What controls your footsteps?
In my hometown, if you visit someone and meet him eating, it is believed that you are thinking well of that person. Naturally, he will invite you to join him in eating even though there was no provision for you. Whether you accept the invitation or not is not the issue; the important thing is that you arrived at the right time to meet the food.
Do you sometimes wonder how you get to a place at the right or wrong time? Do you know that someone can walk into an accident and become unfortunate while another person can walk away from a scene just before an accident? It could be a difference of minutes. Was that person who left the scene just before the accident a smarter or more intelligent person? This is a principle of life which applies generally.
The wisest king, Solomon, deeply meditated on this principle of life and made a profound statement as recorded in Ecclesiastes 9:11, “I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favour to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.”
There is no doubt that there is an unseen Guide who directs people. All you need to do is to listen carefully and do as directed. You may be directed to do something that seems stupid in your own eyes but that is the right thing to do. Do it. At that moment, do not resort to your natural intelligence or wisdom. Just behave like a child and do what you are told to do.
Many of us make good plans for business, sometimes hiring the best of consultants. But no matter how good the plan may be, only God can make it work. How the business plan will turn out is clearly beyond what any consultant can forecast. That is why Proverbs 16:3 says, “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed”(NIV).
In 1979, when I started Pharmanews, I was desperate to secure advert support from the pharmaceutical industry to enable me take off. Some friends and colleagues promised support later while a few gave me the initial adverts but, expectedly no company was willing to pay until the first edition was published. However, I needed the money to publish the maiden edition to convince the companies to support me. I had a vision,but no money.
One afternoon, I remembered seeing the signboard of a pharmaceutical company at Ilupeju, but I had not been there before and did not know anybody there. But God directed my steps to that place. I signed the visitor’s slip which was sent in to the managing director. I was asked to come in. This 6-footer German warmly welcomed me as if we had met before and asked what he could do for me. I quickly shared my vision of a monthly 12-page, A3 size pharmaceutical newspaper distributed to pharmacists and doctors all over the country and asked for adverts to support it. I showed my mock-up, with spaces for adverts. He listened carefully and caught the vision immediately. He asked, “How will you send it to pharmacists and doctors?”“I will fold the copies with brown paper and post them.” “No” he replied. “Use very good white paper and I will advertise on it.”
He received the mock-up and immediately booked some premium spaces and asked me to send him the bill for May to December, to be paid in advance. Then he would retain the spaces and pay upfront every January until he decided to stop. With a cheque for the next eight months in my hand, the business of Pharmanews took off.
Proverbs 20:24 says, “A man’s steps are directed by the Lord. How can anyone understand His own way?”(NIV). I still wonder how God directed my steps to a person I had never met before to launch my business, when I could not find a relation or friend to do so for me. A loan which no bank could have granted me was indirectly given without any application.
I believe that if God gives a commission, He makes the provision. He is always seeking the person to commission and equip. The person may not be the smartest or the most capable but time and chance happen to everything.