On Thursday 28th July 2016, I was privileged to attend the morning session of Greater Works Conference 2016. Greater works conference which was inspired by the words of the Lord Jesus Christ in John 14:12 which says “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to my father” is an initiative spearheaded by Dr. Mensa Otabil the General Overseer of the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC) to empower people with the word of God for Greater Works. Speakers at the 5 days Conference include Pastor Mathew Ashimolowo (Kingsway International Christian Centre, United Kingdom), Bishop Tudor Bismark(Jabula New Life Ministries, Harare Zimbabwe, Bishop Mike Okonkwo(The Redeemed Evangelistic Ministry [TREM], Lagos Nigeria) and host, Dr.Mensa Otabil.
I must admit that, the session I attended was nothing short of what Dr.Mensa Otabil said in his welcome address on the first night of the conference “It is a time of praise and worship, great music and transformational teaching where God’s people are empowered to go and replicate the works of Jesus in their workplaces, homes, schools and various areas of endeavor”.
The service began with a time of worship to extol and exalt the king of kings and the Lord of Lords for his indescribable love and favor shown to mankind. Almost everybody present poured out their hearts to the Lord and I believe everybody received an angelic visitation. As Micah Stampley would say it was “Heaven on earth”.
Dr. Mensa Otabil was next to deliver his sermon. His sermon was based on the topic “Breaking Barriers”. He revealed that there comes a time in one’s life when one gets stuck in life and doesn’t know the next step to take and how to break the barrier and move on to the next phase of life is a challenge for most people. They keep on doing the same thing continually and end up not making any meaningful progress.
He recounted how when he was in his younger days, he used to patronize trotro (private public transport in Ghana) but it got to a time he got fed up with it and vowe nview to patronize it again because of its crude sitting arrangement.
He then advanced to patronizing commercial taxi which he also got fed up with at a point in time and decided to go in for dropping (Hired taxi in Ghana). He also got fed up with it and decided to own a car. He used this scenario to prove that, not until one gets fed up with something, one cannot make up the mind to advance to a higher dimension of something. Dr. Otabil went further to make some profound statements which totally blew my mind.
“Many times, you’d be stuck in life until you get angry until you determine enough is enough you cannot break free from that state. The challenge for most of us is we accommodate inconveniences for too long. Until people stretch and break certain barriers, they’d never be free, they’d stay where they are and get stuck. Breaking Barriers in life is deliberate and intentional” he added.
All Pastor Otabil was basically trying to say is that, in life, until we become discontent with our status or condition we’d never move forward and he couldn’t have said it any much better.
There are times that we start something new with verve and enthusiasm but as time goes on the excitement with which we started that venture reduces and we continue doing the same thing over and over again without making any progress beyond our current status. There are times as humans, we set goals for ourselves and when we attain those goals, it becomes a dead end and we end up not striving further to greater heights. I can relate to this sermon with some personal experiences I’ve had over the years.
One of the courses that I offered in Senior High School was Literature in English. I’m generally good when it comes to reading subjects so I thought it wise to offer Literature. My school had a policy where when you score below 50 in two subjects during examinations, you wouldn’t be allowed to go on Mid-Terms. As a result of this, my initial target mark when it comes to examinations was to just score 50 or a little beyond 50. Anytime my results were out and I scored 50 or a little above 50, I became happy because I’ve achieved my target and will have the luxury to go on mid-term. I usually don’t compare my exam results with my colleagues but one day, I happened to glance at a colleague’s result and I realized his literature results were better than mine even though I knew very well I was better than him when it comes to reading subjects. I became mad at myself not because my colleague did better than me but because I realized I was living below my potential. I made mediocrity my hallmark. I had allowed a school principle to define my potential and goals. From then onwards, I vowed to aim beyond the 50 mark limit. In literature examinations, there’s a section that involves analyzing poems and that section carried the majority of the marks. Since I vowed to live beyond the mediocre pedestal I set for myself I memorized 14 literature poems that I initially thought was impossible for me to do. From then onwards, my grades started improving even though I felt it was too late because we were about finishing Senior High School. Interestingly, I did exceptionally well in both English and Literature in my final exam. It took just one moment of madness to break the barrier of mediocrity when it comes to approaching examination.
When I got to the University, one of the courses that we were required to offer is creative writing. This course requires each student to publish a book at the end of the semester. For starters, I don’t see myself as a creative writer because I’ve never applied any literary device in my writings before. When the lecturer gave us the deadline for the submission of our books I was wondering what to write on. I didn’t even know where to start, how to start or even how to conclude the book.
Meanwhile, this book forms 40% of my exam marks and I couldn’t afford to fail or even imagine the possibility of re-sitting a paper. The moment I decided to start writing the book, Ideas started flooding my mind and in the end, I was able to produce a book that I can confidently boast of as the author.
From this experience, I’ve realized that we are capable of achieving anything we set our minds on under the sun. It all depends on our mindset or how we condition our minds. It doesn’t matter the uncertainties or circumstances surrounding us. What matters is taking that bold step of faith and step out of our current status into a higher dimension thus breaking barriers. It took the fear of failure to break the barrier of seeing myself not being a writer to producing a book I authored.
If we want to develop as a nation, we have to reach a point where we say “Enough is enough”. We have to come to a point where we tell our politicians “Enough of the freebies policies, we want realistic policies that will not only benefit us but also be beneficial to posterity to come”. We have to get to that point where we say “Enough of voting on tribal grounds and hence we’d vote based on competence and track record”. We have to get to that point where we say “Enough of corruption in Ghana and make a collective and consented effort to put up a good fight and trump out corruption rather than leaving it at the doorstep of government to fight”.
Government has to come to a point where it says “Enough of putting round pegs in square holes when it comes to ministerial appointments and appoint competent people to execute jobs”.
Government has to come to a stage where it says “Enough of external borrowing to fund government projects and think of creative and efficient ways of funding projects”.
We’ve been stuck as a nation for too long, doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results and until we come to a stage where we say “Enough is enough” there’s no way we can break any barrier in our personal lives or barriers restricting the development of our nation.