Keep Your Eyes On The Trophy

Former president of South Africa Nelson Mandela chats with Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown (unseen) during a meeting at his hotel in central London June 24, 2008. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez (BRITAIN) - RTX7AKI
Bishop Mike Okonkwo


A clear fact of life is that it does not always give you what you want or that which you deserve. This is the reason you usually hear people say: life is not fair.

We do not understand why this is so, being mere mortals, but on a regular basis, situations and happenstances that etch this lesson deeper our veins tumble in our faces.

How for instance do you rationalise a young woman of obviously impeccable moral virtues who married as a virgin, and has remained devoted as a wife, is yet to conceive twenty years down the marital line?

Or a newly married man, who all his singlehood, epitomized transparent Christianity within human limits, obeying the rules of ‘bed undiluted ‘to the latter, and to wit, followed all the guidelines as stipulated by the marriage council in his marital journey but still ended up with a flirtatious woman as wife!


Weird things do happen, for reasons beyond our comprehension, but this should not be reason for us to give up our expectation of the good.

That all who trailed the path ahead failed does not mean that we also must fail.

Destinies aren’t all the same. As our genes, persuasions  and purposes in life differ markedly, so are the results we achieve and our timelines of successes.

In other words, even if the neigbour next door seems to have all the goodies fall on their laps like a pack of cherry, like my pastor would say, it might not just be the same for all.

That other fellow, may be running a different destiny, or may have invested in some other ways that we might lack the capacity to. There is therefore, no reason for parallel comparisms, but for each man to face the circumstances of their life on their different and peculiar bases.

Suffice it to say however, that the results we achieve in our different endeavours is a function of the amount of perseverance we are willing to give. Most times you would need to give a fight; you would need to persevere to get that that you truly deserve.

Late Mandela

If you cast your mind back, if not in your community, social group or office, may be in the country at large, you would remember somebody who at the point of bidding for public office, seemed quite, quite unusual and inappropriate in your estimation, but who eventually made it. Doggedness and commitment usually make the difference.

PMB is a testament. There was hardly any derogatory allusion that was not made of him, in the build-up to his bid for the Presidency some three years ago.

This was made worse when the news of his health challenge broke. Surprisingly and to his credit, the man held on. He did not let any perceived or real disadvantage discourage him. The same man has almost finished a term as civilian president and is in the run for a second!.

He is not the only example; albeit, what politician in this land, has not had loads and catalogues of discouraging words and disparaging commentaries heaped on the face, for daring to come up for public office in the first place!.

Those who held on tenaciously are today, occupying the offices of their quests, not because they are best suited, in the real sense of the expression, but much more because they persevered.


Truth anyway is that there is no one out there who does not have a dent, perhaps a gory past. It is not that past that is the problem, but our unwillingness to let go, and face our future with equanimity.

It is not the fact that we have chains of limitations associated with us that is the problem, but the fact that we let these so overwhelm us to the point of not reckoning with our positive sides.

And this brings me to a man that has become a national and international icon especially speaking from the perspective of the gospel.

It is none other than, the Presiding Bishop of the Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM), Dr Mike Okonkwo,  who this November is hosting the global community through the aupsices of his ministry’s annual progrmame,  Kingdom Life World Conference (KLWC).

He has had his own load of misfortunes and setbacks, enough to make anyone raise arms in surrender, but he never did.

Okonkwo had severally shared the testimonies of living in homes with leaking roofs and sewages, been denied or literally ostracized by his own people, and lost an immediate and cherished younger brother on an errand for him, and seen a roof of his church fall in the course of a service.

An apostle of the gospel of impact, he indeed has seen the high and low of preaching God’s word, but as is evident in his testimonies, it was not the quest for material things that drove him.

in fact, he belongs to the rank of believers who went into it out of personal conviction, rather for the purposes of eking out a living, when the believer had no form nor comeliness.

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, black nationalist and the first black president of South Africa  from1994 to 1999, is another example.

His history of denials, detentions, dehumanisation and persecution know no comparism.  He was intermittently banned, severely restricted in travel, association, and speech, arrested on charges of treason, tried and incarcerated from 1964 to 1982 at Robben Island Prison.

But the man remained resolute eventually wining his freedom, gaining independence for South Africa and becoming its first black president.

Imagine if he did not persevere. The point cannot over-stressed, that we lose much when we give only feeble responses to life’s many challenges, or when we cave in at the slightest push. But we win much more when, in spite of all, we persevere. If only you can keep your eyes on that trophy..

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