vanity upon vanity


Sometime ago, I took a review of the number of people I knew that departed from this world – friends, relatives, church-mates, school-mates, acquaintances, age-mates and course-mates and I came to a conclusion that the whole essence of life is summed up in Ecclesiastics 12:13-14, which says, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep his commandment: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it is good, or whether it is evil.” The greatest thing that can happen to any man or woman is the salvation of his or her soul.

When I read the biography of Tancredo Naves, I wept. He began his political career as a member of the legislative chamber in 1934. He was elected in 1949 to the Minas Gerais State Legislature. Three years later, he became a representative of his state in the Brazilian chamber of deputies. In 1953, he was appointed by President Getuilo Dornelles Vargas to be the minister of justice. He served in that post until Vergas committed suicide in 1954. In 1960, he contested for Governor of Minas Gerais but he was defeated by the opposition party.

His political history went on and on until 1984 when he became one of the leaders of the Piretas Ja movement that demanded direct election for president of Brazil but the campaign for direct election failed. There was no popular public vote, as the proposed constitutional amendment that would have abolished the electoral and instituted direct election did not obtain two-third majority in both house of the Brazilian congress. In January 1985, Tancredo Naves was elected president by majority congress. On the last day of his predecessor’s term (which was also the eve of his own inauguration), Naves become severely ill and require immediate surgery.

He was not able to attend his inauguration but his vice – Jose Sarny represented him. Naves suffered from abdominal complications and develop generalized infections. He died after seven successive surgical operations just after three weeks from his inauguration.

The scripture says, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” – Mark 8:36 (KJV). Anyone that wants to enjoy this life and the life to come (eternity) should learn a lesson from the story of Tancredo. The holy book noted, “A man’s life does not contain in the abundance he has.” Don’t be too earthly conscious that you become heavenly useless. To be earthly conscious is to be greedy and materialistic but to be heavenly conscious is to be generous and magnanimous. The ultimate measure of a great man is not in mundane possession but what he contributes to the lives of others through genuine motive. Dr Paul Eneche declared, “I must make it but not by all means.” Life is not a do-or-die affair but a slow and steady process.

There are two kinds of success that will not last: Overnight success and the success that inflict pain on others. Every individual will be remembered for two things: The good things you do and bad things you do. All human beings can only make two impacts: positive impact and negative impact. Everybody only has two places to spend eternity: Heaven or hell fire.

WISDOM BANK: The ultimate measure of a great man is not in mundane possession but what he contributes to the lives of others through genuine motive.
TEXT: Mark 8:36

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