By Fr. Joseph Tarkaa Asaka
It was Monday, 20th April, 2015 when I sat in my living room at St Peter’s Secondary School, Vandeikya in the very early hours of the day. From my window, I saw something quite captivating. I discovered one of the reasons why some people fail in life.
It was a season when mango trees are full of ripe fruits. As it was usual in St Peter’s during such periods, some students woke up at different times to pick the mango fruits that had fallen down the previous night. With great enthusiasm and curiosity, I watched three students who came to pick mango fruits at different hours of the morning. The first one came as early as 5a.m. As one would expect, he picked so many mango fruits that I almost became jealous.
I almost became jealous became this particolar mango tree beside my house was among the trees with the best fruits in the whole school. Those who know exactly what I am saying can testify. Because he picked so many fruits, he decided to drop some of them on the ground. Obviously, those he dropped were not good enough.
Then I saw another student who came 45 minutes after. No new fruits had fallen! All he could do was to pick from some of those the other boy had rejected. Poor boy! With pity, I watched the third boy who came at about 6:15 a.m. What could he likely get? Your guess could be as good as mine. Nothing!
What have you learnt from the story of these three students? For me, I discovered some of the major reasons why many people fail in life.
In many cases, those who make it in life are those who ‘’wake up early’’ and work even when others are sleeping. While you sleep, your colleagues, friends, mates, siblings, neighbours may be working. This may give them a big advantage over you. Think of the students who spend hours reading, think of the successful business people who dedicate much time and energy doing their business, think of the rich who hardly sleep thinking of the next line of action, think of the successful footballer or athlete who practices daily, think of the dedicated teacher who spends much time doing lesson notes, compiling notes and marking scripts, think of the pastors and priests who dedicate hours to prayer and reading of spiritual books and with their flock. All these people have one thing in common. They eschew laziness and procrastination.
Most Revd William Avenya, the Catholic Bishop of Gboko Diocese, posted something on the Whatsup of his priests and religious which agrees so well with what I am saying. He wrote:
“I have stumbled on some ANCIENT RULES THAT HAVE NEVER FAILED and desire to share them with you at the beginning of the year.
-To be rich, give.
-To succeed, serve.,
-To laugh, make someone laugh.
-To prosper, be honest.
-To excel, be faithful.
–TO GO FAR, WAKE UP EARLY.
-To change someone, change yourself.
-To be great, be disciplined.
-To be strong, pray often.
-To do a lot, speak little.
-To be fruitful, praise God.
-To live well, forgive.
-To talk well, bind anger.
-To sleep well, work hard.
-To be loved, love.
-To be respected, be polite.
-To bind satan, sanctify yourself.
-To grow in faith, meditate. None of these have ever failed! Give a try and see for yourself.”
Among those ANCIENT RULES, the one that interests us more for this purpose is: TO GO FAR, WAKE UP EARLY.
What does it mean to wake up early?Waking up early may mean waking up from physical sleep. I can imagine how often I do not want to get up from bed! In our story, remember the two last boys who didn’t wake up early for the fruits! Maybe they were afraid of darkness. WAKING UP EARLY may also mean not delaying to do a good thing or begin a project because of fear. It means avoiding procrastination which, they say, is the thief of time.
It means using our time wisely and effeciently. Just imagine how much time we often waste on gisting, whatsup, Facebook, Twitter,playing video games, drinking, etc.
Waking up early really means thinking ahead, working hard, making extra efforts.It means avoiding laziness. If you want to go far, WAKE UP EARLY.
Such is Life!
The SUCH IS LIFE series is a real account of my life. I have decided to share some of them each Monday as new year gift to my esteemed readers, hoping you might be inspired, encouraged, taught and directed by them.