Why We Do What We Do: The Case For Faith
This month I am taking part in a writing challenge to prompt me to be more consistent with my writing. I will be posting some topics from The Speak Write Challenge to vary my content. I have shared the link on my FB page for anyone interested in joining the challenge.
Today’s topic is “Why We Do What We Do”. What motivates us to be the people that we are? I’m talking about both the good and the bad. If we are to be honest about it, at least in my own life, I find myself asking “What keeps me from doing what I should be doing”?. I mean we all can cite reasons for being on our grind, on our search for success, spiritual connection or whatever. Many people grind for their kids or to achieve material goals or career goals. I think that both our motivations and lack thereof is what really completes who we are. There is a reason why we have the Jay Zs and Bill Gates of the world and then we have the dudes who pump gas and work at the 7–11 up the street at 55 years old, right? I would like to think that gas station dude didn’t start off life with this as his career goal, but this is how it ended up. I am intrigued by the traits that separate the ambitious from the settlers. Sometimes life just chews you up and spits you out and you end up barely maintaining because you are emotionally drained. Other times though, you get your swagger back and decide to fight for your blessings. I believe that the difference between both types of people is faith.
In terms of my motivation, I strive to use my gifts of gab and wordsmithing to inspire others before I leave this earth. I fear dying and having to answer to God why I squandered what I was blessed with. It might sound cliché, but for me it’s very true. This is the anniversary of God sparing my life from a heart attack last year and I am sure I am still here because I have work left to do. Over the past few years it has been revealed to me that I am a leader at heart and I need to stay engaged in spreading love and wisdom to be satisfied with my life. My health has prevented me from having a conventional job in recent years, but I can contribute to society by sharing my life’s lessons through writing. I still hesitate to call myself a “writer” but I can’t deny that this ability springs from my soul. I have a natural curiosity about everything so I can always find some subject matter to analyze and glean wisdom from. My other motivation is my family, especially the younger generation. I don’t want them to always think of their Auntie as the crazy weed smoker with arthritis and no job. I would like to inspire them to express themselves and utilize every gift and talent they have been blessed with, despite any obstacles that come their way. I feel that I need to be an example of the qualities that I want them to have; faith, hustle, integrity, compassion, wit and wisdom.
On the flip side, my days of procrastination, depression and laziness also contribute to the sum of me. Although I know both practically and spiritually what habits I need to let go of, I am still puzzled by my own disobedience. I can start off my day pumped up with a workout, prayer session and a healthy breakfast but by 2pm, I have wasted hours on the couch playing video games and watching TV. My mentor told me that this form of procrastination is based in fear of not being enough. I had to mull that over a bit before admitting that it was true. That old perfectionism had returned. So again, I have to tackle the fact that I need to work on the fear factor that creeps up in so many insidious ways. This is where the faith comes into play.
The only way I see to balance what I want to do and why I don’t, is through prayer. I am learning the true meaning of the verse, “Apart from Me you can do nothing.”(John 15:5). Basically the only way to stay on the righteous path, despite me succumbing to temptation daily is by asking Jesus, The Holy Spirit and God to help me. Constantly. And Yes, I distinctly ask all 3. To be honest, I don’t really get the whole Trinity thing so I just ask everybody. Can’t hurt right?
I have found that spending time with God increases my faith. When I slip up and let the days lapse in between my dedicated prayer and meditation time, essentially being apart from God, that’s when the depression creeps in and zaps the faith I built up. After attending the Global Leadership Summit for the past 4 years, I have observed very prominent business, political and creative leaders share the core of their success and it is their faith. I am sure they get discouraged at times but over the years, after building up their faith muscles, they know definitively that they will be victorious. Since we are all unique, this faith muscle is developed differently in each of us but the key is to intentionally build it up. Intentionality goes a long way in spiritual development.
So to bring this back around to my original reasoning for what makes me who I am, and who I would like to be. At my core is a fierce faith that allows me to experience the highs and lows of life but still know that God’s got me. My faith pushes me to do better and affect mankind positively. My faith also lets me forgive myself and not be consumed by my flaws because I know God loves me unconditionally. I may have temporary lapses, but I am not consumed.
Jeremiah 29:11–14 states that God’s plans for us are for a great future. The passage goes on to explain that once you pray God will hear you, answer you and restore you. When I find myself sliding too far down the dark hole, I remember this verse and get motivated all over again. Faith is really the only way to connect who we are now with who we want to become. I strive to become a better version of myself everyday so I will continue to intentionally seek spiritual knowledge which builds my faith muscle. Until next time, Peace and Blessings!