Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Great achievements require time

Great achievements require time
By The Post
Wed 13 Feb. 2013, 15:50 CAT

It doesn't make sense for one to think Michael Sata and the Patriotic Front will put money in their pockets in an instant coffee way. It will take time. The other week, we heard some politician saying he went on the street and the boys there were asking him for money for lunch. And in response, he asked them about what has happened to the "money in your pockets" Michael had promised them.

It is better to tell our people the truth that things won't change overnight. No one wants to stay in poverty for a second, a minute, an hour, a day, a week, a month, a year longer. Our people have endured poverty for a long time and want to get out of it as soon as possible. They want to see their country move forward very fast and in very long strides. These expectations are not wrong but there is need for us to be realistic.

All great achievements, great developments require time and persistence. We have heard all that is being said about development for many years. It is the same old story, the same old promise, the same old expectation. Many things have been tried. Many keys have been tried. Be persevering, because the last key on the ring may be the one that opens the door. It is said that hanging on one second longer than your competition makes you a winner. Become famous for finishing important, difficult tasks.

It has been said that a great oak is only a little nut that held its ground. "These troubles and sufferings of ours, after all, quite small and won't last very long. Yet this short time of distress will result in God's richest blessing upon us forever!" (2 Corinthians 4:17).

Too many take hold of opportunity but let go of it too soon. We have an opportunity to develop our country. But while we need to be persistent, we also need to be patient and not to let go of our hope too soon. This government has the opportunity to deliver on our hopes and on its promises. There is honesty and a desire to deliver on Michael's part. And he is sincere about what he says on this score. It won't do to let go of this too soon. And Don B. Owens Jr said it so well: "Many people fail in life because they believe in the adage: 'If you don't succeed, try something else.' But success eludes those who follow such advice. The dreams that came true did so because people stuck to their ambitions. They refused to be discouraged. They never let disappointment get the upper hand. Challenges only spurred them onto greater efforts."

Not everything this government promised to do or wants to do will be done the way it has been promised or the way it wants it done. There will be challenges. There will be even failures in some aspects of their programmes. But they should be judged on their overall performance.

You will be judged by what you finish, not by what you start. If you don't see results right away, don't worry. God does not pay by the week, but He pays at the end.

"The reward for those who persevere far exceeds the pain that must precede the victory" (Ted Engstrom). It is not success that God rewards but always the faithfulness of doing His will.

If you are ever tempted to stop, just think of Johannes Brahms, who took seven long years to compose his famous lullaby because he kept falling asleep at the piano. Just kidding, but it did take him seven years. We agree with Woodrow Wilson: "I would rather fail in a cause that will ultimately succeed than succeed in a cause that will ultimately fail."

As we have seen, most of the failures result from people quitting too soon. It takes the hammer of persistence to drive the nail of success. Many people who fail did not realise how close they were to success when they gave up. "When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, until it seems as though you could not hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the time and place that the tide will turn" (Harriet Beecher Stowe).

It is said that the lowest ebb is the turn of the tide. You always uncover opportunity by applying persistence to possibilities. When looking at the root meaning of the word succeed, you will find that it simply means to persevere and to follow through. Any diamond will tell you that it was just a hunk of coal that stuck to its job and made good under pressure. Moreover, Lesa tapela kuminwe, apalamikafye. We have a lot of work to do to realise and exploit the potential before us. If we are hoping to wake up one morning and find everything we desire and hope for on our doorsteps delivered by the mysterious hand of Michael, we are in for a rude awakening.

Once again, the road to success runs uphill, so don't anticipate a sprint. Impatience is costly. Your greatest mistake will happen because of impatience. Most people fail simply because they are impatient and they cannot join the beginning with the end. You need to keep on patiently doing God's will if you want Him to do through you all that He has promised.

The power to hold on in spite of everything, to endure - this is the winner's quality. To endure is greater than to dare. The difference between the impossible and the possible lies simply in a person's determination.

It doesn't make sense for anyone to start going round preaching that Michael has failed to deliver. Failed to deliver what? There is need for patience. Those in the opposition have every right to work to remove Michael from office at the next elections. But it won't be done the way they want to do it on the back of national failure. It won't be done by creating crises where there are not; or precipitating a crisis where there is a potential for one. Learn from Michael who when there was a strike at the Zambia Revenue Authority that could have crippled government finances and threatened the MMD's hold on power, he went there and used his political influence to stop the strike and get the workers back to work. Michael could have precipitated that crisis, deepened it in the hope of using it to remove those in power. He didn't because that would be getting power on the back of national failure. And what value would such power have? There is need for patience.

And when there was a crippling health workers strike, Michael did the same. He did not use his influence to perpetuate the strike but to stop it. Michael appealed to the workers to go back to work and they listened. This takes patience. He was not in a rush to get into power by any means. He was not desperate to become President even on the back of national failure. Patience is needed.

We have serious challenges as a nation and we need the determination and tenacity of a weed to overcome our problems and challenges. Only through persistence and perseverance are we going to get out of poverty and start to develop as a country and as a people.

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