I don’t know where I can buy a Mont Blanc pen. In a BBC ad, a successful man remembers how his father told him that he had nothing to give him to help him become a successful man, except a pen which according to him, was the power to write his own destiny.
The ad ends with the man handing down the same pen to his daughter at the height of his success, after reciting to her the same old words by his old man. “I give you this, the power to write your own destiny.”
The ad will sell perhaps more thousands of Mont Blanc pens allover the world to people who want to hand their own children, the power to write their own destinies.
But they intentionally forgot to tell you something in that ad. What a Mont Blanc pen can do, a Bic pen, a pencil or a good imagination can even do better.
The notion that man can be anything he or she wants is paradoxically not in agreement with the other big notion that we have grown up being taught in many African homes.
Our faith and belief in God therefore implies that God has written a path for us to follow.
So many people sit around doing nothing positive with their lives because after all God has a good plan to enrich their lives. Others live their world today fully and think that God will see them tomorrow, however lacking in their own planning for tomorrow or that rainy day is.
Our God is a very gracious God. That is why he made man apart from other animals, by giving us the ability to differentiate right from wrong, the ability to think deeply.
True, God can lay the best of plans for our lives, but again God helps those who help themselves. For anyone to think that a sting of bad luck is their God-ordained path of life is unwise, to say the least.
Failure is never a final destination but a temporary stop to success for those who persevere, an opportunity to make things right.
So that notion that we should just sit around lazily hoping that God’s gracious plan for your life will just reveal itself and manifest itself in front of your eyes without doing anything is essentially wrong.
God gave us the power to think and define the paths of our lives. He drops many opportunities along the way for one who is hardworking or smart thinking to harness.
God gave us the power of choice between wrong or right, good or bad. We can choose to waste ourselves or go the way of personal growth and development.
We can choose to go to war with each other or make peace among communities and individuals.
Another notion that personal advancement is not compatible with religious faith should also be contested in the public arena.
In the bible the poverty talked about in the “happy, are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” is not material poverty but the poverty of the spirit. So we should not be afraid to seek personal advancement.
It should not be shameful to be wealthy from genuine effort, but it gives the opportunity to give hope to others who lack the means to decent life.
I wish you a life-defining Sunday.