Friday, July 25, 2008

Where is your Soul?


Approximately six months ago I sent a few of you a text message. The message was nothing different from what I usually send. It was a moment that I was sharing. I was going through something on that morning. I woke up surprisingly exhausted and terribly unmotivated (disliking life). I wanted to climb back on my chase – but like all of us, I had to go to work. I knew going would at least get me out of the house. So, I had that to look forward to: Getting out of the house, and Facing the Nation.

Collecting myself and later spending a day at the coffee shop, (YES, working), did serve to be purposeful. I am always searching for a reason for my existence despite the “storms that keep raging in my life”. As soon as I got in my car a song that I had not heard in over 20 years came blaring through the Bose speakers. I had no idea of the exact name of the song growing up, but it is a song that my mother played over and over again; and it is a song that I later learned was played when she was feeling down and out. When she could not “tell the night from day”. So, on that reoccurring morning, during that season of my life, I decided to send this: “No matter what I say, do, or where I end-up in my life, My Soul has been Anchored in the Lord.

Do you remember getting that text?

The title of this commentary is a serious question. I am not asking if you can keep a beat or if you have passed the black litmus test. No, my objective with this piece is for me to remind us that our souls are accurate depositories of what and who we become. If this sounds preachy already, stop reading now because I plan to preach. Well, not necessarily preach – but definitely communicate a message. Much like I did with the text message. Just a little elaboration without the pre-sermon prayer and other traditional antics. Nonetheless, be prepared to go to church via song at the completion of reading my hopefully appreciated words.

Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to assist one of my colleagues with a job fair. I was happy about helping. I finally got an opportunity to do some work on the front lines. Unfortunately, what I experienced was a horrible reminder of the direction this country is headed: Down Hill! When the doors of the career center opened on this blistering 98 degree day, I could not believe what God provided for us. There were people in line waiting. Not just a few people. The line stretched around the building! I estimated approximately one hundred and fifty men and women from ALL walks of life were in line desperately waiting to interface with only twenty-five employers. There were white/black men, black women, teenage black boys, senior aged men and women, mother and daughter combinations, and persons from Asian, African, and Latino descent. It was a rainbow. A melting pot of unemployed people. People needing money to make ends meet.

During the cattling of the preoccupied people in attendance I was eventually humbled. There I was working. Receiving compensation for my minimal efforts, and these people were trying their best to get a job. One woman asked me, “Are they really hiring up in der?” I wanted to tell the truth – but I could not. I know how job fairs work: they are not designed to get people hired. The companies mostly come to market their business and/or organization. So, when I was presented with the question I lied: “Of course they are, Sweetie.” I was not prepared to deflate her. Take away her hope. I could not take away “that hope that lies within. A hope she woke-up with, and was prepared to hold onto while walking around a small room attempting to ‘sale’ herself to people who have jobs already.

In the end, the job fair was successful. We had over 600 people to attend in a span of four hours. Let me repeat that: SIX HUNDRED PEOPLE. Again, only twenty-five employer representatives. Understanding the magnitude of this dynamic is imperative.

Here you are probably reading this while on the job or just coming home from a job, and there are people out of work with no leads on the horizon. How does that make you feel? I am not expecting you to feel bad or any guilt about having a job. That is not my intention. But, do you feel any remorse for these mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters? I know I do now and I did on that day.

My experience on that day was sadly magnified when a man old enough to be my grandfather said to me, “I have to find a way to take care of my grand kids. If I don’t soon, I may just resort to doing something that is beyond my moral character and removed from my Mississippi value system.” Basically saying, "if the storms don’t cease and if the winds keep on blowing” I may just rob somebody. My response: “No. Please don’t do that.” With all of the seminary training I have, and this is all I could come up with? Heck, even as a fellow human being, you mean to tell me those five words were all I could mumble?

What I should have confidently told this man is imbedded in that song I heard on that bad day I had six months ago. The lyrics should have been my message to him. The words are what we all should live by as the economy tanks. As we face foreclosure. As we endure repossessions. As we go without! Our decisions must remain anchored in righteousness, and not in where succumbing to temptation or illegal activity will take us: On the side of wrongfulness.

This was not that preachy after all. However, the song I have mentioned throughout may be. Please listen, and as you listen remember that no matter how bad it gets: We can make it by keeping the depository CLEAN.

Listen:

http://www.imeem.com/thaheartofpa/music/oCqvjn5k/douglas_miller_my_soul_has_been_anchored_in_the_lord/

Written by Muata. Inspired by the winds that keep on blowing in my life!

11 comments:

FREEDOM said...

ALWAYS REMEMBER U R NOT ALONE BLACK BOY...LOL!

i didn't get that text. however, i so happy u pulled thru. bloggin/writing is so cool it allows you to get this out of you and release it into the universe.

u know your grandma and our ancestors are with you. god loves u so much brian. he has never created another you since he made you. u r 1 of his unique masterpieces that he is glad that he sculptured in his OWN image.

this is a time to remember your past and remind yourself and encourage yourself that u made it thru!

everything is going to be okay.

and yes i do feel for those people that r looking for jobs b/c i know how it is. but what i have found out is that i refuse to stress myself out about it. i have a 5 year-old goddaughter who needs me to stay alive to help her thru this life's journey. so i have to remember ALL the things that God has already brought me thru. and u do too.

you're so special that i think u forget how special u r. keep ur soul anchored in the lord. go back in your mind when you were at peace and stay there for 5 mins and add 5 mins each day. and ur SOUL WILL STAY ANCHORED IN THE LORD.

proud of you and the work that u put out. "speak over yourself".

"encourage yourself in the LORD"!

-FREEDOM

PS listen to this sonf too.. "ENCOURAGE YOURSELF" BY DONALD LAWRENCE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6yhgFxDQMw&NR=1

Muata said...

Reader Response:

Hi Muata-
This was very much appreciated..love that song too. S. Ray used to sing it at Brown New Calvary Baptist Church when I was little...

-CC

Muata said...

Reader Response:

Thanks for sharing. By the way, that song is one of my favorites! One can't help but be moved when hearing it.

-FH

Muata said...

Reader Response:

man, this had to be the most heart-touching and sincere thing i've read in years!!! this is and has ALWAYS been one of my ABSOLUTE favorite songs of ALL TIMES!!! i actually got choked up, and i'm sitting here w/tears in my eyes as the words play. coming from a small town, being raised by a spirit-filled Grandmother - i would often hear her sing this song as a kid. i remember being on the verge of homelessness once, i remember going through a really nasty divorce, i remember laying in the bed with cancer - and at each of those moments, i'd listen to this song.

as LONG as your soul is anchored in the Lord, when the storm passes, you'll be right there.

i am.

thank you for sharing brother, thank you for sharing.

i must go grab a napkin and toughen up! lol...

thanks again. i am forwarding this to my friends.

-AJ

Muata said...

Muata Responds to AJ:

AJ-
Stop that. You got me crying.

Man, I just want to be a beacon for someone. A light. A reminder that carries a message that God is Good. Thanks for reading, and please do share. I can't stop crying myself. I am sitting up here at Lattetude with headphones on listening to one of my favorite songs and crying. Stay anchored, AJ. Tell your story. Continue to share that testimony. You have been an inspiration!! Lord I have to stop before the owners think I am crazy. I just can't stop crying.

-Muata

Muata said...

Reader Response:

I truly like this article. It is so true. Publicity for the companies with booths...I mean how many jobs were actually available for the 600 helpless people. I feel sorry for that grandfather. Lord, have MERCY. I wonder why he has to take care of the kids. Lord, Have Mercy!!!!
All McCain talks about is so war continuing! What about us here in America. I pass by so many homeless right here in Savannah these days with signs that say will work for FOOD. That is so embarrassing for the USA!!!
Job fairs.....I sympathize with those looking for jobs, and like you I need to thank God daily for my job and "Why should I Complain." as the song goes. This world is something else. ON the Tom Joyner Morning Show, did you hear about Jay Anthony Brown running out of gas in Atlanta and having to walk, and that it costs him over one hundred dollars to fill up his tank. Also, did you hear of the lady in Chicago, Illinois who killed herself before her house went in foreclosure, and then the officials still had the proceedings with her dead in the house.

-SP

Muata said...

Reader Responses:

BLESS YOU MUATA FOR ATTEMPTING TO GIVE HOPE TO THOSE IN DESPAIR. BE GRATEFUL!

-WJ

Thanks!! Timing is everything. :) Blessings, to you and yours.

-TG

Thank you for this message. So touching!!

-DB

You always hit it! I needed this today. Keep writing.

-BS

Lord Have Mercy! Bless Him. And, thank you, Muata. Just loved this one.

-RS

Brotha, you go from one topic to the next. So versatile. This was much needed.

-A

Muata said...

Reader Response:

Brian, thanks for sharing. I am sitting here on a Sunday night checking my e-mails. I have been laying around all day pondering the what if's in the lives of my family. Here we are with three small children and my husband lost his job after 13.5 years. We are hitting dead ins with empty job opportunities. Never in a million years would I have thought that in all of my years of helping people find employment, I would have to do it for my own family member. And even though my husband in skilled and degreed, it's still tough out there and we just hope that employment comes sooner than later. I would have never been able to relate to this article you just sent, but tonight I felt every sentiment and hung on to every word. We are those 600 people that were standing in line waiting to see at least a beacon of hope. The whole article applied to us. Thanks because I needed to be reminded of my anchor. Well, I'm about to cry now, so I will just end with thanks and pray for us.

-AB

Muata said...

Muata Responds to AB:

I am so thankful I was able to share, and elated that you have been "reminded" of your anchor. We have God to hold onto. However, I am praying all of us in need will one day (soon) receive those necessary elements. In your family's case I am praying that a job comes along. One that will be more of a blessing for your family. Keep the faith.

-Muata

Muata said...

Muata asks Reader CC a question:

I am interested, what do you believe "anchored" in the religious and spiritual sense means?

-Muata

Muata said...

Reader CC Responds to Muata:

"Anchored" means to depend on God to see me through all things. I must trust in Him through the good times and especially throughout the trying times. To give up or to give in is not optional. So even when the devil tells me to throw in the towel or no one cares, I continue to have faith that "this too shall pass"...

In the midst of every storm in my life, I tell myself there is so much to be grateful for. I welcome those teachable moments, I am willing to accept challenges because life's lessons teach me to look past things I may have once viewed as unattainable. At the end of the day, I have faith that just as He has carried me for 30 years, He will continue to do so.
I am usually not big on discussing a lot of religion or religious topics. It is a complicated subject for me. So many things to think about...

-CC