Mathematics was never a standout favorite for me all through Secondary School.
I mean, I left it off with a ‘let my people go’ result in my final school exams. You know, there are people who would still be courageous enough to go back to ‘Pharaoh’ and claim rights or argue that they deserved more. Trust me, I just went away- I didn’t go back to discuss any terms or leaving benefits or anything at all with Pharaoh.
Far away… To the Faculty of Law, Obafemi Awolowo University. And God’s word stayed true- that the Egyptians I once saw, I never saw again.
But I must admit I actually had great moments with Math. Maybe not many, but there were those few times I recall following through diligently on a topic and really feeling like I had it mastered. When the teacher popped up another question or example, I knew it. You know those topics that you would pray for the teacher to be discerning and spirit-filled enough to set the bulk of the exam on.
But then, new topics always came along.
I remember the last day of the session as a Nursery school student, when I brought my report card home and saw the words ‘promoted to primary one’. I remember crying hard and pleading with my parents that I wanted to stay in the nursery class. It was a real-life challenge for me! You can call it some form of early-life crisis.
I didn’t know the meaning of the word then, but to me, it was oxymoron!
Promoted?! Primary One?! The thoughts seemed to go against each other.
The nursery class had become convenient. I pretty much had this mastered. I had followed through. I was a little boss at this.
Primary one was a call into the unknown. New problems. New teacher. New classmates. Why leave the mastered convenient for speculative possibilities? And why call that a promotion?
It wasn’t merely some early-life crisis. Growing up, I find it’s the story of all of life. You might not cry and agitate like I did; you might not have parents kind and patient enough like mine to conduct a counselling session and explain why you’re really going to have to do this (I mean, they started with explanations, but I wonder all the prayer services or police services they would have resorted to if I agitated further. Lol)
But I think deep down in every one of us, there’s a strong desire to hold on to the convenient that has worked and refrain from stepping into new seasons.
We seem to freak out about difference. Different topic. Different season. Different challenge. Different environment. Different phase. Different responsibility.
What would you make to be your heart desire and prayer point- that the math teacher would keep teaching the same topic forever, or that I would somehow become a great math student?
You know, the truth is that the pace of life will keep intensifying. There will constantly be new trends and seasons before you as an individual and before us as a people. The trends will keep changing. We will keep relating to difference.
Maybe you’re trying to build a life or make a career or marriage. Get ready for difference!
I loved being single! I really did. It became really convenient. But in a very different way, I love being married! I really do. It doesn’t take away all that singleness was. I simply got promoted beyond all that. I loved being married without pregnancies and kids. I really, really did! Now, I love being married with kids!
It keeps being different, but it keeps being a promotion.
I loved University life. I loved my Campus fellowship. But I can’t stop being prayerful because there’s no buzzing Sports Centre around me anymore (if you’re asking what prayer has to do with sports, never mind… Really, never mind…) Sometimes, the Brook Kidron dries up and the ravens stop bringing meat. That doesn’t mean Elijah should starve to death. There’s a Zarephath phase to come into.
Promotion is difference.
True to it, primary one implies harder problems to solve, more expectations to meet, and the like. But on the flip side, it’s more investment and a higher level of teaching and learning.
Don’t live overwhelmed by the demands of any new season of life. Stay conscious that God makes greater grace available to His own.
You know, it’s really not in your hands to make the choices on life as to what the topics will be. But you can choose to be a great student.
If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. Proverbs 24:10 NKJV
Notice that if adversity or all you have to face overwhelms you, it has nothing to do with the greatness of the adversity. It is down to the smallness of your strength.
You are a poor specimen if you can’t stand the pressure of adversity.
Proverbs 24:10 TLB
If you fall to pieces in a crisis, there wasn’t much to you in the first place Proverbs 24:10 MSG
I choose to live strong- in and out of season. I choose to be a man who puts God first whether or not it’s convenient; who loves my wife through it all; who raises my kids in the way of the Lord in spite of the world’s trends; who loves people with passion regardless of deservedness; who gives his best to every day no matter the season. I choose to live every day and season of my life to the full potential, not the full excuse.
I’ll rather be a great math student than merely love a math topic.
Bring it on. I’m not looking for convenience. Something in me is older than that. I take the promotion. I heed the call. I give life the very best I can.
Life is life. Seasons are what they are. But God is God. And I choose to be strong because I’ve got God in every season.
Maybe you’re dealing with a changing phase or season in your God-timeline. My heart prays you will clearly hear the words ‘promoted and graced!’