God has foreseen each of us and predestined us before the foundation of the world. He crafted a perfect plan for your life and mine. Jeremiah 29:11(NLT) says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
If the divine plan is followed, it will bring you joy and satisfaction – and, of course, glory to God. God has given us minds so we can make our own decisions and choices. We can follow our destiny courses or settle for something else. Therefore, we have roles to play in determining our directions in life.
One enemy that can cause us to derail from the destiny course is fear. It could be fear of change or the unknown. It could be fear of failure or even success. But 2 Timothy 1:7(NLT) says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
In 1978, I took a life-changing decision that shaped my destiny. I was serving as the editor of the Nigerian Journal of Pharmacy and was very much committed to it. As a result of my zeal, I introduced some improvements. I increased the frequency from four to six times a year to make it more profitable and changed the name to what it bears today. At that time, the Society lived mainly on the advert revenue from the journal. A few months after I was re-elected at the 1977 conference, I had an inexplicable and very compelling urge to resign as the editor.
My resignation was unexpected. The then president, Chief (Senator) Ayo Fasanmi and his deputy, Mr Lawrence Anyafulu, appealed to me to withdraw my letter of resignation but I remained adamant. On my side, I suffered a self-imposed loss of something I loved to do. The timing of my resignation made it more unacceptable. Normally, positions are changed during the annual conference. Therefore, my action was seemingly not right.
However, it was entirely my decision as I didn’t seek anyone’s advice, except the discussion I had with my wife. At the time I resigned, there was nobody ready to take over from me. In fact, it was some months after that Dr Femi Adebanjo of the Faculty of Pharmacy, OAU, Ile-Ife, was asked to hold the position until November 1978 conference.
It was when God’s plans for me started unfolding that I realised that I had been divinely guided in my decision. Soon after, a friend, Douglas Egbuonu, marketing manager of Pfizer, introduced to me a programme of the International Marketing Management (IMI) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, which he had attended. I was excited and as the marketing manager of my company, I expected support to enable me benefit from it. Unfortunately, my requests were all turned down.
However, having set my mind on attending the programme, I mobilised financial resources for it. My desire was to become a better marketer and therefore more useful to my employers. But, unexpectedly, the course caused me loss of favour with my boss. By the time I returned, our relationship had broken down and we could no longer work together. Amos 3:2(NLT) says, “Can two walk together without agreeing on the direction?”
The following months were a period of disillusionment for me. The plans of sharpening my marketing skills and enjoying my job had been dashed because my future in the company had become bleak.
I spent time thinking and meditating on what else to do. I did not ask anybody for advice, except to share my thoughts with my wife. At that time, there was a limited number of big pharmaceutical companies. Consequently, I saw myself at the end of the road in employment.
It was then that I heard a still small voice telling me to go and start doing what I loved to do as editor of the PSN journal, as my business. The vision of Pharmanews got clearer in my mind towards the end of the year. My mind was cleared of all doubts and fear. The stage was set to resign my appointment and embark on my destiny course.
I have learnt that major decisions affecting one’s destiny may not be a matter for public opinion or approval. Some ideas may sound reasonable and may even be popular but may not be God’s plan. It is only God who knows the destiny of everyone and therefore He is the one to be asked for guidance and direction.