Using ladies’ beauty as an example to teach his congregation about the need for people to make good use of their opportunities and potentials in times of abundance, in anticipation of scarcity in the future, the founder and general overseer of the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC), said “abundance comes, maybe when you have abundance of beauty. …Sometimes you see an 18-year-old, 19-year-old, 20-year-old young lady going out with a 55-year-old man. You have abundance of beauty, but you are not harnessing your moment well because one of these days, you’ll be 35[-years-old] and at 35, you’d realise: ‘Wow, I wasted my time on that old man! Now every young man, who should have married you, thinks you are old, used and discarded. That’s when people [ladies] start going to church and fasting and praying and hoping that God will turn things around.”
“Abundance becomes abundance of strength, abundance of beauty, abundance of job opportunities – when you have so much, people are giving you jobs or abundance of time, when you are young, you have so much time, or abundance of popularity. Don’t ever deceive yourself that the years of abundance will be forever. There will be a year of scarcity as predictable as the years of abundance are,” the motivational speaker warned.
He, therefore, advised young people to use prudently, whatever they have in abundance, to cushion themselves against the days of scarcity. “Don’t be wasteful; don’t spend all your money on perishable and depreciating commodities – spending money buying cars, buying clothes, which devalue over time, and not appreciate in value. Be wise.”
Dr Otabil observed that the failure by showbiz celebrities and sports stars in doing so, is what plunges them from grace to grass later in life. “You know, when I see all these celebrities showing off their cars and their bling bling, they haven’t learnt from people like Mike Tyson…, they haven’t learnt from great footballers and great athletes, great sportsmen, great musicians, who had so much, but have nothing now. The same mistakes, they are not like the ant. Foolishness is being passed on from generation to generation”.
According to him, politicians also commit the same mistake. “People sometimes don’t learn, I’ve seen politicians get into office and feel very powerful and get out of office and feel very miserable. They are not wise. When they have the abundance they think it will be there forever, well you win power and you lose power too. You go into office and you get out of office, it’s a cycle, seasons will come and go…there are people who used to be popular in the news, 10 years ago, nobody hears about them, next time you see them on the road and they are wearing ‘chale wote’ [Flip-flops] and struggling with people for ‘trotro’ [commercial minibus] and you say: ‘Oh but that guy used to be so and so!’ Oh yeah, they thought they’ll be so and so forever! And started behaving with their mental faculties deposited in safe deposit banks.”
“Learn from the ant and learn wisdom: … it doesn’t waste in the harvest, it harnesses, that’s the first thing about the ant and then the ant builds supplies for the lean season, the ant eats for the summer and saves for the winter. It builds stock for itself so that the season of scarcity will not lead it to hunger and depravation.
“There’s going to be a lean season in your life, believe you me. If you’re a man, there’ll be a time when you are not strong; if you’re a young lady, there’ll be a time when you’re no longer beautiful. I mean we believe you’re all beautiful by faith, but the facts will not favour you. The reality of life will hit you. You’re not going to be beautiful forever, you’re not going to be strong forever, you’re not going to have all the time you have forever, you are not going to have all the money you have forever, you are not going to have that position forever, you may lose that position.”