Then the king said to me, “What do you request?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.” – Nehemiah 2:4-5

Recently, a group of youngsters were asked individually about what they wanted out of life. Surprisingly, only one of them could answer with some measure of clarity; the rest only mouthed some vague aspiration in response, evidence that they had not even taken time to think about what they really want to make of their lives.

Clarity is a virtue, and vagueness is a vice. It pays to be clear about what you want at any point in time. In the passage above, when asked about what he wanted, Nehemiah was unambiguous in his response to the king. He did not bore his listeners with elaborate background details before stating what he wanted, by so doing wasting their time. On the contrary, he was unequivocal in his statement of intent. He wanted to go back to his native land to rebuild the ruins.

All of us are usually presented with life-transforming opportunities at various times. But part of maximising such opportunities is to first know what you really want, and if such break would serve your purpose. The fact that looks like an opportunity doesn’t mean that it is the one for you. Even if it is, you are best positioned to make the most of it after you must have ascertained in specific terms what you really need.

One vital key that helped Nehemiah answer wisely was prayer. He “prayed to the God of heaven” and was then guided in his request. Maybe we can learn from his example.

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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