I don’t know if you have gauged the economic terrain that we are entering this new year. I don’t know if you are estranged from reality or not. I am neither a prophet of doom nor a soothsayer, I only investigate the truth and present it from my point of view. I try my best not to publish what I am unaware of, or what I have little information about. I also try to make what I write timeless, as much as I can, I don’t want to write things that will one day go out of fashion, truth be told however, I get lured from time to time.
The facts my friends, is that we are in a period of famine, or what current day economists will call an economic depression, a recession or what old timers in my country will call austerity. The current financial climate is global, and despite the consistent reassurances by government agencies, please do not be deceived, our country is not shielded from the global meltdown! Trouble looms, Jobs will be lost wholesale, the sector first clearly hit will be banking, bankers without other skills will be thrown into confusion, housing will become unbearably expensive for the average citizen, food costs will soar, the stock markets will not recover in a hurry, those that have, will have many more mouths to take care of. Even though friends will turn against their friends, those without friends or associates will be the first to go. We are in perilous times. There are however templates that we can learn from to beat the odds and rise above these times. Those strategies are in the story I’m about to share and the 12 lessons that you can pick from the story. It’s a true life story
Once upon a time, in a little town long ago, there was a famine. This famine was not caused by natural causes like wind or lack of rain or degradation of soil. This famine was caused as a side effect of war. In those days, war was the central economic activity in the world, so you can literally see the famine as an economic downturn, a financial meltdown or a depression.
The prices of things went up and the times were so bad that people started eating themselves. Eating others was not the dishonorable thing anymore, it was agreeing to eat each others children and then defaulting when it was your turn that was dishonorable. Things went so bad, that the employers of labor, governors and the people who had any form of leadership could not guarantee the people under their care. It was a common adage with the king “If God does not help you, where on earth can I go for help?” The society was absolutely helpless.
When things came to their head the leaders decided they needed help beyond the natural. The king believed that there was a God in the universe, who though unseen reigns. He sought desperately for a man in the town who had a reputation of hearing from God and capable of performing wonders. When this prophet was brought forward, he prophesied that by the next day, the famine would be over, and things will be so cheap they would be unbelievable. Immediately he said this, one of the special advisers and aids of the king blurted out that that was impossible, in his words, “even if God open the windows of heaven,would this be possible?” The prophet obviously angry caped up his prophecy by saying that with his eyes alone will he see the opportunity, he will not partake of it.
By the next day, four outcasts in the society, friends of no one and alliance of only themselves, decided to meet and talk about their fate. They were lepers and were starving to death. They reasoned amongst themselves that it was wise to go to the enemies camp. If they stayed behind, they would die, if they moved on, they might die, but the little chance existed that they would be spared. They decided to take the risk and go to the enemies territory. When they got there, they were shocked, the enemy had fled and left lots of food, jewels, clothes and a variety of goodies. Apparently God had made them hear a strange noise and they had interpreted the noise to be the noise of mercenaries that had been hired by other enemies to destroy them, so every man had fled. These lepers ate to stupor and packed things to their hearts content, and hid them somewhere. They came back again and packed again. After packing and packing, they reasoned amongst themselves, why don’t we go and tell the king about this, they reckoned it was better today because tomorrow may be too late.
When the got to the king and told the king, the king’s first reaction implied that it was a strategy from the enemy to lure them into their camp and destroy them. One of the kings servants however advised that they send some of the horses and chariots. If they are not sent, they’ll die, why not die at war than die at home. When the two chariots that the king appointed came back, they came back with great news, not only was the camp deserted and with food, but all the way to the nearest villages there were lots of things that had been dropped on the way that were of value. True to the words of the prophet, food became cheap on that day. The man who was the kings adviser was put in charge of the distribution of goods, and while he was there, the crowd rushed and trampled him to death, fulfilling what had been also declared that he would see with his eyes but not be a part of it.
Like I said, what you have just read is a true life story, if you want to actual undiluted account, you can go read the 2 Kings 6:24- 7:20
I won’t however like you to read a story, I’ll like to show you twelve lessons and strategies that we can learn from this story and apply during these times of economic depression.
1. When you challenge what God has said, then you set God against you. Your eyes will see, but you will not taste.
Young people are very quick to talk against what they don’t understand. We are so educated these days we begin to entertain the notion that God does not exist or that there are no true prophets. If there is any lesson I have learnt, I have learnt that I don’t know something I have no rights to criticize or condemn it. God’s servants are God’s to judge not mine. Except they fall short of what I believe I have clarity about from God, I’ll rather not open my mouth and challenge what God said.
2. God regularly uses the weak things of this world to confound the strong and the foolish things the wise. God used outcasts, near do wells, people that were rejected by society to herald the good opportunities.
Our salvation in whatever capacity, as human beings of any race or tribe is not going to come from the expected quarters. Our leaders will not provide the solution, corporate might not have the solution. Strength will come from the weak, and wisdom from the foolish things of these world. Don’t look down on anybody this year. Be vigilant and informed. He is jobless, she is nobody, what is she doing, he is not in my class? Be careful how you treat those you think are not in your caucus, your good news might be in their hands tomorrow.
3. The major ingredient in the life of the Lepers was fearlessness. They eliminated their fears and took hold of faith. Where we are is not sure, where we are going is not sure, but better.
If anything will save you in these times, it’s courage. The ability to fear but move in spite of the fears. If you challenge yourself to evaluate the worst, you’ll see that the worst is not so bad after all.
4. That’s the ingredient entrepreneurs are made of. They are not the only ones who will enjoy the blessings but they will be first.
The fearless, and this particularly rhymes with entrepreneurs will be the first to enjoy the blessings. They’ll hear first, pack and pack before the other set of people begin to participate.
5. God is able to alter the news that men hear to favor his people. Some people will relocate, get fired and other get promoted because they are in your path. Things will happen to other people to favor your course.
If you are positioned with God’s word, which believe me is one of the safest covers in these type of times, whatever happens around you will work in your favor. News will make people behave in ways that will benefit you.
6. When it is time to bless you, people will perceive their lives as collateral for your blessing. They will not count your blessings as too much to leave behind or ahead for you.
When it’s time for your blessings to come, the people who are currently holding them will see it as more valuable than their lives. They will rather have their lives than withhold what is yours.
7. The first step in the plunder of opportunities is people taking advantage of opportunities first for themselves, secondly for themselves then coming to their senses and informing others. When God blesses you enough you will not keep it to yourself. Your blessing is not blessing enough is why the world doesn’t know. (Isu e o ti ta to ni on if owo bo.)
The desire to share one’s blessing is natural when one has been truly blessed. Whatever you have that is difficult to share is not blessing enough.
8. When the King heard, he thought it was a strategy to destroy his army. The things that will happen for us this year, when we share them, they will sound too good to be true but they are true. It will take faith and courage to believe in good opportunities amidst so much negativity happening around.
Analyze the risk, and move with it. When you are is bad enough the only other place to go is better.
9.Men’s appetite for risk will greatly increase in a time of lack and scarcity. They will also throw a lot more caution to the wind, learn to navigate in these times. The best favored people are those that came in first.
Don’t be caught with the bandwagon, tune your mind to decipher between a risk and an outright gamble.
10. You are ready to succeed when you are able to analyze your current position without action, against the possibilities of your action. – if we stay here we are like dead anyway, why not just go.
One of the most clarifying questions everyone should ask himself or herself is, “what is the worst that can happen”. Once you come to terms with this and face it you are ready to succeed.
11. The people that were sent, sent back the news to the city. Please note that by the time something is published in the media, the first set of plundering has already taken place. Those who will benefit from reacting to the news are those that decide to act very fast.
Try to stay in touch with people and hence stay ahead of the news.
12. The tongues that wagged against the change that was coming did not get punished until the time of harvest. There are many who are walking around in terrible times, whose negative confessions and attitudes have already prepared graves for in the future.
If you have opened your mouth to utter what is beyond you, be sure that the results will not appear soon, but they will appear. Ask for mercy and don’t ever come against what you know nothing about.
These are by no means exhaustive, that is why I have titled it 1. The second one is coming up shortly.