Listening at the Speed of Life

– by C. J. Wade –



The Drug of Choice

Flight Write

Do you know my most prized possession of learned content from this weekend? Here it is…

You have to choose to live.

You must decide to let life enter your situations and experiences.  You have to go to the door of your life, your “house,” and promptly let death out. He can come in many forms… defeat, illness, strife, anger, frustration, or despair.  They all have the same result — death.

Furthermore, death in mind is worse than death of body.  Your mind can be fresh and agile while your body is weak.  People have overcome life-threatening situations by the power of their mind.  Trying to override a matter of reality through the mystery of mental prowess can be a daunting challenge.  Everything outside of you says to quit, roll over in anguish, pull the covers over your head and don’t even try to fight.  You have to choose, right then, that your life is worth fighting for — regardless of who is in it, around it, or absent from it.

Choice is a powerful drug. 

It can cause you to accomplish great things and to clear hurdles taller than you or it can bring the onset of your demise.  It, like any other prescription, can be taken at will.  Even medicine forced through the veins must have consent.  Well, let me tell you something.  God gave you the prescription of making decisions… choices… also known as free will.  He could have pumped you up with a lot of bondage, especially when the decisions you made were not in your best interest.  Truth is, choice is potent and He knew that if you chose the negative for yourself, you would most likely remember not to do it again.  In the positive realm, that’s how life is.  When you choose life once, you will most likely choose it again because you liked the way it made you feel alive and present.  You’ll like the energizing warmth that brings you to smile and mean it from the depths of your being.  You’ll love the sound of your own laughter when it echoes through the halls of your soul.  You’ll enjoy soaking it all in with no gates in between.

When you kick death out of your residence, you make the decision to live in your “house.”  You utilize the keys and access the deadbolts on your potential.  Who wants to be a prisoner in the confines of themselves? No, you will not curl up and disintegrate in the dark corners of your mind.  You will go in your medicine cabinet and reach for CHOICE.  Pop a few affirmations, scriptures, community service, or local kindness (where you assist the person nearest you).  It may be hard to swallow because your reflexes say to gag and remain sour or lackadaisical, but ingest the choice to breathe in life.  Feel it in your lungs as you’re grateful for the air.  Feel it around  your waist as your hug yourself and on your hips as your hands confidently rest there.

You matter and you deserve to live EVERYDAY, not just on vacation.

You deserve to feel radiant whether you’re in a mansion or a halfway house. 

Let the choice of living digest and before you know it, you’re in the moment.  You’re dancing, smiling, reading, exercising, driving, and loving yourself in the decision you made.  You evicted death and he no longer roams freely about the rooms of your obligations such as mom, dad, caregiver, friend, etc.  He’ll try to get in, but you’ll be ready with your medicinal weapon… DECISION.

No More Muddy Tracks

Sleeping dogs can't lie.

I have a dog… a puppy, actually.

For those who know me, your eyes probably just doubled in size. You may recall my life-long fright of four-legged canines of any size. What can I say? Things change and I truly believe he was meant to be my dog. I have seen more sunrises than I intended and heard more from God than I expected since Sammy’s paws stepped into my world. One of these lessons occurred on a cold and rainy day in Birmingham, Alabama.

There I was… praying that my dog would hurry up and relieve himself so I could dry my soles in the comfort of my heated home. It was the unforgiving wind coupled with rain that created an unholy matrimony for a bitter attitude to flourish. Sammy wasn’t a fan of the wind, but he enjoyed licking raindrops from the grass blades and slurping water from the mini-pools along the path. I felt myself getting frustrated.

“C’mon, Sammy… just use it already,” I muttered under my scarf. “Stay focused.”

He couldn’t care less about my rising flame of frustrated funk and was having the time of his life. The puppy pad was not an option; Being a chew toy was its demise. The doggie booties were returned to the store; I never got past one staying on without him taking it off. Apparently, being naked outside was his state of choice for the moment and I had better deal with it… mud, wind, rain, and all.

Finally, relief came and I was beyond elated to get inside. Oh, sweet victory! I wanted to rush us in, but I forgot the wipe towel and growled at myself. Sammy licked his paws in nonchalance, then proceeded inside.

“No! I do NOT want muddy tracks in my house! Let’s leave the outside, OUTSIDE!”

As soon as they left my lips, I heard the resonance of that string of words in my spirit… No muddy tracks.

I thought of how many times the past has tracked into our future. To scale down, how many times has a negative experience from your day – the “outside” – dribbled into your home as soon as you walked in it? You stepped in it earlier in the day. It’s stubborn and even satisfying to wallow in for a small length of time. When you walk inside, you realize it’s still there. It also takes more than water to remove it, but that’s for a different post. *wink* If we go a bit deeper, think of moments when a sour word, bad customer service experience, or a disagreement with someone disrupted the peace in which your soul was bathing.

It’s easy to allow the residue from situations of anger, sadness, mistrust, or resentment to transfer to the walls and floors of your inner sanctuary, and it can be quite difficult to remove it. Even temporary tattoos can linger around for a while.  That’s the where the peace of God steps in like a centurion (Philippians 4:7). It can see the danger of allowing unwanted visitors past the gate and the mud underneath their feet. While you’re focusing on the rain and the wind, peace stands guard to protect your heart and mind from receiving the muddy tracks those situations can leave on your soul.

Take a stand and be resolved. In light of it still being the first month, we have built a fire around resolutions and expectations to warm us throughout the new year. Let’s include the fortitude of throwing muddy tracks into that flame.

Peace & Thanks for listening.

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