Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Ogunmupe: Take charge of your life


DO you feel you no longer control your own life? That life is running you instead of you running it? That happens because you are on the passenger’s seat, conforming to people, events and circumstances. They are in the driver’s seat, not you. No wonder your frustration level is high, and your contentment level is low. “Don’t let the world squeeze you into its own mould,” (Romans 12:2). If you are feeling squeezed, you have two options:
One, remain a conformer or become a transformer. You either choose to stay in the passenger seat or you get behind the wheel. The Bible says, “Do not be conformed to this world,” (Romans 12:2). Therefore, be transformed into the proactive, faith- driven person Jehovah meant you to be.
Two, take charge of your life by renewing your mind through study and meditation. Instead of struggling to change people and circumstances around you, change how you think and your self-talk. To renew in Greek means to align your thoughts with God’s. Abandon your self-defeating thoughts, adopt the  “can do” spirit. Jehovah says, “You are, you can and you certainly will be able to,” because of His indwelling power.   John writes: “This is the victory that conquers the world our faith,” (John 5:4). Go to God’s word, discover what He says about the things that intimidate and control you, then pull the plug on them. The message to you today is, “Don’t be afraid, I am your God I will make you strong, I will support you,” (Isaiah 41:10). Align your thoughts with God’s thoughts. Get to the driver’s seat and take charge of your life.
We don’t hear of Abraham Lincoln’s failures because his victories were so immense. Indeed, for much of his life, the odds were stacked against him. His mother died when he was nine. In 1832, he lost an election to the Illinois State Assembly. In 1849 he was rejected as Commissioner for Lands. He lost Senate races in 1855 and 1858, and in between failed to win a vice presidential nomination.
However, his most painful losses were the death of his four-year-old and twelve-year-old sons. Born in the bushes of Kentucky, Lincoln had only a few months of blab school, that’s a school without books in which students repeated the teacher’s words. He taught himself mathematics, read the classics and worked on his writing, using the bible as his model. His philosophy was: “I will study and prepare, and when the time comes I will be ready.” He told a friend, “Bear in mind, your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing.” His Gettysburg Address is one of the most notable speeches in history.
During the darkest days of the Civil War, he said, “I do the very best I know how, and I mean to keep on doing it to the end.”
Like Lincoln, Saint Paul didn’t say, “None of these things hurt me,” he said, “None of these things move me.” Big difference. Paul refuses to let life’s problems derail him. He understood that what happens in you is more important than what happens to you. He also understood that when you look to Jehovah as your model and draw strength from the Almighty each day, He will give you all that is needed to overcome adversity.
Finally, “And David said, with longing, ‘oh that someone would give me water from the well of Bethlehem’.” So three mighty men broke through the Philistines’ camp, drew water from the well, gave to David. But he would not drink it (2Samuel 23:15). The lessons here are, one, you must surround yourself with capable people. Beware of those who are only for what they can get out of you. But David’s followers had only one thing in mind: to serve their king and promote his kingdom.
Two, you must refuse to settle for less than the best. The men risked their lives to get David a cup of water. Yet David poured it on the ground before the Almighty, saying: I refuse to settle for a cup, I want the well. I must be connected to the life source. So, stop treating God like a caretaker you call when you are in a mess. Don’t go to God for a miracle, go for a relationship, become God’s friend, then you can walk in His miraculous provisions daily. “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty,” Psalm 91:1. Instead of commuting in and out, stay in contact with God and all that he has will be available to you.
Our champion today is Edmund Phelps, the American economist who won the 2006 Nobel Prize for Economics. He was awarded the prize for his thesis, which intensified our understanding of he relation between short-run and Long-run  effects of economic policy. His works clarify unemployment problems.
Phelps was born in July 1933 in Evanston, Illinois, USA, but he was raised in Hastings, News York. In 1951 he was admitted as an undergraduate to read Economics in Amherst College. During this time, he was influenced by prospects of applying analysis to business. He graduated from Amherst in 1955 and shifted to Yale University where he got his PhD in 1959. In Yale, he interacted with Nobel laureates like James Tobin and Thomas Schelling. His thesis established that demand shocks have the higher influence than cost shocks.
Thereafter, Phelps worked briefly with the Rand Corporation. But soon after, he returned to academics to be more focused on research. His brief sojourn at the Cowles Corporation in 1960 produced his famous paper on savings rate. In 1996, Phelps joined the University of Pennsylvania as professor and his 1968 paper on Money-Wage Dynamics and Labour Market Equilibrium was published.
In 1982, Phelps was appointed the Mc Vickar Professor of Political Economy at Columbia University, New York. The book he published there in 1985: Political Economy formed the basis for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2006.

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