Columnists Features

Purpose is about timing in life

SPIDER’S WEB with CHEELA CHILALA
I LIKE to think of purpose as a kind of post-dated cheque: it is prepared for a particular purpose and can only be cashed by the person for whom it is meant, at a particular time.
This means, in essence, that timing is critical: the cheque can only be cashed when the predetermined date arrives – either on or after the date of maturation. If you attempt to draw the cheque before the date of maturation, you will be acting prematurely.
You therefore need to be patient enough to wait for the right date. Plus more: you can only get the cash from the bank issuing the cheque. Think of purpose as a cheque given to you by God: it has a time of maturation, and therefore a season for cashing, as well as a reason for cashing.
It is of course important to know the purpose of your life; but it is more important to know when to the make the right moves to attain your purpose.
If you attempt to draw a cheque prematurely, you will be wasting your time; similarly, if you try to live within your purpose at the wrong time, you will be doing more than waste your time: you will also be introducing an element of confusion into your life.
Let me put it this way. Imagine that while in secondary school you learn, by some supernatural means, that you are destined to be the president of Zambia. How would you handle that knowledge? Would you immediately stop going to school and form a political party? Would you join a political party? That would be unwise.
The wise thing would be to continue with school while you wait for the opportune time to pursue the purpose. You have to wait for the right circumstances to develop, but you do not have to force those circumstances.
Educational development, in this particular context, would be critical to your leadership as a president.
The point? If you are to achieve your dreams and purpose in life, you must respect the principle of timing.
I have seen individuals whose lives degenerated into one big mess because they made the right move at the wrong time, or in the wrong season. Imagine being given maize seed to plant. You would have to wait for the planting season to come.
Which is why, even now, the average farmer operating without an irrigation system is keen to know when the rains will come. The coming of the rain will signal the time for planting.
If you plant the seed at the wrong time, it will rot, not because it is the wrong seed, but because the timing is wrong.
Your plans and dreams can “rot” if you mishandle the principle of timing.
You might end up thinking you were pursuing the wrong dream when in fact it was the right one but pursued at the wrong time in the wrong circumstances.
When you attempt to cash a cheque whose maturation time has not come, it will “bounce”.
In much the same way, plans pursued before their time is ripe will “bounce” – you will put in a lot of effort but come back empty-handed. Success cannot be forced; it has its own time and circumstances.
We must therefore learn to be patient as we pursue our dreams and the purpose of our lives.
American author Dan Millman correctly argues that we cannot do everything at the same time, adding: “Timing is everything.” Carl Lewis, the great short distance runner, famously said, “Life is about timing.”
And Buzz Aldrin, one of the few astronauts to have walked on the moon, once say, “Timing has always been a key element in my life.” Life is about timing; purpose is about timing.
cheelafkc@yahoo.co.uk

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