I have observed quite a number of works in my life and I have seen quite a few things; while some works stand the test of time and trials, some simple get subsumed overtime. I have discovered that while majority celebrate good performance or achievement; great minds celebrate lasting achievements or performances. A number of former this and former that fill up our streets and societies; one generation's achievement quickly become an eyesore for another generation. While it is true that the passage of generations does not diminish the earth, quite a number of records of the past are broken by successive generations.
It has been said that we live in a jet generation and Information Age, that things happen so quickly that we might even forget they ever happened. We live in a world where quick things are celebrated far above lasting things. We live in a generation where temporal appeal far outweighs lasting impression and immediate gratification prevails over enduring legacy.
I am a citizen of Nigeria, from the Yoruba extraction. My extraction has been living centuries before the white race invaded Africa to colonize its people. I have found out that while most successful industries or businesses in Europe and America have been founded centuries ago, Africa can only boast of mud houses, huts and rural societies. If you take a careful survey of most towns and cities in Europe and you compare them with towns and cities in Africa, you will realize that the development of Europe and America is built on the lasting legacy of their past generations.
In Nigeria, very few structures have been handed down from past generations. Thank God for Cocoa house in Ibadan (South West Nigeria), and a few other buildings; most of the buildings of the past generations were built for the moment. What I observe as the errors of the previous generations in Africa is also here with our generation. We build houses for the immediate, we start businesses for the now, and we build relationships to suit our present or expected need. We are hardly futuristic in our thinking, planning and executions.
I grew up in the city of Ile-Ife, in Osun State, Nigeria.
The city is blessed with a leading University in Nigeria (Obafemi Awolowo University
). One thing that separates that University from many other Universities in Nigeria today is its architectural masterpiece. The buildings of the University are sharp departure from the national norm. Buildings built for the future and built overtime. Today, every building in that University (including the road network), stands tall in excellence and appeal.
We could celebrate our ability to build edifices in few months; but edifices built too fast will surely not be like the ones built to last. God built the earth and He laid its foundations. He did all that in time! The question is, why did God (the Almighty) build the earth overtime, and not everything at once? Do you know that although God wanted man to ride cars, fly planes and use Personal Computers, He did not do all at once? The truth is, everything that endures takes time, the one thing we all claim we do not have. Let us look at this Scripture and see what we would learn:
"So the Jews answered and said to Him, "What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?" Jesus answered and said to them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."
Then the Jews said, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?"
I would seek your indulgence to allow me discuss the words in those verses literally. Jesus asked them to destroy the temple, that He would raise it up in 3 days! And that reminds me of the attitude of many of us today; we love to build in short period of time; we love to finish projects so quickly. In fact, many of us would love to set new records in time for courtship; for some people do not mind knowing a marital partner and getting married as quickly as possible. We just love to be fast; however, being fast is not always the best idea.
The Jews replied Jesus that the temple was built in 46 years. The question is, how many of us today we want to spend as much as half of our lives on projects, relationships, ministries or buildings. We all seem to be in a rat-race of some sort. We want to do things fast and get immediate results; yet, lasting works takes time to be built.
I therefore conclude that one of the causes of divorce in our societies today is the speed with which we get married! Structural errors are prone when time is not well spent on details in any constructions. Your ministry will only last, if you replace being fast with being led (guided, taught, thorough and patient). Collapse could be a product of omissions; therefore, avoid arbitrariness in everything and anything you do; whatsoever is worth doing at all, is worth doing well. And whatever your hands finds to do, do it with all your heart. Enough of wishy-washy ventures, activities, projects, constructions, relationships; we must spend enough time on anything we desire to enjoy a long time. Remember, Rome was not built in a day!