UNPLUGGED

IMG_5692I was sitting in Starbucks today working on another chapter of my dissertation. This chapter has taken longer than I like to admit and requires lots of revision. Though I’m a bit frustrated by the process, I know that consistency is key. Before I got started, I plugged my computer into the outlet and connected my headphones into the computer socket. You’ll never guess what happened a short while later.

Yes, I knocked my hot mocha with an extra shot of expresso onto my keyboard. In a panic, I flipped my computer over in an attempt to drain the coffee from the keyboard as I went to grab napkins to clean the mess. When I returned, I repositioned the computer to wipe away the coffee. After I made sure that my keyboard still functioned, I resumed working. A little while later, I get a notification from my laptop alerting me of a low battery. Immediately, I looked at my charging port only to discover that it had become unplugged.  I reconnected my charger to the laptop and it was then that the revelation was made clear.

More times than not, I become unplugged in the middle of a stressful time. It is in these moments when I tend to become stagnate in my walk with God and even lose a bit of fervency. Sometimes I flounder around trying to remember exactly when I became unplugged. Maybe it was that morning that God woke me up at 5a.m to pray but I rolled over ignoring his tug. Perhaps it was that time that the Holy Spirit told me not to watch that tv show but I overruled him because it was popular. Or, it could’ve been that lonely night that I texted that guy who I knew was no good for me. Whatever the case, I have become unplugged often, and it’s not until I’m in danger of dying–one way or another–that I try to quickly plug back into the power source.

But, what if I always ensure that I’m plugged into God? What if I take those extra moments at night to pray? Perhaps I can even put my phone on “do not disturb” more often to ensure that I’m operating at my highest capacity. Whatever the case, I must do better at paying attention to when I’m on a spiritual decline. I must remember that every moment that I’m not being recharged, I am dying.

So, I want to encourage you to remember to check your battery frequently. Remind yourself daily to take the time to recharge your spirit just as much–if not more–as you charge your electronics. What a shame it would be if we looked for the power source and couldn’t reach it in time.

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Dangers of Coming into Agreement with Others’ Perspective

As the year comes to a close, I notice that so many people are saying that 2017 was a horrible year.

Throw 2017 away!

I, myself, started to rehearse the same ideology before I knew it. It’s interesting because 2017 has not been bad to me. In fact, it’s been a great year…a season of firsts. So why did I start to feel and rehearse the same words that I heard others say? Because of the power of words!

About mid-year, I started to hear people lament about the horrors of  2017. In passing conversations or more one-on-one interactions, individuals would just pour out the contents of their hearts and I would respond with encouragement. However, what I didn’t realize is that I started to internalize some of their issues as I saw similarities in my own life.

Sometimes we don’t realize the power of others’ words. Now, I’m not saying this in an overly religious space, but in a very real sense. When we engage in conversations with others, seeds are always planted whether fruitful or not so fruitful. And, if we aren’t careful, we may allow those bad seeds to harvest. Therefore, we have to actively guard our hearts especially if we are in similar struggles.

It’s interesting though because the negative perception of 2017 did not begin to manifest in my life until September. I experienced a form of disappointment that I really didn’t anticipate and it kind of knocked the breath out of me. In November, I struggled extremely in the area of my emotions and started to say, “2017 is a horrible year.” My emotions were out of wack and the enemy used this one event to muzzle me. He caused me to believe that my circumstances were far worst than they were and he magnified my shortcomings.

I had to pray for a new perspective on my life. I had to ask God to remind me of his sovereignty even when I didn’t understand. I had to remind myself who I was in Christ. This process didn’t happen over night. In fact, I had to fast for a few day to reposition myself, but it worked.

I’m writing to encourage you not to take lightly the power of words. I want to caution you against accepting the beliefs of others and taking on their ways of thinking because they seem familiar. Instead, lean into God and ask him to give you the heavenly perspective on your situation because more times than not, we understand in part.