I’m writing this episode after finishing a nice 4-mile run. Running is the perfect way for me to start the day. Running allows me the ability to escape whatever is bothering me.  Although I have already limited the time I spend reading and/or watching the news,I still think about all the sadness, anger, and frustration taking place in this world. 

I’m a very positive person, but lately, after listening and seeing the mess this world is in, I notice that I have to fight harder to remain happy. Although, some days are harder than others, I’m doing my best to hold on to my sanity even if I feel like I’m just going through the motions. All of which has led me to question my faith.

Since I refuse to give up on happiness, I know I need to readjust my faith. Seeing all the chaos taking place in this world has left me feeling helpless. This led me to wonder, “Where is my faith? What or whom do I have faith in? With my conflicting emotions, I did some soul searching and readjusted my focus so I can maintain my attributes of Christ (joy, peace, and happiness).

Although the cure to fear, confusion and other negative traits of Satan is faith, oftentimes, our faith is misplaced. This is why our faith does not provide the comfort, protection, and assurance that we need. This world is in chaos because we place our faith in the wrong things and/or people such as our government, jobs, and even in ourselves; even though we do not have a clue as to how to fix our own mess.

I started reflecting on the chaos in the world, the news and the Bible and thought about Rom 1:17 says “. . . The just shall live by faith. .  .” and 2Cor 5:7 teaches us to walk by faith, not by sight.  Considering the chaos in this world, many of us are walking in the wrong direction. In other words, our faith is misplaced.

While I was on my run, I thought about how much of life’s issues stem from fear and confusion. I remembered how irritated, fearful, and confused I felt when I placed too much faith in the wrong things such as people, job, government, money, prestige, etc. In other words, I misplaced my faith and turned the aforementioned things/people into idols; meaning, I allowed them to take the place of God.

To rid myself of these crutches, I have even further reduced the time I spend reading and/or watching the news and utilize this time listening/reading and meditating on the word of God. I have also started to reduce my engagement in conversation about current events.  I’ve pretty much said all that I can say. Feel free to check out the website and listen to the episodes classified under the categories called Random Thoughts. 

Again, the reason why so many of us are anxious during chaotic times is that we misplaced our faith. If we put too much faith in people, this can decrease our attributes like joy, peace, happiness, etc. and send our thought life on a negative journey. This episode is geared towards helping you gain or regain your attributes in Christ by answering the above questions for yourself – Where is my faith? What or whom I have faith in makes a difference. For example, having too much confidence in people.

People 

Having too much confidence in family members, friends, government officials, so called church leaders, etc. is misplacing our faith. Many times, these people are weaker than we are and nor do they have the answers to life’s problems.  Listening to the news and relying on government officials to guide us to safety is misplacing our faith. This mess that we are in is spiritual in nature. Only by following the word of God can we fix this mess.

If the body of Christ (the church Christ left on earth to represent Him) does not have the answers, surely, our corrupt government does not have a clue as to what we need to do about the issues facing this world. I cannot echo these words enough — The answer to our problem is in Christ. Only Christ can give us the safety, security, and protection we need. If we learn to walk by faith and not by sight, as God commands us, our faith in Christ will dramatically reduce our anxiety as well as give us the joy, peace and happiness that we desperately need.

As I stated before, a good run helps to clear my head. It helps me to calm down and readjust my faith to where it should be, in Christ. Focusing on Christ’s guidance and protection readjusts my thinking so my joy, happiness and peace can return to me. We misplace our faith when we take our eyes off of our Source, Christ, and put  our faith in people, the government, and other things that cannot help us. 

When we calm down and readjust our faith to focus on Christ will position us to receive the attributes of Christ-like joy, peace, and happiness. No matter what problems we face, God will cause all things to work together for our good (Rom 8:28). This includes our need for employment.

Job 

Although everyone needs employment in order to meet our financial obligations, we still need to view our job from the proper perspective. It’s just one of many resources that God can use to provide for our needs and desires. With this being said, we need to be careful and not allow our job to compete and/or take the place of Christ.

Our real problem stems from us having too much confidence in the physical world. Most of us are relying on the government to guide us in this dying economy. Once again, when we place too much faith in a person or things; we have misplaced our faith and turned that (“whatever” it may be) into an idol. 

An idol is anything or anyone that we rely on and place before God. What many of us fail to realize is that this world’s system is set up to draw us into idolatry. It is set up so we can have faith in only what we see; our job, people, and relying on the government for safety and guidance.

Misplacing our faith by attaching it to the government or this economy is what brings about the fear and anxiety most people are facing.  Sadly, many of us fail to realize that if all you see is what you see then you are not seeing all there is to be seen. In other words, if we are one of his faithful disciples we are not seeing the helping hand of Christ.

I know it takes much more effort to see past the physical aspects of life.  Nonetheless, we must learn to see things spiritually; which is why God commands us to walk by faith, not by sight  (2Cor 5:7). Throughout the Bible God tells us to live by faith (Rom 1:17). In doing so we will see Christ’s helping hand, which is exactly what God wants to see; which is why He tells us to live by faith  (Act 4:12;  Phil 4:13; Joh 15:1-7).  Sadly, many of us have more faith in money than we do Christ.

Money 

Money is yet another thing that we misplace our faith in. If all your hopes and dreams are tied to your bank account, that’s the first thing Satan’s going to come after when he comes to steal, kill, and destroy you (Joh 10:10). 

Listen, learn from this pandemic. Money cannot solve the problems we are having.  The rich and famous are good examples of this fact. They are in the same mess we all are in. Their economic status cannot buy them good health, happiness, or a longer life. Money is not a catch all for life, liberty and happiness. Many of the rich and famous are just as scared, confused and bad off as some of us. 

Oftentimes, we elevate money above God. However, this pandemic is setting the record straight. Money cannot buy everything or solve everything in life. The rich and famous are in the same “boat” as us common people. Their money and status cannot buy their release from this mess. 

Considering how this pandemic is putting everyone on the same field, we can understand why God tells us not to place confidence or faith in money (1Tim 6:10 / Act 8:20). I am happy to say, God taught me this lesson a long time ago. I guess I have always been one of those people before my time.

There was a period of time  in my life that I barely had a dime to my name and yet, God showed me that He could bless me with what I needed and desired without giving me money. I’m going to try and list many of the things that I was able to get when I was poor. Scratch that I wasn’t poor I was po. 

During this time in my life, God taught me many invaluable lessons that I’m now able to share with others. One of those times was when I was barely making enough money to pay rent. God blessed me with everything I desired as well as needed without giving me actual money. 

Although my mom has alway taught me that God can bless us in a variety of ways, it took me a while to learn this concept. Seeing that I was slow in learning this concept, God helped my mom out by allowing me to experience these blessings. Before I get into my testimonial, I want you to keep in mind — everything that I’m about to name — the trips, the cars, the events, and many more that I haven’t mentioned, were all gained while I was extremely poor or should I say po.  

Again, I barely had enough money to pay rent. So all the extras such as entertainment, gas for my car, etc. meant that I had to do without. Trust me y’all, I did NOT spend one dime on discretionary items during this year I’m about to tell you about and yet blessing after blessing came my way.  I didn’t have money for anything, but food and shelter and I barely had money for that. I had to use every coin I had to pay rent. During my poor year, God showed me the best time of my life. During the summer/ fall of 2011 without me spending one red cent of my own money God blessed me with the following:

  1. Here is the CliffsNotes version-LOL I desperately needed a laptop so I could apply for jobs. Drowning in despair, I entered an essay contest about how technology helped improve my life. I won!  I not only won a laptop that I desperately needed, I also won a Sony Google TV which also doubles as a computer monitor that I still use today. Not only did God give me the laptop and the Sony Google TV which was the icing on the cake. God added even more to my dessert. The contest I won paid for Best Buy’s Geek Squad to install everything so that I did not have to lift a finger. This win was worth a lot of money that I did not have.
My Sony Google TV/ computer monitor (the laptop no longer works, but I kept it as a memento 😊 )
  1. Another blessing that came a month or so later. I used to blog a ton back in the day. I was considered a brand ambassador which today would be considered a social media influencer. This is when social media was just taking off, so I used to partner with a lot of different brands. I used to go to a ton of fancy restaurants for free, I went on boat cruises, or had products sent to me in exchange for a review. Just so you know I never did product reviews if the product was lousy; and, I always let people know how I was being compensated for the review.
  1. I wanted so badly to go to Oprah’s Show Farewell Spectacular show at the United Center. I wrote an essay stating why I wanted the tickets and won them for me and my mom to attend the show. I will NEVER EVER forget this day in my life. Due to the nature of how I wrote in for tickets to the show, we were able to sit wherever we wanted upfront. I was feeling particularly bold that day and sat in the front row where they said that the seats were reserved. I made friends with one of the ushers and she gave me the BEST seat in the house. 

Oprah literally sat one seat away from me. The seat right next to me was the seat where all the celebrity guests sat while they were watching the show with Oprah. I was literally watching Beyonce perform Girls Run the World and dancing with Tom Cruise and Oprah. By the way, Beyonce did that entire performance twice. I guess Beyonce wasn’t happy with the first take. I did not care because I LOVE Beyonce so seeing her doing that song twice was amazing! That choreography was insane and I felt exhausted for Beyonce.

As someone who has taken dance classes and now teaches dance fitness,  you had to be in crazy amazing shape to pull that off twice (back to back like that). 

My point is, iGod blessed me with everything I need as well as entertainment without money. My point is, do not focus on resources, keep your faith in the Source; meaning, God. You may not know how and when God is going to bless you, with or without money, but if you stay in faith, you can be assured that your blessing will come.

That entire day was crazy fun. I was able to give Oprah a hug, met Tom Cruise, joked around with Jaime Foxx, Jerry Seinfeld, Tom Hanks, and so many other celebrities that I’m literally drawing a blank on. If you don’t believe me, check out the website and fast forward to the time marker 2:45 and 4:27 I’m literally on the left side of Tom Cruise and my mom is waving right behind Oprah.

Fast forward to 2:45 and 4:27 for my cameo-LOL

In between the taping, everyone  kept asking me, “How did you get that seat?” I just kept shaking my head because it was just too surreal. Again, when God blesses, He blesses big. So, do not misplace your faith. Put your faith where it should be in Christ.

4.     Moving on from those blessings, here is another win that God blessed me with. My blogging and networking enabled me to connect with someone who worked at GM. I ended up becoming a brand ambassador for General Motors. I was invited to join their blogger network. Meaning, they literally would allow me to test drive different cars and in exchange for my reviews about them. I test drove quite a few cars and went to their events.

5. However, the ultimate “sign” that let me know that God was still with me during my difficult time was when General Motors invited me to participate in their marketing campaign called Road to NABJ (National Association of Black Journalists): Powered by Chevrolet. It was an all-expenses paid media trip which consisted of four Chicago journalists/bloggers (none of us knew each other before this trip) from Chicago performing community service work as we drove to the NABJ Convention in Philadelphia in a Chevrolet Suburban.

We were doing good in the Black/Latino communities while advertising the Chevy Suburban; which by the way was crazy comfortable and amazing. We created community gardens in food desert areas, we helped paint murals at schools, we got to read and help do writing exercises with the children at different schools, we drove through the mountains and had some interesting adventures in towns that I NEVER, you hear me, never would have driven through if we weren’t together. We shared so many laughs on that trip.

The NABJ convention was amazing! I was able to meet so many high profile journalists and attend so many inspiring events like the Black Girls Rock party (Solange Knowles was even the DJ at one of them) and other sessions to help hone our media skills. Guys, they even flew me back home and gave us gift cards with money on it. Which really came in handy because I didn’t have enough money to pay for my luggage for the trip back home. I’m not joking when I say this.  I literally did not have enough money due to the weight of my luggage. 

Not one dime of anything that I named did I pay for that year. Not even the gas for the cars I drove that year was paid for by me. General Motors gave me the car with a full tank of gas. All for my enjoyment. There are so many instances in my life where God gave me things, introduced me to people, or allowed me to attend events without a dime to my name.

This is just one way God taught me that He is my Source in life. Through this period in my life I learned not to put Him in a box. I stopped thinking that the only way God can bless us is with money. I am living proof that all we need to do is keep our focus on our Source (Christ) and the resources will follow. This is a concept my mom has always taught me, but since I was a little stubborn it took me longer to learn.

I now understand that “faith” is the currency we need to use in order to purchase the things we desire, need, and want in our physical life. Once we learn the concept of placing our faith where it should be, in Christ, these troublesome times will not lead our thought life on a journey of fear, frustration, and anxiety. Finally, prestige is another idol we misplace our faith in.

Prestige

I cringe when I see people placing their faith in something as fragile as prestige. Now, I am not against titles, when one has fairly worked themselves up the ladder of their choice. However, I put titles in their proper perspective. They do not mean much to me. I am not one of those people who is into titles. 

Now don’t get me wrong.  I know I was just talking about how in awe I was over the celebrities I got a chance to meet. Although I am an admirer of these folks’ works, nonetheless, I keep things in their proper perspective. People are people. They put their pants on one leg at a time just like we do. 

Don’t place your confidence in titles, promotions, awards, etc. Have a balance.  I’ve seen co-workers lie, cheat and steal because they thought this would help them get praise from their bosses. When this happens, you have just misplaced your faith and no good will come of it. Why? You left God, your Source, out of your life (Heb 11:6).  Placing too much faith in people, your job, money and prestige will lead to nothing but disappointment and heartaches.

My hope is that this episode reminds you that your faith should be in Christ (Act 4:12;  Phil 4:13; Joh 15:1-7) and not fall into the trap in storing up treasures on Earth instead of heaven (Matt 6:19-24).

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