I have always refused using the terms average, ordinary, the masses, the poor man on the street, the commoners, etc for people that God created. And this is because these terms do not reflect the worth of human life and what the human spirit can do. But the challenge I have faced so far in this regard is not being able to come up with better terms and nomenclatures that ably capture my convictions.
In my Literature class, while in my Senior Secondary school, we were introduced to an African prose titled The Bottled Leopard. While this book talked about the story of an African boy who later discovered he was the reincarnation of one of his ancestors and had been given some supernatural powers as a gift, the article of today reflects a powerful truth I want everyone to know about themselves. You have a bottled lion inside of you.
I choose not to use the title of the African prose for this article because the leopard is not the king of the jungle. The lion is the king of the jungle and it is an animal that describes the unique status that man occupies on earth. The lion is so powerful that other animals tread very cautiously or entirely disappear on sighting a lion or lioness. The strength of the lion, the speed of the lion and the size of the lion are no great indices when compared with the strength of the gorilla, the speed of the cheetah or zebra and the size of the elephant.
Someone once remarked that if the gorilla knew the strength it has, it would tear into pieces every lion it meets. Yet, the gorilla is an easy prey for the lion the day the two run into each other. But the lion is not always this powerful. It is instructive to note that every lion was once a cub. This truth gladdens my heart very much. It tells me that God has given everybody the fair chance of succeeding in life. However, we are easily carried away by the success stories of celebrities and great men and women and we forget to consider one simple fact: we possess the same charisma, success and strengths that celebrities have if we only know who we are. You are more than your present situation or condition.
If therefore there is a lion in every cub and an eagle in every eaglet, then it is safe to say there is the largest mammal in every young blue whale; there is a giant in every David; there is a warrior in every weakling, a Paul in every Saul, a prophet in every Samuel, a computer genius and wizard in every Bill Gates, a multibillionaire and terrific equity investor in every Warren Buffett; a Prime Minister in every Tony Blair, a business strategist and billionaire in every Cosmas Maduka, a business wizard and strategist in every Jimoh Ibrahim, an oil magnate in every Femi Otedola; a communication giant and incredible wealthy business man in every Mike Adenuga; a Bishop extraordinaire in every David Oyedepo, a dynamic and eloquent youthful pastor in every Sam Adeyemi, a spiritual icon and Pastor of the largest church network in the world in every Enoch A. Adeboye; a healing evangelist in every Chris Oyakhilome, an oratorical speaker, dynamic and multi-skilled pastor in every Chris Okotie; a visionary governor in every Babatunde Raji Fashola, a sharp, witty and fiery lawyer in every Gani Fawehinmi and a bottled lion and an expensive pearl in every human being you see.
There is a bottled lion in every human you see. Yes, you possess your own bottled lion. It is kicking and scratching, clawing and chafing at the limitation of the bottle. Only if you can let out this champion and then sit back and watch what it can do. Instead of doing this, it is sad though that a lot of people are going to the grave with their lion still inside the bottle.
Dr. Myles Munroe is for me a man I greatly respect and treasure. He is one mentor I desire to meet in my life-time very soon. His success story is legendary and inspiring. He was born in a wooden house in the Caribbean Island of Bahamas to poor parents who could hardly feed themselves. He was one out of 11 children. But today, things have changed for him.
He is happily married now close to 3 decades. He has 2 children graduated from some of the best schools in the world. He lives in a multi-million dollar house. He owns a jet and rides choice cars and has offices in 18 countries of the world. What is the secret of this man? Look at what he said:
When I discovered that everything needed for success was already in me, I made a quality decision to maximize every fiber of my being… to fully use my gifts, talents and abilities. The same wealth is in you. Unexposed potential is waiting to be released. You are designed to be distinctive, irreplaceable and unique. So, refuse to be normal! Live life with all of your might. Become all you were designed to be. Maximise your potential and become a leader.
Phew! What a guy! What a legend. Let me tell you something. Dr. Myles Munroe has 5 university degrees, is a pastor, evangelist, teacher, educationist, counselor, diplomat, artist, singer, musician, human development expert, researcher, motivational speaker, businessman, author of bestselling titles, administrator and a revered academic.
But he wasn’t always like this. Those things were trapped in a bottle and had to be released before he could emerge the star and celebrity he is today.
Your bottled lion refers to the bundle of buried potentials, skills, abilities, gifts, endowments and talents that you possess. Until you release them from the bottle on your inside, you will remain normal, average, lowly paid, poor, miserable and at last when you die, God will lay you on His bench, tie you and whip your buttocks for wasting His investments in you. Seriously, we all will give account to God concerning how we have treated our God-given time, opportunities and talents.
This was what Gian Carlo Menotti saw when he gave a different definition to hell. He said, “Hell begins on the day when God grants us a clear vision of all that we might have achieved, of all the gifts we wasted, of all the things we might have done but didn’t do.”
I would like to leave you with this advice… strive to do all you can to die empty of all the potentials you are carrying about. Instead of whining and throwing blames of regret and suffering around, uncork that bottle and let that lion spring out to create the future you desire and deserve.
In our next edition, we shall be looking at the Bottle Lion part 2, which would tell us what you need to do with the lion in the bottle. Keep a date with Afroscandic. We are the best.
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Afroscandic Press Writer U. Moses Urim