way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity”. Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received through the prophecy spoken over you when the elders of the church laid their hands on you. Give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress. Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you.” 1 Timothy 4:12, 14-16 NLT
“Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and say, “Life is not pleasant anymore.” Remember him before the light of the sun, moon, and stars is dim to your old eyes, and rain clouds continually darken your sky. Remember him before your legs—the guards of your house—start to tremble; and before your shoulders—the strong men—stoop. Remember him before your teeth—your few remaining servants—stop grinding; and before your eyes—the women looking through the windows—see dimly. Remember him before the door to life’s opportunities is closed and the sound of work fades. Now you rise at the first chirping of the birds, but then all their sounds will grow faint. Remember him before you become fearful of falling and worry about danger in the streets; before your hair turns white like an almond tree in bloom, and you drag along without energy like a dying grasshopper, and the caper berry no longer inspires sexual desire. Remember him before you near the grave, your everlasting home, when the mourners will weep at your funeral. Yes, remember your Creator now while you are young, before the silver cord of life snaps and the golden bowl is broken. Don’t wait until the water jar is smashed at the spring and the pulley is broken at the well. For then the dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.” Ecclesiastes 12:1-7 NLT
The above sighted scriptures have never stopped to amaze and amuse me as I grow up and consider my thoughts and plans and weigh them against what God expects of me and what the society enforces on me. While God’s expectations seem very clear to me as I could glean them through the pages of the scriptures, society’s expectation has never stopped to befuddle me, as they keep changing like an active yoyo. It becomes even more challenging as I realise that the society prism of looking at me is so distorted and the rules are so uneven that I get so confused and discomfited more often than not. Until I realised that society itself has lost its compass of navigation and definition. Society is now being run by fads, conveniences, Machiavellian principles and “weirder the act the better”. Society indeed has been corrupted. We all have only one life to live and the best we make of it, the more fulfilled we are going to be. Time waits for no one, like it or not, you can’t stop yourself from ageing and you can’t live this stage of your life again once it has passed. My mother told me she gave birth to me and now I have the responsibility of self-rebirth. In essence, your destiny is in your hands as you navigate through the murky waters of life. You can either allow the world to shape you or you shape the world. The choice is yours.
My intent is not to give you a magic wand to be infused to you externally but rather to awaken the right choices that are dormant within you and encourage you to create a right atmosphere that will fester these attributes. The war is from within and it must be won from within.
Get a factory reset: one of my gadgets developed a fault of recent, did all I could do, but it will not work. I took it to the manufacturer’s office and holla! They did a reset and got it back as new. Same with many youths, the society has got so deep into us and beyond that the human race has wandered away from God –the maker of mankind; we need a factory reset to get us back to God’s original templates for our lives from the fall of man in the garden of Eden (Genesis 3).
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God freely and graciously declare that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past,” Romans 3:23-25 NLT
Understand your purpose: has it ever occurred to you what your purpose is in life? What are you here for? Your creation was not by accident, God took time to create you for a purpose and therefore you are of value (Jeremiah 29 vs 11; Psalms 139 vs 14). Many youths today are just copying fads, they just want to flow with the joneses, however, fads will soon pass away and the joneses will soon go into oblivion then they are left empty and disillusioned. But when you understand your purpose and you pursue it, there is always a sense of fulfilment and excitement that you are fulfilling your role in God’s plan. The easiest way to know the purpose of an appliance is to consult the manufacturer’s manual. It might interest you to know that there are volumes in there written about you (Hebrew 10 vs 7)
Mind your exposure: The importance of exposure cannot be better understood than via the illustration of the principle of the camera. The quality of the image captured by a camera is dependent on the exposure its aperture captures. So also many today are taking up the image of their friends, environment and people around them they are exposed to. That is why you must choose your company carefully. Let your choice be based on what you want to become more than what or who is available. Often than not, you always find people of the same circle either succeed or fail together. It’s the law of attraction. Also failure or success is quite rampant in certain locality than the others. Always mind whose stories you listen to. Remember the story of the twelve spies (Numbers 13 vs 25-33, 14 vs 1-12). They were youths like you, but the friendship of the ten determined their paths that ended in failure while the friendship of Caleb and Joshua, made them to see opportunities were others saw failure and they were adequately rewarded. Don’t doubt it, your exposure matters.
Attitude is altitude: Friends the new name of altitude is attitude! The line across the attribute of highly effective people is great attitude. The attitude of gratitude, cheerful heart, taking responsibility for owns action, integrity, stewardship and service to others without expecting rewards, diligence, honesty and modesty in appearance will never run out of fashion. Attitude can be learnt and unlearned. So you can learn good ones and unlearn bad ones. It’s contagious, so mind your exposure, its palpable, so it can be felt and without doubt, it’s of value, so it distinguishes those that have it. Attitude is everything. (Philippians 4 vs 8-9)
Discipline: Guess this word, but for the dictionary, would have gone into extinction. We all want to be free, do things the way we like, stay on social media, play games or watch television all day. It’s cool right? Not so cool friend. You can’t be spending all day watching television and appear on it. You must learn to do things in moderation because many resources (like time, money, food, opportunities) are limited and you need to make the best use of them. You need to discipline yourself, also, to learn to delay gratifications as there is time for everything. Many great futures have been frittered via casual sex, inappropriate behaviour or unguarded talk/disclosure on social media (Hebrew 12:15-16). You need to be deliberate, consentience and goal driven. Put yourself under check friends.
The End: Just as the age of the cradle came to an end, so will the days of youth end one day, not someday. It’s natural to feel invincible at this age and to even act it. But sooner than later it will come to an end. The question that must come to your mind is what will you remember these days for? Some are living with regrets of what they did at this stage of their lives while others are thankful for the great memories of laudable happenstance they had. But unfortunately, a large chunk of people lived it without a mark or memory, they said it just flew away and wish they could rewind time but time waits for no one.
Moreover, beyond the circle of time that will naturally spin, friends will naturally move on. There is also the cessation of life at this side to continue in eternity at the other side. Have you asked yourself where you would spend eternity, with God or without him? (1 Thessalonians 4 vs 13-18; Revelations 20 vs 11-15).
Let me conclude by letting you know that as long as the ship does not allow the sea water to get into her, she will continue to sail and get to the shore successfully. Don’t let the corruption of this age get inside of you.
“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:13-16 NLT
Pastor Oluyemi Ekundayomi