“If you are inspired by God to do something, can you still fail?”
That’s was the question that was sent to me by a reader of this series.
Based on my experience, the answer was very simple. But if I said “yes,” the next question would be “why.’
So I decided to answer both the asked and un-asked questions.
However, to answer them I needed a base for my assertions. My lecturer would say, “find a method to your madness. For there’s always an inclination to every form of insanity.”
Thus, I consulted the best business book in the world aka the bible.
I had been studying the Book of Judges this September. I was looking for little known heroes to write about. I didn’t expect to find the answers to the questions there. I thought the answers would be in the Book of Proverbs. But immediately I read Chapter 20 of Judges, the answers played out like a movie in me mind.
Let me try and share what I saw.
The background to the story was that, the woman of a Levite (i.e. an Israelite) had been raped to death by some devilish guys. The guys were from a small clan from the tribe of the Benjamites.
The Levite then reported the matter to the rest of the tribes of Israel by sending a graphic and unusual message to each tribe. He demanded for justice.
All of Israel gathered to deliberate on the matter i.e. 11 of the 12 tribes. The Benjamites who were the 12th tribe was not present at the meeting. The 11 tribes then demanded that the Benjamites submit the rapists to them for execution. The Benjamites refused and the battle line was drawn.
Note that 11 tribes vs 1 tribes meant the Benjamites were outnumbered like 10 to 1. The actual numbers was the 11 tribes had 400,000 warriors, while the Benjamites had 26,000 warriors.
However, before the 11 tribes faced off with the Benjamites, they asked for God’s permission and instruction, and they got it.
But in the first battle, the Benjamites won and killed 22,000 men.
Good intentions, bad execution.
So the 11 tribes regrouped and before the 2nd battle, they asked for God’s counsel again. And like before, God told them to proceed.
But like the 1st time, the Benjamites won and killed 18,000 Warriors from the 11 tribes.
Again, good intentions, bad execution.
So it was back to the drawing board for the 11 tribes. And for the 3rd time they asked for God’s counsel. And they got a positive answer.
However, unlike before when the 11 tribes blindly rushed into battle, they relaxed and engaged their brain this time.
They adjusted their brain from per hour thinking to per seconds thinking.
Thus, they came up with a strategy and broke it down into actionable tactics.
The Battle Strategy was to set an ambush for the Benjamites.
The tactics were:
- Divide the warriors into two sets.
- The first set will face off with the Benjamites. The 2nd set will stay hidden.
- The first set will engage them like before and then retreat. They were to run from the Benjamites, fast enough not to get killed by not too fast so the Benjamites don’t give up the chase.
- Once the Benjamites had been led away from their cities, the 2nd set of warriors will enter therein and burn it down.
- The smoke will signal the first set that they should stop running away and stand and fight.
- And the 2nd set will also engage the Benjamites. This means there was no place for the Benjamites to retreat into.
Needless to say, the Benjamites were massacred. Only 600 of them managed to escape death.
Good intentions with strategy and actionable tactics leads to excellent execution.
Simply put, when you get inspired, seek for knowledge, wisdom and understanding.
Knowledge is knowing about what you want to do.
Wisdom is the application of what you know.
Understanding is knowing the implications that can and would arise from your application of wisdom. It’s also knowing the mitigants to the implications. In addition, having good understanding attracts favour to you.
In my own case, I knew God wanted us to help develop the spoken word poetry industry in Nigeria and beyond. And in order to do that, we started organizing events in 2012.
One thing (i.e. tactic) we got right was the concept of the events. However, we had no marketing and sales plan that will ensure the sustainability and profitability of the events.
I was working in a bank and I had access to funds. So I did what I thought was right, I threw money at and into the events. The belief was that the more the events we did, the more attractive it would be to sponsors.
To reinforce our commitment to this cause, we brought in a USA based poet (Shihan Van Clief) in May 2013.
Kai, I maxed out my dollar denominated credit card. No be small gbese o. But I was in a bank, I had access to funds from salary, bonus, leave and upfront allowances. So gbese no be problem.
Well, we became known and respected. But our company account was all shades of red.
Good intentions, bad execution.
We should have spaced our events to give us enough time to do post event activities. We would also have had time to plan and market the next event.
All these I came to realize in hindsight.
Overtime, I’ve come to know and appreciate the need to have a strategy and to break them down into actionable tactics.
I know one of my partners, if he gets to read this, would shake his head and say, “I tell am o, he no gree hear word.”
But with God, all things work together for good.
Hence, our rush of events led to a fast growth in poetry activities in Nigeria. For it challenged other poets and organisations to step up their game.
God gave us a brain for a reason. It should be working per seconds and not per minute or worse still, per hour. So when you hear from God, please process the information and ask him for directions and specific instructions.
If you are greeted with silence, since you are not a baby and you get brain, please sweat your brain. Make it work hard for you.
If you are to take only three things from all I’ve written, let it be as follows:
Seek knowledge by all means possible on the subject matter, related subject matters and totally unrelated matters.
Then get wisdom.
And in all your getting, get Understanding.
Written by Olumide Holloway (King Olulu)
Twitter @olulu4ever, Instagram @olulutheking, firstname.lastname@example.org, +2348025070892