It's said somewhere "When I knew better I did better." Wow, how true! As I approach my birthday, I've been more retrospective than ever! I walked out of my house this a.m. and was grateful to God for bringing me out of Egypt! Egypt was a place of oppression, depression, stress, anxiety, dispair, and low-living. Two weeks ago I received this "coming out" revelation as I visited my old neighborhood in N.W. Wash. D.C. afterwhich, I couldn't help but praise God for the blessing of breakthrough!
People look at me and have all types of assumptions but no idea where I've been or what I've walked through. This morning I could've shouted the block down when I walked out of my door, knowing the ghettos and the burroughs in which I lived because I was trying to make a life for my daughter and I. I looked over at my car and remembered the days when I drove a 15yr OLD Toyota Celica which ran out of oil and broke down on the side of Baltimore/Washington Pkwy as I struggled to get to that $10 per hour paying job. Finally, everytime I spend quality time with my beautiful daughter, I praise God for how far our relationship has come over the past 19 years.
God's grace and mercy has been awesome as He has continued to "bring me out" through years! Out of ignorance, out of rebellion, and out of pride. However, this walk is not about the destination but about the journey in which I've learned things every step of the way. Here are the lessons I've learned:
"You don't know what you don't know." The Ignorance of (not) Knowing
Sometimes people get offended if you call them "ignorant". There's a difference between ignorance and stupidity. "Ignorance" is not having knowledge of. I recently took my midterm exam in International Relations and realized that I didn't know what I didn't know. Yes, I studied (somewhat) but felt a bit unprepared for some of the questions.
Lesson: Prepare myself to the best of my abilities, expect some challenges but trust God to "fill in the blanks" (of life).
"Yep, I know but I don't care!" The Rejection of Knowledge
I've found that I've caused the most damage or experienced the most heartache when I didn't heed the advice from the Word or from those wise individuals around me.
Lesson: Seek out knowledge and wise counsel. Ensure I surround myself with the "right people". For real, if I'm the smartest one in my group then I must be in the wrong group!
"Wow, I never knew!" The Realization of Knowledge
Chaplain Maurice Buford use to say "You're either green and growing or you're dead". What does that actually mean? Think of a plant, as it continues to RECEIVE its daily daily nutrients, it continues to grow. However, as soon as it stops RECEIVING it starts dying! What a wonderful revelation!
Lesson: Everyday I task myself to learn at least 3 new things, whether it's a new word in my vocabulary, a new way of doing something, or a new paradigm (way of thinking about something). That way I will always stay fresh, innovative, and active.
"I knew......., so I........!" (Wisdom) The Application of Knowledge
Knowing I should save money does me NO good unless I ACTUALLY put aside money every payday. "Knowing" I should be careful of the language I use (because it's a reflection of who and what I represent) does me NO good unless, when I'm tested, I choose words more suitable to calm myself and the situation.
Lesson: Do what I can, when I can, where I can, how I can, and in the right way. Don't wait or procrastinate the application of His word or teachings given by worthwhile leaders. Carpe Diem....do what is right, right away!
In closing, I am grateful for another year of manifestation, impact, and change! These last ____ years has been an interesting ride, I can't wait to see how the other ______ years will be!
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; wisdom and instruction fools despise.