On The Path Of Winners
BY BAYO OGUNMUPE
They Conquer Who Believe They Can
‘THEY conquer who believe the can’ is the motto of Okebadan High School, Ife Road, Ibadan, Oyo State. As a teacher, vice principal and Acting Principal there in the 1970s, I imbibed the spirit and intendment of the motto. That aphorism marked out the pace of my progress through life, I had left journalism before then, for not being lucrative. This motto: you can conquer if you believe you can, drove me back into newspapering – it taught me that money isn’t paramount in life but that only happiness counts.
The contentment derived from the perception, the motto has given me happiness, good health; making me look younger than my years. Which is why it is important to know when you are under spiritual attack – and when you are not. Indeed, there is a tendency among Nigerians to view unpleasantness as spiritual warfare rather than retributive justice, i.e. reaping what you have sown. For example: If you have rejected your role as spiritual teacher to others, as an elder, pastor or man of letters, God may let your children fall into sin. If you have been dishonest, Jehovah may let you reap the consequences. God disciplines those He loves. It would be foolish to ask Him to ease your discomfort when He is disciplining you so as to get your attention. However, it is tragic if you never uncovered the connection. Thus, God’s discipline won’t help you if you dismiss it as satan’s doing. In your mischief, you may blame Allah for not answering your prayer by failing to protect you. Meanwhile, God may be warning you of an impending danger. “For a little while you may have had to suffer that your faith may be proved genuine,” 1 Peter 1: 6,7.
A blacksmith with a chunk of metal on his anvil envisions what he wants. But it means melting down the old, recasting it, repairing scars, and purging impurities until what was useless becomes valuable. Finally he plunges it into cold water until it hardens into unbending tool. An instrument is useful only if it is in the right shape. So if God could place you on His anvil, be thankful, He thinks you are worth reshaping.
George Bernard Shaw, Irish literary critic and the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1925 said: “People always blame their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get ahead are those who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, they make them.” As man, thinketh in his heart, so is he! Put another way: what you can conceive and believe, you can achieve.
Your mind is a fertile land. It doesn’t care what you plant in it, what you sow returns to you. Success lies in your reading of scriptures and prayer. Be of service to somebody everyday. Do something for somebody who cannot repay you. Do something that will take you out of your comfort zone. Be thankful for what you have. Ask for help when you need it. Give God through prayer the best part of your day.
Paul writes: “For a great and effective door has opened to me and there are many adversaries.” What are you focusing on, opened door of adversaries, obstacles or opportunities? In 1866, a geologist discovered diamond in South Africa. Later a Scot, James Gregory was sent to investigate. He reported back that South Africa wasn’t suitable for finding diamonds, he speculated that previous discoveries were brought by gem eating ostriches from distant lands. But a few days after the Gregory report, an eighty-three carat diamond was found. That launched South Africa as the world’s largest producer today. And what about Gregory? His name lives but not as he might have wished. When somebody exhibits bad judgment, it is called “pulling a Gregory.” If you ask Jehovah, He will help you find the treasure in your family farm, Mat 13:44. If Jesus could turn water into wine and feed five thousand people with a boy’s lunch, there’s nothing God cannot do through you. You only need to believe you can do a thing and nothing will stop you. They conquer who think they can.
Our champion for today is John Forbes Kerry, the American politician, who was the 68th and current United States Secretary of State. Born in 1943, he turned 70 last December. He served as a senator from Massachusetts from 1985 to 2013, and was chairman, senate Foreign Relations Committee, Kerry was the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party in the 2004 election, which he narrowly lost to incumbent George Walker Bush.
Son of an Army Air Corps veteran, he graduated from Yale University in 1966, majoring in political science and thereafter studied law at Boston Law School. Then he co-founded a private law firm. Kerry served as Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts under Michael Dukakis from 1983 to 1985. He was elected senator in 1984, and was sworn in January 1985.
Prior to his senate career, he had enlisted in the Naval Reserve in 1966 and during 1968-69 served in South Vietnam as officer in charge of a Swift Boat. In 2002, Kerry voted to authorise the President “to use force to disarm Saddam Hussein,” but warned the President should exhaust all diplomatic avenues before launching war.
Kerry became chairman of the Senate foreign Relations Committee in 2009, and 2011 he was appointed to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. Having been nominated by President Barrack Obama to succeed Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, he was confirmed by the Senate in January 2013 and he assumed the office on February 1, 2013.
Kerry was married to Julia Thorne in 1970 and they had two daughters. Thorne who was suffering from severe depression asked Kerry for and was granted a divorce in July 1988. Thorne later remarried but died of cancer in 2006. Kerry also remarried Teresa Heinz, a widow in May 1995. Though Kerry is a Catholic, his grandfather had converted to Catholicism from Judaism. Kerry believed the Torah, the Quran and the Bible share the same story, which connects with readers. He is fluent in German and French.