On small beginnings

I have recently been captivated by a series on youtube called King Women and will often listen to it in those overtime hours at work when the human buzz has died down and all becomes quiet. The series is a set of interviews with successful Nigerian women and I am guessing the aim is to inspire young ones like myself and avail us of the lessons these women learned on their climb to the top. This particular day, I was listening to the interview of a lady called Ayodeji Megbope and I was just blown away. Here is why I deemed her interview blog-worthy:

Her story reminded me not to despise small beginnings (Zechariah 4:10). Today, when you hear of Mrs Megbope, you hear of her heading a catering service called No Leftovers and serving Michelle Obama. You hear of her speaking on panels across the world with illustrious people including, but not limited to, Warren Buffett. But how did it all start? It started with her family’s last hope of 1000 Naira, a quest to feed her family on that meager amount which led to her making moi-moi (bean pudding) and, more importantly, her willingness to share what little she had which led to her initial customer base for the moi-moi.

Guys. Whatever it is God gives your hands to do, do it well (Ecclesiastes 9:10, Colossians 3:23). If it is selling moi-moi, do the best you can with it. As I was listening to Mrs Megbope’s story and reflecting on it, I realized that pride can rob us of destiny. What if she had looked down upon her talent and not maximized it? She would have missed out on all the great experiences and achievements she talked about in the video (which you NEED to watch). Do not look down on anything as too small, too insignificant, too “beneath you.” If it is selling sachet water, put your all into it and watch God open doors for you. He did it for Mrs Megbope and He can do it for you.  Proverbs 22:29 states:

Do you see someone skilled in their work?
They will serve before kings;
they will not serve before officials of low rank.

The King James Version of the Bible states “Do you see a man diligent in his work?” and the New King James Version states “Do you see a man who excels in his work?” Note that God did not specify the work you need to excel in before standing before kings. He did not say you need to be in finance or politics. He says whatever business or work it is, if you are diligent, you will stand before kings. People. That is the testimony of this lady’s life. She took what God gave her, was diligent in it and God put her before kings. What has He given you to do that you are looking down upon – “Lord, I wanted to be CEO, what is this secretary position?” Wherever you may be, whatever you may have to do, do it with all your heart as working for God (Colossians 3:23). Be diligent and watch Him propel you to where you need to be. When you are faithful with little, He gives you more (Matthew 25:23).  Look at Ursula Burns, current CEO of Xerox. She started out as an intern and even took on an executive assistant position even though it was not what she had in mind as a holder of a Master’s in mechanical engineering. Do not despise small beginnings. In fact, the Bible actually asks: Who dares despise the day of small things? And goes on to state that God rejoices in small beginnings. If God rejoices in them, we should rejoice in them too.

One other thing Mrs Megbope kept saying  in her interview was that her husband was always telling her to stop looking at what she did not have (in this case a university degree) and magnify what she had (her cooking talent). Often, we allow what we do not have to stop us from maximizing our existing potential – “I don’t have that degree yet, I don’t have that skill yet, etc.” Ok. you don’t have the degree. fine. But what do you have? Is it a friend who has the knowledge you need that you can learn from? Is it a book you can gain the knowledge from? Is it someone you can partner with whose knowledge can cover those aspects you do not know? What do you have? Mrs. Megbope had cooking and she expanded her knowledge by learning recipes from the market women she shopped from and expanded her customer base by hawking moi-moi in front of her former place of employment and look at her now. This is a classic example of the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30. The servant who maximized his talents was given more. When you begin to appreciate the small, you begin to see the big in them. So start making and selling that moi-moi, very soon you will start to see opportunities to expand, etc etc. Mrs Megbope took advantage of opportunities around her to magnify her talent and by the grace of God and an amazingly supportive husband, she is a success story today.

Side note: honestly, eh. God bless her husband abundantly. Gives this girl more hope for marriage.

Anyways, as I write this, I realize that this lesson is so key for me in this season as I search for the path to purpose. I am grateful for a great many things in my life but there is just this restlessness within me that has me asking myself, “is this it?” It’s like God is telling me: “It may not look like much now but remember that the largest tree starts as a little seed. Focus on what you have in this season, be a good steward of it and think about how you can make the most of it. Leave Me to handle the rest.” 

Funnily enough, this idea of focusing on what you have was a major theme in my Bible study group’s series on Spiritual Gifts. #whatdoyouhave #whatcanyoudowithwhatyouhave. So you can’t preach but you can give or you can serve. If that is what you can do, do it well for the Kingdom (Romans 12:3-8). Nothing is unimportant (1 Corinthians 12: 12-26).

Do not despise small beginnings.

Stay blessed folks!

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