Feature Article of Monday, 30 July 2012
Columnist: Mensah, Richard Obeng
Help, LORD, for no one is faithful anymore; those who are loyal have vanished from the human race. Everyone lies to their neighbor; they flatter with their lips but harbor deception in their hearts – Psalms 12:1-2(NIV).
The greatest man in history started his bodily life from a manger and sadly ended it on a shameful humiliating cross. The carnal mind may think that his birth was highly controversial. He was conceived, nursed and nurtured by a virgin! He grew up as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground. He had neither form nor attractiveness; and when people saw him, there was no beauty for them to desire him. In addition, his friends and disciples were virtually uneducated and unlearned, by the standard of the world.
Consequently, he was despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. People hid their faces from him; he was despised, and they esteemed him not. Nevertheless he borne their grieves, and carried their sorrows: yet they did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. Ironically, he was wounded for their transgressions; he was bruised for their iniquities: the chastisement of their peace was upon him; and with his stripes they were healed. He was oppressed, and was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth. Yet it pleased God to bruise him; He put him to grief. His soul was made an offering for sin and his seed prolonged his days. By popular opinion and conventional wisdom, he was a total failure! However, God has highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Real greatness is in seeds. This means that great people are seed sowers. Therefore, real greatness is discovering a good seed and sowing it in a good soil. The watering is not necessarily the work of such sowers. The growth of the seeds and the increase of their fruits is the sole responsibility of God. Great people, like true sowers, are usually never appreciated in their lifetime. This is because they are perceived to have wasted precious seeds that were put in their hands. Seed sowers on the other hand always know that they are primarily supposed to put the seeds into a good soil. The seeds decay in the soil. Afterwards, the seeds begin to shoot up like fresh and tender plants, fragile and unassuming. The plants contend with all forces and shades of weather. Eventually, they bear fruits in 30, 60, 100 folds.
Real heroism, like greatness, is not always measured by academic laurels, long life, affluence, popularity, and prosperity. King Solomon of immeasurable riches and wisdom says it is true. Similarly, monuments and infrastructure do not always constitute a proof of greatness. Monuments fall; infrastructure eventually fractures. Balloon economic indicators are always ridiculed by economic realities. So-called political stalwartness and achievements are mostly lyrics of nagging yellow journalism and siren songs of dirty propaganda. In addition, real heroes and heroines are mostly not found at the seat of governments, law-making assemblies, judicial corridors, and intellectual parlours. They are neither decorated in business suits. Jesus says it is true. Real heroes are humble, compassionate, selfless, sacrificial, and serviceable. They are always ready to lay down their lives for others and also for the cause they champion. They see leadership as God first; the people second; and themselves last! Thus real heroes passionately and selflessly lead a cause or champion visions, not people. Leadership and followership relationship does not mean that leaders must place their needs before followers. Besides, positions, titles, personality and charisma are not leadership. Charisma by itself is never an answer to economic crisis! Japan had recently learnt that technology without God is a trash!
Real heroes are, among others, always marked by humility. Humility is seeing yourself as human and recognizing God as the source and answer to all human needs. It is also seeing oneself as a steward of God’s creation. Besides, real heroes are never afraid of pain and death. Greatness begins when a person has come to a point in life where that person is neither afraid to suffer pain nor death for the sake of God, and the good of humanity. That is why all great heroes are always selfless. They move on even in the face of painful adversities. They always vow to suffer death than to surrender to hollow and sheer adversities. To them, greatness is in character, virtues and sacrificial love. They see generations unborn as their best judges; Dr Kwame Nkrumah agrees.
President Mills is a hero! Oh! How I wish he lived to write his own story. Probably, his real disciples will one day write his true story. It has been said that men die but once, and the opportunity of a noble death is not an everyday fortune. It is a gift which every noble spirit prays for. An individual whose aim was to assist in the development of a nation, if left to the wishes of human, should not die suddenly, but when life was planning; death was laughing at it. Besides the wish of humans is not the wish of God. The greatness of most great men is seldom felt in their lifetime; but their great works are reflected in the background during their eternal rest. President Mills, may your good works speak for you. Rest in peace!
Richard Obeng Mensah, author of If You Think of Your Opposition You Lose Your Position. firstname.lastname@example.org/www.richard-obeng-mensah.blogspot.com