Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, IN EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. ~I Thessalonians 5:16-18 NKJV
It was one year, two weeks and a day ago that I stepped out of the shadow of fear and into the light of faith. I took the challenge of family and friends. I began blogging. I wasn’t very consistent, and I still haven’t found my “formula,” but I’m writing and that’s all that matters. So, to celebrate my blogging anniversary, I’m re-posting the inaugural post. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much today as the first time!
Cliche or not, at this very moment, it is the truest statement I am capable of making. It is one of those statements classified as tried and true: Today is the first day of the rest of my life! That being said, let me get on with my purpose for tapping the keyboard this day.
One said, I could do it. Another said, I should do it. I said, I want to do it. Only one voice said, “Do it!” It was the voice of the Creator calling from within–from the place where “it” resides.
There is a difference between doing and wanting to do. It is the same difference between living and existing, action and apathy, belief and doubt. In recognition of this difference, today I choose to spend the rest of my life not making the mistakes of my past. I choose to do it–whatever “it” may be. I choose to live and not merely exist. I choose to take action on my behalf and not apathetically watch the dates on the calendar roll by without fulfilling my purpose–on purpose. Furthermore, I choose to believe because doubt is no longer an option (as if it ever were).
There are as many excuses as there are days gone by to give as reasons for my delay in getting to it and getting it done. On one hand, they are not worth mentioning because I have finally stepped into it. On the other hand, to mention them is to expose some issues that plague us all and offer a helping hand and hope to those who are on the verge of giving up. My issues are not uncommon; they are just my issues. They may or may not be yours. In either case, they no longer serve as hinderances or roadblocks to my progress. They are now cautionary tales I share with others in order to extend the hand of Christ to anyone who may be sinking or on the verge of drowning so close to the shore.
If you’re expecting a short blog, permit me to apologize now because I cannot tell a short story which translates into my inability to write a short blog. If you find yourself thinking I’ve violated the principles of effective writing because I’ve mixed topics or you think I’ve gone off topic, be patient with me because there is a method to my madness and a purpose for each paragraph.
Over the years, I have adopted many mantras. The one perched on the tip of my fingers this morning is learn from my mistakes. Not too long ago, I heard within my spirit: Do over. It was the Holy Spirit of God encouraging me regarding a few poor choices and the negative consequences I found myself enduring because of them. I was frustrated with myself and my circumstances. I was in the midst of experiencing the greatest losses of my life (at that time). I was living under a cloud of dispair as thick as smoke stacks rising from a factory operating at full capacity. I did not see much good, yet good was all around and in every bit of that experience. Hindsight really is 20/20, and since receiving that whispered word, I have been given many mulligan moments. I am thankful for both the first instance and the do-over. I have benefited in the mistake and in the second chance.
Reflecting on that season of my life has led me to meditation upon the scripture as written in I Thessalonians 5:16-18, with emphasis on the first portion of verse 18–in everything give thanks. What I have come to appreciate now is the comfort in knowing nothing in this life is permanent–it is all temporary, passing, fading and forever changing, just like the seasons. In spite of the season we find ourselves in, we must persevere. Although we will experience loss, we must not fall prey to thinking we’ll never have anything lasting. Despite the fact that challenges are built into every decision, we must not become discouraged and give in to giving up. Instead, we should striveto understand the purpose of the season and ride it out. I am convinced that having an understanding of the season makes it bearable. In other words, although I am not a fan of winter, I recognize that one of winter’s purposes is to kill off disease. As you may imagine, I am less a fan of disease than I am winter. To that end, I endure the winter knowing it is preparing my world for a better spring–my favorite season. I now have a new perspective. I choose to be thankful for the winter because it is the beginning of my spring. As it relates to the blog project, the hardest part has been getting started. The dry season served the purpose of creating a thirst for the opening of the floodgates. It may have taken nearly two decades to get to this point, but I’m here now. I’m on my way, and this is just the beginning!
My mother shared a passage of scripture with me that compliments every season of my life: Ecclesiastes 7:8a, “The end of a thing is better than its beginning.” So, this is it, the initial blog. Whether or not it met your expectation (or mine), I give thanks in the midst of my beginning. I am grateful for not only saying what I want to do, but acting upon it and believing the God who prompted me by gifting me with both ability and desire. Yes, in the midst of it all, I give thanks. And, as amazing as it is to publish the first blog, I’m encouraged to know that some years down the line, when this seed has produced its fruit, I will rejoice even more.
What about you? What will you begin today? Whatever “it” may be, be thankful…!
Edited; First published as “In everything…”, Nov 12, 2013 by TBG as first blog post (blogger.com)