While in secondary school, we were taught about the scalar quantity! If I would forget anything else, I wouldn’t dis-remember scalar quantity which is said to have magnitude but without direction. Some people are moving with very high speed in life but they truly do not know where they are going! Speed in itself is a scalar quantity, you can increase speed without considering the direction of motion.
Nollywood paints false pictures for us often time. You could see a character who was poor in the village and suddenly wakes up one morning, decides that he is going to the city and eventually become rich few months after without a clear explanation as to how the money came! The city, according to Nollywood movies has always seemed as where money grows on trees and so all it could take is just to “move”!
After a very busy day, some time ago, I got home and tried using my electric generator. It started, the sound was good but when I switched over, there was no electricity in my house. I went back to the generator, the engine was on, the sound was good but the purpose of the generator wasn’t being met. Anyone close to the generator would believe it was producing electricity because it was acting like every other generator. It was burning fuel like others, it starts at just one kick of the engine but despite it all, it wasn’t working! I had to get an expert to detect the problem and fix it.
Another experience is like the former. I was travelling to a certain village for a burial ceremony and there was traffic. The driver decided to follow an unpopular but less busy route. He stopped by to ask a young boy for direction and he pointed us through a part. The driver confidently followed that path. He had driven for a while until we got to a point the bus couldn’t possibly pass through, there was every reason to believe we were following a wrong route. We met an aged man and asked for direction, he pointed towards the same place we had come out from initially. We had to turn and head back to join the traffic. All the while we tried avoiding the traffic, we thought we were making progress just because our vehicle was moving with speed!
That people wake up every morning and go out of their houses doesn’t mean they are getting any job done. I believe that progress doesn’t mean activities, certain things can look alive but it doesn’t indicate that they are making any progress or solving any problem. For example, if you board a flight from Colorado going to Texas and the plane goes off course and starts heading towards Washington, you aren’t making any progress, you’re simply going farther from your course. Sure, there is movement, the plane is burning fuel, the engine is working, the flight crews are all at their places of duty but with all the activities going on in the plane, there is no progress if it isn’t on course!
Movement is not a sign of progress. Let’s say that it was suddenly realized that the plane is going off course, can the burnt fuel be recovered just by driving the plane back to course? Can all the efforts and resources wasted be recovered? The answer is no! Sometimes, we invest so much in activities, we invest so much in movements thinking that it is progress. Starting up a business before learning about the business is simply activities and not progress. You’ll waste so many resources on nothing and you may still ultimately come back to square one and start the journey afresh.
You don’t just jump into a relationship with anybody just because they are available. It may appear like a sign of progress to you but you are simply moving but not making progress. Many times, some people decide to stay in their mistake forever, they decided to keep moving off course since they’re on it already, they hope that perhaps, someday, they’d get it right. Wrong can’t suddenly become right! Some people are in toxic relationships, they know it isn’t working but they feel they’ve gone a long way and they decide to stay and see if a miracle would happen. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that.
Jesus said in Luke 14:28-30
“But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’”
While some people may appear inactive, they are making progress! A man who doesn’t count the cost but jumps into activity will get back to the start, you cannot skip the process. Many people may appear to be doing something, they may appear to be focused but they aren’t making progress simply because they just found themselves doing something, they are moving with the flow and there is nothing more to that. There is a time to sit, a time to rest, a time to plan and a time to make a move. You don’t just make a move because you saw other people moving.
What is progress in this context? It means living your life on purpose! Dead leaves can be moved far away by the winds, they are moving but they are dead! In progress, movement is intentional and we aren’t carried away with the flow of things or with what is popular around us. We move towards intentions, we don’t just move because we saw people moving. When movement is without any purpose, we can be distracted by beautiful side attractions, we can settle for a wild fruit while there are Apple farms ahead.
Try kicking the horse for a ride, it would rock on with speed. But with all the speed and good ride, you can just be heading nowhere. People can change but not improved, people can grow but not matured, people can walk but heading to nowhere and again I will remind you that a scalar quantity isn’t without movement, it moves as though it knows where it is going but it has no direction! Don’t judge your progress with other people’s speed, don’t look down on yourself just because some people have overtaken you… It is better to be slow and have direction than be fast without direction.