The Good, The Bad and The Worthy

5 years ago

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“You should live every day like it’s your last day because one day you’re gonna be right.”
-Ray Charles

Anybody who knows me knows that I do what I want. Or maybe I should rephrase that – I only do what I want to do. I mean in my leisure time/me time, not like work and hold doors open for people. If I don’t want to do it, I don’t. If I don’t want to go with y’all, I don’t. If I don’t want to participate on that committee, I don’t. And on.

And I don’t think it would surprise anyone who truly knows me -  if I went sky diving. Or bird watching. Or quit my job to move to Paris. Or moved to an island and just bartended and laid out on the beach. Or if I started an organization. Got married. Adopted a baby by myself. Ran for office. Wrote a novel. Became a real estate maven. Moved to India for six months…ok well maybe not India. The point is, people who know me know that I do what I want. And I make sure what I do brings me joy.

Accentuate the positives, eliminate the negatives. And all that jazz.

Last week I was a front row witness to some relationship foolishness. This dude I know was essentially disrespecting two ladies to the utmost of levels. He was trying to “break” up with a “crazy” one (who allegedly wouldn’t let him go), while keeping his “real love” on the back burner with plans to “propose” to her as soon as he ended things with cray cray. Mmmmhmmmm… Do you see my face?

Somewhere in the midst of his stammering and his seemingly empty promises of what he was “gon’ do for real this time,” the words my granny has been saying for the past few years as she remarks on the seemingly foolish choices of other women who are busy clinging, waiting, begging, losing their minds for or over a man:

“Baby, you can do bad by all by yourself.”

Suddenly, as my friend spun his tale of  nonsense, my granny did not sound like a cliched Tyler Perry character, but a woman who knows what she talmbout.

Because this dude’s situation was like the missing puzzle, helped the light bulb go all the way on – that so many folks choose misery. Accept the hard way. Think that they constantly have to struggle and wrestle with somebody or something in order to really be “living”. And then they pull other folks into that despair. That muck. That mire. They play games. And abuse you. And hurt your feelings. And expect you to accept it. And now y’all are all dirty and miserable and mad at each other.

And who needs that?

When you can do bad all by yourself?

Certainly not I. The woman who does what she wants. And has no time for fake ones.

That was going to be the end of the post that has been swirling in my brain, but as I type this I have just returned from my church’s revival featuring the amazing Reverend Dr. James Forbes, Jr. And he preached from 1st Kings, 17-19th chapters, essentially. And he focused on Elijah and how he appears in the 17th chapter, seemingly out of nowhere. We only know his hometown and nothing more. “We don’t even know his mama’s name,” Dr. Forbes said. And yet, Elijah was plucked by God for a purpose – to be a prophet to a nation, a people who had turned their backs on God. And then Dr. Forbes asked this question:

What situation is happening today, that is calling you, that doesn’t sit right with you, that God has picked you, put you on this Earth for this very reason, at this very time, to respond to it? For what has he prepared you? What has he plucked you to do?

And that got me thinking:

Not that I can do bad all by myself, but instead:

What good can I do all by myself?

This woman who does what she wants. And has no time for fake ones. What do I want to make time for? Where do I want to do some good? And how do I incorporate that into this life I have created for myself where I try to choose joy at all times?

And can’t we all choose to do some good? For someone? Somewhere?

Don’t we owe it to ourselves and humanity as a whole to stop allowing the bad into our lives and try to find the good? Can’t we take conscious steps towards doing good for us? For someone else? Do we have it in us to really stop, think, pray, meditate, figure out, recognize that we are all created on purpose, for a purpose, to fulfill a purpose?

It doesn’t have to be a huge endeavor. Or take a lot of money. Or involve tons of people to help.

It can be simple, yet thoughtful.

But it should stretch us. Challenge us. Make us face the thing in this world that displeases us the most. And makes us uneasy. It should help the least of these. The voiceless. It should afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.

It should not only be what we want to do, but what we need to do that will make this world a better place. A safer place. A brighter place for someone else.

It should be done sooner rather than later because no one knows the day nor the hour.

It should enrich our lives and that of someone else.

It should be what we are called to do.

Our purpose.

What God has prepared us for.

Tonight I have been charged to figure out what good I want to do. All by myself.

What about you?

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