Lesson From A Laptop
by Daniel Owino Ogweno
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Before leaving my home country (Kenya) for further studies abroad, I had to obtain clearance from the government. This was a condition for all the government employees seeking to travel out of the country. In one of the Ministry of Education offices where I had gone to pick the clearance letter, a lady who was handling my case advised me, “In all you plan to buy while you are abroad, make sure you buy a computer”.
This lady, working at the capital city, must have realised how important computers were. I had been a teacher in a school in the countryside. I had never imagined myself owning a computer. It was a luxury beyond my wildest imagination. I had gone through the university without having a single access to a computer. They were rare things during my college days.
Though I thanked the kind lady for the advice, I questioned in my heart, “What do I need a computer for?”
Not so endowed materially, I failed to see how my going abroad would earn me instant riches so as to buy something so expensive and of which I didn’t need—or did I? I knew very little about computers. The only thing I was so convinced of was that they were prohibitively expensive—at least considering my background.
That lady must have been a “prophetess”. How did she know I would need—really need—a computer? Talk of people who would tell you what you need well before you are even aware that you need something!
Well, though we had computers everywhere at my new place of studies, I finally but reluctantly decided to buy a computer. Everybody else was buying one, so I felt I should also follow suit. I also realised that I didn't need to be rich to buy one—the prices looked 'manageable'. In the shop, I could see computers of different sizes. One thing struck me: the mystery of the price differences between laptops and desktops—I didn’t call them those names at the time. To me, laptops were “small computers” while desktops were “big computers”. My conventional logic was that big things cost more while small things cost less. To me, the mystery was that some of the “small computers” were costing much more than some of the “big computers”. Amused, pointing at the computers, I asked the shop attendant: “Are there people 'insane' enough to buy this small computer at this price and not this big one which costs even less?”
The shop attendant told me that as a matter of fact, they sold the “small” ones more than the “big” ones. I commented, “human beings can mean to be funny!” Talk of ignorance! The mentality of “big things” was deep-seated in me that I never gave a laptop a chance until I was employed ten years later and was given one at my place of work. When I lost the job after one year, I had deeply fallen in love with the laptop that I felt a real loss letting it go.
Like I was, many people are ignorant about the capacity of the small gifts God has given them. They set their mind on “big things” at the expense of the “small things”. They don’t give the small gifts a chance.
One secret that God has impressed in my heart is that a life of commitment must get passionate with the things that people ignore; things they perceive as insignificant—judging from the “size” or “position” in the social scale. The secret that God has impressed in me and which has inspired me to do what I am doing is that things don't have to be magnificent to be significant. Isn't it good news that God doesn't count on our ability but our availability? If only we can be available, God would make us able. One significant advantage with laptop is that, because of its portability, you will always have it available where you want it. Can we be portable enough so that we will be available where God wants us?
If we get our attention to the small assignments around us, we will always have something to do for the glory of God. And when we are doing something, we would feel that we have invested in the kingdom of God. This feeling will establish our commitment because we will know that we have a stake in the kingdom.
One thing that I have come to learn about God is that to Him, “big” doesn’t necessarily mean “important” and “small” doesn’t necessarily mean “insignificant”. There are people with small gifts that have potentiality and capacity far much effective than the much fêted and coveted “big-timers”. I challenge you, if there is a “laptop” in your life that you haven’t given a chance because you have your attention arrested by a “desktop”, think again—give your laptop a chance and you will be surprised what it is capable of doing.
When I ventured into writing, there was this nagging voice: "Who will read your books, 'nobody' knows you?" Another voice spoke to me, "Even if it is only one person that will read your book, it is worth writing it!" If only one person will read and get help in one way or another, it is worth writing what you are writing. This is biblical—one repentant soul sets heaven aflame with joy. This basic motivation helped me so that years after publishing my royalty reports were returning nil sales, I knew that I had personally put that book in the hands of some people and I may not know what God would do with it in the lives of those people even if it takes years.
Anybody who reads this, I pray that the Lord will encourage you. Whatever you are doing for the glory of God, do it with all your heart even if it will benefit only one person. Remember, you are not in business the world way but in ministry the heaven way.
© 2006 The Pursuit of Commitment (Printed book).
© 2011 The Pursuit of Commitment (E-Book)
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You are a gifted writer. This is a well-written inspirational story. I'm encouraged and inspired to go forward in God.