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CrystalQuest Adventures

…towards equipping the total man!

Month

January 2014

Rules for being human!

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I am a realist. I never expected life to be a bed of roses but really, I don’t expect it to be this challenging either. As I looked over my life yesterday evening and reminisce, I dwelt especially on the mistakes I’ve made. I tell you what, I was worried. So agitated that my body could even feel the tension. How could I have been so stupid? How could I have allowed myself to be distracted? I should have known better. I should have gone to a different school, studied a different course and been in a different profession. I should have settled down in a different state and proposed to a different woman. I went on and on, crying over split milk and beating myself black and blue.

You know, it’s easy to just assume you took a wrong turn when life’s challenges keeps showing up at every corner. You might as well be thinking your so called alternative forgone could have been the right choice but guess what, that’s what life is all about. It would test you over and over again and no matter how much of these tests you passed, it would keep piling up more. It doesn’t matter whether you made the right move or walk the wrong path. The truth is, you need these tests to move ahead. Life is like a school. You only get to the next level when you’ve passed the test for that level and the higher your aspirations in life, the greater the challenges you’ll encounter. Even Christ didn’t promise us a stress free world, He only promise not to allow us go through that which we don’t have the capacity to contend with. We must therefore learn to balance our expectations and accept the fact that when we make mistakes it’s sometimes more likely that there isn’t much we could have done to alter the circumstances. The fear of failing should never stop us from reaching out. It is better to fail at doing something than to succeed at doing nothing.

Fulfilling destiny entails acknowledging our being human, aligning our individual values, talents and passion with purpose, and diligently pursuing excellence in all we think, speak and do. It involves being responsible for our decisions, seeing each day as an opportunity to learn and taking advantage of lessons learnt from every of our wrong turns and using it as stepping stones to getting it right. We should see growth as a process of experimentation, a series of trials, errors and occasional victories. The failed experiments are as much as a part of the process as the experiments that work. When our mistakes are seen as lessons, it put our victories in a better perspective. We learn to celebrate our little successes, appreciate God inspite of our situations and when next we are tempted to grief over our decisions, we will always remember “there” is no better than “here”. When “there” becomes “here” one will simply obtain another “there” that will look better than the present “here” because “the grass is always greener on the other side”!

God cannot be bribed!

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“This life sef. How come I’m the one going through all of this? I’m a committed Christian. I pay my tithe regularly and even gave all my allowee throughout my NYSC days for God’s work, yet I’m the one that couldn’t get a good job after four years. Even those that didn’t pay tithe, let alone give sacrificial offerings are doing very well than I am” he said amidst sighs. It was after a few hours of listening, careful analysis and meditations that I was able to make my friend realize he had made the same mistake that is so common today especially among tithing Christians.

The Bible recorded Abraham as the first tither. It is important to note that there was no instruction concerning tithing as at then so giving a tenth of his wealth was an act of worship stemming from his love for God. He acknowledged God as the giver of all things and his gift to Melchizedek was his way of showing gratitude for all he had. On the other hand, the fear of the curses in Malachi 3 seems to be one major reason why most Christians tithe today. They desire God’s windows of Heaven to be opened, want to enjoy His blessings yet their hearts are far from Him. Really, like I told my friend, we often forget that we are no more under the law. Christ became cursed for our sake, redeemed us and as new creations, we cannot be cursed so the fear of any curse should never be our motivation. We are to serve God with our wealth, not out of the fear of loosing them but because of our love for Him for the greatest commandment is to love God (Mathew 22:37, Luke 10:27, Deuteronomy 6:5).

I think why most of us get frustrated is because our tithes and whatever offerings we give are bribes in the first place. We give because we want something in return and when our expectations are not met, we see God as unfair. As much as looking unto God for blessings is not bad at all, it should never be our only reason for giving. God sees our intentions and know what’s best for us. If our hearts are right with Him, we will worship Him in spirit (understand His plans and purposes for us) and in truth. Our offerings would flow from gratitude and He’ll increase us mightily. It is also important to note that every seed has its own season and unique process (gestation period) before harvest. In the same vein, our seeds and time of reaping the blessings would definitely differ so like every good farmer, patience is key. It is not just enough understand the law of sowing and reaping, the law of process should also be mastered. I rest my case!

Towards effectiveness!

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I’ve always known that blogging daily is a full time job especially if you want to stay fresh and up to date. Having to combine my day job with blogging has placed tremendous pressure on my schedule and keeping faith with everyone that’s been faithful to the CrystalQuest project has been the main drive and motivation that’s making the challenges worthwhile. Nevertheless, my sincere apologies to you dear readers, for looking back at 2013, I’ve come to realize that at some point my hectic schedule sort of slowed things down and it kind of affected my keeping in touch. Thank you so much for your understanding. I’ll do my best to up the tempo this year and trust God to guide, guard and make this year unbelievably pleasant for us all… Amen!

That being said, as 2014 rolls by, I want to share one strategy that’s been of great help to me in times past and that I hope to really take advantage of this year. It’s the power of prioritizing. I’m sure you know the feeling of getting up for work in the morning with the feeling of having so much to do that you don’t know where to start. Oftentimes, everything that you have to do seems like a priority, which makes it tough to figure out where to begin. Prioritization is the essential skill that you need to make the very best use of your own efforts. It’s also a skill that you need to create calmness and space in your life so that you can focus your energy and attention on the things that really matter. It’s particularly important when time is limited and demands are seemingly unlimited. It’s your ability to allocate your time where it’s most-needed and most wisely spent, freeing you from less important tasks that can be attended to later or quietly dropped.

You can prioritize based on time constraints, on the potential profitability or benefit of the task you’re facing, or on the pressure you’re under to complete a job. When creating your list of priorities, be realistic about your bandwidth. Setting unattainable goals will only cause disappointment down the road. To be able to effectively prioritize, you must also be able to deal with changing priorities. Take them as they come and decide if they are really important or just urgent. You must also be careful because when something is really important, it’s easy to get caught up in the details and end up spending way too much time on a project or task. Spending too much time on one priority, however, prevents you from getting other stuff knocked off your list. Acknowledge when you’re doing this and enforce strict deadlines to prevent yourself from being overwhelmed. I tell you what, having a lot to do can be overwhelming, but prioritizing (and careful management of re-prioritized tasks) can bring order to chaos, massively reduce stress, and increase effectiveness. You will succeed!

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