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Striving for Excellence

Addressing a group of excited graduands, faculties, staff, parents, guardians, sponsors, friends, relatives, and community members convened to celebrate academic achievements of their loved ones on Friday 16 March at Solusi University, Pastor Ngwaru discoursed on excellence.

“Striving for Excellence,” a theme chosen by the graduating class of 2018 became the centre of the pastor’s discourse.

March 16-18 marked an end to the undergraduate and graduate academic expedition of 780 students from five faculties namely, Theology, Business, Science & Technology, Arts, and Education.

As a mandate for all preachers, the pastor drew his points from the Bible, particularly from the book of Daniel. It is not authoritative to preach a sermon and finish without quoting from the Bible. If a pastor preaches and finishes a discourse without quoting or reading a passage of scripture, his/her talk ceases to be a sermon, and becomes a motivational talk. Preaching in its essence draws insights from the Holy book—the Bible containing all that we need to know about God and our way of life as Christians.

“We cannot talk of excellence without talking of one excellent student from the Bible; Daniel…. We will consider the book of Daniel chapters 1-6.” Pastor Ngwaru said.

Encouraging the congregants to have an intimate relationship with God, the pastor vehemently pointed out that for Christians to be excellent in all, they ought to have a good relationship with God. As such, they will have a greater advantage over everyone else.

“There is an advantage in having a fellowship with God, because you are given knowledge that is not in libraries,” he said.

We see this in the life of the Biblical prophets and other people who led a holy life in the Bible. One of them being Daniel who received a revelation from God about the events to come in the Kingdom of Babylon and the entire world.

Daniel Chapter 2—knowledge which no one could ever have unless he/she has a relationship with God. Not to mention the apostle Paul who like other prophets wrote about the mysteries of God. In one of his books, he revealed that “the eye has not seen, nor the ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for them that love him.

I Corinthians 2:9. What this means is that excellence in its essence denotes someone who operates above good with the aid of God. Naturally, humans cannot attain excellence without God’s help. Adam and Eve forgot about God’s sovereign power to create and recreate and made a choice that hurled all humanity into sin. A graduand with no God may be dangerous to him/herself and the community at large.

Pastor Ngwaru challenged graduating students and the congregants at large that they should exhibit excellence in spite of a corrupt world.

“What Africa needs are graduands who will not fear their bosses at the expense of principle.”

A good example of what the pastor stressed out passionately is found in the book of Daniel chapter , where three Hebrew boys namely Shadreck, Meshack, and Abedneco among many Israelites captives in Babylon stood still when the entire nation was bowing down to the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar had erected. Even when they were threatened to be into the fiery furnace, they never compromised principle to please their earthly masters. Their principle was, “You shall have no other gods before me…..” Exodus 20: 3-4.  “If you compromise principle today, it will catch up with you tomorrow.” He added.

A huge number of young men and young women nowadays live to please their bosses at the expense of principle. Truth has been sacrificed at the alter of lies to cover sins of people who are in authority by those under their influence. Corruption shoots to the highest level in Africa, because we are trading truth for lies to please our bosses.

Today corruption and lies have been grafted into our societies, families and in our lives. We have nearly all become complacent in error at the expense of truth. What the pastor was actually pointing out is that all graduands in Africa and all citizens ought to stand for justice in spite of who is implicated.

One author rightly puts it, “the greatest want of this world is the want of men…. who will not be bought or sold… who in their inmost souls are true and honest…who do not fear to call sin by its right name… whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole… who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.”

The pastor continued to say, “when you graduate and come into the professional world, please show us that you have knowledge…. Knowledge is what you remain with when your text books are taken away from you.”

Excellence will never be attained when we do not exhibit in our dealings that we know what we are doing. It is not enough to pray to God if we do not work hard to enshrine knowledge in our minds for use in the professional world. As one author rightly puts it, prayer is no substitute for hard work. Pray like you never work and work like you never prayed. God will bless you.

He continued to say, “It is a mistake to walk into a company and want to work like everybody else.  Do not be a general person, be an adept in something. Have something unique.”

The problem with being average is that “among the best you are the worst, among the worst you are the best.”

Solusi University is a Seventh Day Adventist church-run institution of higher learning. It customarily conducts its graduation ceremonies in March. Graduating students encompasses conventional students, block realise, and students from satellite teaching centres institutionally known as trimester. Solusi University graduation ceremony is celebrated in two days; however, graduating students are expected to arrive on campus five days prior to the commencement of the programme for rehearsals, error checking, and verification of prerequisites.

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