Outside, the sky was leaden and heavy with unwept rain. The coquettish wan smiles the morning offered to woo it out of its misery had failed miserably. Advances rejected, the sun receded behind drawn cloudy curtains to nurse a broken heart. stood tall and proud under these cheerless elements. A massive building with elegant architectural lines decorated in robin egg blue hues, it added pizzazz to a dreary day. However, the story within the edifice was different. With disdainful treachery, the mood inside sided with the glum outside and not with the merriness of the structure housing it.

Young staff, gay coloured like birds of paradise hurried here and there with the industriousness of honey bees. So many lit computers littered the rooms and gave off the feel of a sci-fi movie, yet a pervasive gloom reigned in the offices.

Simon Reed, MD/CEO of the company opened the door and walked into the main office space. A chorus of good morning Sir rose up to the ceiling in unison. He returned the greetings and took the stairs to his office but this morning they noticed that there was something subdued about their ever ebullient leader. Instead of taking the elevator straight to his pent house office, The CEO usually liked to feel the pulse of his staff every morning.  His open door policy gave authenticity to his belief that distance between junior staff and management usually ends up in disaster for an organization.

He entered his glass office; a room that continually looked out over a lake, commanding a view that took the breath away. However, this morning, he was oblivious to the panorama stretched out before him. The visual buffet created no zestful appetite within his soul. He collapsed on his swivel chair heavily and removed his designer frames to rub eyes that were already red rimmed.  What most of his staff did not know was that he had spent the night in the office going over the books of his company and trying to think of how to keep it afloat. He had quickly left about 5am to have breakfast with his family before the rush of the activities of a new day. His eyes roamed walls decorated with framed certificates, Harvard Business School, Wharton, and so many more. He had more degrees than a thermometer yet his ship was capsizing. He suddenly put his head down on his massive, walnut table and tears gambolled down his eyes like errant lambs, meandering their ways into the collar of his white shirt.

image003, an e-commerce company had been set up to perfection with the help of about the best consulting outfit in the US. Feasibility studies, business plan, SWOT analysis, everything had been done to perfection and modelled after the Chinese e-commerce giant. However, things had not gone according to the plan in any way. They had initially started well but along the way, things had gone awry.  Simon Reed had created a company that was a sea filled with tons of multicoloured baits of consumer goods but for some reason, the fish were not biting. They were not even coming close! Loans had to be serviced, school fees, salaries and rent had to be paid. was floundering towards a shipwreck!  He had done everything he knew how to do, read Jim Collins “Built to Last” and “Good to Great” until they became like business bibles to him. He had toiled for years, yet, zip, zilch, nada, nothing to show for it!

Just then his phone rang. He picked and greeted, hello……

…The mission trip had gone very well and he was tired from all the exertions of the day.  Proselytizing from one village to another, distributing drugs, clothes, food, drugs and other things to poor villagers had finally taken its toll on him. He laid his head against the headrest of the bus, ear phones plugged, listening to “Our God” by Chris Tomlin.

His mind went back to the day the phone had rung in his office.  He had not wanted to answer, but the persistent ring was like the irritating buzz of a pesky fly.  To maintain his sanity, he had answered.  It had turned out to be the evangelism team of his church asking for the use of his staff buses for a mission assignment to some neighbouring villages. His first impulse was to say no but even though he felt lost; his passion for the lost was too much to turn his back on the request.

He dozed off during his reverie and that was when he heard, cast off your moorings from your comfort zone, explore the depths of the unknown and launch an IPO for your company. From his doze, he sat up and uttered a loud, what?! He quickly composed himself when he saw others looking at him with inquiring gazes.


Questions buzzed in his mind and he nearly laughed out loud when he of thought of how ridiculous the instruction seemed to be. His company was folding up and he was about to sell even at a loss. He could not come to terms with that he was being nudged to launch an IPO for a dying company. However, the impression was quite strong and could not leave.

Days after, he visited an investment house and put in the papers for the project. The impression he had was for 10billion but he decided to just go for 3billion.


Suffice it to say that the IPO offering was oversubscribed and that marked the beginning of a new profitable run. They expanded into a global outfit and business became so much he could not handle the traffic alone. The returns were incredible! He had to go into partnership with e-commerce stalwarts like Amazon to cope. He knew he had short-changed himself by not going for 10billion.


His life had been turned around by the word he heard. All the toil and sweat of the past erased! Revelation had flooded his life in the nick of time to give him direction. Revelation became an antidote to the poison of his toils.

This is a modern day rendition of Luke 5.

And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets (plural) for a draught.  And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net (singular). And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.  For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him….. (Emphasis.. mine)…



©2016 Ekpo Ezechinyere


11 thoughts on “THE TOIL ANTIDOTE

  1. This is even more scintillating than the previous one you wrote on the same story.
    Well done sire, more wisdom and anointing.

    I like the phrase “nevertheless at thy word”
    The secret of miracles and overwhelming success

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Awesome, I love the creativity, the skillful crafting of a master story teller. It was like a big screen motion picture. What a great adaptation of scripture for my generation. Thanks Dr, you just dress Jesus the Word fit for this time.

    Liked by 1 person

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