… Choose you this day…
Last time I shared my experience about “Believe” and how it was one key element of my successful college sojourn. But as I said, belief is not enough. It needs action to make it work. These actions are born out of decisions taken as a result of believing. If you simply fold your hands after believing, then you must have slept, slumbered and the poverty of success as in Proverb 6:10-11 will surely be thy greatest companion.
Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: so shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.
One major decision I made in school was that of life – Eternal Life. I knew little about the university but I have been told of the immense freedom being enjoyed by all and sundry. Freedom can be misused and it is usually misused in higher institutions. To help myself, I joined a fellowship that could act as a guardian to my acts. It was a strict fellowship and they were known for condoning little or no nonsense. I took that decision long before I got my admission and I acted in line with it after resumption.
The fellowship you are associated with can make or mar you. It could hinder or enhance your life. It can misinform or under-inform you. You can be misled or properly led. The opportunities are numerous but the choice can be made by consulting the Alpha. Just as you cannot count the number of denominations in Nigeria, there are numerous in the campus. So how do you choose? Which do you join? You have to decide.
Iron sharpeneth iron, so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend – Proverb 27:17
After my life and relationship with God, I focused on my course of study. I had to make decisions about the department and course. I decided I will attend all lecture and ensure that I am not late for any. I decided that I will do all of my assignments and made sure I never missed any test or practical. For a technology school, tests and practicals were key and absence can result in an outright failure even if you get 100% in the exam.
I took actions to make the above decisions a reality but it was not perfect. I missed a couple of classes for reasons ranging from ill health to lack of interest. But I reacted to my failed actions by making sure I was up to date with what I missed from those classes. I missed a test which dented my first year record. I was ill and believed the lecturer for saying that she will not give us a test. Lo and behold, there was a test that Thursday.
Respect the Lord and make careful decisions, for the Lord our God disapproves of injustice, partiality, and bribery. – II Chronicles 19:7 NET
I also made a couple of heady decision. I decided not to buy any past question in school. I had been discouraged by the accuracy of the ones I saw around. Questions were answered wrongly and I was bold to tell one of the vendors that his answers were wrong. He didn’t take it likely but I was scared that many people will buy and follow the wrong steps. That influenced my decision. But I had to get a couple of past questions after writing my first 200 level test. It was Engineering Thermodynamics. I was lost. I couldn’t answer more than one question out of four. It was disastrous. I had no option than to bury my head in the past question throughout the 3 months strike period.
Making the most of your time, because the days are evil – Ephesians 5:16
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? – II Corinthians 13:5
An unexamined life is not worth living – Socrates
I had series of personal examination. I had to adjust to avoid sinking my ship by myself. I had to hearken to the advice of the experienced ones to excel at that point. If I was to achieve the goal of getting a 70 in every course, I must adjust my sail and tap in to the wind properly. I got 70 in that course to my surprise.
I decided I will not attend night class nor pay for tutorials, but I will be attentive in class, try examples, use the library, and ask colleagues for help if in difficulty. I tried to read ahead in courses that I had the textbook or knew the pattern of the lecturer. It was a complex society of which I needed to maximize every advantage. I fled from social nights and parties, but had an eye on the politics of the department. I wanted to get it right.
Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. James 4:17
Enough of my narrations now. The point is that you must take a stand, act towards it, see the consequences, bear the consequences and if possible make adjustments. The man that is open to change will learn faster but our God is unchangeable and thus his values cannot be compromised.
Do not lack diligence; be fervent in spirit; serve the Lord. – Romans 12:11
Be wise and choose your path. It may not be like mine. Let Jesus order your steps and choices and you will not regret it. We work towards perfection daily. Don’t hesitate to run to Him when you have stumbled. Pick up yourself and surge on.
Written by Chibuzor Amos
Chibuzor Amos is a graduate of Chemical Engineering from the prestigious Federal University of Technology, Owerri and currently a technical professional in an oil firm. He blogs at Soccergunz and Amoscp’s blog.