What is your WHY?

I was recently in a meeting where this question was asked of everyone. We all were told to write down our WHY. We were also told to keep asking why we chose our WHY and to write those down until we could no longer ask WHY. This may be a simple question but it’s true purpose is VERY DEEP.

You see, your WHY is your PURPOSE. Unfortunately, most of us don’t know what our purpose is. But, we can ask ourselves… WHY? And when we begin to break down our responses to the WHY then we will find our purpose. The reason that purpose is so illusive is that we don’t want to ask that next WHY because many times we are afraid of the answer or because we’ve never put enough thought to it to have an answer. Here’s an example…

When I was growing up, our church used to have a sunrise service on Christmas and Easter. This service consisted of everyone coming together at the crack of dawn to give honor to these holy days. Now, here’s the fun part… Easter, I understand. They went to the grave and it was empty because Jesus had risen. I get it. But, Christmas? They followed a STAR in the Christmas story. Every picture of the manger that I’ve seen was at night. So, why the sunrise service? Well, several years ago, I asked my dad  this same question. “Why did we have sunrise service on Christmas?” His first answer was classic… “Because that’s what we did.” But, being the persistent little snot that I am, I continued with the questions. You see, the part that you don’t know is since my parents went to Christmas Sunrise Service then we (my brother and I) couldn’t open our Christmas gifts until they returned. As a child, I hated this service!!! So, I asked him again and again and again (as any child would). Finally, he came out with the granddaddy of all answers… “That’s just the way you were raised and that’s it!!”

By no means am I throwing off on how we were raised. What I am pointing out is that my dad really didn’t have answer. He never pursued that WHY. So, when confronted with why he couldn’t respond. Since then, they’ve stopped having the Christmas sunrise service. But, this is only ONE example, ONE situation. It may have been insignificant to some but this really affected my view of certain holidays and the ‘traditions’ that we partake in.

One of THEE most irritating things in the world is a child that won’t stop asking WHY. The reason for it isn’t that they are trying to be irritating but that they are making the parent think because they really want to know.

Today’s assignment is this:
Just as a child will continue asking WHY until there is no more WHY to ask… Find YOUR WHYs. The reason that you need to find it is because it empowers you, it gives you wings, and when you are discouraged… your WHY gives you courage and strength!!!

Quick Note: This is NOT a shallow assignment and for many it may take not only today but tomorrow and the next day and the next week to truly find your various WHYs. Know this one simple truth… The simple truth is that MONEY is NEVER a WHY. It may be on the path TO the WHY but it is never the final destination.

Finally, I do have a special request. When you find your WHY for whatever scenario(s) you choose, can you share with me? You can post your WHYs as a comment or send me a personal message but I’d like to know what YOUR WHYs are.

I love you ALL!!!
Stay Blessed,

Btw, one of my WHYs is this:
The reason that I work in the Health and Wellness industry is that I want to be a catalyst of change helping people to heal not only physically, but spiritually and mentally. You see, I’m tired of watching my family, friends and people kill themselves because of bad habits and decisions. I’m tired of seeing those that I love suffer especially when we know there’s a better way. I’m tired of burying people that could have been saved simply by making healthier decisions. I’m tired of seeing a million Likes on a picture of cheesecake but only a handful on an apple. I help people to live better and longer lives not just the sake of living but to be able to enjoy living!!!

The crazy part is that as I read my WHY… I still asked WHY. All of that and there are still more WHYs to answer!!!



Happy New Year??

Okay. So, the New Year has come. Throughout the old year, especially near the end, we look forward to bringing in the new one. We look forward to starting things fresh, renewing our vows to ourselves and turning a new leaf as we turn the calendar.

Last night, we celebrated by going to church. Now, as the lead musician for our church, I am not only there in a celebratory mode but I’m also there to work. So, my attentions are in multiple places at all times. And because of that, I tend to notice a lot more than the average attendee.

Our service was combined with several ministries. That was very cool. I think that churches should come together. We should fellowship together and NOT just for once a year event. The service was great. I arrived close to 8:45 pm to setup my equipment and prepare for the service. The worship service was conducted by a guest worshiper. It was great. It was a little long but, it was great. Did I say it was a little long? The worship lasted more than two hours. The funny part for me, as I played the organ, was watching the audience. I must say that you can tell who came from which church by how they responded, or interacted, with the worship. At any given moment, there were a number of people lying on the floor, standing, jumping, screaming, singing, crying, sitting, waving hands or just watching. It was very good…

We make the switch and our worship leaders take the stage. 2012 is coming to a close. The service is in full throttle by now. No one is sitting. The excitement is in the air. The countdown… 3… 2… 1… and everyone SCREAMS!!!!! On a scale of 1-10, the praise is now at 30!!! We all are going crazy!! It is phenomenal…

There is a lull in the excitement. We came down to 20, so I step over and I wish one of the people Happy New Year. There was no reply. Then I step over to the other person next to me and the same thing… nothing. They both just looked at me. No smile. No “Happy New Year to You”.. NOTHING!!! I was totally thrown. Because of this, I started looking into the audience. There was so much exuberance, excitement and ecstasy over the coming of the new year but, it was all individualized, just like it was on the stage. People were celebrating in the crowd but they weren’t celebrating together. I saw very few people that actually interacted or hugged each other.

The part that was disheartening for me was that I was physically under attack during the last 2 ½ hours of the service. I was fighting my body to play. All of a sudden, I started sweating like crazy. My breathing became labored and at one point, I could barely stand.  My energy was zapped and I was hurting!!!! On the stage, surrounded by ministers, preachers, singers, musicians… in front of several hundred people but in shear agony. I felt like I was going to collapse. Does anyone notice? Does anyone care? Unified in the building but still separated…

Then “Jackie” rose up. Why am I here in the first place? Let the truth be known, I could care less about a New Year’s Service. Who cares that the calendar switches from one year to the next? It is just a calendar flip. ‘Man, I wish I had used their equipment. That way I could just leave and not have to tear down.’ All of these things are going thru my mind.

Then God rose up… and all I heard was this simple statement. “This is all for me…”

I started to remember some of the things that He had brought me thru just this past week and I began to celebrate Him, and not the calendar. The stress on my body was still there (some of it still here now) but, my head was in a different place. It wasn’t about being there for the people but about being there for God.

Christmas and New Years are two wonderful holidays. I’m glad they’re over. The celebration of Christ should be every day. The celebration of a new day should be every day. Without Christ, there isn’t a new day. Tomorrow is not promised to you. So, when each new day comes we should have a party…

Happy New Year?? I don’t know yet. I pray for unity. I pray that we go to the next level together, hand in hand, celebrating one another and the One that made it possible.

I love you ALL!!!
Stay blessed,