Saturday, 14 April 2012

Going the Extra Mile

What does it mean to go the extra mile?

Literally, it means to walk further but to go or walk the extra mile is an idiom that means to try harder to please someone or to get a task done correctly, to do more than or put in a greater effort than is naturally or normally required or expected to reach a goal. I need you to think of how a friend has gone the extra mile for you.
Now when I say extra mile note that I don't mean extra mile in cheating, irresponsibility, laziness, dishonesty or any of such vices that I'm sure some are a part of. I mean going the extra mile in positive things. It is possible to go the extra mile for and by yourself e.g. studying. God knows that if a credit in Mathematics was compulsory for Art subject I may not have gone to the university. In my first attempt I walked out on my Math exam but when I realised I needed at least a pass even to study Philosophy, I had to go the extra mile.
So what motivates you to go the extra mile either for yourself or for others?
Before we continue, let's go into the Bible to read about 3 instances of going the extra mile:
1. Gen 24:14-27 Rebecca went the extra mile to make the 450 mile journey by Abraham's servant worthwhile.
2. Mark 2:1-12 4 men went the extra mile for a paralysed man.
3. Luke 24:18-35 Going the extra mile led two men to dine with risen Jesus.
In all these instances there is something that is obvious.

In the 1st example, Abraham's servant was on a journey and Rebecca was on a journey though shorter. In the 2nd example Jesus journeyed to Capernaum and the four men journeyed to meet him. In the 3rd example two men were on a journey to a village called Emmaus, Jesus who was also on a journey met them. Friends you can NEVER go the extra mile while standing aimlessly. You may not be able to soar, you may not be able to fly just yet, but make sure you are moving and your movement MUST be purposeful. None of these people set out on a journey to an unspecified location or for an unspecified purpose. Purpose was their motivation for going the extra mile. What was the purpose of Abraham's servant? Rebecca? The four men?
What purpose motivates you to go the extra mile in your friendship or relationship?
You can either be internally motivated or externally motivated but you must find a reason to go the extra mile in life otherwise it is just the beginning of the end for you. When you motivate yourself and make decisions based on your personal reflection to actively improve your performance; when you find a reason to believe in you and in your ability to make a difference; when you strive for your 'personal best', you are on course to determine your success. This is internal motivation. Internal motivation is the doing my best and deriving joy from counseling people, bringing smiles to faces and impacting lives. External motivation for me to achieve a Pass in Math was the fact that I wanted to go to the university. External motivation is caring for the man of my dreams because failure to do so may cost me heartbreak. We are motivated by internal and external reward to go the extra mile.
As you strive to go the extra mile don't expect it to be easy. When you plan to fast is when you are hungry the most or that is when a stingy person decides to offer you steaming cup of chocolate with sausages or hot abula with choice abodi, shaki and ogufe. There would be internal and external distractions; your thoughts, your friends, your parents, losing your job, getting a “no” to a woman you proposed to etc.

The four men should have been discouraged by the crowd, Abraham's servant should have been discouraged by having to travel 450 miles when there are readily available women around him, the two men should have become upset by Jesus seeming ignorance about the recent happening... but their determination to go the extra mile paid off.
A number of people drop the Nigerian culture of respect when they get abroad so it is not unusual to find our Nigerians calling professors old enough to be their fathers by their first names. But I made it clear that my culture does not permit it. Some funds came into my department and the new director didn't know how to disburse it so he asked the former director and guess what he said, "Let's give it to Omolola, she is very respectful! I got free unsolicited money for just going the extra mile; doing what I could have held back from doing. The habit of going the extra mile brings you to the favourable attention of those who can and often will provide opportunities for self-advancement.

What is the important principle of success in all walks of life and in all occupations?

This is the willingness to Go The Extra Mile; which means the rendering of more and better service than that for which one is paid or rewarded, and giving it in a positive pleasing mental attitude. Very important! So if you choose to help a man because you expect him to notice you or fall in love; that is not a right motive. The story of Ruth tells us how Boaz went the extra mile. The mental attitude and motive must be right.

Let me share my story.

Even though Bola had shown no commendable interest in having a relationship, I decided to go the extra mile. When we met, he was depressed from being out of job and was letting himself go but instead of being concerned about what he couldn't offer me, I encouraged him, got him to exercise and helped him put things together in his apartment. Months later I asked what nailed it for him, he said the fact that I went the extra mile. Verily it pays to go the extra mile, for every time an individual does so he places someone else under obligation to him or her. No one is compelled to follow the habit of going the extra mile, and seldom is anyone ever requested to render more service than that for which he is paid or rewarded except of course in reference to parents. Therefore, if the habit is followed it must be adopted on one's own initiative which is propelled by a motive.

Another story
You may have read online the story of a clerk who went the extra mile help to woman in the store where he worked. He discovered later that the woman he helped was Andrew Carnegie's mother! Andrew Carnegie was a United States industrialist and philanthropist who endowed education and public libraries and research trusts (1835-1919). The young man was later sent to Scotland and he received an order for several hundred thousand dollars worth of household furnishings.
Interesting story. Carol Downes and many others also took their destinies in their own hands by going the extra mile. Their success stories are wrapped up in this one lone privilege of every human: the right of personal initiative through exercising the habit of going the extra mile.
People do things or refrain from doing them because of a motive.

The soundest of motives for cultivating the habit of going the extra mile is the fact that it yields enduring dividends / profits in ways too numerous to mention, to all who follow the habit. We know the rules by which success is attained. Let us adopt these rules and use them intelligently to acquire success and personal benefits which would have a ripple effect of adding to the quality of citizenry and wealth of the nation as well.

Should you encounter weariness as you go the extra mile

Remember the words of this poem titled Footprints which ends this way:
"Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you'd walk with me all the way
But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life,
There is only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why when I needed you most you would leave me."
The Lord replied:
"My son, my precious child, I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you."
Prayer Points:
1. Lord thank you for all those who have gone, go and will go the extra mile for me
2. Lord help me to go the extra mile where I need to
3. Lord make my going the extra mile count
4. Lord as I run the Christian race, send me divine helpers and divinely connect me

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

DC's Healing Hearts

It was another glorious Divine Connection (DC) event as mature spinsters and bachelors gathered for "Healing Hearts".

Members of the Organising Committee were on hand at 8:15am to pray and commit the event into God's able hands and ensure that everything was ready for the guests. Our registration table staff were ready when the first guest arrived. Guests were required to sign in with their details and pick conference materials which included the programme, newsletters and our life changing book - What is wrong with us? Nuggets about mature singles.

In matters of the heart, it is unfortunate that most believers, who should know about time and season, turn up late. As such the programme which was scheduled to start at 9am began at 10am. We had to apologise to the Guest Speaker who was already sitted; of course she put the time to great use by acquainting herself with the environment and praying.

Due to the lateness in starting we couldn't follow the order of the programme and ended up skipping two items (Living Single and Resource Management). But, we made it up to those that arrived early and went the extra mile by giving gifts. The first male and female to arrive received our book - What is wrong with us? Nuggets about mature singles and travel mugs. The two Organising Committee members who posted the flier and information on Facebook got in addition to the book, bread and buscuit bins respectively and the two guests who attended based solely on their contact with the flier received stainless food flasks. At DC, we share knowledge, counsel and prayers to enrich lives.

The President of RCCG Throne of Grace Singles' Fellowship, Abel Adeniji, set the ball rolling with the opening prayer after which the Singles' Fellowship Choir led us in melodious high praise. The environment was saturated with grace.

The host of DC, Omolola Omoteso Famuyiwa, stepped forward to cause a stir in the audience as she went straight into the Gender Cross activity for the day. Two females and males were randomly selected and given a slip each. It turned out they were to role play as couples. The first male was to try and get a date from the female while she was to play hard to get. The second female was to try and get her male acquaintance to attend a family event while he was to play uninterested. It was obvious to all that "toasting" or "chiking" is never as easy as it seems especially because often times folks trying to get a date meet as strangers.

The first couple had a lot of goofs while the second couple proved that it is possible for a lady to initiate friendship even with a seemingly uninterested male. In all, it was a learning experience and the exciting applause commended it as such.

Thereafter, the Singles' Fellowship Choir took to the stage for their special song. The rendition turned out to be another high praise as the audience couldn't remain seated.

There was musical interlude during which guests were encouraged to meet and greet. O'boy! It wasn't as easy as we expected. Instead of gravitating towards opposite sex, males were meeting males and females were meeting females. The DC host used this opportunity to create an interactive session were some guests were called out to talk about guests of the opposite gender they have met. These made more guests warm up to folks of the opposite gender to interact. If we must enter into straight monogamous relationships, interaction with the opposite sex is just the starting point.

"Alone in the Crowd" is the title of the drama ministration by The Nehemiah Company, the drama group of RCCG Throne of Grace, led by Lekan Olorunkunle. It is the story of a woman who grew up with bitterness because as a girl she returned home from running errand for her rich dad one day to find her entire family wiped out by armed robbers' bullets. She survived by turning into the streets, accepting the offer of prostitution and other ills. She soon became pregnant and decided to end it all via suicide. The timely intervention of a friend who connected her divinely via a DC flier saved her perilous life. Attending the DC event gave her hope as members of DC showed her love and care beyond human understanding. They pointed her to the  God who saves and heals. Whao! The ministration hit a chord and set the tone for the rest of the programme.

Before Pastor Grace Okonrende, the Resident Pastor of RCCG Pavillion of Redemption, Texas-USA was called to the podium, there was a solemn moment during which guests took in the drama ministration while they listened to The Prayer Song by Celine Dion and Josh Groban. The lyrics of the song spoke to some guests as others wondered what was coming next during the interlude which took about 5 minutes. Ms. Famuyiwa took to the podium thereafter and asked what guests have been doing with the wait period in their lives. She explained that the wait period in our lives is not scheduled by God to make us waste away or wait aimlessly. We are expected to plan and utilise our wait periods prayerfully so these wait periods can actually become spring boards to purposeful living and divine connections.

The environment fully spiritually charged, Pastor Grace Okonrende's was invited to minister on the theme - Healing Hearts. Before she commenced, she invited Pastor Dele to minister in songs. Her ministration was soul lifting.  Pastor Grace thereafter spoke about why singles' hurt, and how they can find healing. She used examples from the Bible and drew scenarious from her previous ministrations. Her approach was simple, understandable and inspiring.

After her ministration, many joined in the prayer of proclamation, others came out for the altar call; some wept, some hung over but as God's healing hands touched them via the anointing of the minister, they returned to their seats cheerful.

The healing, interaction, networking and transforming event ended with participants singing the theme song "Let There Be Love Shared Amongst Us" after which we had the closing prayer and shared the benediction.

But of course it didn't end there! We had a lot to eat and drink - yummy cup cakes, delicious meatpies and choice drinks to go with it. This went on as more and more guests warmed up to each other for the purpose of purposeful networking.

The Guest Minister continued to minister to participants one-on-one and gave access to those who wish to have further ministration by sharing her contact details through the DC Host. From attendign to the calls and scheduling appointments; I can tell you that many guests took advantage of the access to this woman of God who always go the extra mile in her ministration. Some guests met with her at her RCCG Camp residence for deliverance an counselling sessions.

It was indeed a great event. I definitely look forward already to next years event. To know more about DC, contact the DC host or visit our DC Facebook Group page. We minister to mature singles and connect them to purpose and partner. As we say, we connect singles, but God connect hearts.