Have you noticed that when someone says, “It’s all good,” it is usually them minimizing something bad that has happened to them? I have the same issue with people who say, “It is what it is.” That is not really true either. When I hear someone say, “It’s all good,” now I just ask them, “How so?” Rarely is it ALL good. When someone says, “It is what it is,” I simply reply, “It is what we make it.” We always have a choice on how we play the cards we’ve been dealt.
I encourage folks to confront their fears, their pains, and their failures. Nobody likes confronting these things. One thing I know for sure is that pain will have a way of surfacing whether we like it or not. You can avoid it or deny it, but sooner or later it will manifest itself. It is like people who stuff their anger. Eventually they erupt and spew on anyone within shouting distance, or worse, they have a heart attack and die. Either way…it does come out at some point.
Face your fears with faith.
Face your pain with hope.
Face your failures with forgiveness.
Above all, let love be your strength, your shield, and your compass. We just have to have the courage to face it.
Every day it seems that God opens the door for me to minister to someone. Sometimes it is a kid at school, sometimes it is a co-worker, and sometimes it is a friend or family member. Regardless of who it is, I have realized something about my work. I am not so much called to teach or drive people around with LYFT as I am called to encourage and direct them to God.
This morning I picked up a young lady named Jumoke. She was visibly shaken up when I arrived to give her a LYFT. I asked her if she was going to work, and she said, “No, I just had an accident!” I could see she was on the verge of tears. As we talked about it, I told her that the one good thing that came out of it is that she was not hurt. I know that is not a lot of consolation when you are in a wreck…but in the scheme of things…that is truly what matters.
She confessed that at times she just did not want to wake up because of all the bad things that had happened to her. Her family was in Nigeria and she apparently did not have a lot of friends to support her here. We talked about God for a while and how He is our friend, He is our protector, and He is our provider. She nodded in agreement with it all. She just had to be reminded of who God is and what He IS doing on our behalf…even when we can’t see it or feel it.
Before she got out of my car, I asked her if I could say a prayer for her. I prayed over her and assured her that God had sent me to be there for HER this morning. She may have been in an accident, but OUR meeting was no accident. It was a divine appointment from God…and I got to show God’s love in a miraculous way to her.
When she got out and I closed out the LYFT tab, can you get how much I made? $6.66! No kidding. It just reminded me that spiritual warfare is real and we have to put on the whole armor of God every day. Nonetheless, I was relieved when I got my second LYFT and got paid so I was not on THAT number anymore. LOL.
I pray for divine appointments and get them all the time. I just never know who, where, or when they will be. I just have to be available and let God do His thing through me. It is a pretty cool way to live and it is amazing to see what God can to through us if we just give Him the reins.
Let’s face it, we live in an era when everyone seems determined to claim their rights. The Bill of Rights was instituted to clarify what we were entitled to as citizens of this country. The problem is that sometimes our rights are wrong.
When are our rights wrong? They are wrong when they disregard the rights of others, when they are totally self-centered, or when they have evil intent. Rights come with responsibilities. When we abuse them, we tend to lose them. There are consequences to every action we take.
Just a thought, but perhaps the most underutilized right we have is the right to remain silent. I tell students that almost every day. The problem is that many kids and adults just don’t know when to shut up. That right if used more often would solve a lot of problems in this world, don’t you think?
I like the three filter rule:
- Is it true?
- Is it kind?
- Is it necessary?
P.S. This is not a political discussion. It is simply a frame of reference for some human behaviors that have become distorted by some. Hopefully it makes each of us examine our own words and behaviors.
I want people to like and respect me, but if I have to choose between the two, I will choose respect. Why? People that don’t like you will disregard what you think, how you feel, and what you do. If they dislike you but respect you, you will be heard at the very least.
This week a great drama played out in two of our classes. We had to pull about 10 kids from the two classes because of their arguments and disruptive behavior with each other.
I told them they had two choices: Either they learn some self-control, or somebody else was going to control them! I also told them I did not care if they liked each other, but they WOULD respect one another….and the respect would begin now.
Even as I was talking to them, one of the kids continued to argue with me! I asked the child five times to quit arguing and just chill out for a moment, but this kid had no filter and no common sense. Sadly, the consequences for this child in particular will be more than bargained for.
There is a lot of pent up rage in some of the kids I see. It seems they are determined to take it out on somebody….anybody within earshot. While I try to make every child feel heard and respected, I can’t allow them to run over everyone around them. I don’t know what is going on at home, but I have a feeling that it is quite dysfunctional.
I pray every day that God give me the right words to say, but I admit that some days I am at a loss for words. I know I make a positive difference in the lives of the kids, but days like this will make the best of us question whether what we are doing is making a difference.
I have to remind myself that there are some kids that I can’t reach despite my best efforts. That doesn’t mean I won’t try or that I will ever give up on them. If I can get them to understand that one thing alone, there is still hope for their behavior to change. If I can see good in them, perhaps they will see it at some point in themselves. Once they learn to respect themselves, they can begin the journey to respect others.
At some point in life we come face to face with the fact that life is not fair. The problem is, even though we know it isn’t, we expect it to be! This played out before our eyes recently on national TV with the now infamous non-call that cost the Saints the opportunity to win and go on to the Super Bowl. You could debate that they still could have won, but the fact remains that had the interference call been properly made, they could have run out the clock and won the game.
Here is what I hope come out of this lesson:
- I hope the Saints don’t lose heart from this travesty. They are a great team and will be contenders next year as well.
- I hope that the rules change in the NFL to allow a coach to contest a pass interference. Had this opportunity been in place, a replay would have obviously enforced a penalty against the Rams.
- I hope we all are prepared for life to throw us a curve ball. The good news is that curve balls can be hit. We can survive regardless of what challenges we face.
This is not to take anything away from the Rams and their victory. It was not their issue and they played a great game. It just took some of the satisfaction out of the equation with the way it played out. It would have been fun to see Brady vs. Brees in the Super Bowl (maybe next year if they don’t retire). Of course, I hope the Cowboys are there next year! So in that case…we may never know what could have been.