The thing that really started baking my noodle, was the question of why God would allow this to happen? He knew that I was putting in work to spread His Word, was this God’s way of telling me my work was wack? I was stumped. Because when you’re on a mission from God, or at least when you THINK you’re on a mission from God, isn’t He supposed to shield you from all hurt, harm and thievery?? Maybe this was God’s way of telling me that I needed to shut up and sit down or that my intentions weren’t coming from the right place??
It is during these times of trials and hardship that we all must seek comfort in Him. And as much as we can be soothed by prayer, meditation and reading God’s Word, it still helps a lot to have a spiritual advisor to lean on for direction and words of encouragement. Fortunately I have a couple of people who are always there for me whenever I have questions or confusion about this particular lifestyle known as the Christian walk. It’s not an easy thing to do ya’ll..you have to pick up that cross and bear it daily. It kind of made me think back to an interview I saw Mel Gibson do right before the release of the Passion of Christ.
In the interview, Mel was describing the experiences they had during the filming of the movie. There was one particular incident where the actor who was one of the body doubles for Jesus was struck by lightening. Just imagining what THAT must’ve felt like made me start tripping. Because I know if I was that body double and I had gotten struck by lightening, I would’ve started thinking, ‘Whoaa. God must doesn’t want me to be doing this..it must be a sign!” But Mel went to talk to the actor and calmed him down, because understandably the guy was pretty shook up. And after things smoothed out a bit, he was able to collect himself and get back out there and finish the job. I had to gain strength from that incidence, because for awhile I was so shook up, I couldn’t even write. I mean, I could write physically, putting words down on the paper, but it wasn’t making any sense, it all seemed like mindless drivel that no one would be able to understand.
But fortunately, I was able to talk to my father and my uncle and a few other people who I know are always out for my best interest and I felt better about it. Because first of all, the Lord isn’t going to come at you wrong, He’s not a thief. So that meant the culprit had to be some random thief or maybe even an agent of the evil one..who knows, but from that realization, I was able to shake off my doubt and get back in that pit with a renewed vigor. When one of my cousins who lives in Atlanta heard about my loss, she was quick to let me know..
“That ain’t nothing but the devil D. He knows that you’re reaching an audience that would otherwise never get IN to the Word, so he’s going to do all he can to stop you.”
At that point it was kinda like the battle line was drawn. God knew what was going to happen, but He let it take place because it was in His will. Maybe this was the bite that I needed to feel to kick into a higher gear? It is times like these when the Word of God is an invaluable strengthening tool of direction and purpose.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called, according to His purpose. – Romans 8: 28
So I used the theft incidence as a stepping stone, I had to step my game up to another level. Satan being the hater that he is fighting like a lil ol gal, stealing people homework and stuff. Let me gone and get down and smash on this fool like the soldier that I know God made me to be. The wild thing is, my Distribution Manager, Tommy Curvey, called out all these things waay back when we first shook hands to jump out into this venture known as Servinemup Ink.
“You know D..this is some serious stuff right here. If you go start digging into these n’gaz heads and lifting up that Word through these books..the devil ain’t go like it. We both go have to stay prayed up and get our game tight…cuz he’s definitely going to come at us trying to knock us down.”
“Yeah..I thought about that. But it’s not like I have any other choice, I’m His child, I’ve gotta do what He put on my heart to do. If you don’t want to get caught up in this, then I understand..I’ll get it out there anyway.”
“Oh, I ain’t backing out n’ga, I’m dead game for the Lord too!! I’d rather die in the pit fighting for the Lord, than be one of them scared az spectators on the sideline doing NUTHIN to uplift Jesus’ name. I’m just telling you..don’t sleep, you gotta stay ready, cuz that heat is coming baby, you betta believe that!”
The best part about all of it, is that when you know that God is on your side it doesn’t matter who your opponent is…you’re going to win. Some people assume this means that nothing bad will ever happen to you..but that’s not how it goes. It rains on the just as well as the unjust. No one will ever be able to explain all of the things that happens in this world, but once you know in your heart that you are called according to God’s purpose? Then that’s when you can be reassured that no matter WHAT happens, ALL things work together for good.
Now the other issue that pops up, is when I have to check my intentions. I’m down for uplifting Jesus’ name, but I’m also down for taking care of my family and striving for financial independence. We’re not publishing books to give away for free (at least not yet), we’re trying to turn a profit. So then the question comes up of a conflict of interest. On one hand you’re spreading the Word, but then on the other hand you’re trying to reach as large an audience as possible and make money, so at what point does one motive conflict with the other? I’m sure it’s a question that comes up with anyone in the business world, whether Christian or not. If you’re going to make money in this world, what is the ethical dividing line of content? Would a real Christian own a liquor store? Would a real Christian distribute drugs? Would a real Christian use curse words? Would a real Christian take 'liberties' on his IRS tax returns? Would a real Christian the hookup on cable? That question of intention was gnawing at me, because by no means do I ever want to fall into the trap of being ‘janky’, especially when it comes to something as crucial and vital as God’s Word.
But once again, my spiritual advisor gave me a great litmus test to use when he told me,
“The best thing I can tell you nephew, is that whatever it is you do..after you’ve got through doing it and all is said and done, you need to ask one simple question, ‘Who gets the glory?”..if that answer is not Jesus, then you’re not doing the right thing.”
So now, whenever I sit down to push my pen, I always make sure to recite a prayer from one of David’s Psalms that I actually pray throughout the day:
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer. – Psalms 19:14
That’s a very valuable prayer to me, cuz I still have some throwed off things that pop into my head from time to time. I can still vividly remember sitting in church service as a child and I’d think to myself, “If Heaven is like being in church..I don’t want to go.” And even as I grew into an adult, I often found myself contemplating if there was a Heaven for thug n’gaz..a stress free life and a place where we could kick it and just have fun. But once the Lord convicted my heart and I started growing in my faith, I turned the corner of praising and worshipping Him and now I feel bad if I don’t go to church. I wake up looking forward to it because it strengthens me.
So..hopefully this is all making sense to ya’ll, I know the mood, tone and direction of servinemup has gone up to another level than when I first started blogging, but that’s just the growth in D. We move from glory to glory. If you’re standing still you’re doing something wrong. Move around mane..move around.