I am going to just go ahead a lay all of my cards on the table, be real with you, “Keep it 100 (pronounced one hunnnet),” as the young people say. “These are my confessions…” (lol) I didn’t feel like blogging today.
Let us begin.
There is probably one key phrase that every child who grew up in a black household should know. Mama, auntie, and Big Mama had a declaration long before Beyoncé released any of her women empowerment anthems. When told to do something, whether cleaning your rooms, putting on your shoes, or going to get a glass of ice water, there was one response that was released when asking the question, “Why?” “BECAUSE I SAID SO!” Those four words were more than enough reason to get up off your rusty dusty and do what she said before she grabbed a belt, switch, wooden spoon, or one of those dirty peep-toe house slippers that seemed to only come in the color choices of pink, blue or white. You know what I’m talking about, but I’ll digress. When that mama figure said, “Because I said so,” we scurried like roaches because we already knew asking her why we had to do what she told us to do was disrespectful as is. There was NO need to add fuel to her fire by acting like we weren’t gonna bust a move and risk her saying, “Don’t make me tell you twice!”
“Don’t let your mouth write a check that your butt can’t cash,” and “A hard head makes for a soft behind,” are a couple of other notable catch phrases that could be heard in the black household. My all time favorite was, “Do it again!” It was both a command and a threat. P.S. It’s a trick! NEVER do it again unless you don’t mind being knocked in the floor.
“Because I said so” – Being obedient because a figure of authority gave a command.
Though I have enjoyed strolling down memory lane reminiscing on all of the butt whoopings I should have gotten but was spared from (sounds like grace to me *quickens violently*), this blog isn’t about the definition given above.
Back to what I was saying when I first started typing; I didn’t feel like blogging today. I didn’t post a blog last week, and I kept hearing the words of my best friend ring in my head, “Post anyway even if it’s not perfect. Post something. Be consistent. Don’t leave your readers without something to read.” I wrestled hard last week, but I just didn’t feel inspired. It’s not that I couldn’t piece something together, it is that I was tired. I had a rough night the evening before, I got little to no sleep, my emotions were all over the place, my mind was foggy, and I needed a break to recoup, so I didn’t blog.
Typically by the beginning of the week, I know what I want to say. I am inspired by the practical life revelations, and a lot of that is realized by the word/sermon that I hear in church on Sunday. So when this week rolled around and I had NOTHING despite an amazing sermon last Sunday, I began to bargain with myself that maybe I could let According to Chris rest for another week. Last week I wrestled. This week I was settled. It seemed as if I had nothing significant to share. I’m not battling depression, I’m not fighting against the command to forgive anyone (though I will blog about forgiveness again soon), I’m not taking any major leaps this week, and I didn’t have any spectacular revelations, or so I thought. The answer was simple: post an announcement saying, “There will be no #ThoughtfulThursday post today…again,” and keep it moving.
Then God showed me something…
“Because I said so” – Being obedient in honor of a vow or covenant you made
Let me just interject my thought by saying God has a way of yoking me up by the collar on a regular basis.
Here’s the truth, when I decided not to post last week, I figured people would be understanding. And when deciding not to post again this week, I assumed no one would care. I began to tell myself that this weekly post was nothing more than a hobby when in fact, it is an assignment. If you aren’t careful, your break to recoup can become the breeding ground for excuses, and as time progresses, it will become easier decide to not do what you’re supposed to do. No worries, I’ll explain. There are days when I don’t feel like doing work at work. (Don’t judge me, judge your 5th grade Family Life teacher). There are tasks with recommended daily upkeep, and then there are tasks with a deadline attached to them. Because I am a procrastinator by nature and I work well in crunch time, I will sometimes give into my “I don’t feel like working today” mood. Unfortunately, each day can come with it’s own set of assignments, and sometimes I am stuck writing the unfinished bullet point’s from yesterday’s To Do List onto the list of today. I am faced to complete double the work with far less energy, motivation, or time to do it. This is a metaphor for what can happen during your recoup period if it is extended too long: the work in which you are assigned to do keeps piling up, and if you are not careful, it is easier to walk away from the proverbial stack of papers on your desk than to dig through them. Just the same, if not careful the time of rest can become an opportunity to become unmotivated. The rest feels good because you are out of the hustle, bustle, and press; I get it. It felt good last week to not have to be vulnerable and go through my range of emotions as I poured out my heart. What I wasn’t expecting was the deception that what I offered isn’t necessary and wouldn’t be missed to rise up within me. For about two shakes of a lambs tail, I reckoned that I’d go back to the way things where: I’d write when I felt like it and not because God told me to because who wanted or needed to hear my life story anyway? The devil is a liar and loser! Being stagnant for too long almost made me get comfortable with the idea of stopping altogether.
“What did I say?” was another catch phrase that my Mama would say when I questioned what she told me to do. So when I settled that I wasn’t going to fulfill my assignment again this week, I was expecting God to ask me, “What did I say?” Funny thing – instead of asking me remind him of what he told me to do, he asked, “What did you say?”
“When you make a vow to God, your God, don’t put off keeping it. God, your God, expects you to keep it, and if you don’t you’re guilty. But if you don’t make a vow in the first place, there’s no sin. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. Keep the vow you willingly vowed to God, your God. You promised it, so do it.“
Deuteronomy 23:21-23 [The Message Bible]
A while ago, God revealed to me his desired assignment for this season of my life. He showed me what he wanted to do for, with, and through me. Of course he didn’t reveal all of the actual factuals lest I say, “Nah, bruh,” or take on a pseudo God complex and try to figure out how to do it all by myself. When considering that I wanted to be in his will and do things his way, I said, “Yes, Lord.”
My “Yes, Lord” = my vow = “Because I said so.”
Life, wisdom, and especially maturity makes you do things not just because someone told you to do it, but because you said that you would. When I was a kid, I could make a promise to my friends, opt out of it, and suffer through the “You’re not my friend anymore,” declaration because I knew that in a matter of minutes, we’d be friends again. My #Journeyto 30 coupled with a few years under my belt, I have learned the value of my word. “Word is bond,” as my cousin used to say. This scripture reminded me that it was ME who made a vow with God…my God, and if I don’t keep, I am guilty. Guilty of what? I’m guilty of lying, breaking covenant, and not holding up my end of the bargain.
I can remember an instance when a friend and I were supposed to go half on a gift for another friend. Unfortunately, Friend A who was supposed to put in money didn’t have it on her at the time. Because the gift still needed to be purchased for Friend B, I offered to pay for it all up front and be reimbursed. Well you know how this story goes… The gift for Friend B was purchased and ready to be adorned in wrapping paper when all of a sudden Friend A had insufficient funds. How convenient! I was stuck with the entire bill because Friend A backed out on her vow to pay me back. What did this mean? It meant that I loss a bit trust in Friend A making it difficult for me to believe that she’d fulfill any of her future promises. From then on, I questioned her word. Furthermore, it meant that I had invested and made provisions with no hope of reaping a return…at least from her. (You reap what you sow not necessarily where you sow. Put that in your back pocket for another blog.)
That is how it looks when we make a vow to God and break it.
Doesn’t it bother you when people make you promises then turn around and fall through? What woman wouldn’t be pissed with her beautician for rescheduling the hair appointment after she already taken out her sew-in? We don’t like it when people stand us up or renege on us whether it’s in a game of spades of in the game of life. It’s upsetting, disappointing, and hurtful. It wastes your time, your investment, and your interest. So why do we do the same to God?
When I said, “Yes, Lord” to God, he equipped me with what I needed to complete the assignments he set before me. That was his end of the bargain. It is like when a record label gives an advance to a producer or artist to complete an album. What that artist can’t do is not record that album with the excuse that he/she didn’t have the resources. The question would become, “What did you do with the resources?” That individual would be guilty of stealing because he/she mismanaged what was provided. Me opting to skip out of a few blogs or ultimately forfeiting my assignment altogether would mean that I mismanaged what God gave me to get the job done.
“When you tell God you’ll do something, do it – now. God takes no pleasure foolish gabble. Vow it, then do it. Far better not to vow in the first place than to vow and not pay up. Don’t let your mouth make a total sinner of you. When called to account, you won’t get by with ‘Sorry, I didn’t mean it.”
Ecclesiastes 5:4-6 [The Message Bible]
My love, no one said fulfilling your purpose was easy. There’s a grind to it, hustle and bustle, prayers, tears, failures, and triumphs. I’m not saying you can’t take a moment to breathe; by all means PLEASE rest and recoup before you get burned out. What I am saying is it is NOT okay for you to opt out of what you promised God you would do…especially if later you are going to mad at him for not performing in your life according to your timeline and time clock. Tuh! Again, I digress. There will be days when you are fired up and ready to go. There will be days when you are tired but you remember your “why” – who and what you’re doing it for. Then there are days when you couldn’t care less about your “why” and quitting becomes a real option. Don’t.! Gone get up boo. Drink you a Five-Hour Energy drink, do some jumping jacks, read you an Oprah quote, stop by your local Starbucks, call your mama, say you a quick prayer…something! There is NO time for you to go back on your word; people, even ones you don’t know, are depending on you to complete your purpose. So today, even if I had to sew together thoughts from old blogs like a quilt or post a video of me singing a song, I WAS GOING TO POST SOMETHING. Why? Because I said so!
I hope this helps.