Nobody finishes well by accident – John C. Maxwell
The difference between people that finish well and people who don’t is the level of preparation put into the activity. In the account of the parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25: 1-12), five of them went with extra oil just in case the unforeseen happened while the remaining five were cool with their lamp without taking any oil with them. The result shows clearly the importance of preparation.
Many times we overestimate the result we want to get but under estimate the level of preparation that goes into it. We want good careers but sometimes the effort put into having the good career is not commensurate. We want positive things to happen to us but we are not taking steps towards the achievement.
We need to understand that whenever we need to achieve great things, we require a level of preparation that is almost obsessive. What preparation does to us is that we take advantage of now using the resources at our disposal to secure a future. We can therefore not afford a lacklustre approach to anything that we do in life.
Those who are prepared maximise opportunities when it comes. The five virgins who had oil did not miss the bridegroom when he came because they were already prepared unlike the other five who went to look for oil. If you are going to maximise opportunities in your career field, place of work and business, you must develop your skills when they are not needed so that when the opportunities come people defer to you.
Jesus spent the first 30 years of His life preparing for the last 3 years of His ministry. He needed no marketing campaign when He showed up and people started following Him because He had prepared Himself for the current challenges of the people who were desperate in meeting the Messiah.
Preparing for life makes us wise. If you are not preparing for a major feat, you may give your oil to the foolish ones. Your oil is what produces your light and if you give it out because you are not preparing for life you may end up without light. It is better for others to enjoy your light but not to give away your oil. Your oil is your resources with which you produce result; it could be your time, savings etc. A man that is preparing for something great is disciplined enough not to give away his resources when he is supposed to be using them to get ready for his breakthrough in life. Let people benefit from the result you generate from being prepared for life than letting them hinder you when they expect you to share the oil that produces the result.
We should also understand that the law of preparation operates in the context of timing. If you are not prepared when the door of opportunities is opened, like the foolish virgins, you will not be able to enter. Everyone has his/her own times of opportunities and the greatest injustice we can do to ourselves is not to be prepared to maximise these opportunities.
As John Maxwell said, finishing well is not accidental, there must be deliberate steps taken towards it. The level of preparation we put into our endeavours determine the type of result we achieve.
This article is part of the Christian Employee Series authored by Akindele Afolabi