As a child, I grew up on the campus of a Federal University in Southern Nigeria. At the time, everything worked, we had lush green lawns, mostly uninterrupted power supply and there was order and security there. The street lights worked and we had a directory right by the PABX lines with which we could call everyone else who lived on the campus. When we talked about our friends, our parents could easily tell from the surname whose children they were. We had bicycle riding competitions, football competitions and the girls played 10-10, Monopoly , Scrabble, and the Name, Animal, Place and Thing game. Yes we did go out of the campus but mostly to parties or to visit with family and family friends so to a large extent, that was the world as I knew it.
Then I went to boarding secondary school in South West Nigeria and then for the first time, I saw a bigger world than anything I knew. I realized that not everyone had watched Sound of Music or knew Mary Poppins or Voltron or read the entire collection of Enid Blyton books and there were lots of people who had seen more and done more than I had. I previously believed every child had the same access I did and thus would see the world like I did. How wrong I was. Attending boarding school provided me with exposure and helped me appreciate my difference and learn from everyone else. From that time on, I saw that there was a story in every conversation, a message in every sigh. I learnt there and then that there was life beyond my immediate environment, a whole world. And had I not come out of my small campus cocoon, I would have judged everyone else based on what I had been exposed to which was minute and largely infinitesimal in the grand scheme of things. I would have viewed the world through my myopic view, how judgmental I would have been.
Isaiah 54:2 is the word for us today, it says
“Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings;
Do not spare; Lengthen your cords, And strengthen your stakes”
The Message Version says
“Clear lots of ground for your tents! Make your tents large. Spread out! Think big!
Use plenty of rope, drive the tent pegs deep. You’re going to need lots of elbow room
for your growing family”.
The message is clear, challenge yourself to more. But the truth is that what you are able to dream of and desire is a function of what you see. Do not say it cannot be done, ‘Do Something!’. Open your mind and get exposure so you can stretch your mind to believe God. God told Abram in Genesis 13:14, “..as far as your eyes can see, I will give to you for an inheritance.” Our expression of purpose is limited to exposure. Truth is that potential isn’t in question for many people, the exposure to cultivate and express it is. The devil knows that, reason he wants to keep you small minded. He benefits when you stay small. Get exposure. If you stay in a small place, you get bruised by the containment, bruised by your potential. Now, imagine a giant cooped in a small wardrobe. He may fit in all squeezed in but he will be in such discomfort, any movement he makes therein will hurt him. But give him an empty house, he can walk tall, he can somersault and perform acrobatics. Same man; different environments with different results. Perhaps that is where you are, you are trying to do something within that wardrobe and you are ending up bitter and irritable. You can’t do anything within your restricted space; you will only hurt yourself and end up more discouraged than ever.
Some of us live in one room, believing that is all there is to us. We are somewhat content with a room with amenities ensuite, simply because we have our comfort there. Meanwhile, that is just one room of many in a mansion that God has allocated to us. If we could just open the door, just step out, we would see a broad hall way, and the beautiful finishing and understand that we have access to so much more. We would see the Jacuzzi, the indoor pool, the amazing in door theatre amongst others and realize that we did ourselves a great disservice by limiting ourselves to that one room. Our small minds keep us in the room and we are unaware that within our reach is so much more if only we walked out of that door, out of that familiar place. Instead we stay with the familiar, lazing away. Step out, don’t stay within your comfort zone, what you know has a price that someone will pay, trade it in for more. Keep expanding.
Get exposed to life beyond your borders so that you can see that you are capable of a much better life. It’s not about money; very simply it is about exposure. You will never see the world same way again when you gain exposure. Think about it, you don’t miss what you don’t know; but you don’t know what you haven’t gained exposure to. Open your mind, open your world. Allow God enlarge your thinking. Why would you want to hold a village view in a world as large and as rich in diversity as ours? Why would you want to be a local champion? Why would you allow your limited exposure crowd out your ability to dream?
Get people in your corner who can stretch and challenge you. Get people with diverse interests’ and exposure. Haven’t you seen people just come alive because of a new friendship? He or she isn’t fundamentally different but they are in an environment that encourages them, or exposed to a place or person they didn’t know previously. The devil celebrates when we stay narrow, because it is his job to steal, kill and destroy and for as many of us that stay in that small wardrobe, we are allowing him steal from us the ability to see and dream big. Allow God enlarge your thinking.
You know, some of the things that God allowed you to go through, things that God allowed to happen to you, are because of your purpose. Your purpose needed the exposure; you needed to see that things could be done differently and better. Your journey has indirectly shaped your vision and your expectation and exposed to you some of your strengths. We limit God with our small mindedness, we judge wrong with our small minds so God needs us to gain exposure. God wants us to make His name glorious; He wants us to make His name famous and He is depending on us. You see why we can’t say in our small worlds?
DO SOMETHING! That has come to mean a lot more to me now. Start from simple things, learn new things, expand your vocabulary, and read about new things and new ideas. God is giving you the world and like there was a life for me outside the university campus, there is life outside your immediate environment. Start something! If you stay in your cocoon, you will never convert potential energy to kinetic energy and potential energy adds no value. Do something fresh; doing converts your energy from mere potential to kinetic. Break out of routine, do something new and gain exposure. Adopt a new project, fan your passion, get a new hobby, travel, make new friends, build new relationships, listen to others ideas, stretch your dreams, move from deciding to doing.
Exposure is the engine room of your dream.
It is indeed time to lengthen our stakes, enlarge cords. Do something, there is more to you! Step out from routine…Get EXPOSURE! DO SOMETHING!
I hope this inspires you like it did me.
God bless y’all
Image Credit- Google Images