Let the bud open—Unraveling your potential in a confused world
Two things make the book, let the bud open, by Deaconess Joyce Olamibosipo Akinola exciting. First is the alluring package it comes in. And then the insightful content. Indeed, for a book to hold the attention of any reader, these two factors would have to be well presented by the author.
Apart from being able to present the book well, the reader expects to read a book that stands on its own merit. This third element of merit makes the book worth all the time in this world. The fact that the author is a septuagenarian by the time the book was written puts the book in a vantage position.
The author certainly wrote from the depth of her over 70 years on earth. She succeeds in putting together a book that could readily serve as impetus to those who are coming behind thus making them come to terms with the challenges of life.
With ten chapters running over 147 pages, Deaconess Akinola uses the metaphor of a bud to craft an eternal message. She takes her reader through a sequence that culminates in the basic elements that make life worth living.
The first chapter of the book titled, The Bud, explains straightaway the purpose of the book. She notes that the first purpose of the book is to create an awareness that “As human beings we need to depend on God our creator for our survival in life. This is man’s greatest need.”
The second purpose in her words is for the reader to see “the bud as a resistant element. It is an element whose growth continues and remains unhindered irrespective of the storms of life”
Bearing these two factors in mind, the reader is somewhat prepared to navigate through the book. The author presents a concise thesis in the second chapter as she writes that the affirmation of man bears little significance to one’s survival and eventual breakthrough in life. While emphasizing again the place of God, she notes in the chapter that the only sensible help any man can get is the help that comes from God.
In this chapter she reveals how God unraveled her own bud while telling the story of how she escaped from learning a trade to the training arms of her auntie. It was through this auntie of hers that she learnt a number of things including furthering her education up to the tertiary level.
In chapter three the author tells the stories of many Bible characters who experienced divine interventions in their lives. With their stories, the author tries to build faith in her reader while making them realize that the God factor is crucial in their success drive. Chapter four on the other hand is an extension of three. Here the author draws attention to the faith that God has in man stressing that man has been wonderfully and beautifully made by God.
Chapter five of the book explores the potential that God has built in man. Here the author examines the various gifts and talents that man is endowed with. She makes a distinction between the spiritual gifts and the natural gifts noting that the former is given while the latter is inborn. She however stresses in the chapter that both natural and spiritual gifts are bestowed on man for the glory of God.
In chapter six, the author tells the story of how a precious stone is priced; comparing it with the worth of a man’s life. She notes in the chapter saying, “…we can choose to surround ourselves with people who see our value and see the diamond inside us. We can choose to put ourselves in the market or put ourselves in the precious stone store. You can choose to see the value in other people”
The chapter also has a number of testimonies about the author and the lives she has impacted. The testimonies come from her own children, in-laws, acquaintances and people God has used her to impact over the years.
With the title, “The bud begins as seed” the author explains in chapter seven of the collection that the seed is the word of God noting that the seed marks the starting point for the bud. She also takes ample space to talk about the characteristics of a seed adding however that a seed has to be put to action before it can start yielding.
The eighth chapter, The Bud Breaks is an exegesis on the trials of life and how to overcome it. A.W. Tozer’s quote as employed by the author is quite apt. It reads: “it is doubtful if God can bless a man greatly until he has hurt him deeply. Another quote by Alan Redpath as used by the author reads, “when God wants to do an impossible task, He takes an impossible individual and crushes him”
While stressing that the divine pattern is for God to break someone before molding him, she writes, “Plainly put, God and only God can break down self so that life’s priorities, focus and passions are redirected to him alone, the true source of life.
The author also brings to the fore the various elements that could nip one’s potential in the bud.
Such elements are wrapped up in what the author describes as emotional impotence. It is instructive to note that the author traces the root of anger to selfishness. A story helps to validate her point. She writes that in an audience a man asks how many people have been hurt and virtually everybody in the class put up their hands. The man turns the question round and asks, “how many have hurt people, no hand was raised. That clearly shows something was wrong somewhere.
Chapter nine of the book dwells on “the types and time of the bud”. Here the author explains that the bud stands for different areas of lives where people are expecting budding. This range from marriage to business to health and a host of other areas of life. He also gives an insight on how to know the time and seasons the bud of one’s life would open; pointing out however that each person’s timing is unique.
In chapter ten which is the last chapter of the book, the author throws the ball back into the court of the reader as she challenges the reader to be ready to take a plunge into the world of change. She devotes the space to motivate her reader to arise and shine. She however notes that courage, obedience, diligence and a host of other elements are needed for one to fully make the desired move and impact in life.
The quality of the book could not have been less. The author who holds a first degree in English and also a post graduate certificate in London from the Institute of Education, University of London employs down to earth English to communicate her thoughts.
She is the chairperson of Christ Hospital Ministry and the CEO of Everock Properties Ltd. She brings to bear her wealth of experience over the years on the book.
The book no doubt is a present help for both the old and young who want to glean from the experience of a successful septuagenarian.
Review by Gbenga Osinaike