Be Sure to Take Extra Oil

Out to meet the bridegroom

“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
~Matthew 25:1

God has put big dreams in your heart that burn daily within you. Each day, whether you are lying on your bed, or going about your daily tasks, the passion to live these dreams in real time burn unquenchably in your heart.

As you get older, however, will your dreams become realities, or will they remain as fantasies? Will they materialize in tangible accomplishments, or will they fade into sadness and frustration? Whatever your dreams turn into –distant fantasies, or enviable achievements – will be determined by wisdom.

2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise.
~Matthew 25:2

Extra oil

3The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps.
Matthew 25:3,4

To materialize into tangible results, your dreams demand oil: talents, time, people, and so on. But, like the wise virgins, be sure to take extra oil because the one in your lamp won’t be enough. What is in your lamp points to what you have; what is in the jar points to what you do with what you have.

The oil in your lamp won’t be enough.

Raw talent won’t do; it must be meticulously cultivated and disciplined. That singing, or other talents you have won’t be enough. Take along some discipline as well. Don’t forget to add some astute business management skills too – if not in you, then have the humility to connect with another that can manage you. How far will your singing talent take you if you don’t have the extra oil of disciplined and astute business management?

Got the point? You’ve got the oil in the lamp: singing, or whatever else there is. Now, take some oil in jars: discipline, astute business management skills, the humility to connect.

That nice laminated degree certificate from that reputable university won’t be enough. How about some extra oil? Some entrepreneurial and marketing skills? To be honest with you, unless that degree is an authentic expression of your personal expertise, plus the ability and willingness to market it, you may just be another victim of circumstances waiting to happen.

Oil in jars

And while we are still talking about extra oil, notice that they put it in jars.

3The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps.
Matthew 25:3,4

I hate to announce this to you: It will take more than what is in you to materialize your dreams; you will need what is in others as well. This is why the number one most important requirement for success is the ability to get along well with others. If you lack that extra ability to take others along in your journey towards your goals, you may never be able to attain them.

They put the extra oil in jars.

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”
~2 Corinthians 4:7

Your ability to overlook the flaws in yourself and others, and extract the treasures within them is very crucial to your own personal success. So, while you are cultivating your talents and honing your skills, also learn how to get along well with others; to employ the oil within them alongside that within you. It takes teamwork to make your dream work.

The bridegroom was a long time in coming

5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.”
~Matthew 25:5

Things usually don’t turn out as planned. You spent five years in a university bagging some nice degrees. Now, the economy is in recession? There’s no job anywhere; the economy is in a crisis. What are you going to do with that nicely laminated piece of paper?

A lot of people claim that there are no jobs. They have all these beautiful degrees from all these reputable universities. Yet, there are no jobs. Maybe, when they were taking the lamps of those nice degrees, they failed to take along some extra oil of ‘how to be your own boss and employ yourself’.

The good news is that you can begin to acquire this extra oil right away. And you don’t have to enroll for another degree programme to get it! My goodness! First get on your knees and ask the Holy Spirit to help and guide you. Then get some simple self-help books from personal success gurus and begin to develop yourself.

Learn how to think for yourself. Learn how to manage your time. Learn how to be tenaciously disciplined and focused. Learn how to relate pleasantly with others and how to play as a team member. You will be sweetly surprised at how crucial these extra oils will prove to be when the bridegroom is a long time in coming.

Here’s the bridegroom

8 At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!”
~Matthew 25:6

Opportunities don’t announce the day and time of their coming. Like tidal waves that cruise in to shore every now and then, completely beyond the control of the surfers, opportunities come in when you least expect them.

7 Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ 9 ‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both of us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ ”
~Matthew 25:8-9

The time of opportunity, unfortunately is not the time of preparation; it is the time of exploitation.

Are you ready?

“But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.”
~Matthew 25:10

Opportunities: if you can discern them for what they are, and if you are adequately prepared for them, you will dine and wine on the table of breakthroughs and favours. Otherwise, as you get older, the thrill of hope and expectation will fade into the disillusionment and depression of frustration.

Make that investment in yourself today; be sure to take some extra oil.