Monday, 25 January 2021

Good Times

 


I smile when I listen to people talk about the good old days or a time in their life when everything was great and going precisely according to plan. You see the spark in their eyes as they retell happy tales of the great days when life was great. You watch their lips curl up in a satisfying smile as they talk about the abundance they enjoyed in either wealth, peace, power, or even human connection. You get drawn in rapt attention as their bodies get animated at the point the story gets to a crescendo as the adventure peaks. Then you watch their shoulders suddenly drop as they descend from the heights of joy when the story takes a new turn into today’s realities where things are not as great as they use to be. 

 

When I listen to tales of the good old days, I often wonder, "what happened to you, and how did you lose it all?" Sometimes you get a glimpse of the tragedy in a moment of absolute openness when the storyteller forgets himself and shares his uttermost regret—a wrong decision, a timing missed or a destructive habit that was left unchecked. One reckless action or inaction suddenly turns the entire story around.  So in my quest for finding a life worth living, I always make it a point to listen to such accounts and learn what not to do.  So when I read Proverbs 27 verse 23 to 27, I just had to pause and think about it.

 

“Be sure to know the state of your flocks

and pay close attention to your herds;

for riches are not forever,

nor does a crown endure to every generation.

When hay is removed and new growth appears

and the grain from the hills is gathered,

the lambs will provide you with clothing,

and the goats with the price of a field.

You will have plenty of goats’ milk to feed you—

food for your household

and nourishment for your maidservants.”

Proverbs 27: 23 - 27

 

Solomon's words in these verses hold a lot of meaning for me, and I'll like to share them with you. I want you to be able to look back and see the good old days, look around you and see the great moments of today and look ahead to see the glorious days of tomorrow.

 

A sage man wrote Proverbs, and I love the prose, but I decided to take a stab at rewriting these verses in today’s expression and from my humble understanding. Below is my version of Proverbs 27: 23 – 27, and it will be the subject of our discussions today.

 

Take stock from time to time,

Know the state of your affairs at all times.

For in life, you get some, and you lose some. Nothing lasts forever.

Power always changes hands, and the transition is inevitable.

When times change, and the tide turns,

You can only profit from what you invested.

The proceed from one will support another need,

Today’s investment builds tomorrow’s growth.

If you do this, you will have enough to meet your needs,

You will have enough to spare for others.

 

Not bad, right :) Let's look at these in 3 buckets or nuggets of wisdom if you wish to call it.

 

Nugget 1:

Take stock from time to time.

Know the state of your affairs at all times.

 

Successful people keep an eye on the most critical aspects of their lives from time to time. Here lies the first thing you need to do, know what's important to you and protect it. Keep an eye on your health, monitor what you do with your finances, assess the relationships in your life. And if any is falling short, you should make a plan to quickly course correct. If you are on a winning streak with your finances, don’t get too cocky. Acknowledge the season and put some away for the future. Don’t go crazy and keep spending. If your health is at its best, excellent, you should make a plan to stay on the healthy path and not assume your body will stay that way forever. If your kids are the epitome of loving, obedient children, bask in it, but know influences are around them. So make a plan to continue to lead them down the right path. The reason is simple, and it's in the second nugget.

 

Nugget 2:

For in life you get some, and you lose some,

 nothing lasts forever,

Power always changes hands, and the transition is inevitable.

 

Nothing lasts forever is not a cliché; it's a fact of life. The tide always turns, change always happens, and you have to be ready when it does. Cultivate the habit of looking ahead, anticipate change, and plan for it. You can't be a leader forever; you will need to hand over the reins of power at some point. Your money-making machine won't always be there. At some point, a new business coming into the market will throw you off course. You have to learn to look ahead, anticipate, make contingencies and have back up plans for when things change.

 

Take a clue from Joseph and the famine's story in the Bible; you have to have the foresight to store away grains in the seven years of plenty ahead of the seven years of famine. Why's that, you ask? The answer is in nugget 3.

 

Nugget 3

When times change, and the tide turns,

You can only profit from what you invested.

The proceed from one will support another need,

Today’s investment builds tomorrow’s growth.

If you do this, you will have enough to meet your needs,

You will have enough to spare for others.

 

Nugget 3 starts with the word "When." Not "if," but "when," because it’s only a matter of time, the tide will always turn. So when it does, you have got to be ready for what comes next. If you have abided by nugget 1 and 2, which is to take stock at all times and invest today for the future, then you will have enough to carry you through the lean seasons. It’s like the saying, ‘you only get what you put in it.' If you haven't put some money aside for the rainy day, then when it rains, you will get drenched. But if you have put aside a little at a time in the days of plenty, then you will have a fallback plan—something to carry you through.

 

What I love most about this is, it’s not just about having enough to sustain yourself and your family, but you will be able to help others. Don't you hate when you meet someone with a genuine need, and you can’t help because you don't have to give? Horrible! We need to give back to our society and those around us, and you can only give what you have.

 

Summing it up: Keep a close eye on your affairs and take stock often. Look ahead and anticipate the changes that may be around the corner. Put a little at a time in savings and life investment for the rainy day. And when it eventually starts to rain, enjoy the proceeds from your investment and share it with the world around you.

 

Cheers to good times yesterday, today, and always!

 

Blog post image by  Angela Rose from Pixabay

8 comments:

  1. Very apt. Thanks for putting this up. God bless

    ReplyDelete
  2. For a second, I thought it was my own Funmi. I wondered if I commented in my sleep lol. Anyways, great write up. I am a firm believer of making fond memories every chance you get, however simple and striving continuously to never have a "better yesterday". Today has to be just a great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha wouldn't it have been funny if you commented in your sleep? I agree today has got to be just as great.

      Delete
  3. Great read! It is nice to be able to relate this in a scriptural way. This has been something that has been resounding in my spirit and I've been moved to do and plan for. Thank you for providing more context and articulating this perfectly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind words. I pray for more success for you as you execute on your plan.

      Delete
  4. This is such an amazing read! Thank you @seye. It's great to see how succinctly you have rewritten Proverbs 27:23-27 (fyi i copied it for my Slack handle:) We live in an age of instant gratification without putting in the work or developing the discipline to build wealth. I particularly love your reference to the story of Joseph and his advice to save one fifth of the harvest for the turn of tide. You should turn this into a mini series podcast on building wealth - principles from the Bible. Thank you for your encouraging timely words always.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great idea on the podcast...will get right on it :)

    ReplyDelete