As a child growing upon the Virgin Islands when we wouldn’t listen to and obey adults, we were accused of being “harden.'” The word was used often to describe defiant, disobedient children who would not take instructions from adults, no matter what. It was synonymous with unruly children. I think that all of my peers were told by an adult “yo too harden,'” at some point in our childhoods. Surely if adults called you “harden'” it was not a good thing. It wasn’t until, I got older that I really understood the word – which is actually hardened, with a “d” at the end (that we in the VI never pronounced). The real word – hardened – is an adjective that can be used to describe anyone, not only a child, who is so set in their ways that nothing can change them. While it’s not usual to hear the term used towards adults, it very well can be. As adults sometimes we make up our minds – and because we have declared a stance on a particular subject, or because we have always been doing things in a certain way – nothing can change us; we become hardened. It’s ok to change. It’s ok to change your opinion. It’s ok to change your lifestyle. It’s ok to change your plans. It’s ok to change your feelings. It’s ok. None of us should become so hardened that we are unwilling to change. But even worse, none of us should become so hardened that we do not listen to God. Lots of times the Most High shows us that we should do things differently. That we should behave differently. That we should think differently. That we should live differently. But we don’t; and we remain hardened. In reality we are no different from an unruly child who refuses counsel from someone wiser. The thing about hardenedness is that deep down we know that we should change. Sometimes everything and everyone in our lives show us that we should change. We know that we are being defiant for no reason, or that we are being defiant against good reason. Listen to your inside voice. Listen to God. Suffering from “harden’ness” is a choice. Let’s choose not to suffer.
If we’re not happy where we are, we have the power to fix it. Sometimes we stay in a place or situation where we are utterly miserable simply because we are afraid of change. The fear, doubt and what-ifs creep into our heads and paralyze us. But only we have the power to change our situations. Life is meant to be enjoyed and we all deserve to be happy. If we are not at that place, it’s not too late.
Today let’s be motivated to making a conscious choice to reclaim our happiness. A little motivation is all we need.
Never allow anyone to change the essence of who you are. You may have to change your friends. You may have to change your relationships. You may have to change your congregation. You may even have to change your job. But do not change the person that God made you to be. You can only fulfill your God- given purpose by being the person He chose you to be.
Today let’s make the conscious choice to being true to who we are. A little motivation is all we need!
The great abolitionist Frederick Douglas said, “People who advocate freedom, yet deprecate agitation, are people who want crops without plowing the ground. They want rain without the awful roar of the thunder and lightning. Without struggle, there is no progress. This struggle might be a moral one. It might be a physical one. It might be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”
Today let’s be motivated to agitating for what we need. A little motivation is all we need!
We will not keep doing things as we always have. Change will happen. Think about the past five years – and all the changes that we’ve seen, in our lives, at work, in the country, in the world. Some say change is good; others say change is bad. Change is inevitable – it will happen, it must happen. Some change we can control; others we cannot. To better handle change we must keep learning, always be prepared and be flexible enough to adapt.
Today, let’s be motivated to preparing ourselves for change so that we can handle it, not if it comes, but when it comes. A little motivation is all we need!