Sunday, November 16, 2008

The (Real) Moment Of Truth

Right now, I am watching a program on mnet series, my wife seated by me and my wonderful kids playing around me. The program is “The Moment of Truth”. I have seen this program a couple of times now. I don’t know if I like the program or not. I think I have reservations about it. It’s a good show but really, I find some of the things that happen on this program amazing. As always, I chose to learn a lesson.

The Moment of Truth is an American game/reality show. Contestants answer a series of 21 increasingly personal and embarrassing questions to receive cash prizes. The show is hosted by Mark Walberg. Prior to the program, the contestant is connected to a polygraph before being asked these personal questions. They are supposed to answer “True” or “False” to the questions and the polygraph reveals if their answers are indeed True or False. They get monetary rewards for the number of questions they answer truthfully. You will often hear the host say something like “This is your $25,000 moment of truth”. I am not sure you will appreciate this until you watch it. The questions sometimes gets really personal, foe example, “Have you ever fantasized about having sex with one of your co-workers”, “Will you rob a bank if you knew you wouldn’t be caught”, “Did you invite anyone to your wedding that you previously had sexual relations with”, “Do you have any secret that you know will end your marriage?”, “Will you have sex with another woman if you know you will never be caught?”, “ Have you ever being paid for sex?”, “ Do you believe you will be married to your husband for the rest of your life?” and other similar questions. I have watched how disappointed many husbands, wives, mothers, fathers and family members are after they hear some of the answers. Many of them that started the show clapping, shouting and with smiles leave the stage in tears. They leave surprised about secrets they never knew existed. It could be devastating! I saw a particular edition that was so bad that I will be very surprised if the marriage survived that night? Though you are only on the hot seat for a few minutes, what stares you in the face is integrity or lack of it, honesty or lack of it, faithfulness to your wife and family or lack of it that you have built over your life time. In less than 60 minutes, your values will be brought to test.

Can you imagine being on such a seat that you have to answer “True” or “False” to any question that you will be asked? Can you imagine your deepest secrets being revealed on live television? How will you feel if you have no choice but to seat on this program and answer the questions truthfully (it will be revealed to all if you lie). My guess is that you will dread the occasion.

The truth however is that none of us can run away from such moment! There is a Moment of Truth coming that you do not have a choice about. You do not need to like it. It is coming. It will soon hit you. Every secret will be revealed, not just on line television but for all to see. Everything done in secret will be revealed. Every secret email will be exposed. Every secret phone conversation will be heard live and clear. Everyone, yes everyone, will stand before the judgment seat of God. “Sooner or later we'll all have to face God, regardless of our conditions. We will appear before Christ and take what's coming to us as a result of our actions, either good or bad” says God’s holy word. Are you ready for this day?

Think about this for a moment- What if all emails that you have ever sent could be retrieved and displayed on a screen? What if all your phone conversations could be replayed back? What if all the times you spent in secret could be replayed? What if your innermost thoughts could be revealed on a screen? The truth is this…..they can! Yes, they can. One day, it will all be revealed. What manner of people ought we to be knowing this truth? There is nothing that you are doing now that will remain hidden. Absolutely nothing. One day, we will all sit before the Throne of God, and we wouldn’t have to say a word. The books will be opened and the scenes brought to light. We should all live our lives, like one day, we’ll give account, because we will!

One day, not too far from now, God will be our host on the real “Moment of Truth” where all you have ever done in secret, both good and bad, will be exposed. Are you ready for this moment? I perceive God will ask “This is you eternal life moment of truth”. What a day that will be.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Only You Can Determine The Outcome

Last week, I travelled with a neighbour to attend the funeral; service for another neighbour’s dad. Before I left home, I was told that the trip will take 4 hours or thereabout. Despite my busy schedules, I decided to make it down and spend a few hours with them there before driving back. Unfortunately, the trip took 6.5 hours! We got there quite late and were able to spend only 20 minutes with this neighbour. I was really angry within me as I felt that I had wasted my whole day (a total of 13 hours drive) only to spend 20 minutes at the event. The whole trip was really awkward. However, as usual, I didn’t let it go away without learning.

Life is very predictable

While returning back, I couldn’t help but listen to the words of music that was playing from the car stereo. The words were alarming and very untrue. Unfortunately, many people in our nation, in our continent, and in our world believe it. The song writer was trying to convince his listener that no matter what they do in life and how much they work hard, everything is predestined! Some people are predestined to the poor and serve those who have been predestined to be rich. According to him, you are not really responsible for whatever the outcome you are getting in life. It all depends on “something more powerful that you”. Nothing can be more untrue.

One of the most pervasive myth is our world today is that we are entitled to a great life, that somehow, someone , somewhere is responsible for filling our lives with happiness, exciting career option, nurturing family time and blissful personal relationships simply because we exist. There is nothing father from the truth. Most of us have been conditioned to blame others for the parts of lives we don’t like – our parents, our bosses, our friends, our spouses, the economy, the weather, the media, co workers, our clients, how spouse lack of money, and even our astrological chart!

To achieve major success in life and produce the life of your dreams, then, you will have to take 100% responsibility for your life. Nothing else will do. You will have to give up all your excuses. You have to stop blaming outside circumstances. You have the power resident within you to create the future you desire. I learnt a simple but powerful truth last week while listening to a tape. It was stated in the form of a formula

E+R = O

Every outcome you experience in life (success or failure, joy or frustration, wealth or poverty, health or sickness, joy or frustration), is a result of how you have responded to an earlier event(s) in your life. If you do not like the outcome you are experiencing in your life, there you have two choices that you have.

One, you can blame the events for your lack of results (outcome). You can blame economy, your bosses’ attitude, the system or lack of it, the political system, the weather, your lack of money or education, racism, gender bias, or even your wife or your husband. All of these factors do exist but if they were the deciding factors, no one will ever succeed! These are not the things that stop us. We stop ourselves.

Two, you can instead simply change your responses (R ) to the events (E) until you get the outcome (O) that you want. You can change your thinking, communication, pictures you hold in your head, and your behaviour. Those are the things we have control on anyway. You have to regain control over these things to stay on course. Everything you experience in life, internally or externally, is a result of how you have responded to an event. It is no magic. I feel strongly that you shouldn’t really be surprised with the outcome you get in life. If you don’t like what you are getting in life, you have to change your responses. You have to change your negative thoughts, change your friends, change your habits, change what you read, and change how you talk. If you keep on doing what you have always done, you will keep on getting what you’ve always got. The greatest definition of insanity is “doing the same thing in the same way and expecting a different result”. It a’int going to happen. The day you start to change your responses to the way things are, is the day your life will begin to get better. If you get something different, you have to do something different.

The greatest definition of insanity is “doing the same thing in the same way and expecting a different result”.

One of the greatest bane of our world today, especially among African, is the readiness to always blame others! Isn’t it interesting that you will see a 35 year old African blaming his uncle for his inability to get married and settle down? Isn’t it interesting that we always blame the government for our predicament? Isn’t it interesting that we only complain about the things we can do something about? Have you ever seen anyone complain about gravity? That will really be absurd.

Look, let it be clear to you that you are responsible for your life and your current circumstances. You are responsible for where you are today and where you will be tomorrow. Life is very predictable. If I see your responses to the events of your life today, I can predict the outcomes that you should expect tomorrow

You are destined for the top of the topmost top! See you there!!