Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Am I My Sister’s Keeper?

For the past month or more, I have been preoccupied with the question, Am I My Sister’s Keeper. As I began thinking about the answer to the question, one my co-workers asked me, after I requested some help from her, “Am I my sister’s keeper?” (That made me laugh) Before I go any further, MY answer to the question is as it was to her that day….an unequivocal and resounding, yes! You have to answer the question for yourself. You may be asking…. Why? Why am I my sister’s keeper? I am glad you asked, let’s talk about it.

This blog could easily be gender neutral, but it was specifically focused at women because I think men do a better job of establishing and upholding the “brotherhood” or “band of brothers” than do their counterparts. Women seem to have a tougher time rallying around one another and supporting one another in a way that parallels most men’s support of one another. I think that is because from a young age we learn to be catty and jealous of one another. We view one another as competition.

All of us have experienced the grace, mercy, and favor of God, but some of us have not capitalized on it. Those of us who have tapped into the power using it to better our lives and to heal our families have a responsibility to those who do not yet understand the measure of God’s power to heal, set free, and deliver. We cannot walk around rich with power, blessings overflowing, and watch our sisters (brothers) struggle through life broke, broke down (powerless), and in the same breath talk about God’s goodness. Is that goodness only reserved for us? Why would you not want another sister to experience and bask in that same goodness? Why would you not want to see a sister progress, prosper, grow, or change?

You might say, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink. That is true. Certainly, some women do not want to change or do not know enough to know they need to change. We (in the natural) do not have the power, patience, wisdom, knowledge, persistence, and the two major keys love and acceptance to change anyone. God may use us as instruments of change (through our walk, testimony or ministry), but ultimately it is He who brings the change and transforms their lives in a meaningful way. You cannot control or change others. In order for people to change they have to want to change, they have to submit themselves by being teachable, and then they have to put action to what they have learned… Doing what they know, instead of just knowing what they know. Our responsibility in the meantime is prayer and understanding, not judgment and condemnation.

A sister may just need a hand, lift, push, or pull to get her act together. If you are doing well in a certain area of your life or you have mastered a particular life challenge, why not help a sister who is struggling in that area. You will be blessed by the encounter and richer for the experience, especially when you see the transformation manifest in her life.

Am I My Sister’s Keeper? Yes indeed… I am! Are you?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Road Less Traveled

Has anyone ever been sharing their newest plan or venture with you and you ended up wondering why they were choosing that specific route, path, or journey? Of course this wondering is based on what you know about them and their personality. In your mind, the plan makes absolutely no sense. (I can hear you now...you are going to do what?!) However, the plan seems to make perfect sense to them.

I have been guilty of making this type of judgment. But since I have been convicted of being judgmental, my eyes have been opened to how our own journey makes us question the journey of others. We see the world through our own lenses and experiences and we make judgements based on the success or failure of those experiences.

We have to learn to live and let live! Everything and everyone has a purpose!! The unique anointing on YOUR life is not going to help me accomplish MY purpose and MY unique anointing is not going to help you accomplish your purpose. Basically, you have to do you, and I have to do me. The journey or path we choose shapes and molds us (hopefully in a positive way). But even when we make bad choices or things do not go as we planned, our missteps and mistakes can bless us and help us grow (if we choose to learn from them and not let them destroy us).

Everyone has to choose their own path. The fact that you did not or would not choose the road or map out the plan that a friend or loved one chooses doesn’t make it a bad or the wrong choice. It is just different and part of THEIR learning, growth, and purpose.

The journey someone else takes may seem unconventional, wasteful, and even useless. It very well may be...for YOU, but not for them. Sometimes the shortest distance between two points is NOT a straight line, in terms of learning and growth, we may have to take a different route to get to the successful end of our journey.

It has been said that the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason. That may or may not be true in every case. Next time you are privileged enough for someone to share with you their hopes and dreams, listen with an open mind and an open heart! The road less traveled often leads to good success!