GROWING UP, I HAD NO IDEA WHAT CAR I WOULD DRIVE WHEN MY FRIEND WAS DREAMING OF A TINTED FULLY AIR-CONDITIONED PEUGEOT 504 CAR
NO ONE WILL BE REMEMBERED FOR WHAT HE HAS BUT FOR WHAT HE ADDS. LOOK AWAY FROM WHAT TO HAVE AND LOOK FOR WHAT TO ADD
STOP THINKING SELF, START THINKING: SOLUTION, CONTRIBUTION, VALUE ADDITION. THINK ABOUT THE WELL BEING OF OTHERS, THINK JOB CREATION, THINK THE COMING GENERATION, THINK KINGDOM ADVANCEMENT, THINK ETERNITY.
- The Chancellor, Bishop Dr. David O. Oyedepo’s Address titled ‘LOOKING AHEAD’ to the Graduating Students at the 16th Convocation Ceremony of Covenant University, Ota.
For the powerful charge we just received from the Pro-Chancellor, Bishop David O. Abioye let’s give the Lord a big hand of praise. As John F. Kennedy once observed “a child miseducated is a child lost”.
- May the virtues imparted on our graduating class today remain with you for life in the name of Jesus Christ.
I have titled my short speech ‘LOOKING AHEAD‘. Performance in every field of human endeavour is a function of preparation. No one can ever arrive at a future that he cannot see and no one arrives at a future that he is not prepared for. Life without a vision is an adventure in frustration.
It was Martin Luther King Jr. that once said “if any has no purpose for living, he is not fit to live”. I believe purposelessness is the bane of today’s youth; blank to the future, aiming at nothing, going for everything that comes their way.
It surely takes a well defined vision to command enviable results in the journey of life.
The Bibles states that “where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the vision, happy is he” (Proverbs 29:18). Another translation says “without a vision is a people made naked”. Without a well defined purpose, life is meaningless. Without knowing where you are going, life can be frustrating. This implies that vision is the custodian of colour and beauty in the adventure of life.
However, every true vision is about value addition and not possession. All of our four biological children are graduates and two of them have their PhD degrees and I remember asking them when they were going to the university ”now which area of life do you see yourself making your utmost contribution? Let it be what determines what you go for”. I never chose one course for any of them, they all excelled in their various areas.
You need to be purpose driven to live a meaningful life. To our graduating class today, the earlier you define your purpose for living, the better, the more meaning and more impactful your life will become.
- No one shall miss his place.
Everything living contributes to stay alive. Plants and animals are classified as living things and we have that common feature with them. The plants continue to contribute oxygen to the atmosphere, which the animals including human beings consume and in return the animals contribute their carbon dioxide to the atmosphere which the plants require to stay alive. So it is an exchange. Without nothing to offer life is meaningless. Without nothing you are adding, life has no meaning. Brace up and look away from what to have but what to add. That’s where the meaningfulness of life takes up from.
I had a friend growing up, and he was asking me “Brother David what kind of car are you planning to drive” I said “I don’t have any idea of the car I want to buy”. He said “ask me what kind of car I want to drive” and I asked him “Ben what kind of car do you want to drive” and he will say “504, metallic colour, tinted glass, fully air conditioned”.
He said it so musically, so rhythmically, it was like a song. “504, metallic colour, tinted glass, fully air conditioned” he so loved it so much I wonder where he got it from.
One day, I remember driving through the place where he lived, I didn’t find that car there, I found a Volkswagen Beetle, ordinary colour, fully wind conditioned.
We live largely in a consumer’s world but only contributors make great marks in life. Our dignity lies in our contributions not in our possession. Nobody ever lacks what he gives, people lack what they keep. Therefore, to our graduates of today you must endeavour to possess and sustain a contributor’s mentality and destiny will continue to answer to you favourably.
As I often stated “no one will be remembered for what he has” that is his cup of tea, “ you will be remembered for what you add”. Approach life with a contributors mentality and you will make the most of it. Commitment to a life of contribution is what makes men and women of exploit.
In looking forward, it is important to note that vision is a discovery of one’s assignment on earth. It’s not about what you want to become but what task you are here to undertake. Nothing is more meaningful than connecting with that reality.
It’s not about what one wants to become, but what task one is here to undertake, the contributions one is out to make, the value he is here to add and the solution he is set to provide. You can’t have this purpose driven mentality and have a dull moment. I have not had a dull moment for over 40 years, there is always something crying for attention in my area of calling and it is my duty to keep responding to them as they show up and life becomes active. No dull moment, no down time, you become healthier and stronger for it, as you make that your life style.
Furthermore, a vision can be defined as a discovery of God’s plan for the area(s) one is wired to engage in the adventure of life. If you can’t hear anything from above, look inward there is something in you crying for expression, that’s is targeted at meeting some need, solving some problem, adding some value, engage with it.
Therefore, vision is about what to do and not what to be. It is in doing what to do that you become what you are ordained to be.
You can’t become a leading lawyer without first knowing that legal profession is where you belong. You can’t be a leading inventor without first knowing that scientific invention is your area of calling. You must know what you are wired up to do and it must be about solving problems, adding value and helping people live a better life. Our enthronement is in our assignment.
It’s not in our crave, it’s how well you deliver on your assignment that determines your rating in that task. You must be practicing law properly to become a leading legal practitioner. You must be engaging academics properly to become a leading academic. You are in ministry, you must engage with all zeal and zest, boosted with knowledge to make the most impact. Our enthronement is in our assignment.
Therefore stop thinking self, start thinking solution, contribution, value addition, think the well being of others, think job creation, think the coming generation, think kingdom advancement, think eternity. You have more than enough positive things to engage with than to live a loose and careless life that is full of risk and danger. Don’t be that loose that anybody can take you to where he wants, have enough to keep you positively busy in preparing for the great future that awaits you. Your great future lies in your early discovery of your assignment on earth. For life of purpose, impact and fulfilment, living without a defined assignment is like living in an asylum. Wake up, find out where you belong and truly belong there. Every one of you must take responsibility in this regard.
I want to believe that the platform through which God has taken you through will continue to yield fruits in your adventure in life. Remember we are called here to raise an army of reformers on a mission to repair the waste cities and the desolation of many generations. Therefore brace up and begin to think solution. Go and add value to your world!
Thank you and God bless you.