There Is a Champion in You
About two weeks ago, the World Football governing body (FIFA) gave the hosting rights to the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments to Qatar and Russia respectively. It was a massive blow to many who thought they would get it (most notably England) but it proved a turning point in the history of these two Countries that had NEVER been given the chance to host an event as prestigious and massive as the World Cup.
I learnt a lesson from this and that is what this article is all about.
There are three sets of people I want to actually talk to and encourage. These sets of people include:
(a) Those who feel they are not fit and can never be anything in life: History is replete with stories of people who were not given a chance to excel by their circumstances or backgrounds or environment and they later went on to "rule the world" because they believed they could make it. We hear of Lance Armstrong, the Cycling Champion, who overcame a debilitating situation to become Champion of the Tour de France for a consecutive number of years; Leonel Messi of Barcelona Football Club and Argentina was a victim of an illness that threatened to stop his growth but he went on to become the reigning World Footballer of the Year; Abraham Lincoln overcame successive failures to become one of the most revered Presidents of the United States and Thomas Edison overcame disappointments and discouragement to finally invent the Electric bulb. Nothing good has ever been easy, there is always a place for hard work, grit and determination. These are common. There is also a place for dreams, hopes, ambitions and aspirations. Because you were born, it counts for something and you were not created to make up the number but to really count in the scheme of things. That is why you need to look inside and unleash the champion in you.
(b) Those who know they have something but have made the wrong choices: Mistakes are what make us human. As human beings, we are prone to under-estimating things or over-estimating things or misjudging situations but the good news is that we have opportunities to learn from our mistakes, no matter how grievous they seem. Some people have come a long way in life only to realise that they made the wrong choices. Among these, some have given up on life and taken the cowardly way out (Suicide) while others have withered away in self-pity and hopelessness. There is hope! I was born into a very poor family. Dad did not go beyond Secondary School academically and Mum died a month to her graduation from the University. We barely could scrape a living and we were abandoned by friends and those who thought we had no hope. It brought sharply to mind the saying that failure is an orphan while success has many friends.
Today, the story has changed. I am becoming a household name among my peers, I am working in the Lord's vineyard and experiencing His manifold blessings, I am an author (yet to be known, anyway), a singer/songwriter, a motivator of men, an influence in my generation and still a work in progress. What happened? What changed?
ATTITUDE! That was what happened. I began to see myself accomplishing great things. I began to dare to dream big. I put away childish things and embraced maturity. I decided to succeed and I attached myself to those who had the mind-set I was desiring to have. I began to associate myself with success - the right kind of success and God blessed me much more than my desire.
(c) Those who are too old and believe they have nothing else to offer: In the Bible, Moses was 80 when he started his journey to save the Hebrews from the Egyptians; Caleb was 85 when he took the mountain regions of Canaan, Abraham was 75 when he started his journey of discovery - what more excuse do you have? You may not have the strength of your younger years but you have all the experiences of decades of living in a society like ours. My dad once said that what a young man would climb a tree to see in the distance, an old man would see sitting down. Your best years are ahead of you because you now have an opportunity to see a seed become a crop and finally burst into flowery bloom. What else do you want? There remains a lot of land still to conquer and guess what? You are the right person for the job. You can only claim to be too old, when your brain ceases to function and your lips whisper the last few words you will ever utter on this side of the Great River.
Having said all these, I want to make three distinct statements to stir your mind concerning the possibility of unleashing the Champion in you.
1. CHAMPIONS BECOME CHAMPIONS BY DECISION: The choice is meant to be made by you and not left to fate. When you make the choice for greatness, half the battle is already won. Ask David, the son of Jesse.
2. CHAMPIONS BECOME CHAMPIONS BY ASSOCIATION: When you mingle with greatness and great people, you will be called great also. Iron sharpens iron - you cannot sharpen iron with wood so look for people who represent what you desire to become and associate with them.
3. CHAMPIONS BECOME CHAMPIONS BY SUBMISSION: Show me a very successful person in all aspects of life and I will show you the man who mentored him. Mentorship and/or discipleship is now a neglected discipine among today's leaders and that is why we have people who do not last long at the top - just flashes in the pan. If you want to be a long reigning champion, submit yourself to a former long reigning champion and you will see the difference.
Above all, as a Clergyman, I urge you to consider God in all your ways. Submit to His will and He will work in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Since He NEVER fails, you NEVER will.
Get up, get out there and get great!