I recently watched a sermon by Bishop T. D. Jakes entitled, "The Beauty of In Between." It was a fantastic message that really challenged me to not just "[forget] those things which are behind, and [reach] forth unto those things which are before" (Philippians 3:13 KJV), but to really make sure I am PRESENT in the moment. Please forgive me as my thoughts and notes are in bullet form, but I hope who ever reads this can get something great out of this:
- "I count not myself to have apprehended...." In other words, I'm not quite where I need to be and I'm comfortable with acknowledging that.
- You cannot control life. (So we need to be able to adapt when changes come our way.)
- We put too much energy into controlling our image because we are afraid of what people might be thinking about us.
- We are too afraid to show that we can be vulnerable and we sometimes fear or retaliate against people for no reason. We are too busy trying to protect ourselves from certain people who really don't even matter.
- "I don't have it all together, but can you love me anyway?"
- Beware of letting yourself become numb because of all you have been through in life. You can be numb to the pain and hurt, but you also become numb to joy and good times and the excitement life has to offer to the point where every day looks the same. It's like you're the walking dead, numb to time. You're just going through the motions and you might even forget what day it is.
- What you build around yourself to keep yourself from getting hurt can be the very thing that will incarcerate you.
- Let's not be so "spiritual" concerning forgetting what is behind us and reaching for what is before us that we end up not being present in the moment. We can have faith that yesteday is dealt with and praise God for tomorrow, but what about the RIGHT NOW part of time? Can you deal with the fact that you have to count yourself as one who has yet to apprehend what you are going after? There is a sense of vulnerability about not having "made it" yet that people are uncomfortable with. People don't like things that are not finished.
- Have you sold your beliefs as realities? Have you somehow convinced yourself that your "truth" is the only truth and everyone else just does not get it?
- "If you have convinced yourself that you are right and everyone else is wrong, you'll miss the opportunity to learn the lessons that life came to teach you, because when life called the roll for school you were not present. You were either in yesterday, or groping after tomorrow, and you were not present" (Jakes).
- "When we can't be vulnerable, we can't grow" (Jakes).
- If you believe you are right and everyone else is wrong, you'll miss out on being present for the lessons life came to teach you.
- In relationships we can be so hard on people at times while we are in the "in-between" part of our life processes... "You're imperfect so I'll deny you my love, time, and attention until you are like me." Are you really as great as you portray yourself to be?
- It's easier to reach for the "sweet by and by" and "someday" than to deal with the naked reality that "I count not myself to have apprehended."
- It takes courage to be vulnerable.
- "Sometimes I'm Superman, but I've got kryptonite too."
- Nothing in your past is affecting your destiny. So it's ok to forget those things that are behind you. And it's ok to be reaching towards your goals and dreams for tomorrow, but in the mean time, have the courage to say "I count not myself to have apprehended."
- Your fierce need to protect yourself from the ugliness of what could go wrong is keeping you from seeing the beauty of what is going right.
- Jesus was heading toward Jairus' house to heal his daughter, but a woman with an issue of blood crawled on the ground, touched the hem of His garment, and received her healing. She received what she needed in the "here and now" while Jesus was pressing forward, reaching for Jairus' house.
- I count not myself to have apprehended, so I gonna scratch crawl if I have to in order to get what I need. You might have it all together but I don't.
- Don't be so busy saving yourself for "some day" that you miss TODAY. "THIS is the day the Lord hath made." Rejoice and be glad in it! This is the day the Lord wants to deal with your issue.
- Jesus: "I'm surrounded by people who want to sit on the right and sit on the left and by people who want to do the inaugural message and get promoted, but I'm not being touched!"
- When you have a desperate need you don't have time to prepare yourself to look the best. You've got to touch Jesus now! Don't focus so much on "when this" or "when that" to the point where you miss NOW.
- We've got to stop being fake. We've been faking the funk for so long that we can't tell what's real when it's right in front of us.
I just want to encourage and inspire as many people as I can for Jesus Christ.