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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A dream fulfilled – The Inauguration of President Obama

As I watched President Obama mount the stage and officially accept to become the 44th President of the United States, I reflected on the meaning of this historic event. All through the election period, it had been evident that President Obama was meant to be President of this country. The hand of God was upon him and this enabled him to reach his goal. This was evident in the way he responded to challenges from others on the campaign trail. Notice how he responded to insults and derogatory remarks. Notice how he was able to use the internet to transform fund raising and the development of a support base for an election. Notice all these and more and you will notice the wisdom of God.President Obama is definitely an inspiration to others. He inspires many to start or continue to dream because they are inspired by the story of someone who dreamt a dream that many said or thought was impossible – he was too young, too inexperienced, too black, he could not defeat the formidable machinery or experience of Hilary Clinton and John McCain. That he was able to overcome all this speaks volumes of the man that he is, and the presence of a power greater than each of us. It took a great man to dream 40 years ago. It also took a great man to fulfill that plan. In the midst of it all is God, the author and the finisher. The challenge to each of us is to not let this moment go by without a tangible impact on our lives. We should not allow this moment to pass us by and then look back 1 week later and see no difference in our outlook and our thinking.I encourage you to not let this moment pass by without asking yourself what can I do? What was I made for? What are the dreams that I have put on hold? This historic event should prompt you to discover your purpose. If you have already done so, then it should prompt you to want to fulfill it even more. President Obama has proved that irrespective of your background you can achieve all that you were meant to. You already have what it takes. None of us was born empty. Rather we were born with all that we will ever need in order to fulfill what we were created for. However in order to get there we have to be willing to put in some effort. The work, if it has not already started, should start today. Make a specific decision today to aim for something better, to aim for what God created you for.Mediocrity is no longer acceptable. There is no longer any excuse for not fulfilling your purpose. Today there is a black family in the White House, not as guests but as occupants. There will be black kids running around the White House. A whole new generation of people in this country will grow up seeing a black face in the White House and a black face addressing the nation. Black people now have a different role model, a president. People in America now have a new role model. President Obama is someone who rose up without an elitist background into the most powerful role in the world. If someone had told you 4 years ago that a black man will be president of America how many of you would have believed it? Think about that. You don’t have to like him or his policies to admire what he has achieved. The other question that we should ask ourselves is what can each of us do today to help the President. It starts by praying for our new President, Barak Obama. Pray for him that he will make the right decisions and surround himself with the right people. Pray for wisdom and enlightenment for him. We can also help through the choices that we make each day. Ask yourself what can I do today to help those around me in need of help? Look around and you will see people who need your help. Each of us can make a difference.

Personally, President Obama’s story inspires me to prepare even more for what God has called me to do. God has blessed each of us with gifts. These gifts are intended to fulfill a purpose. I encourage you today to obey your call; obey what God has called you to do. Challenges will come. At times it will appear as though it cannot be achieved. That is not the time to give up. You have to believe in your God-given purpose enough to be committed to it in spite of what is going on or what others are saying. Many people spend too much time on the wrong things. I was one of those people. However I woke up one day and realized that there has to be more. I knew that each of us is called to greatness. The difference between those who become great and make history like President Obama, and those who don’t, is the ability to separate the important things from the unimportant things, the ability to focus on what needs to be done and not just on the things that give us momentary pleasure. As President Obama said, “let us set aside childish things”. This phrase was from the bible 1 Cor 13:11. In the context that President Obama used it in was in the context of it is time to grow up. It is truly time to move past old ways and old thinking and challenge ourselves to develop a new and fresh perspective. Status quo is no longer acceptable. There will be growing pains as a baby or a child grows. Eventually the baby and the child grows to be a man. All the growing pains (challenges) serve as tools for God to shape the man or woman. I read an interesting illustration from a book: imagine God as a sculptor. The sculptor starts with a block of stone. He gets his chisel and hammer out. Every blow that he takes on the hammer forces the chisel into the stone and gets the stone closer to the sculptor’s vision of art. If you run away when you face challenges in life, you will miss out on the completion of the beautiful work of art, which you are.

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