Fact-Checking journalist with AFP and Business and Development Editor of The Cable, Oluwamayowa Tijani has said that journalism is a calling and journalists must trust God to fulfil the call.
Tijani who spoke at the February fellowship of Journalists For Christ in Lagos tagged ‘Faith on the beat,’ relayed several experiences of God’s intervention in his job.
“Personally as a journalist, I found that journalism is a calling. A lot of people say that I know how to do things but I know I can’t do anything because all that have worked for me can only be described as God choosing the foolish things of the world to confound the wise,” he said.
Relaying the progress he has made in the profession, Tijani said he originally had no media training but he knew what he wanted in life.
“I knew I wanted to do things differently after I graduated. I knew I didn’t know anything; nobody had trained me though I was in campus press but God has taught me a few things and I knew He cannot lie,” he said.
Speaking about the scriptures that influenced him, Tijani said, “One day I was in the library and a word came to me in John 15:7 that if you abide in me and my word abide in you, you will ask what you wand and it will be done unto you.
“Before then I had learnt in Philippians 4:19 that God shall supply all my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
“So one day I said if I abide in you and your word abide in me I can ask anything I want and it will be done. One of the things I wanted was to be one of the best journalists out there even as I did not study mass communication or journalism.
“So what I did was to enrol at the NIJ. It was a part-time course. It was 18 months, so Saturdays and Sundays I was there. Next thing I wanted to do was my master program at Pan Atlantic University. I found that I would need about N2.5M but I had learnt to trust God as a child,” he noted.
He, however, enjoined Christians to learn to trust God’s ability without wavering. “We do not doubt God’s capacity. If we are asked can God do it? We would say yes. But if we ask if He will do it, we will start doubting.”
“What God desires is what we should desire. Since God was leading me and since I knew he cannot lie, I was just going to do what he asks me to do.”
According to Tijani, Christians always feel that God’s instructions have to be difficult but they are not. “Sometimes God’s instructions come through our feelings. God may just say attend this event, apply for this program, don’t attend this event or so and we are so led because God is bringing out His Excellency from our nothingness,” he said.
Tijani said journalists must keep a good relationship with God. “There is a relationship we need to have with God. I don’t have the best relationships with God but I just learn to trust in Him and to obey Him. Whatever He says is what He would do,” he said.
He also said journalists must learn to abide in God and have His words abide in them. “Once you get to a place where you abide in God, it is an alignment of your desire. There are some things you desire that are out of this world, you just have to abide in Him,” he stated.
Encouraging journalists not to give up when things seem not working for them in their career, Tijani said there are two main seasons; the night and the day.
Referring to Genesis 1:5 reading: ‘…and there was evening and there was morning the first day’. He noted that “There is the day and the night seasons or the evening and the morning which means evening will always precede the day.
According to him, the night precedes the day. “There is the night time when you may be in pain and struggles. Jesus said I will be about my father’s business while it is day, for the night comes when no one can work.
“The problem with us is that we always want the day, we don’t want the night but the night will always come. In the night there is cold, there is darkness, we cannot do much. There are times in our career where it seems nothing is working. When things work for me in my career, I tell myself night is coming,” he stated.