On the Path of Winners
By Bayo Ogunmupe
Praying your way to riches
HE prays the most who works hardest, is the constant phrase you hear from Chief Afe Babalola, a friend and proprietor of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, Nigeria. Also, we got into contact with ideas stating that prayer is equal to hard work in the memoirs of Ibn Battutah, the great 14th century Arab traveler and historian. However, in order to succeed in life, prayer is the twin of hard work on your way to riches.
Before Israel entered Canaan, Jehovah gave two important instructions to their leaders: One, “Cross over ahead of your brothers,” Joshua 1:14. If God has called you to lead, step up to the podium. Believe in yourself and in your mission. Accomplishments are more than just working harder and smarter. They are about believing the right things. Someone called it “the sure enough” syndrome. If you expect to fail, sure enough you will. If you expect success, sure enough you will succeed. Success begins with a change in your beliefs. What you believe determines what you expect, while what you expect determines how you act. In the long run a belief is more than just an idea you possess. It is an idea that possesses you!
Two, “Be strong and courageous,” Joshua 1:6. Your life will expand or shrink in proportion to the courage you display. If you are willing to take risks you will go further than those who timidly follow the safe and predictable path to riches. Orison Marden, the great essayist and philosopher writes: “The moment you resolve to take hold of your life with all your might and make the most of yourself at any cost, to sacrifice all lesser ambitions to your one great aim, to cut loose from everything that interferes with that aim, to stand alone, firm in your purpose whatever happens, you set in motion the forces implanted within you for your own development. Live up to your resolve, work at what God meant you to work at for the perfecting of His plan, and you will be invincible. No power on earth can hold you back from success.”
“In everything God works for the good of those who love Him because that was His plan,” Romans 8:28. When you are in a situation where you’ve got more questions than answers, it takes faith to accept that “in everything God works for the good of those who love Him.” What you consider wasted experiences can become confidence-builders and priceless sources of insight when you make up your mind to learn from them. If you don’t learn from your experiences, they keep happening till you learn from them. The Israelites went in circles for 40 years before they finally wised up to enter Canaan. Don’t let that happen to you.
When you get too satisfied in your comfort zone, God stirs things up for your good. The mother eagle teaches her kitten to fly by making their nest so uncomfortable that they are forced out of it. Next, they are pushed out of a cliff’s edge. Can you imagine their thoughts? “It is my mother doing this?” Who and where you are at this time has been divinely appointed for your benefit.! God knows that you need this challenge in order for you to mature and stretch you. The job you dread doing everyday is developing your skills for mastery, enriching you in this world of struggle. The job grants you endurance and sense of responsibility. Those who rob you are actually making you strong like Jesus the Christ. Apostle Paul says: “God understands and knows what is best for us at all times,” Ephesians 1:8. So instead of asking Allah to change things, thank Him for the experience and the lessons of wisdom given you. And if you can’t figure out what those lessons are, ask Jehovah, James says, “If you need wisdom, ask God,” James 1:15. When you do ask Jehovah for wisdom, you will discover that you are part of His plan to make you rich.
Our champion for today is Oscar Sanchez Arias, the Costa Rican statesman and administrator, president of Costa Rica (1986-90), who won the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1987 for his Central American peace plan. Born into a wealthy-coffee growing family in Costa Rica in September 1941, Arias studied economics at the University of Costa Rica and earned a PhD from the University of Essex in England.
In the 1960s, he began working for the socialist National Liberation Party. In 1972 he was appointed Minister of Planning in the government of President Jose Figueres, a post he held until 1977. He was elected secretary-general of the PLN in 1979, and in 1986 won the general elections to become the president of Costa Rica.
As president, Arias took measures to cope with Costa Rica’s heavy indebtedness and other economic problems. However, his main interest is in restoring peace and political stability to the strife-torn countries of Central America. While being harshly critical of the Sandinista government in the neighbouring Nicaragua, he forbade the regime’s guerilla opponents (the contras) from operating in Costa Rican soil.
In February 1987, he proposed a regional peace plan for Central America that would set a date for ceasefires between government and rebel forces, ensuring amnesty for political prisoners and scheduling free and democratic elections in those countries.
Arias and the leaders of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua signed this plan in August 1987. In October of that year, Arias was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in recognition of his efforts to achieve peace in Latin America. Incidentally, the Arias plan achieved and sustained peace in Central America till date.