What’s Beneath The Surface? (Aug 2007)

What do you have beneath the surface?

What motivates you to keep on doing what you do? Why do you say the things you do, go to the places you go and even wear the clothing you do?

What lies within your spirit?

What I’ve discovered with many of us is that we’ve been taught principles, “ten steps to this or that”, creeds, recited prayers, declared promises and borrowed beloved phrases and sayings from other gifted orators and writers. But after you’ve internalized all of that, what’s next? What do you do with all that information? What types of decisions do you make based on what you now know? Do you use what you know to take you to another level?

I know I’ve asked a lot of questions within the last few seconds, but these are questions I’ve asked myself time and again. A few blogs earlier I spoke about being real. Now this is where the “realness” begins: What do you do with what you know?

Many of us were raised on tele-evangelists, powerhouse sermons and real-life examples of the Christian faith. Others of us saw just the opposite: Maybe our parents were never married, maybe we have uncles who molested nieces and nephews, maybe our dads beat our moms when under the influence of alcohol or drugs. But what I’ve learned about life and people is this: No matter what we’ve been exposed to, no matter where we came from, no matter what others may have said to us or about us, we choose what lies beneath our surface. We choose what we believe. We choose whom we follow. We decide whether we’ll go with the flow or stand out in a crowd. We decide to live a mediocre life or soar into the heavens (literally or figuratively) and make a difference.

So what lies beneath your surface? Hate? Self-disgust? Anger? Mistrust? Pretense? Deception? Unforgiveness? Bitterness? Pride? Hurt? Jealousy? Or is it the wish to make a difference in the lives of everyone you meet? Or do you have love just beneath your surface? Genuineness, maybe? Forgiveness? A softened heart? An open mind?

What’s beneath the surface? Whatever lies beneath your surface helps to decide where you end up in life. So if you are pretending to be who you’re not, look into becoming the real you. Don’t be ashamed of yourself, because there is only one of you. There are no other “you’s” out there, even if you are an identical twin. So if you hate or are envious, get that handled by asking Jesus to come in and heal your spirit. Hatred and envy twists everything. Again, this is as a result of you not loving the real you. Admit your shortcomings to God and make the decision to love you – and even love others! It is very hard at first (I know – been there, done that), but it can be done!

If you have love beneath your surface, keep loving. Some may think you are not real, but with time they’ll see the truth in your life and your witness. Because I’m a giver (in every way) I find that many try to just take and hope I won’t notice that they’re there only for the handout. I see it, but I still give. Why? Because of who I am below the surface. I must give, and I also protect others from unnecessary harm. Things I could do to hurt or “mess others up” I pass it by because within my heart is love, forgiveness and a heart of giving. I can’t help it….

So, my friends, check what’s beneath your surface. What makes you, you? What motivates you? What do you think about when you are alone? What types of friends do you keep? Do you have any who will speak the truth? Do you have any who will push you on to greatness? Or do you have a whole crew of “remember when” friends? Your old pals may not fit where you’re going! Think of that….

So, look at the environment you grew up in, look at the experiences you’ve had and look at the impact you’ve made in the lives of others. Are you happy with it? Can you change anything? Whatever you have control over, you can change. Don’t ever think that because you’ve messed up, because you were born and raised in the projects or because you are ‘slow’ academically that you have nothing to offer to the world. Consider this: Dr. Ben Carson, one of the world’s renowned brain surgeons, was raised in poverty in a single-parent home. But because of his mother’s sacrifices and his wish to change the world, he is where he his today. Today I heard a bit about the history of George Foreman. He too was from a life of abject poverty where nobody in his family had ever amounted to anything. But we know him, right??

In that same way, we can get to know you too. Do you have a life-dream beneath the surface? A song waiting to be sung? A poem, rap or play in your spirit that has to get out there? One person’s autobiography I am waiting to read is that of Tyler Perry. He’s hinted here and there of his struggles from being totally unknown, impoverished and facing many obstacles to becoming one of the most famous writers and actors of all time! Do you have a story to share with the world? I know I do. I’ve been asked many times about writing a book, and I must do so soon.  (Update: It is written! Editing stages at this time.)

What’s beneath your surface? A sermon for the world to hear? A choreographed dance that others need to see and appreciate? A business venture that will tap a little known market? Are you ready to show what’s beneath your surface? Don’t be shy! God has made you one-of-a-kind, so don’t expect to see the same thing out there already. Your story, your style, your writing, is different from anyone else’s. Don’t be afraid to show who you really are!

We’re all waiting with bated breaths, expecting to see what you’ve hidden beneath your surface!

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