When I typed my editorial calendar ideas for this year, I thought I’d spend copious amounts of time in front of my computer writing thoughtful, inspiring content for you. Now, eight weeks into 2021, I am just posting my third blog of the year. My thoughts about how to approach writing this blog did not align with what God had in mind.
At the end of 2020, I had this feeling in my gut that I needed to pivot my approach to writing and ministry even more but never acted on it. I jumped into January with all these ideas—which I still believe are God-inspired, but the plan to execute was misguided. Although I took most of December off, I did not focus on what was planted in my spirit. I can be a bit hard-headed, stubborn, and fearful. And I mask my fear with stubbornness.
But somehow, God always brings us back to where He wants us to be. For me, that was sitting before him listening, not asking for anything and not saying anything.
My word for the year is cultivate. Like last year, I thought (there I go thinking again) my word for the year would be something I would do. I thought I would spend this year growing my public relations firm, becoming more visible in the entertainment industry, building the life I want.
Then, January happened. The feeling to pivot became increasingly difficult to ignore. Every time I started to work towards what I wanted, I would get redirected. Cultivate. Yeah, it is the right word, but I applied it the wrong way. Well, I should not have been trying to apply it at all. Remember, I was supposed to sit back and listen.
The listening aligned with how I implement my word for the year. I dissect and analyze my word for the year to understand how it should apply to my life. My word for January was plow. I thought (see, here I go) I was supposed to plow through my assignments and turn things over in my mind so I could cultivate the life I wanted.
NOPE. That is what I get for thinking.
One night, while I was praying after listening—reading my Bible—I asked God to remind me of the dreams I had before life happened. Guess what? Although I love what I do, not one of my dreams was to run an entertainment industry-focused public relations firm.
From the list of forgotten dreams, I realized that while I work in a field I enjoy, it is far removed from the things that spark joy in my heart. For the record, I have no intention of closing DGPR. The plan is to leverage my holdings in a space that aligns with the pivot I need to make.
Ezekiel 36:9 says, “See, I care about you, and I will pay attention to you. Your ground will be plowed and your crops planted,” and is part of the message of restoration for Israel. After I revisited the scripture, it registered that I am not the one who should be plowing. The scripture says your ground will be plowed, not you will plow your ground. In other words, God turns the soil in the areas he needs us to produce.
Yes, there is the work I must do but it only takes place after God gives direction and air to our purpose. That is the beginning of fertilized soil (the place you are planted).
And our purpose is not always what we think we want. In many cases, we can find our purpose in the things that frighten us, the things we run away from. Or we can find our purpose in those areas in our lives that we allowed life to pull us away from, especially underutilized talents. If God is elevating our direction, we need to look towards what he has in store for us and not back to what we think we want. (see Luke 9:62)
What Do You Cherish?
When I pulled together my editorial calendar after breaking down the word cultivate, it seemed fitting to use the word cherish in February. It is Black History Month. My wedding anniversary is February 8 and Valentine’s Day, my favorite holiday, is on February 14. This is a month devoted to the things I cherish—my identity and the people I love.
However, the plowing I experienced in January gave me a better perspective.
“And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.” – I Chronicles 28:9
What if instead of focusing my attention on a worldly view of the word cherish, I turned my attention to what God wants me to cherish? Can serving him with wholehearted devotion and a willing mind foster better relationships in my community (the Black community), with allies (supportive people in the majority), and with the people I love?
What if I cherished God more than anything?
God searches every heart and understands every thought. Think about that. If God makes the promise that if you seek him, you will find him, then the same must be true for when he searches your heart. Building a strong relationship with him will help you to understand God as well as yourself.
Imagine understanding the fullness of you—your thoughts, dreams, and desires that you did not know you had. Your greater is in God when you cherish your relationship with him.
What do you cherish? How do your actions align with the things you cherish? Is God at the very top of your list?