It’s Up to You

30 07 2017

This is going to be short today so bear with me.

As a child it seemed that disappointment and failure were attributes that would follow Rock _nme all the days of my life. I didn’t learn to read like most kids and learning was difficult. One psychologist at a well-known hospital told my mother I would never rise above a 6th grade level in my intelligence and personality. I couldn’t swim or ride a bike no matter how much I tried or who was trying to help me. When I tried my hand at learning to play guitar, the instructor, after several lessons, said it was a waste of his time and my mom’s money to keep trying; I just didn’t have it. Throw in a great uncle, my main male role model, who constantly reminded me of my short comings and, well, you can see how any child would have low self-esteem with early building blocks such as these. For a period of time, I was resolved that this would be my course in life, nothing to build on, and nothing to offer anyone else; just another statistic of a fatherless boy with no direction. But ya know, I’ve learned for every hopeless person as I and others saw me, there’s generally someone who doesn’t buy into the stereotype tag placed on that individual. For me that would have been my mom and Great Aunt Pearl.

Like any mother, Ma was always in my corner telling me I was better than people said; that I could and would rise above all the problems. And I appreciate all her loving support, but it was actually something Pearl once said that perhaps got the ball rolling in right direction. “Johnny, I believe in you, your mother does, and I know God has something better in store for you. But that means nothing until one thing happens; you have to believe in yourself the most.”

“You weren’t an accident. You weren’t mass produced. You aren’t an assembly-line product. You were deliberately planned, specifically gifted, and lovingly positioned on the earth by the Master Craftsman.” Max Lucado

It took years for me to see my beginning did not have to determine the end product; God has a special purpose for me with talents He provides to make me into the person He wants me to be.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

I could go into a lot more detail, but I said I want to keep this short.  It wasn’t until the words of my Pearly Mae came home to roost that a difference started to emerge. I had to believe in myself, not in an arrogant way, but in the belief that God had something more for this “Traveler of the Rock Road” than what others claimed. God put it there; it was up to me to decide if I would go after it.

Over the years I conquered the skill of reading and many of those other short comings. I am a college graduate with honors, I have competed in numerous triathlons, while at the same time biking thousands of miles every year, and ones that know me will attest to the fact that I can hold my own on a couple of musical instruments. Again! This is not to blow my own horn; I’m still not the sharpest knife in the drawer and if you take all my accomplishments and $5 to Micky D’s, you can get yourself a happy meal! I’m saying if this is what God can do for me, imagine what He can do for you. Amen?

I write this today with one person in mind that is struggling to believe in himself and what God can do through him; I know he’ll be reading this and I hope he takes my words to heart. I believe that’s why God made me a writer; if I can get just one person to buy into what I’m saying, then it’s worth every dotted I and crossed T.

Let me close with two of my favorite sayings that summarize the point.

“If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning… Face it, friend. He is crazy about you!”

“God loves you just the way you are, but He refuses to leave you that way. He wants you to be just like Jesus.”

The rest, Friends and Family, is up to you.

See ya next time.


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