Life Lessons From Russia 2018 (Final Part)

Hello FunFam How has it been?

I’m so sorry we had to take a little break to feature our guest writer Sylvia Chika and I’m sure we all enjoyed her post. It was a tremendous blessing to me. One of those stories that actually touches the heart and goes beyond that to heal your soul. And considering the feedback I got, I’m sure I’m not the only one. Please Sylvia if you’re reading this, biko let’s do this again sometime soon biko…?

So we’ll be concluding our series on lessons learnt from the just concluded world cup 2018 and I promise you, this is the last. Lol. It’s been a beautiful journey of leaning and learning though.

Let’s dive straight in

Lesson number… I can’t remember. I seriously can’t remember the number anymore. And I’m not willing to go check. I don’t want to stop my flow. Lol. But then maybe I’ll do so before the end of this post but just in case I don’t…I’m asking for mercy ahead of time biko?.
The next lesson learnt is this – never play with your opponent, in this case, enemy, especially when he is within sight. Never joke with your enemy no matter how harmless he might look. I got this lesson from that gift of a goal with Croatia. Now, I’m not sure if it’s the one Nigeria had for Croatia or the one France had for SAME Croatia (why were these guys getting goal gifts anyway?) But there was this goal that was just supposed to be a pass and somehow it landed in the net. The footballer was trying to casually pass the ball to the goalkeeper who was supposed to throw the ball back into the field I believe but somehow that ball got into the net. An opponent somehow got into the show and the ball landed in the net as an own goal. It was a brief moment of carelessness but it changed the dynamics of the game and gave the opposing team an advantage they wouldn’t have had if the guy had been more careful. Never play around with your opponent. No idleness. No sloppiness. Let me bring it back home. Don’t let the devil toy around with your mind, taking you on mental imaginations and mind journeys that are against God’s word and what you know you want for your life. Devil never has anything good to offer and he will always be a liar so never play with whatever nonsense thoughts he plays in your head. Rebuke it sharp sharp, with The Word of God and rebuke it OUT ALOUD. Now, it doesn’t have to be so loud that someone beside you hears it but it should be loud enough for your ears to pick it up. You don’t counter thoughts with thoughts, you counter thoughts with words, spoken words. Don’t even try to allow in your mind what you don’t want in your life. I know mind battles can be a struggle sometimes but keep at it. Have Scriptures handy for every nonsense the enemy might try to do and clear his doubt immediately he tries any thing. That’s the reason we should spend time in God’s Word studying, so these Words will go down deep into us, ready for that time when we will need them to wage war.

The next lesson is about love. Funny that a game of football can teach about love but then maybe that’s why some folks call it the game of life. Love keeps you forward. Love always keeps you forward. You can never go wrong with love. Hardly. Like a senior friend of mine used to say back in school in those days, ‘everyone responds to love’ and I saw this clearly with the France team. When those guys won, the way they treated their coach spelt love, honour and respect. I could literally touch it. And you could tell it wasn’t just because they won, it was obvious that was the norm for them. They loved up on thier coach and they honoured him. A leader that is loved and honoured will always give his best because every one responds to love. If you constantly criticise and disrespect your leader, giving you his best will be a hard thing for him to do. Love will keep you forward! Always.

And to the last lesson; this particular lesson meant so much to me cos it showed the power of unity. I have never seen anything unite a nation, especially Nigeria, like football. At that instant when ‘our boys’ are out there playing against another nation, we are glued together back here, cheering them. No tribal issues. No Igbos. No Yorubas. No Hausas, no middle belt, no APC, no PDP etc; just one whole people rooting and cheering for thier nation to come back home with the trophy because when the trophy comes home, it comes home for Nigeria. We win it as Nigeria and everyone called a Nigerian is entitled to ‘own’ the trophy because we won it for us as a nation. We are all in, for one cause. For this cause. That when the cup comes home, it comes home for US as a nation. US as a people. Us. US US. No divisions. No demarcations.

I dare say that if the world sees us as one, let’s not come home and create divisions between us. Of course we are not all same tribe and that’s beautiful because there’s beauty in diversity. I’m talking about the attendant tribal issues we have in Nigeria. It’s been in existence for God knows how long but it started with people of long long ago. People who had stories that might not exactly apply to us today, whatwith our exposure and advance in technology. Should we stick to stories that are breaking instead of healing us? Are we going to let fears rule us or allow mindsets change us from the loving creation God meant us to be into something else simply because.. Why hold on to beliefs that are obviously not helping us. I mean I know stuff still happens. Yea. And truth is every tribe has thier evil but these things are more hyped than they are real. And when you have a mindset about someone or a group of people, you’ll most likely see what you’re expecting. Yes. The mind is that powerful. By all means be careful in your relations with people but that should be done with all people, even when you travel out,not just influenced by tribes. If being bad was a Nigerian tribal thing, we won’t have police stations abroad!

So back to our lesson, even though we’re still in it.
Why was it so? How come we could all sit to watch a game and in that instant forget we probably had issues with the person sitting close to us? Let me tell you. It’s because we were all tuned to a higher purpose, in this case, football and at that point, all we wanted was to win. Nothing else was important. Nothing else mattered.
See, keep your focus on a higher purpose and the little things will cease to distract you. If you feel distracted, it’s because you’ve taken your eyes off the purpose and if you are consistently distracted, it tells you something; it’s either what you’re focusing on, that is your purpose, isn’t big enough to hold your imagination. That or maybe you’ve not fully grasped the magnitude of what your purpose is all about because men and brethren, if your purpose grips you, you’ll stop playing with ants I tell you. You’ll grow up. No one will tell you. You’ll be so hungry for more that all you’ll have eyes for are the elephants, not the ants or even chickens. You’ll look at distractions and place them where they belong. As they say, the man whose house is on fire doesn’t chase rats. If you are still chasing rats, it’s because your heart has not been set on fire yet for God and for your purpose.
Go for that thing that will grip your heart. Let the pursuit of righteousness and God’s purpose for your life so consume you that you don’t have time for anything that isn’t relevant to your life journey. Go for that life that you literally have to ‘dabere’ Chukwu (lean on God), to fulfill. Only then my dear, will you begin to truly live!

Oh k. That’s it on the few lessons learnt from Russia 2018. Hope you enjoyed reading it but most importantly, I hope it blesses and challenges you on every front to be better and do more, for God, because Jesus is the very reason each and every one of us is here in the first place.

Till I come your way again soon enough

Keep living..keep loving…keep shining

Loving you from the very depth of me!

And oh…Elkohen and Elnathan says hi?. Lol

All of the very best, from we the adults!

Aijay Ufomadu

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