the season of plenty

The good book has it that in the land of Egypt there was going to be a long stretch of famine. What intrigues me is that BEFORE that happened, two things happened.

• It was prophesied; and the prophecy never hid the aspect of how dreary the famine was going to be.

• Before the prophesied time came, there was a season of plenty.

Logic has it that in all occasions the scale is always balanced. It is however the skill (or the lack of) with which we handle the scales that determines whether we survive the famines or become statistics.

It is therefore my take that every season of plenty precedes a season of lack. It is also my take that every ounce of good that befalls us must be carefully handled with a view towards a needy day.

I have seen people blow away windfalls (is there such a thing?) only to be reduced to paupers the next morning. Tales are abound of some that met the windfalls in 1997 and sought to buy televisions for their cows and chicken meat for their scrawny dogs. The tales will tell you of people hiring convoys of meter taxis to go home , one ferrying the person , the other his shoes and the other his groceries. That was their season of plenty. Needless to say, the season of need struck and they had not even one cabbage head to fend off the menacing hunger.

Egypt had a season of abnormal plenty and it was not put to waste thanks to vision and shrewd planning. An abnormal bounty of one year went on to sustain a nation and its neighbours through a lame and painful seven years of famine.

It is thus my two pence advice that whatever plenty accrues in our name we must be able to manage it in anticipation of the season of lack. It is those who live with the understanding of both sides of the coin that will manage to survive scourges and have surplus to trade with the complicit who never saw it fit to make hay while the sun shone. Joseph eventually owned the whole of Egypt because he used the season of plenty to anticipate and plan for the season of need.

As the festive season nears, many of us will have ‘windfalls’. These are not lucky dribbles. They are a test of our ability to restrain ourselves, to avoid going on the impulse and to teach us to know how to balance the scales.

One that will find themselves with no fees for their children’s school would not be a victim of poverty, but of poor planning and lack of anticipation.

One that will find themselves without a roof over their head after failing to pay rent shall not be a victim of witchcraft but of indiscipline and rogue impulses.

If tomorrow were to bring you a season of plenty, I urge caution, discernment and discipline because every season of plenty has a season of need lurking.

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