It was a Monday morning. I was rushing to get my son ready in time for the bus and myself for work. We were both almost ready to go. The bus was about two minutes from arriving and as I am frantically prepping the final details to walk out the door, my son’s face changes. He looks at me and gives me his “I’m about to vomit” face as he grabs his stomach. He begins to feel sick. At this point my mind is processing a million thoughts per second: “What got him sick?”, “Will he be ok to go to school?”, “How late will I be to work if I take him?”, “Is this a bug? who passed it to him?”, and “Why is the house so messy?”, “How many meetings do I have today?”, “Can I take my conference calls from home?”– on and on the questions and chaos floating in my mind.
What does it take to be admirable? I suppose we all have different views on this. I am, however, noticing that my perception of what is admirable in people is beginning to shift. External qualities, I am discovering, are not qualifying factors to make a person admirable. At my almost 30 years of life, I am realizing that the value of humanity relies on the beauty of their soul.
From the moment of conception we are blessed with a beautiful limited gift. It seems overflowing for a newborn and too close for comfort for an elderly. Sometimes we want to rush it and other times we want to delay it, but we cannot control it.Every living thing feels its power. Even the moon and the sun have respect for it. The seasons follow it and the leaves obey it. The beauty of blooming flowers is subject to it. On certain days, we try to stretch it and only wish we had more of it. Other days, we forget the importance of it and mismanage it. Some are blessed with a little more of it, but we cannot buy more than we were given or even negotiate with it.
Not all successful people are fruitful, but all fruitful people are successful. Allow me to explain…
A fruitful life is a life lived beyond the expectations of society. Society’s definition of success often relies on an individual’s earned income, assets and/or education. It’s as if we view success as being attainable through only one pathway. According to dictionary.com, however, success can also be defined as the accomplishment of one’s goals– those goals can be anything that makes your precious little heart happy. If you are anything like me, riches is not really your priority and that is absolutely okay. In other words, success can be accurately described as reaching a level of contentment from the result of an action. Having a prestigious career or money is not always enough to feel satisfied or content, but if we learn to live a fruitful life (action), we will find contentment (desired outcome) in our lives.
To win the battle, you must bury the head. Let us talk about this. I am not an expert on the process of killing venomous snakes, but I read a book called Goliath Must Fall written by pastor Louie Giglio. In a section of his book, he describes the adventures he lived when he would go to summer camp during his teenage years. As a camp counselor, pastor Louie had the horrifying mission of going snake hunting to protect the other teens from getting hurt by these venomous creatures. He described the hunting process and completed it by mentioning one important detail: the hunting battle against a snake was not over until the head of the dead snake was dug underground. Although the snake was dead, poison still sat in the fangs and leaving the head exposed would be very dangerous. They always buried the heads after each killing. Now, I have never lived in area where venomous snakes are common. However, if you have, you would agree with pastor Louie in his hunting process. The main lesson: even if the your problem is dead, you are not necessarily out of the danger zone.
At the early age of 2, I began to show interest in something children my age found to be the most boring thing to do; attend church, I mean at that age it is hard to understand what church even is and why people attend every weekend. I, however, loved tagging along with my grandmother every time she went. My grandmother was and is a devoted Christian. After losing her 8-year-old son in a tragic accident, she found healing in a Christian Evangelical church. It was in this place where she found restoration and strength to live through every day without her son. My grandmother became one of the most devoted Christians I know. I had no idea that her devotion would pave the way for my lonely and beautiful uniqueness.
Being a follower is easier than being a leader. Followers don’t fight as hard nor do they stress as much. Followers are submissive to the opinions of others. Followers camouflage into society; they act, think, and speak like everyone else. Followers quiet their voices and allow others to speak for them. Followers always require someone else to walk them in life. Followers never take a stand nor stand in front of the line. Followers prefer decisions be made for them and hardly ever get involved in decision-making. Being a follower is the easy route in life; obey others and you will fit right in. Followers never rebel, but complain often. They speak of change, but wait for others to act. Followers criticize the work of others, but never bring fresh ideas to the table. Followers are repetitive, they despise change. Followers seek comfort and avoid challenges. Followers dependent on others; they seek the approval and favor of everyone else, even if it means suppressing their own true identity. Followers spend more time gossiping than being productive. Followers always seek to work less. Followers are easy to find, but hardly desired. Followers lack knowledge and use other’s ideas rather than their own. Followers are walking dead, they are always late. There is, however, one type of follower that is excusable: A follower of a great leader; this follower can turn into a great leader!
It’s crunch time! The clock ticking, your brain reaching exhaustion, and silence overtakes the classroom as your classmates attempt to finish the last exam before the start of winter break. You know once you put that remaining answer down, you will feel something like the feeling you get when you are hungry and broke, but happen to find enough change for a McChicken from McDonald’s. The emotions felt are a mix of relief, satisfaction, and pure happiness. So, the excitement builds as you come to the last question. The last solution to the exam marks the end of the long hours spent studying, the end of painful learning and one step closer to reaching your goal- finishing school. At last, you wait for your final grade and hope the urgency to finish the exam did not cause you to fail.
Sometimes I wish the media would filter what they report. I wish I could just close my eyes or just keep scrolling and focus only on the cute stuff on social sites. Some articles are just too unbearable to even finish reading. Unfortunately, this was my case with an article I read about the torture an 8yr old boy named Gabriel Fernandez, suffered in the hands of his mother’s boyfriend and mother. It was one of the most horrific stories I have read. My stomach felt sick, my heart sunk, I cried, I was angry. How could they? I thought about his siblings, about the little boy’s agony and felt heartbroken. It was horrible.As tough as it was to read about little Gabriel, it was not as painful as knowing there was no male figure protecting him in his life. How much longer does society have to wait for men to get mad enough to take action and get into the battlefield of evil?
If you were asked to stand in front of a mirror and describe what you see, what would you say? Would you say you see a masterpiece or a broken piece? It’s safe to say we all have experienced a moment of brokenness- a loss, a broken marriage, a failed business, a heartbreak, abuse, an illness or maybe even faced a traumatic event; situations that turned our joy into sorrow. These kinds of events change us and they can affect us daily- if we give them permission. How do we overcome the bitterness or depression when life has bruised us to the point where it has become difficult to even roll out of bed? To clarify, I do not have all the answers, but I pray that you find some encouragement after reading the below.