Check below the video for the written part of the “Sabbath Epistle”:
Life is hard; if we live long enough, the kicks and blows of life will tickle all of us with the feather of sorrow. There is not a man or woman in the history of humanity who has been able to escape the gravity of life’s crucible. Through it all, life moves on and we course on through the ebbs and flows of existence. In time though, those of us who are wise enough to accept hardship as a blessing discover that struggle is the soil from which blessings grow from.
Life is a duality in this way, someone once told me that I spend too much time focusing on the ideal and in the process let the perfect become the enemy of the good. This advise was given to me in the context of my once incessant need to fight for justice which was slowly transforming my life and jovial personality into bitterness. I kind of understand in hindsight; if we keep gazing into the navel of what is wrong with this world, we will miss out on the blessings that are right in the midst of the ugliness.
I’m not saying that we should accept iniquity as the cost of doing business nor should we abide injustice as par for the course. We should always strive for better in life but there is a fine line between seeking fairness and living in perpetual pensiveness. A life spent looking in review mirrors begets a life of remorse and unhappiness. The damages that happen in our lives, whether on an individual basis or on a societal level, are ones we can’t change for all of us in time experience pains regardless of our class, station or the heights we climb. Once sir anguish knocks at our doors and interrupts homeostasis, it is best to not ask “why” and instead ask “how” to move forward.
Redemption does not come by way of regret nor do we heal if we see ourselves as victims. In time, all of us get knocked down—at times by the uppercut of others and at other times by self-induced left hooks. When we find ourselves flat on our backs, that is the time to realize that hard kicks are opportunities to pick ourselves up and rebuild from scratch and regain abundance in the midst of barrenness. This is the duality of life; when dejection comes, hold on and in time misery gives birth to renewed joyfulness. Imagine it this way, when a fetus leaves the womb, that must be a moment of tremendous fear and angst. To leave a home that took care of us and enveloped us in love is one that must have been full of distress. But fear gave way to once again comfort as our homes go from wombs to the loving hands of our moms. Life is thus a continuous process of being reborn where each stage is beset by discomfort only for discomfort to give way to blessings.
I don’t talk about these things as theory or a hypothesis I have not experienced; my life is a testimony of loss and hurt but I refuse to let my circumstances define my existence. My resiliency is my biggest asset and for that I thank my father God in heaven, the very things which have shattered many has instead refined me into a new man. I am not boasting for the truth is that all of us have this ability to not let the past haunt us. It only takes an understanding of this one notion; bad things happen to prepare us for the good things ahead.
As the video above explains, it was less than 18 months ago I found myself homeless and alone as I went from sleeping on a thousand dollar mattress to occasionally sleeping outside in the cold. But these trials did not break me; though there was a time not too long ago that I plunged into a lake of hopelessness that nearly drowned me in sadness, I instead rose from the embers and emerged on the other side of the fire more hopeful and blessed than I was when I was making six figures. Money comes and money goes but a character that is built through hardship is one that remains with us for a lifetime and gives hope to others who wallow in despair.
Where I found myself in the season of barrenness not too long ago as a headstone was once my pillow, I am now walking into a season of harvest where God’s abundance is blessing me with love and purpose. By abundance, I am not referring to money or fortunes of made of currency. I am talking about the abundance of people blessing me with love and kindness and the endless ways that strangers in a new places become friends. Today alone was a prime example of this new paradigm I am now sauntering in; from Judy at Panera who blessed me with a prayer, Jean-Marie who gave me an unexpected gift that nourished my soul and now Eric at Wild Boar Cafe who served a pauper a meal fit for a king—God is being made evident to me all the time through the embrace of angelic strangers.
Life is beautiful if we just look for the blessings in spite of the burdens. We can choose to stare into the muck and let our spirits be broken and be ran over by an 18 wheel truck. Or we can defiantly rise above our circumstance and realize that burdens are just seasons in our lives where the sap that bleeds out and leaves that are blown away in time get rejuvenated by God’s providence and the blessings of random grace. Except none of this is by chance, God is not an accident. This is the message of Sabbath Epistle contained herein and in the video above. May God bless you with love and may you bless others with kindness. #DualityOfLife
“Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” ~ Matthew 10:29-31
Check back with Ghion Journal every Saturday as the Sabbath day is set aside to pay homage and reflect on the blessings of life. Regardless of the outrages that go on through the world, the Sabbath Epistle is set in stone as written words and a Ghion Cast video will be posted on a weekly basis. If you like the Ghion Cast “Sabbath Epistle” let others know, share this article using #DualityofLife
Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.