“I have observed something else in this world of ours. The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise are often poor and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being at the right place at the right time.” ― Ecclesiastes 9:11 [NLT]
Kwesi Azar was my mate in high school. As of form 1, his athletic skills surpassed everyone’s. It was no surprise that he emerged the best athlete in our inter-houses competition. As though running at the speed of light, Kwesi overtook all his competitors within the twinkling of an eye. Everyone marveled at his supersonic speed because he ousted all the reigning champions, hence, embarrassing his seniors as long as he was part of the race.
This cheetah had to represent our school at the inter-schools competition. We saw Kwesi train day and night. The cold dawns were no exception. Each morning, we woke up to see an all sweating Kwesi Azar who had despised the weather and subjected his body to excessive exercise. What an athlete!
Soon, the first day came for the competition. The entire school cheered on Kwesi from the sidelines. Some had even placed a bet on him. We all knew this was a walkover for the young man who could outrun any visible thing on the field. It was a 100m race and that was his favorite.
We heard a shot. The race started. Everyone sprinted. All eyes were on Kwesi. He started leading as expected. Before we knew, another sprinter from a rival school had overtaken our hero. Another one also overtook him. Before we batted an eyelid, the race had ended. Kwesi had woefully emerged the fifth out of ten!
The principles of success are hinged on two main things; time and chance. When you see an intelligent young man struggling to make ends meet, remember the principles of time and chance. Not all the great footballers we played with when we young are having great career today. Thanks to time and chance.
You see a young woman who has kept her values all her life struggling to be found by a suitor. Time and chance. You find a course mate who passed with flying colors jobless years after school when those they helped pass are already in managerial positions, walking home with fat salaries and fringe benefits every four weeks. Time and chance.
Both time and chance will bring you to the spotlight!
For us to be in the place we wish to be, we need both TIME and CHANCE. Chance will bring the opportunities our way and time will make all the conditions favorable for us. If it is not one’s time yet, all opportunities that come their way end in vain. No matter how prepared we are for opportunities, it needs to be our time for those opportunities to be fruitful.
We see well prepared people not making it in life. We read about great sportsmen train all they can yet without a flourishing career. We observe hardworking underground artistes putting in all the efforts they can and grabbing all the opportunities there may be yet see no progress in their career. Chance without time is as equal as time without chance. No progress happens.
While preparing for opportunities, we ought to pray that it will be our time when those opportunities arrive. Like a seed, there is a particular time for harvest. Like a pregnant woman, there is a specific time for labor. If this time is not due, no opportunity will be useful… no matter how big it is.
Chance alone is not enough; neither is time alone. We need opportunities as much as our opportune time. When it is not yet our time, all our efforts look wasted. When you pray for chance, pray for time.
Some will have many chances and others, only a chance!
Life throws chances at different times to different people. I remember how some friends took some awful decisions in university which ended their education while those with whom they took those decisions had another opportunity to pick their lives up.
We are all not same. Some will waste a plethora of opportunities yet have more opportunities knocking at their doors. Others will miss just an opportunity and that will be it for them ― their future comes to an end. As long as we don’t know where we belong, we ought to treat every opportunity as though it were our only opportunity.
Time and chance will happen to every being on this earth. Some will have their chances early in life and others, later. Like a football match, every side will have an opportunity to score at various times of the event.
How we treat the chances that come our way will go a long way to mold the future we dream to have. Maximize every opportunity that life throws at you. It may be your only opportunity.
You have no power over time!
To be at the place we dream of, time and chance would need to happen to us. It should be our time and we should have taken the opportunities life brought our way. One caution, however, is that it is only life that determines when our time is due. We have no power over time!
We may work hard and create opportunities for ourselves but the opportune time is only determined by life. Try much as we can, we can’t outrun our time in life. Some may have their time when they are only 20 years. Others will have theirs at 50.
Waiting for our time can be frustrating. In this waiting period, we compare ourselves with friends whom we have even worked harder than yet are making it in life. Like Kwesi Azar, we may have trained all night long yet it may not be reflecting on the field.
We have to wait for our time and while at it, we ought not to stop preparing and clinging on to opportunities that may come our way. We may not have power over time. However, it will be disheartening if that time comes disguised as an opportunity we took for granted.
The writer is a playwright and Chief Scribe of Scribe Communications (www.scribecommltd.com), an Accra-based writing company. His March session for teaching feature writing happens on Sunday, March 7.