Another very trying aspect of excellence is that in most cases, excellence would take you through the path of trials and tribulations. People of excellence are often misunderstood, leading to a lot of trials, attacks and tribulations in general. My own story in Ukraine attests to this truth. As a black man pastoring a church of 99 per cent white Europeans, I have had to endure a lot of misunderstandings and trials.
Another thing that excellence would require of you is the ability to endure. For you to attain excellence in anything, you need stamina to keep on going. This is because excellence is not attained overnight. True excellence takes time. It takes perseverance. True excellence takes endurance. For true excellence, you need some stamina.
I remember when I just arrived in the former USSR to study journalism, a general requirement for students those days was that they must first study the Russian language in their first year. Unfortunately for me, I was late to school for about two weeks. In that time, my fellow students had started speaking a bit of Russian language. At least they all had learnt the alphabet and could read the language to some extent. By the time I arrived, I was in all forms of troubles. I was so much behind that my professor could not help but confess that if I ever spoke the language, even though he was a communist and an atheist, he would gladly go and light up a candle in church, because at my level then there was nothing that would make me speak the language.
After that extremely damning verdict, I was only left with two options: God and the library. First, I spoke to God about it and decided to stand on his promise in Deuteronomy: 28:13.
“And he LORD will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them.”
I made a deal with God that, according to his word, I would end up being the head in that school; the first and not the last. The other side of that agreement was that I would put in my best effort in the library.
“Roll-up those sleeves and work until you see the fruit of your labour. It takes Passion, Resolve and a Productive Work Ethic, meeting with Opportunity, for you to succeed.” ― Archibald Marwizi
If you have ever spent some considerable amount of time in the library, you would agree with me that the topic of stamina and endurance comes in handy here. I remember the first few weeks in the library: after studying for some time, I would look at my wristwatch, trying to reassure myself that I had spent at least four of the six hours that I had intended to spend daily. To my bewilderment, however, when I expect to see four hours, I would see that I had only spent 30 minutes in actual fact. As such, I resumed my studies with a renewed determination to go longer thereafter.
When I was sure that the six hours should be over, on looking at my wristwatch I realised that I had spent only two hours. But that is the only way you build stamina. After doing this in and out for about six years, I eventually finished as the best graduating student, with a First Class honours degree, from that university. There is no excellence without stamina. Excellence demands endurance. You need to persevere before you can have the testimony of excellence.
“Excellence is not a success but a persistent pursuit of perfection.” ― Debasish Mridha
When we started our church, I soon discovered that the same quality was equally needed in building a mega church. At a time, I was determined to pray for six hours every day. My experience brought me back to the years in the library as a student. Each time I thought I had prayed for about two hours, my wristwatch would inform me that I was only about 20 minutes down the road. But once I passed the examination of perseverance, excellence began to work for me. We ended up building the largest and one of the most powerful evangelical churches in Europe, when I was only in my early thirties.
“You must succeed! Not by accident, but deliberately! You are able to succeed – now you must be willing to succeed and this must reflect in the way you spend your life.” ― Archibald Marwizi
Another very trying aspect of excellence is that in most cases, excellence would take you through the path of trials and tribulations. People of excellence are often misunderstood, leading to a lot of trials, attacks and tribulations in general. My own story in Ukraine attests to this truth. As a black man pastoring a church of 99 per cent white Europeans, I have had to endure a lot of misunderstandings and trials. It is one thing for you to do that in your own country or a country where you are a citizen. It is entirely a different thing for you to do the same thing where you hold a Nigerian passport.
Worse still if you are a black man from Africa. For example, over the last 20 years of our ministry, I had to endure over 20 criminal charges. Countless numbers of deportation attempts, hundreds of lawsuits, and the list goes on and on. The beautiful thing about excellence is that despite the trials and the tribulations, excellence has a way of distinguishing you.
As I write this article, I am still a persona non grata in Russia. The reason is because the excellence we have attained in the Ukraine has made so much noise on our behalf that now Russia cannot imagine us coming to do the same thing in its territory. Yet, the beauty of excellence is that it would make a way for you, even when you are under prohibition.
“Dominate the market with your products of self-control; no matter how many temptations produced by the devil, you will still overcome with profits of excellence!” ― Israelmore Ayivor
Despite the ban, we have at least a hundred churches prospering right in the heart of Russia. Excellence knows how to operate in impossible circumstances. You will only have a testimony of the exploits of excellence if you will not be afraid to go through trials and tribulations.
Sunday Adelaja is a Nigeria born leader, transformation strategist, pastor and innovator. He was based in Kiev Ukraine
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