The Director of Missions for the Anglican Church of Kenya, the Revd John Mark Oduor, on ambition.
Christopher was raised in a family that looked great from the outside. All looked fine. He had a caring mother and though he wasn’t sure how much she loved him because he didn’t like her discipline, he knew from the back of his mind that all will turn out better one day.
His father was a very rich man but he never got the opportunity to enjoy the wealth of his father because he spent more time with his mother. He was mum’s favourite son, though they were only two, his father preferred to mentor and spend more time with Castro his elder brother. This tense relationship led to him saying to himself that one day he will have his own business and make a lot of money and buy anything money could buy.
His creative mind made him an entrepreneur very early in life. When he was in primary school he used to sell sweets and candy to his fellow pupils to make money. And in secondary school he came with extra food that he knew his fellow students would love. He made good money as a student that made him rich for students of his time.
Sometime this creative mind got him into trouble with his father and elder brother. But his dream was that one day he will be very rich. So to avoid being seen that he was in conflict with his family he set a family business which he would run and everybody would benefit. This ran well and they made good money. But the tension between him and his brother came up in the management meetings so he wound it up and closed the business.
He finally decided that the best way to progress was to go outside the country. There he did well as far as what he told his family was concerned. This went on for a few years until the foreign affairs office one day called the father to tell him that Christopher had been arrested for dealing in contraband goods and being in possession of stolen goods.
He was jailed for three years and later deported after serving his term. Upon arriving at the airport his mother who loved him so much went to receive him. He was too ashamed to explain the whole story. As he travelled home with his mum in the taxi, he remembered his father, who had since passed away, teaching him to “dream – but don’t dream dangerous ambitions because greed kills.”
In another culture another country another over ambitious young man did some very dangerous things in his endeavour to fulfil his dream getting rich quick.
Jacob conned his brother of his birth rite and blessing which led to tension between them. He conned his own father into blessing him with the blessing meant for his elder brother. He also conned his father-in-law out of his sheep so that he left with a lot of wealth.
His dream of being instantly rich at all cost almost destroyed him – until he surrendered to God who changed his name and started being the planner of his life.
May we not allow our personal, selfish-ambition overtake our desire to please God and live right with our neighbours and family.