PATTERNS by John Ogah

Some years ago, I was tempted to abuse the access a lecturer had given me as a result of me being one of the brightest students of the department.
He had given an assignment and the only criteria given to submit the assignment was his textbook (handout) which was sold at the school bookshop. I was unable to get mine early as a result of lack of funds. However, I had done my assignment.
There was a deadline for the submission of the assignment and I was a bit worried I won’t get to submit my assignment as a result of my inability to purchase the handout during the time the assignment was given and should be submitted.

One morning the lecturer came to school quite early and I helped him carried his bag to his office as usual. He trusted me so I could go or stay in his office whenever he was or not around. He stepped out of his office and put me in charge to ensure that his office was cleaned by the cleaners before he came back. It was then I saw it — The pile of assignments sitting on his table. They belonged to the students who had submitted with their handouts.



My assignment was in my bag and I smiled to myself. I quickly went back to the class and picked my assignment from my bag and went back to the office with the intention of “submitting” my assignment among the others which had been submitted before the lecturer returned. I wanted to play smart!
As I wanted to put my assignment beneath the others, it was then a voice spoke to me gently, “it’s much better doing what’s right than been smart.”
I returned my assignment back to my bag and decided I would rather fail than destroying my reputation.
You see, we are faced with temptations every day. If it’s not a lady who has back and front that passes men in order to trigger lustful thinking, it might be the temptation of trying to take what’s not yours when no one is watching.
However, the essence of man’s living has never been in the abundance of what he has but who he is and what he will become. Patterns are created by little, little things.
The little lie you tell today eventually grows to become the biggest lie you tell to your congregation when you become a pastor.
People wake up one day and ask themselves, “How did I arrive here?” “Why do I get angry over everything?” “Why do I do the shameful things I do?”
Understand that Rome was built bricks after bricks. The little lie you say today, the little sarcastic remarks you make today are all part of the big picture.
Patterns are not created by accident, you become what you do. Your habits become a character. Learn to desist from things that eventually spoils your reputation in the future.
If I had played smart in my lecturer’s office, no one would have seen it. However, my children would have paid for it because I would eventually have turned out to be a father who “played smart” to have his “wrong” way.
Now, imagine raising a child to believe that lying to those around him is a way of playing smart. Mhen! What a pattern of insincerity. I created it before he was born and he has become a reality of this.
Patterns can be inherited. Build the right patterns.
May the Spirit of Wisdom guide you.
John Great Oluwatobi Ogah,
I teach people to write.


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