George was Head of Field Operations at a private telecoms company and somewhat of an office superstar. He could solve the most complex problems in any project and was considered a genius in some circles. He thanked God every day for intelligence. One day, George sat the staff canteen eating his lunch when 60 year old Fabian or ‘Encyclopedia’ as he is fondly called, walked in and sat at the same table. Fabian was one of his technicians scheduled to retire at the end of the month.
See, George was held in the same reverence as Fabian was 30 years ago. They even had a slight resemblance which further contributed to George earning the ‘Encyclopedia junior’ nickname, although George was Fabian’s boss. As Fabian sat down, they exchanged pleasantries and as usual Fabian went into an endless spiral of exploits and stories during his younger days as a field officer for his previous employers, the now defunct national telecommunications company.
“I was one of the first people to own a 1996 Nissan Sunny in Nigeria you know” Fabian bellowed. He had travelled the world at the expense of the government, visited over 50 different countries and gotten paid handsomely to match. Fabian would tell anyone that cared to listen how his travel allowances alone could buy a new car every month as well as any luxuries a man wanted. He got paid in Dollars, got free accommodation, health care … ‘Rockstar lifestyle’ he called it.
Fabian explained how he was the most skilled and highest paid technician across the West African region all through the 80s. He was pampered by his bosses and envied by his colleagues back then. However, he always said saving was for insecure people.
George sat there thinking, ‘How did I become Fabian’s boss? This guy must have had his life sorted before he hit the age of 30’. He said a little prayer under his breathe – ‘God, I believe and have Faith that you have perfected my career and I can have the ‘Rockstar lifestyle too’. At the close of business they ran into each other again at the car park. Fabian was standing beside a 1996 Nissan sunny that just wouldn’t start. He eventually decided to leave the car and hitch a ride with George.
While in traffic on the ride home, Fabian lamented about the constant breakdown of his once ‘one-in-town’ car. He admitted he couldn’t afford to buy a new one yet and what a fool he had been for all those years. George assumed Fabian was only joking, surely he has other cars. They reached Fabian’s house. George couldn’t believe it, Fabian lived in a rundown apartment block. ‘This is your place?’ George asked. ‘Yes, I have been renting my flat here for over 35 years’, Fabian answered. He hadn’t built nor bought his own house all these years, Fabian had always had the best Jobs and good income and had ‘faith’ that it would last forever; so there was no need to tie down money… until his previous organization crumbled and he was laid off.
They spent some time in the car chatting. Fabian explained how catering for his family had become quite challenging. He even snuck in a request for a loan from George to pay his rent which was already due. They said their goodbyes and George headed home. On the drive home, George pondered for a long while what could have gone wrong and it hit him… SMART FAITH SAVES. It is not enough just to believe God for the next miracle, wisdom recommends that we put a little (actually a lot) away for the future.