Tuesday December 1, 2020

By: Mark Anthony King


It is December 2020, and we are weighed down by a global sense of fear. The world is afraid of a potential civil war that might ensue. The world is terrified at what they had learned about certain global powerhouses in both the Hollywood and humanitarian space who’ve been tied to serious crimes against humanity. And then we have the six-letter word which will forever remain a part of our personal stories, in addition to our human history: CORONA. We found ourselves hilariously unprepared and lacking in any sort of deliberate and effective leadership. Humanity as a whole was facing shattered economies, food & water shortages, unemployment, the inability to see our families due to global travel restrictions, foreclosures, massive debt, looting, rioting, civil unrest, and potential death due to the virus.

Then come the issues we were forced to contend with individually; the psychological toll that the quarantine took on us and our relationships. Families were literally under attack. Finally, a silver lining was spotted just beyond the horizon, carrying with it hope that things would be better. Slowly, the world gingerly began returning to some semblance of normalcy, even though we are still being urged to wear masks. Small familyrun businesses and local watering holes finally began to open. Government officials declared that beaches and parks were also open to the public. A taste of muchneeded freedom and normalcy, only to be replaced with talks of yet a second global shut down. If ever there was a perfect time to say a prayer, wouldn’t now be it? Let us collectively bow our heads.

GOD grant me strength, but please keep me safe from all forms of harm both seen and unseen. Feelings of all that is missing powerfully rise to the surface. If only we asked the right questions. If only we prayed the right way. Weighed down by the guilt of love gone unexpressed, potential talents untapped, and lifelong dreams carelessly unfulfilled, we find ourselves in a sort of hell. You see, for us to go beyond the walls of adversity, we must be willing to face adversity head-on. This is a difficult concept to wrap our minds around because, in essence, we are attempting to intellectually rationalize something that can’t be quantified or broken down. We’ve lived in an “if it’s real then show me” society. Every aspect of our existence is driven by visual data. Think about it, we live in a society where non-belief is praised. The reality of 2020 is that there are a lot of confused souls out there. Their confusion manifests in desires to hurt or otherwise victimize their fellow brothers and sisters.

What exactly is fear? You read this word and a series of feelings begin to surface. You visit past moments of intense pain and trauma. The palms of your hands become cold and clammy. The fact that we feel these things leads us to the obvious conclusion that there is certainly a physical component to fear. Yet fear is more than mere physiological responses. Fear is physical, it’s visceral, it’s raw and real. Fear is your imagination left to its own devices. A mentor of mine, Tony Robbins, effectively carried this simplistic message, “the opposite of fear is faith.” Now, I had lived my life with the concrete belief that the opposite of fear was courage. My dad would always ask me the same question growing up to drill this into my mind. He would ask “What do we do when we’re afraid?” and I would respond “We do it anyway.” So I encourage you, take a few moments, contemplate this word and answer one question. What is faith?

Faith is the opposite of the need for data. If fear is the imagination left to its own devices, then faith is your imagination placed in GODs supervision and with GODs direction. Faith is how somehow you know that things are going to work themselves out, but you can’t explain how you know. The book of Mathew, chapter 21, verse 22 reads “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive if you have faith.” Faith is a profound, indescribable, knowing that things are going to work out in your favor, and for your benefit, absent your ability to confirm or prove. You see faith and fear have three things in common.

1. They’re both acronyms:

FEAR is an acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real.

FAITH is an acronym for Finding Answers In The Hard.

2. They both originate within the depths of the imagination.

3. They don’t require proof, because they’re based on a feeling and a “knowing”.

Growing up, I was diagnosed with ADD, a learning disability, and a behavioral disorder. All of this, before I was even in middle school. So I am here to tell you that if you have been negatively labeled by anybody at any point in your life (including yourself), not only are you not alone, but my story should serve as a beacon of hope for a brighter and more beautiful tomorrow. Transparency is critical, and sometimes that means showing you the depths of my pain, the degree of my struggles, and how deeply my scars run so that you might learn to heal from, navigate, and accept your very own.

A lump of coal and a diamond has the same chemical composition, meaning they are both made of the same stuff, carbon. Yet why are they so completely different in every single way? Two words, Trials, and Tribulations. The attacks on your life have nothing to do with who you are, but who you are meant to become. Rest assured that GOD has a plan for you and your life, and that plan is infinitely greater and far more incredible than anything you could ever imagine for yourself. Your mess can be turned into a message. Your test can be turned into a testimony. Your weakness can be turned into your superpower. Your mistake can be turned into your greatest blessing. Your layoff can become your payoff. And your misfortune can pave the way to your biggest fortune.

I dare you to rise up as the Kings and Queens you were always destined to be. Not tomorrow, not in a week, not when you feel ready, but right now. Be the light in the darkness that gives people hope. Choose what’s challenging over what’s comfortable so that you might be of greater service to humanity. Choose courage over convenience. Choose fearlessness over certainty. Choose compassion over judgment. These are trying times and both your presence and your faith are needed on a global scale now so more than ever. You see, when we choose faith over fear, we immediately change the game for ourselves. Now, I leave you with one final Holiday prayer. May these words resound within the depths of your being:

The Prayer of Saint Francis
LORD, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
And where there is sadness, Joy.

Oh DIVINE MASTER, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console.
To be understood, as to understand.
To be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
And it is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
And it is dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

GOD bless you. And remember, when you change your outlook, you change your outcome.

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