Thursday, March 29, 2012

I Still Believe

The world is changing and nothing seems assured. Over the last several months it seems tragedy has struck on every hand leaving us with mouths wide open. A U.S. soldier is accused of killing Afghan civilians in cold blood—including women and children. It is said he went back to the same village planning to kill more but he was apprehended. Drugs overwhelmed the life of a great voice and no matter how hard we rooted for her comeback Whitney just wouldn’t shake the habit. A dear sister of mine who’d battled cancer died (we love you Natalie) in spite of our prayers. Currently the T.V. is splattered with images of 17-year-old, unarmed Trayvon Martin who was shot and killed just minutes from his home on his way back from the store. His killer has not been arrested. And no matter how hard we wish it did not or what kind of denial we wrap ourselves in, racism still exists. It seems a country built on liberty and justice and freedom has had a mental breakdown of sorts and is hard pressed to recover from its malady. On the other hand it is as though a loving God has left us to our own devices. It often seems he has turned and walked away from our cries and prayers. It leaves many of us wondering if he even hears us anymore.

The one that we prayed to be healed isn’t, the boy who was supposed to live a long live doesn’t, the comeback, the return, the second chance that was supposed to attest that miracles do happen, doesn’t happen at all. And if you sit and ponder it all for too long it can leave your heart sad and sick and wondering if right always wins.

Well, I still believe. I still believe in love and the goodness of mankind. I still believe that justice prevails and that if you want to be free from habits meant for your destruction you can be. I believe that God heals. I am that testimony. I still believe that people are honest and courageous and when we come together nothing is impossible.

I can’t explain away all the tragedies and heartaches and disappointments and disparities between this and that. But my hope is yet in the God who can and he is a just God. The bible says he meets us where our hope is (Ps. 33:22). And because I believe that, I refuse to give in to doubt. When I stop believing, something else sets in; its force rises and sees the good in nothing, it is void of hope, it stands for nothing but fears everything. It eats away at the spirit of man and leaves him confused and staggering.

The spirit of hope is in our midst and we have to grab hold to it. It is out of that spirit that movements were birth and liberties and freedom given to those who were without. It is that hope which propelled individuals to make sacrifices both great and small that changed generations. It is the hope that just won’t die.
No matter how bleak it all looks, the tears we cry and the disappointments we experience, God will come through. Right will prevail. No matter how vast the darkness, I still believe.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

You Were Called for Greatness

When we think of those who demonstrate greatness we usually think of those whose achievements affect generations or millions. Rarely do we consider those who in the small hub of their communities are life changers.

Greatness simply means that which is beyond the ordinary, exceeds normalcy and is unique in comparison to most. We all were born for greatness, to push past the average wave but most of us are quite content with getting by. We are perfectly fine with just enough. Making waves is risky.

We are in awe of those who stand out amongst us; attributing their greatness to some special talent or gift and every now and again we wonder what it would be like to be able to do something like that. But I believe God has placed in all of us something exceptional and significant. It’s that part of us that makes us singular and distinctive from the rest. It is often dormant for a time and for many of us rise up on occasion but never reaches any pinnacle. It’s that part in us that when it is in effect we move effortlessly. When it is working, we lose track of time and place because we are doing what we are born to do. And then it happens, we hit a snag, we have a setback and we renege, settling comfortably back into mediocrity. This thing, this piece that’s innate can be almost anything; the ability to comfort or give. It could be the capacity to encourage or serve like no other. It may be the gift to work with children with disabilities and see only their ability. Maybe it’s working with the elderly or speaking to the masses. It can be almost anything.
To others it may seem a simple thing but to the one on the receiving end of your gift they know that it is much more. They view you as a gift from God, a precious gem, someone they absolutely do not want to do without. They honor and treasure you. And if you were not there for them their lives would not be the same.

Allow your uniqueness to ascend. Let it take root. Don’t be ashamed because it is livelier or more colorful than your surroundings. Don’t mute your gift because others don’t get it or are uncomfortable when you are moving in it (remember God gave this thing to you, for his purpose). Flow in it, embrace it. It is the essence of the greatness in you.