It was the spring of 2008 – I sat down on a black swivel chair, all alone in a dark cold basement wondering Why? Why I couldn’t hold on. Why I let go so easily, why I gather much but lose much. Why I felt empty, why I won’t get ahead. Why???.
Then, a thought run through my mind. I was certain it wasn’t my natural thoughts because it demanded me to do something it wouldn’t do on my own.
“Stand on that chair” I sensed.
“Excuse me?”, I questioned.
“Go ahead, stand up on the chair” I heard again, much clearer this time.
I hesitated, looked around, but reluctantly stood up on my swivel chair.
“You are standing high, ain’t you?”
“Yes”, i guess I am” with apprehension, I managed to satisfy this thought.
“Can you go any higher on this chair, Nabil?”
“No I guess not” This time my response was after careful deliberation.
“Well you can, you need to adjust the swivel latch to advance further”
“I cannot reach it standing up here” I complained.
“You’re right…I will show you the principles to advancement”
What I learned that day can be summed up in 3 words: Humility, Humility, Humility.
When we recognize that we have gotten as far as we can and you cannot go any further on our own, we must begin to look at alternate ways to advance
1. Humility to take a step down – Like I could not reach the adjustment latch on the swivel chair while standing up on it, it’s important to take a step down to adjust our attitude for further advancement. Attitude adjustment produces greater altitude.
2. Humility to ask for help – Since I couldn’t adjust my altitude on my own from where I stood, my other alternative was to ask for help from other people who saw the latch. Seeking counsel and help from people who are willing and able to assist us adjust that latch for further advancement is invaluable. That requires communication, trust and honesty.
3. Humility to receive help – If I came down from my chair to adjust the latch, I had to climb back up to the now elevated chair. The higher the elevation, the greater the help required to get back unto it. Alternatively, If I’d asked other people to adjust the chair for me while I stood on it, It also required much humility to respond to the suggestions, advice and work with them until the desired elevation is reached regardless of how uncomfortable it got.
In hindsight, we all have 20/20 vision. Have you ever felt you needed adjustments in your own life? Have you ever felt you could have advanced further with good support around you? The good news is, It’s never too late. Take courage in the scriptures “Every valley will be filled, and every mountain and hill will be leveled. The crooked ways will be made straight, and the rough roads will be made smooth” Luke 3:5
The Ashanti tribe of Ghana has the saying: “Diae Okwa kwan no nim se nekye akyea” Translated : “When we are paving our path to the future, we don’t necessarily know if we are paving it straight or crooked”.
We retract our steps to identify what needs to be adjusted or we rely on those around us for feedback and adjustments if necessary. In retrospect, adjust meant advancement