One of the secrets my mentor shared with me is that every day, I should set aside between 30 minutes and an hour to relax and meditate. This is different from the “separation session” he had recommended earlier. During this short period, he advised that I may choose to do nothing but just relax or use it for short meditation to sort out any difficult challenge I face. I started practising this a long time ago and I can confirm that it works.
That particular Friday, I was in a particular location ( in Nigeria) to meditate on my financial discipleship with my mentor. I was overwhelmed by the thoughts that came to my mind. I couldn’t believe I had accumulated so much financial wisdom within such a short period of time. I was thrilled by some of the things I could now do almost automatically, that is, being able to track every kobo that flows in and out of my pocket (this used to be a nightmare), being able to save on a consistent basis, being able to plan my finances within a very long time horizon, being able to prepare a sound personal financial statement, being able to internalise the spiritual dimensions of wealth and a host of other skills. Since I started the financial wisdom lessons with my mentor , I have developed an incredible appetite for reading. I have also been able to bury many bad money habits. The effects of all these lessons on my finances have been dramatic. I was really happy with the assessment of my stewardship with my Mentor so far.
I was about winding up my meditation when my phone rang. It was my mentor. I was very excited. My next lesson with him was still two Saturdays away, so what could he be calling me for? He later explained that he was calling to invite me to a small party in his house the following day. I tried to find out the details about the party, but he did not oblige me.
I was at his house at exactly 10.00 a.m. on Saturday. There were eleven different brands of cars parked outside his compound. I was directed by his executive maid to the open platform on top of his building. The moment he sighted me, he smiled and beckoned to me that I should come to sit very close to him. I exchanged pleasantries with all the people I met, eleven in all, as I negotiated my way to my mentor’s side.
The atmosphere was very soothing with a jazz music playing in the background. Everybody was having a good time. Suddenly the music stopped and my mentor stood up and asked us to introduce ourselves. We did that in a few minutes. At that moment, his wife and one of his children joined us and we all greeted them.
I learnt at that point that the eleven gentlemen had previously gone through his mentoring programme. After that he handed over to me, the NIV Quiet Time Bible which he was holding in his hand and asked me to read from Luke 9, verses 1 to 6. It was an account of Jesus sending out His disciples to the field as a test of how well they had mastered what He had taught them since His ministry started.
Honestly, I was at a loss as to what message he was trying to convey. Surprisingly, I did not notice the same expression of surprise on the faces of the other individuals. They were just smiling. Just then, my mentor started to address us.
“Good morning, everybody. Let me start by saying that I am highly honoured to have you all present here this morning. And let me say openly that I am very proud of all of you. I am very grateful to God Almighty who has given me the opportunity to be a part of your lives and to be able to share my experience with you on how to build lasting wealth. We give Him all the glory.
“Only my new friend (referring to me) is probably not in the picture on why we are here this morning. As is the tradition, I go on an extended vacation abroad with my family every year to unwind and think of new things to do. Tonight, I will be travelling out of the country with my wife and one of our children. Our first port of call will be the Bahamas. We will touch several places depending on what our travel consultant is able to arrange. And we are likely to stay for quite some time.
“May I state for the umpteenth time that the major reason I accepted to be your mentor on financial matters is to enable you to spread the gospel, too. That was what Jesus was trying to demonstrate to His disciples in the Bible. Knowledge that is not shared, in my opinion, is wasted.
As you must have observed, the level of financial illiteracy in the country today is alarming. Many individuals who ought to be savouring banquets of prosperity today have found themselves in the financial red-alert zones. I shudder anytime I see full-time employees driving around in expensive automobiles, living in houses they would never be in were they to pay from their pockets and piling up liabilities upon liabilities thinking rather ignorantly that they are amassing assets. It is sad… very sad indeed. Only sound financial education can tear off these layers of financial illiteracy. And that is why I am asking you to go out there and teach them what I have taught you.
Use all the means, any means, at your disposal to spread the message that the life of abundance is cheaply available to anybody who is willing to endure the discipline that is required. Move from house to house to spread the message. Accept public invitations to talk on financial intelligence. You should see this assignment as a sort of evangelism and a call by God on you to teach people how to take a firm hold of their financial destinies. God wants us to be rich, but He cannot bless us beyond the level of our financial intelligence.
“Gentlemen, let me stop here. I thank you all for coming. And remember, use all the means at your disposal to spread the message. I will leave all my contact details in each of your e-mail boxes once I have got hold of them,” he concluded, as he shook hands with all of us and saw us off to where we parked our cars.
I must confess, it was an emotional situation for me. I had become so used to meeting with him that I could not bear the thought of not seeing him for a while. It seemed that he was going away forever.
•You the light of the world; go out and spread the good news
•A lamp can not be hidden under the table; it is meant for illumination.
•Teach as many people as come across the lessons you have learnt.
PPS. I will be starting a new series in the next edition but I am interested in knowing what you have learnt from what I have shared with you so far. I also want to know directly from you what you want me to include in the next series. I am eagerly awaiting your feedback so that we can both work together better in the coming months. Send your comments and feedback firstname.lastname@example.org.