversaries to shower love on our family. All we need is a little thoughtfulness and a little more. Send that random sms to your spouse saying “I just want to say I love you”. Do more. Buy fruits on your way home. Go out on a dinner date. Send your wife to the spa. Organise lunch for your husband and his friends. Take the children out (they spell love as T.I.M.E). Spend time together as a family. Put a call through to that distant family. Pray together as a family. Be there for your friends. Study the word together. Share memories together. People on their death beds don’t desire to spend more time in the office. Home is where our hearts should be. May God help us.
Our work must become our worship unto God. When this happens, we actually move God to action. It is required of a steward to be faithful. For a man that won’t work, such a man should not eat. Give your best on the job whether as an owner or employee. Add value. Don’t join the brood of laggards and schemers. Stand out for God in your work. Be the light. Stay positive through all troubles (they come a dime, a dozen). Let your words be seasoned with virtue and grace and when necessary, take a break from your work.
Where our treasure is, there also will our hearts be. May the father of light teach us to number our days as we apply our hearts unto wisdom. May God and his Spirit empower us to do his will, love our family and be effective in the work he has given us.
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