Lately I had been feeling clogged.  By what, I didn’t actually know.  I couldn’t place the malaise that tried to steal each day away.  It didn’t help that people kept dying.  Another one too young.  Another, well-aged but no less painful.  Even my friend’s triumphs in things we had both prayed about for her were dull evidence of my own hopelessness.  Works out for you but not for me.

I can’t put my finger on where this came from in spite of all the tools and support surrounding me.  I can only attribute it to the things I’d been lying about and refusing to say.  It was that person I would not love because loving him with no evidence of reciprocation would be the most humiliating death.  Silly maybe, but the mind and its pride have ways of sapping the logic from your thoughts.

It was the choices I refused to make.  The risks I refused to take.  The questions I was not going to ask.  All that was packed in.  It was my nature denied.  Apparently love stuffed down becomes mind-altering poison.  Who knew?

Then I realized that these denials and refusals were an excuse to do nothing and be miserable–a quiet, impotent emotional suicide.  I’d made a pact with sorrow: You can live here as long as I don’t have to be responsible for anything.  Sit on my chest and I’ll make do with raspy breaths as long as I can wallow uninterrupted.

The trick, though, is that somewhere I’d forgotten that I’d invited sorrow to live with me.  Squatter-sorrow is never satisfied with just sitting on your chest.  It wants all your life.  It wants to be the only thing.  I had let it in and I was drowning, barely able to move and unable to find the clog that let sorrow fill up to my neck.

As it reached my nose, I wondered whether I should bother fighting.  I didn’t want to participate in this anymore.  Might as well let it win.  I thought of what A.R. Bernard always says: Suicide is a permanent solution for temporary problems.  An emotional suicide–giving up all hope and resigning myself to being a pretty shell harboring a drowned spirit–may not be physical but can be just as final.

Ecclesiastes to the rescue…again

What stands in opposition to misery and defeat?  FAITH:

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?
I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.
He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.
(Ecclesiastes 3:1-11)

With a simple sigh, I dipped my head deeper in the sorrow, reached for the plug and pulled.  Sorrow, our agreement is done.  Let’s see where faith leads me.


Church @ CCC w/Pastor A.R. Bernard a few weeks ago provided an abundance of inspiration that I’d like to share:

Lesson: Plant Seeds Now

“He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.”  (Ecclesiastes 11:4)

Don’t wait for ideal conditions.  Only sowers reap. That is the antidote to my chronic procrastination of which I may never be cured.  Whenever the procrastination shows up, I can hold this verse up against it and melt it away.

Lesson: Determination

“Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.  And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.  But he answered her not a word.  And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.  But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.   Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.  But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.  And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.  Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt.  And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.” (Matthew 15:21-28)

When your faith is strong, no adversity, unkind word or gesture will turn you from your plea. No pride. Nothing.  Just faith.  It doesn’t matter what people think.  Doesn’t matter if they push you aside.

Determination and resolution are keys to success.  Successful people are willing to take risks.  Successful people accept failure.  They do not avoid it.  They review and examine failure and adjust to see how they can win.  If you are afraid of failure and, especially, rejection, you will never experience success.

People who are easily offended are not truly successful.  Imagine how distracting the naysayers would be as you climb to your pinnacle if you actually listened.  You wouldn’t make it.

At the end of your life, God would rather see the cluttered pages of your trying rather than the blank pages of your giving up.  Life is a fight for territory.  When you stop fighting for what you want, what you don’t want will take its place.  What will you let inhabit the territory in your life?

Live by faith.  Take action in the face of no agreement and adversity and claim the success that is your BIRTHRIGHT.

So right here, in front of every-none, I claim YOU.  I claim you exactly as my birthright and yours demands.  And YOU I claim exactly as I dreamed you.  And THAT exactly as I need it.  And EVERYTHING exactly as I hoped, dreamed, prayed for.

That is my birthright.  Success is MY birthright awaiting my claim.

This is not simple, wishy-washy, hopeful positive thinking.  This is my declaration, the promise of a Naija warrior, child of lights, survivor, conqueror.  Count on this.  Mark my words.