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Proactive Patience pt.1

Google defines the word proactive as “creating or controlling a situation by causing something to happen rather than responding to it after it has happened.” This is part 1 of this blog series and I will be sharing my thoughts on what the Bible has to say specifically about being proactive in our lives.

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Being proactive is something that any individual trying to foster success has to do. It means, not sitting and waiting without taking proper preparation for when that opportunity does arise, and that is a fine line for many people to balance. I often find myself thinking, “How do I wait to see where God is leading me, but still prepare myself for when He opens the door?” Being proactive can be one of the biggest ways to be a witness for the Gospel. It shows to those around you that you trust God is taking you places even when the destination is not always apparent. The biggest key to this lifestyle is the shifting away from simply being reactive. 

Being a reactivate person will often lead to the situations of life dictating the choices that are made. With this being said, many people are living their lives as chameleons in the sense that they will blend in with whatever makes up their surroundings. Where we are and who we hang around with, have heavy influences on the choices  we make. This is  human nature because we were designed to be in community with one another. It is also why Psalm 1 verse 1 states, “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers” (NIV). Scripture warns us about the company we keep and where we choose to spend our time because of how much influence these factors have on each stage of our character developments. The first and most important area of our lives in which we have to be proactive is our minds. 

Our minds are an extremely marvelous yet fragile part of human existence, and it is important what we allow to enter but especially important on what we allow to linger. This is especially the case whenever we are in chapters of our life when we have to practice patience. It is easy to become impatient with the process when the constant pressures of success and competition are all we see on social media. But we have to remember that the journey is equally important to the destination. This is why as long as we do our part and leave the rest to God, He will bring us along the path that we are supposed to take.

Here are some verses that encourage me to remain proactive in all areas of my life.

Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, (NIV)

Proverbs 14:23 All hard work brings a profit,
but mere talk leads only to poverty. (NIV)

2 Timothy 2:6 The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. (NIV)

Persevering Change

The only word I can use that adequately describes how I am feeling at the moment is numb. I am feeling numb because yet another person of color, this time a black woman, has failed to receive proper justice. There seemed to be no remorse from the people that took her life, not even an admittance that things should have been handled differently. These developments are a reminder of what happens when the system was never designed for you. I can talk for hours and hours about “the system”, however I want to focus on how I went from feeling tired, discouraged, and hopeless, to remembering how important it is to continue to remain hopeful even in the face of despair. 

Galatians 6:9, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (NIV)” 

This verse manifested in my head after I read the verdict from the Breonna Taylor investigation. (This must be why my parents, and so many other older Christian influences, have always stressed knowing scripture because it is meant to be a guide for our lives.) I immediately felt encouraged to continue to stand for what is right. To not be discouraged in speaking up for the oppressed and reminding people of the humanity of others. To continue to advocate for those who have no voice, but deserve to have one. Many times it can seem like change is so far away, or that it is taking too long. but I’ll leave you with this analogy as a final word of encouragement. During this period of changing seasons remember that even the biggest trees only change color one leaf at a time. So be that first leaf on the tree of change that is 2020!!

Remember that it is understandable to feel tired, discouraged, and mentally exhausted, but scripture encourages us to not give up. Do not give in to the selfish desires of self preservation at the expense of others but to remember to live your life to help others. This does not mean to stop trying to succeed, but rather to use your success as a catalyst for the success of others. To continue to use what you do best for the betterment of your community, big or small. 

Let me know how you guys are feeling during this period of the continued rollercoaster that is 2020.

Overcoming the Noise

A lot of times the noises of life distract me from what I am actually supposed to be doing. The trials of each day make it extremely easy to forget about what really matters in the bigger picture, and life starts to revolve around solving short term problems instead of making lasting impact. These distractions are not necessarily bad in themselves, however they can become all-consuming when they are chased in excess. This is why people can be extremely successful according to worldly standards yet still feel so empty. The man-made constructs of wealth, luxury, and status can never be truly fulfilling because there is never an end. There is always more money, cars, and power which ultimately leads to an unending and unsatisfying pursuit of these things.

It is important to be a productive member of society, and it is not a bad thing to have a large amount of resources. However what is more important, is how these resources are utilized by the wielder. The great thing is that anything can be classified as a resource. The wide spectrum of resources include everything from money, land, and buildings to time, mentoring and service. A concept that I have struggled with greatly being a recent college graduate is how can my limited resources be of use in furthering Christ’s kingdom here on earth. I had this spectacular idea all planned out that after gaining more connections, money, and influence I would finally be ready to start giving back to the community. I fell into the trap of thinking that I am not enough right now given my current capacities but somehow I would become enough if given enough time? I wanted to know what the Bible had to say about this and I began to explore the story of Moses more.

For those not familiar with the story I will include this link to the book of Exodus if you want to read it for yourself , https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus%201&version=NIV, but a brief summary is that in this part of the story, Moses had just spent multiple decades in the wilderness as a shepherd after fleeing the city of Egypt. He had done so to escape being tried for the murder of a cruel Egyptian guard. It was after these dozens of years that God came to Moses and told him that he was going to be the leader for the Israelite people during their mass exodus out of their bondage.

Moses was clearly shocked at these developments because he himself asked in Exodus chapter 3 verse 11, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”(NIV) The Lord goes on to explain to Moses that Moses is the one that has to do it but clearly doubt lingers in his mind (I can not speak for you but this same repetitive doubt has definitely made its way into my mind many times). In chapter 4 of Exodus verses 10-12 “Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” 11 The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” (NIV) Even after this reaffirmation Moses is still troubled with his lack of public speaking (sounds like a lot of us) and God finally sends him Aaron who will speak for him, simply to put his mind at ease. So finally Moses agrees to travel to the city and God delivers the Israelite people out of Egypt with Moses leading them.

When God first told Moses that he had been chosen to lead the chosen people, Moses himself tried to tell God that he could not do it and was not ready. Moses had expectations of what a leader was and did not think that he fit the criteria. However God does not see us for what we lack, rather He sees us for what we already have. This is why He is able to use anyone, because He takes the little that we have and magnifies it. It is in this sense that we as a community need to stop thinking about how one day we will do this or in the future we would love to do that, but rather we need to focus on how we can be doing something today, right at this very moment. This mindset of furthering God’s Kingdom now, should be implemented in all areas of our life.

Thank you for reading and leave a comment if you want to continue the conversation or contact me via email if you want to do so privately. Until next time.

Garrisson Duvivier

The Purpose Behind the Journey

The goal of this blog will be to explore Biblical principles in the context of modern times. I hope that whoever is reading this is able to come away with a word or idea that will enrich your life. Leave a comment below of topics you have questions about or things you would like to see explored and hopefully we can get to them in the days and weeks to come.

“Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter.” — Izaak Walton

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