Today I had one of the most trying days of my life. My life hasn’t been my ideal for the past few years but I am determined to make this year the best one yet and I have started each day of 2016 with that mindset. Life has taught me that when you set your mind to something, like FOR REAL set your mind to something, it is quickly challenged. Today was that challenge. All it took was an email to challenge everything I had determined would be for me this year but on this day I was ready.
The email sent my mind on a whirlwind and my thoughts immediately went south. A quick call to resolve the issue put a band aid on the problem for a few days but my mind was set on days after. During a 30-minute period I experienced more emotions than you can believe. I was upset then angry, helpless then relieved then pensive then angry again. I felt like I wanted to throw something, I wouldn’t but that was how I felt. I was so mad that tears ran down my face as I recognized that there was really nothing I could have done to prevent what had happened. I can probably count on my fingers how many times in my life I’ve had such intense emotions that I literally wanted to scream.
With clenched fists and a tear-stained face I looked around my office and my eyes locked onto a slip of paper taped to my computer monitor. On it I had written “Be Grateful” in colorful letters and drawn a heart with a smiley face; I had made this picture while bored over a year ago. I read it a few times and the anger started to subside but I still wasn’t settled. Then I looked a few inches over from the paper and saw a placard that says “Be Awesome Today”; my cousin gave it to me for Christmas a few years ago. Then I raised my head and straight in front of me were the words of Henry David Thoreau, “Go Confidently in the Direction of your Dreams”. And about three feet to the left was a corkboard with nine yellow stars tacked to it and on each star is one of the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit from Galatians 5:22; I had hung both the Thoreau quote and the stars on my first day of work, May 1, 2014. Then I looked to the far right and on my wall was the words “Wish it. Dream it. Do it.”, also hung my first day. Then I looked behind my right should and there sat pictures of my family and a metal dry erase board with Hebrews 10:35-36 written on it and magnets attached to it holding up pictures of my friends, a flyer from my church anniversary with my Pastor and 1st Lady on it, and a magnet picturing the four Black students from NC A&T who started the sit-ins at the Woolworth in Greensboro, North Carolina. Finally I looked back to my monitor and on a yellow sticky note was “Amos 9:13”, a scripture we have been quoting at the end of each service at my church since 2012.
By this point I had gotten myself together and I had realized the importance of surrounding myself with positivity. Everywhere I looked there was something to help keep me motivated, to uplift my spirit, and to keep me focused on my building my future one moment at a time. For months I had unknowingly been preparing my surroundings for this day; a day that made me feel like my world was falling apart; a day that could have wrecked my mind and destroyed everything I had built and am determined to accomplish this year. And at the end of it, all I could be was praise God for everything that had happened and everything that is to come. Today my office reminded me that greater is near and I have renewed expectations for the future.
Now, ask yourself this question: What surrounds you?