Some weeks ago, myself and my coursemates were told to individually give a presentation on any application of Biotechnology. We had just about 5 days to work on this assessment. I chose to talk about the application of bioremediation on the Exxon Valdez oil spill that occurred in Alaska, U.S.A, in 1989. I began work by praying for help and gathering information on the incident, and as the information increased, my confidence heightened. I ended up with so much information that arranging the really important ones in slides became a challenge. But I later surmounted this ‘mountain of arrangement’, at least, I thought. Being my first presentation in a school I’ve only spent 1 month plus in, I felt way too confident and enthusiastic. I had to consciously ensure that this confidence wasn’t based on the previous successful Spoken Word presentations I had done in Church, but rather, on the One that was the reason behind this previous success. My slides (although quite wordy) were ready a day before the presentation day, and I had a plan. The plan was to read well (especially the information I couldn’t put in the slides) and commit everything to God’s hands. Even before the execution of this plan, I was so sure I was going to kill it. I mean, I had all my moves and hand gestures well imagined in my mind. Another thing I had in mind was how smartly dressed I would be for the occasion. Amidst these imaginations, I was advised by my coursemates to make my slides less wordy, and also, deep within I felt the need to go through a presentation guide on the school’s Study Hub before presenting. But I ignored them – the advice and the urge – and went on with my conceived plan.
The presentation day came, my eyes and body were crying out for sleep, and I hadn’t fully executed my plan. I had prayed about it, but I still felt the need to continue reading. Thankfully, I was meant to be second-to-the-last to present so I had another plan. The other plan was to observe everyone that was to present before me and learn from their good communication skills and mistakes, then give a perfect presentation. Unfortunately, we had issues with the projection screen so we had to present directly from a laptop while seated, so my planned moves and hand gestures were aborted. I observed as others presented and learnt a thing or two. All of them finished before the given time. Nice, I should be able to do the same, I thought. My turn finally came. To me, it was all going fine till I heard ‘2 minutes more’. ‘2 minutes more ke?’ I had not even gotten to the main focus of the presentation. Apparently, the wordiness of the slides affected me and I wasted time on the background information. I ended up finishing 2 minutes after the given time (call me Mr record breaker, thank you). I felt really sad afterwards because I was disappointed in myself. Having put so much prayer, effort, and time into the work, I really had high expectations. I even started wondering why God didn’t come through. I didn’t even feel like going for church service that evening.
I thank God I later dragged myself to church. While in church, I realised that the reason the presentation didn’t go as I expected was because I didn’t take heed to the warning signs in the form of my coursemates’ advice and the need to go through a presentation guide(which I now believe came from God), believing that prayer was enough – ‘Oluwa cover me jare’. It was like God was using the Pastor to talk to me that night. The Pastor said, ‘mental exertion + spiritual exertion = personal transformation’. Hence, prayer wasn’t enough, yes, I had applied some effort but it wasn’t the best or most appropriate because I needed to act on the things or ideas that came my way as a result of praying to achieve the desired success; I needed to follow the gentle internal and external promptings. I later committed the whole thing to God, and believe it or not, I am still expecting a distinction(A) in that assessment. I don’t know how it would come, but I just believe.
Have you experienced something like this before? If yes, please don’t hesitate to share how it was like and how you dealt with it in the comment box below. And if you are presently trying to deal with such or any form of disappointment, encourage yourself in the Lord, pick up the lessons and move on. God’s got you!
Thanks for reading.