What does it take to have an enduring legacy that inspires present and future generations? A legacy that continues to inspire lives after two thousand years and beyond, which death is not the end, but the beginning of several “testaments “of the richest of God's grace manifested via a human vessel? It's time we stop the quick-fix approach, which has brought us reproach. It's time for the long haul! It's time to build to last!
Let’s begin the journey!
For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried. Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place. PSALMS 66:10-12
God can't approve someone he has not proven. He can't take an individual he has not tried and tested seriously. The true pioneers of every era are not simply successful individuals, but those who survived what scared and killed others to attain their higher calling.
There are people who look outwardly successful, but with nothing really serious to offer their generation. They have the means to pay for anything, but have nothing to offer their generation. They can build schools and churches, but lacking the capacity to build people. Why? They know nothing about God's school of preparation.
The ministry of Arch Bishop Benson Idahosa of blessed memory influenced me not because of his external successes, but because of his testimony (His challenges, pain, battles, and struggles, and how he overcame them to fulfill his mandate).
I have no respect for individuals who make a lot of noise, but have no substance. I have no respect for “flamboyancy,” without real depth of spiritual, intellectual, mental and moral capacity built through time tested experiences.
Most young people today want to look flamboyant; don’t quote me wrong, looking good is good business, but it isn’t a proof of leadership. One can build his/her external image and still be lacking real substance of grace and wisdom to positively influence present and future generations.
The Psalmist said: “O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.” I wonder if we still have people who understand what it means to be tried as silver. The silver we use in different ways does not exist with such quality in its natural state; it only attains its marketable quality after being refined under intense heat. The heat separates it from dirt and then the purified silver is collected and packaged for it several uses.
Today’s generation wants the value of silver, but they don’t want its making process. They want to identify and connect with those with peculiar influence, but not to share in their 'sufferings.' Once challenges surface, you see the same person who was talking about submission under a leader for mentorship running for his life. We have many runaway sons and daughters today whose leadership, vision and ministries were birth prematurely, lacking the maturity that comes along with the making process. When you look at them and those, they call their mentors, they have no resemblance in character- because, they left before the time destined for real impartation.
Such unprepared leaders are in all spheres of life today, offering low quality services to the ignorant. To them, it’s all about money and fashion; they don’t think beyond one generation. In fact, most of what they are doing will end with them. It can’t get beyond their time since it is not built to last. It’s built for temporal attainment and not for posterity.
I once told leaders in a conference that, if one’s books and impact can’t be read and appreciated 1000 years in the future, then such never had an enduring legacy. The key to such long-lasting impact is simply patient in God’s school of preparation. Only the tried and tested can have long lasting legacy. DrBenard Etta