By Olivia Obijiaku
The Catholic Bishop of Zaria, Most Rev (Dr) George Jonathan Dodo has called on the faithful to put their God-given talents to good use. He made this call during the Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit which marked the beginning of the 2022 Prayer Camp of members of Catholic Charismatic Renewal of Nigeria (CCRN) of his diocese, in Sacred Heart Parish, Wusasa on Thursday, 3rd February, 2022.
His Lordship reflected on the theme of the program, ‘My Redeemer Lives’ and observed the increasing downplaying of the virtue of hard work proffering a deeper search and actualization of one’s potentials as a major way out of poverty and other difficulties of life.
“Nothing good comes easily.” Bishop Dodo said “There is no way you can harvest honey without being stung by the bee. So if somebody tells me that poverty is not my portion, rather than shout ‘Amen,’ I would find out how to use my situation to achieve what I am created to do in this world. That is why we must learn from what we are going through as a country at the moment.
“When I was reflecting on the theme of this prayer camp, the story of Job was the first thing that came to my mind. Job was a very righteous and wealthy man who had a sizeable family but when he took ill, his wife, friends and all those who used to sing his encomium turned against him. The second thought that came to my mind is that of our Lord Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. But I don’t think that many of today’s preachers will want to give an authentic interpretation of the Biblical accounts of these two incidences because the Gospel that they preach is the Gospel of prosperity and the Gospel without the Cross. There is a value even in suffering and challenging times. Temptation can come our way but blessed are those who believe that their Redeemer will save them at the end of the day.
“Challenging times can provoke the minds that are asleep to ask themselves what and how best to put their talents to good use. A lot of youths are making more money today without thinking of looking for employment elsewhere anymore because they have been able to convert the knowledge that they acquired in secondary school to something very useful. Some of them learnt computer during the COVID and they now thank God for COVID-19.
“So, rather than wait for someone to tell you that poverty is not your portion, you need to dig deep and discover what talent God has given you and put it to proper use. By the time you discover your gifts and put them to proper use, you will be the first person to benefit from it because it will give you a sense of fulfillment, but you will remain perpetually poor if you keep shouting ‘Amen’ and believing someone who tells you that you will not be poor without an effort on your part to do something about your state.
“There are times we find ourselves in very difficult situations. Sometimes, we find ourselves asking God what we have done, but no situation remains permanent. No matter how full a river may be that you cannot cross it because of increasing waves, nature must take its course. If you persevere and be a little bit patient – then you can cross it when the waves subside. We have instances where people with physical challenges are able to overcome the deficiencies of inferiority complex and augment whatever lack there may be. Some of them have represented Nigeria very well in the Olympics in sports like weightlifting because they believe that God has not abandoned them. Never accept a condition where someone tells you that you will remain in an unpleasant condition forever! Every situation should provoke us to think.”
Pointing that there are occasions were one needs to complain and speak out against injustices like what is going on in the nation presently, where a lot of people are in agony in different parts of the country because of the wrong exercise of authority, the spiritual leader tasked them to keep their faith and hope alive and to be determined to stand on the side of the Truth at all times.