It’s av’t corner reloaded. Happy Easter, and welcome to the #StarsAndStripes Series. This series is rather long, so I broke it into two.
And did you notice the new Av’t Corner logo?
Enjoy the read!
"Hence forth, let no man trouble me for I bear on my body the marks of the Lord”
When I was younger, I quoted this part of the Apostle Paul's letter to the Church in Galatia a lot. I thought it meant that I had the mark of Jesus blood. So enemies were to pass over me and not trouble me. They were to leave me alone so I could live a jolly, happy life.
I have grown. And now I know better.
You see, there is a tendency for present day readers to study ancient texts, look only at the face-value of the words, interpret them completely within the context of the times they are in, rather than the times in which the texts were written and, in so doing, completely miss the original meaning and intended message of the writer.
I used to make that mistake too.
But Paul was NOT talking about the blood of anything.
When Paul said ‘marks’, he used the Greek word- "στίγμα" which means “stigma, punched or incised scar of service”.
You may not need to go through any concordances, commentaries and dictionaries. The Amplified version does an explanatory job.
“From now on let no person trouble me [by making it necessary for me to vindicate my apostolic authority and the divine truth of my Gospel], for I bear on my body the [brand] marks of the Lord Jesus [the wounds, scars and other outward evidence of persecutions- these testify to his ownership of me]!”
Paul, in a way, was a star of sorts.
And Paul, in many ways, received his stripes- his scars, beatings, mobbings, stonings, floggings, imprisonment.
This week, let us talk about STARS. Specifically, let us talk about the MAKING of STARS. Let us talk about the STRIPES they have earned. This is something I think a lot of people in this Indomie Generation [fast-food people who want everything now-now] need to know.
HAVE YOU SEEN SAIDI?
If you have a scar, I want to make a wild guess here. You hide it.
You are dainty. You are cultured. You are careful. You want everything in your life in neat little boxes that are predictable and acceptable. You want to fit in. You want to be presentable.
So you hide your scars.
To you, it is a bad reminder of a sad past. You don't want it.
But have you seen Saidi? Saidi the Agbero? Or Saidi the soldier?
His front teeth- all four of them, are missing. Down his right arm runs a livid scar. On his head is a bashed-in dent. On his chest and across his back is a criss-cross of scars. His left hand nurses its own fair share of scars and a couple healed bullet wounds.
Have you seen Saidi?
He doesn't hide his scars. He carries them proudly. They are a badge of honour. A rite of passage. A proud sign of his fight to rise through the ranks. A proof of his dedication to his chosen life. When he laughs, he opens his mouth proudly. When he walks without a shirt, he walks head high. He SHOWS his scars.
Saidi can rise and boldly say, "Henceforth, let no man trouble me or question me or doubt me, for I bear on my body the marks of service, of fights, of victories, of survival. I bear in my body the marks of ascension.”
I need you to deeply understand this before we move on because this is about to get really interesting.
DONE IN SIXTY SECONDS
I listened to one of T.D Jakes' messages. And that message has stayed with me ever since. It has had a profound effect on me. He said when you see some people do certain things effortlessly, often enough, people do not know the long hours, the long days and weeks and months and years that has gone into work behind the scenes that enables them do those things.
And because they do it so effortlessly, you think you can do it effortlessly too.
You see David, a shepherd boy. He threw one stone and it took the giant Goliath, a seasoned man of war, off his feet instantly, slaying him. You think it was a stone that killed Goliath. But you don't have any idea how many years David spent in the wilderness- with wild bears and lions. Honing his art.
And then you are tempted to think that you can stroll into any battle field and start throwing stones all over the place to conquer your Goliaths. Okay.
Fela Durotoye charges hundreds of thousands for a few hours' training. You think it is his title or his engaging talk that does the job.
And so you think you can wake up one day, take up a title of Motivational Speaker or Coach, and go someplace and start talking- and think someone will pay you 50 kobo when you have not earned your stripes. Okay.
Listen, JUST BECAUSE IT TAKES SOMEONE 60 SECONDS TO TELL HIS STORY DOES NOT MEAN IT TOOK HIM 60 SECONDS TO MAKE IT.
There's a PROCESS behind every great PRODUCT. Have you found your process? Are you following it? Or are you chasing results while ignoring input?
There's a PROCESS. Identify it. Follow it.
NO SHORT CODES
"And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: So that from his body were brought unto the sick, handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.
"Then certain of the VAGABOND JEWS, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, 'We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.'
"And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, 'Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?'
“And the man in whom the evil spirit was, LEAPED ON THEM, and OVERCAME THEM, and PREVAILED AGAINST THEM, so that they FLED out of that house NAKED and WOUNDED.”
* * *
When Paul did what he did, it seemed so effortless. But just because it LOOKS effortless does not mean it IS an effortless process to MAKE IT LOOK effortless. As I said, when certain people do things and they succeed so effortlessly, people who do not know the process think it is easy.
But there are always demons of sorts waiting for people who skip process. Ask the sons of Sceva.
And that is why copycats are "funny" people. You see, in life, you can fake the appearance. But you cannot fake the substance. And you definitely cannot fake the results. Not consistently.
You can FAKE the APPEARANCE of a PREGNANCY. But you can NOT FAKE a DELIVERY. If it isn't there, you cannot give birth to it.
There is a process.
And listen. In life, there are no short codes for that process. You will not get an SMS that tells you "Every STAR has a SCAR. To get your scars, text SCAR to 50301."
You must go through the process.
to be continued...