By Tolulope A. Adegoke
The Potential Game-Changer in this context is the number “Zero”. It is used in this context to describe someone who has the potential to cause a massive transformation, despite having the similitude of a failure. It was Abraham Lincoln who said: “Nobody had ever expected me to become president.” He contested and failed severally before eventually becoming the President of the United States of America.
Lincoln aside, the success of Portugal at Euro 2016 football tournament has a powerful message for every one of us, in every sphere of life. That Portugal beat France 1-0 to become the European Football champion in July 2016 is no longer news. The big news however is the fact that it was a substitute player who was not considered fit to start the same game, who scored the winning and history-making goal. Before the game, all eyes had been on the great Cristiano Ronaldo. But just in the 14th minute, he was carried off the field on a stretcher with a knee injury!
Naturally, with Ronaldo, the star player, injured, panic erupted amongst football fans worldwide and the Portuguese team in particular. In all truth, Portugal probably thought their end had come! But Eder, a substitute from the bench, scored an epochal goal during the extra-time, thereby securing Portugal’s first European Championship title.
Interestingly, when the trophy was presented, it was lifted by Cristiano Ronaldo, who had broken down in tears at the final whistle. That day, he and the watching world had learnt an unforgettable lesson: If you desire to see true success and progress, never underrate anyone. If you wish to see outstanding results in every area of life, you must be determined to pursue total unity and team work because a tree cannot make a forest and nobody is indispensable!
Portugal won without King Ronaldo on the field! Never underestimate any man. Don’t despise your zero because it might end up being your HERO, just as Eder proved to be. We also have the biblical example of David, who emerged from being a mere shepherd boy in the wilderness to becoming a military general, and then, the king of Israel!
The other side of the “ball game”
So far, we have considered zero as a positive potential that must be nurtured from dormancy to vibrancy and greatness. However, there is something else that zero could represent and unlike the previous representations of zero, this does not require being nurtured but being neutralised. This is because like other forms of zero, this also has the potential to grow – in this case, though, into something destructive. This zero is the zero of the weak point.
The story of some individuals would only revolve around their weak point, especially how it limited them from fulfilling their purpose and destiny. A weakness is often a behavioural flaw that prevents or limits someone from being (a game changer) fully effective. Whichever way this flaw is handled can result in great consequences. Both the Bible and contemporary history are replete with stories of individuals who had great potentials but did nothing to neuter their weaknesses and thus exposing themselves to failure and regret.
We have the example of Moses who was called by God to the lead the Israelites out of Egypt, their land of slavery. The exceptional grace on his life made him a HERO. The Lord used him to perform many miracles in Egypt. Through him, God afflicted the Egyptians with ten plagues. The Lord also used him in parting the Red Sea and in demonstrating other wonders in the wilderness (Exodus 33:22-23). Yet, his weak point of anger terminated his mission of leading the Israelites to the Promised Land (Exodus 17, Exodus 32:19-20).
As the Bible records, the congregation of children of Israel had journeyed from the wilderness of Sin. Thus, the people began to reproach Moses and Aaron, their leaders. Moses had gone to God to present the complaints of the people and God had instructed him to speak to the rock for water, but he had struck the rock instead, as a result of his anger at the attitude of the Israelites. God was not happy with this. Eventually, Moses only saw Canaan from afar but didn’t get there.
Samson is another good example to be used here to describe the flaws of mighty individuals. In spite of his great strength, he was eventually captured and became a victim. Ironically, he had been born to be a deliverer of the Israelites (Judges 13). Due to the anointing of God upon him, he had become the most powerful man on earth. He could face 10,000 soldiers all alone, and he once killed a lion with his bare hands. At the height of his strength, the Philistines were afraid of Israel. However, he had a character flaw, which he considered to be a zero – that is, an insignificant weakness. That flaw was the love of women, especially wayward women, which was against the conditions given to him by God. That seeming zero would eventually lead to his downfall, when he revealed the secret of his power to Delilah, one of his wayward women (Judges 16). Towards the end of his life, the same Samson who had been a terror to the Philistines ended up as their puppet and slave. They blinded him and turned him to an object of scorn.
In our contemporary times, there are many whose “zero” character and behavioural flaws such as careless use of the tongue, addictions to drinks and drugs, lust for the opposite sex, love of money, uncontrolled temper, have cut short their lives and destinies. The reason being that they did not realise where their unchecked flaws or could lead them until it was too late.
The fact, as has been stated, is that everyone has a weak point which can be easily dismissed as a zero. This means that within every hero, there lies a zero. Or to put it in another way, “there is a kid in every king.” What this requires is for you to tackle your zero so as not to be drowned in the valley of life. Starve your weak point to develop the hero in you, though the journey to achieving it may not be smooth, because it is truly not easy to be easy! Crave for a good change, work on yourself, by allowing the Potter (God Almighty) to break, remould, bake and make very good use of your earthen vessel for His glory; only via this means would you be able to overcome your flaws and emerge a global game-changer in your area(s) of calling(s) or purpose.
Watch out for the Book titled: “The Power of an Empowered Zero” (From Zero to HERO) by Tolulope A. Adegoke. Foreword by Dr Yomi Garnett (CEO/Chancellor, Royal Biographical Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania U.S.A., U.K., Abuja, Nigeria.) Edited by Ola Aboderin.