Friday, June 17, 2005

June 17, 2005

It’s been awhile since I stepped outside and shared my pen for others to see. I get moody like that sometimes. My grandmother used to tell me that I get my mood swings from my grandfather. My mother tells me that I get it from my father. Wherever it comes from, I just know that I have these spells when I don’t want to share my world with others. Instead I’d rather brood in silent introspection. I write, but I write for me and me only.

Writing is MY thang..I ain’t got to share it with NOBODY if I don’t want to…hmph.

Some people may wonder just how in the hell does a blogger who posts new material every blue moon maintain a steadily increasing audience of readers? Believe me..I’ve pondered that same question myself. But you see, what we have here is a failure to communicate. Blogging is my opportunity to ‘work out’ my writing skills in public view. Kinda like a prize fighter in training that holds public workout sessions for the media to see his skills on display. That’s how I view This is my opportunity to try out a few punches and counterpunches, work on my footwork and my combinations, just so ya’ll will have an idea what kind of fighter I am when I step into the ring for my first official match or book in this case. The internet is cool and it allows for a wonderful marketing and publicity tool for ‘unknown’ writers like D. Washington...but the real bell doesn’t ring until that wood hits the street.

When I first started blogging, I put out 2-3 blogs every week, much akin to those quick jabs. Nothing too long or elaborate, I was normally in and out in 1,000 words or less. Stick and move..stick and move. But as the audience started growing, so did the urgency to prove myself as a championship caliber writer. I didn’t want to remain a one punch quick hitter type writer, I wanted to dig deeper and be ready to go 15 rounds and then some. My father groomed me to be a world champion from the time I could walk. And I’m not just talking about the many times we spent shadow boxing with bare fists. He was so much bigger than me, that he’d let me get in punches to his body as he covered up his head.

Gone and get you a nuddin

He’d grin and flash that gold toothed infectious smile, almost amused by my efforts as I would stand there and try to load up with all the energy in my body and punch him in the stomach as hard as I could with my fist. If I got too sloppy with my delivery, he might throw a jab or two at my chest or arm, or maybe even give me an open handed slap upside my head, just to remind me that I can NEVER let my guard down.

Keep your guard up! You gotta be ready to take a blow at all times.

He taught me all the critical areas to target in my opponent and he promised me that if he EVER caught me doing that pre-fight, shoulder to shoulder dance in circles,that he’d whup me himself.

Don’t dance and play around, if you know you’ve got to fight a n’ga, don’t wait..take the fight to him. Get in the first punch, the 2nd, 3rd and all em of down to the last if you can. Fight to win.

So whenever I pick up my pen, I always remember the training that my father gave me, I’ve got to write to win ya’ll, it’s all I know. Some may wonder who the opponent is, but I don’t worry about that. All I focus on is who my Master is..and whenever He puts me down in the pit to scratch against another dog (or demon), I know it’s a match that’s completely off the chain and I’m dead game.

‘Dead game’ is a term that is commonly used in the fighting world. Some may think it’s a measure of skill or strength, but it’s not. The ‘game’ in a person (or dog) isn’t about how strong they are or the quality of their training, but rather their heart. No matter how nice you are with your hands, or how vicious your bite is, there is always somebody out there who can match your talent or training. Somebody that has more guns than you. So when you’re in the midst of the struggle and you reach a point where you realize that your opponent is stronger, smarter, quicker and more agile than you are..your heart or ‘gameness’ will determine how long you stick it out.

Some people get popped in the mouth one good time or get knocked off their feet with a crushing blow..and that’s it. They’re ready to turn tail and go home.

“Live to fight another day n’ga!!”

And believe me..fleeing danger is a primal instinct that is not always dictated by fear, but rather the will to survive. But the thing about this Christian that once your time comes to get down in that pit and fight for the Lord, there is no turning back. If you know the Lord is on your side, those bites and blows that the enemy inflicts aren’t wounds, but rather medals. Because whenever you suffer pain and take blows because you’re lifting up the name of the Almighty God??... that’s when you start winning FO REAL!!

Okay..let me back up a bit. Cuz I know I have the tendency to stray from a linear path and instead write along a path more akin to stream of consciousness..but I do have a definitive plot for this post. I know some of ya’ll may be a bit confused, with the references to fighting and taking blows and then all of a sudden I started talking about God and maybe I lost you. But this is the read this very carefully.

God wants your testimony.

Didja get that? Not just mine…but YOURS too. He wants all of His children to open our mouths and tell this dying world that He is very real and very much alive. You see, lifting up the name of the Lord is not a politically correct thing to do. If you want to start a fight at work or at a party, start talking about why you know that Jesus is Lord. People will start laughing at you and calling you ‘crazy’, ‘Jesus freak’, ‘simple’ or ‘gullible’, because a lot of people have intellectualized themselves past the cross. From the people of random chaos who think sh’t just happens, to the people who think Jesus is a fictional character, to the people who don’t believe that it was Jesus that got up on the cross in the first place, our world is dead set on refuting and denying the deity of Christ.

Now the real tricky part comes in, when you assume that everyone who has a Bible in their hand believes that Jesus Christ is the Lord and Savior of us all. There’s a lot of people who read the Bible for recreational purposes only. Or they may use it like one of those boxes of assorted chocolate candies…biting into the verses they like, but discarding the ones that are disagreeable to their palate.

The Bible is cool and all..but it’s been in the hands of MEN and it’s been changed over the years.

Whenever someone pulls that ‘the Bible has been changed by man’ card out on me, the first thing I ask them is, ‘Oh yeah? What part?’ Usually they stumble and fumble with an answer, because they really don’t know, they’re just repeating what they heard or read from someone else. They haven’t read the Word for themselves. They haven’t studied to show themselves approved unto God. It’s a lot easier and more convenient to tarry along the fringes of faith rather than take a full bite into the Word with conviction.

I believe in GOD, but not religion, cuz religion is man-made.

I’m sure there’s a lot of people reading this right now who probably just told someone that exact same thing a few minutes ago. I know, because I used to be one of those people that had fooled myself into believing that I was a part of the family of God, but yet I did not praise and worship Him in any way, save that meager grace we normally do with a mouth full of French fries that you couldn’t wait to taste..

God is great God is good, let us thank you for this food. Amen.

I wasn’t robbing or killing, and I believed in God, so I was all good. Going to church was a religious thing and everybody knows that religion is a man made construct..right?

Things didn’t start changing for me until I woke up one day and realized that I was stuck in a quagmire. My job seemed unfulfilling, my home life was unsatisfying, and I just started to question why God put me on this earth in the first place. I found myself trapped inside of that dark and unforgiving pit and I was being constantly attacked by an undefined opponent that seemed intent on devouring my soul. I knew I was slowly fading away and losing strength, because every time I walked past a mirror, I always found myself worrying that the day would come when my image would no longer reflect. I felt that I was on my way to completely disappearing from the face of existence, I was about to disappear in a poof, quicker than Kaiser Sousa from the Usual Suspects.

That’s when I made up my mind to reach out to the only help that I knew. Momma couldn’t save me, daddy couldn’t help me..I had to get on that hotline and call on the LORD for myself. I was raised in a Southern Baptist household, but my studies had taken me on a tour of the different religions of the world. Our high school class read Thoreau’s ‘Walden’, and I was kinda digging that whole ‘transcendentalism’ thing. God was in ALL of us. I read Malcom X’s autobiography and it peeled my wig back a bit and made me study Islam. There’s a long list of religions or ‘paths’ to God that men claim, I was well read enough to know that the Baptist weren’t the only game in town. From Catholicism, to Islam, Judaism, Taoism, Scientology, Kabala, Buddhism..I had dabbled on the fringe of various faiths for awhile. It might sound surprising, you know, with me being raised in one of those good ol Christian homes and all..but the thing about God is, it doesn’t matter what your family or community teaches you about God, you’re going to reach a point in your life when you’re going to have to know Him for yourself.

I felt that I was intelligent enough and mature enough to have the power of discernment between what’s real and what’s fake. I wasn’t about to let somebody pee on my head and tell me it was raining…naww, my game was too tight for me to fall for the okey-doke move. I’m sure there’s a lot of us who look at the older generations, our parents and grandparents and think that they’re naïve..or too trusting..that they don’t REALLY know what’s up in the world like us ‘intellectuals’ with enlightened education and global awareness.

Why would Jesus be the ONLY Way to God? What about those good devout Jews or Muslims? What about those people who grow up in cultures and countries where the gospel of Christ isn’t even allowed to be taught?

Those were just some of the questions that I had swirling around in my mind as I paced back and forth in the pit, looking for my entry point to lock in to the power of God that I knew I needed to survive. I was searching for truth, I was searching for understanding, I was searching for peace, I was searching for redemption.

I knew God is...but the whole issue of religion and worship seemed so random to me, that I was hesitant to step out on faith. I didn’t want to fall suspect to the ‘white man’ in charge who uses religion as an opiate for the masses. I was a free man with my own free will and I refused to let my soul be shackled to the slave mentality of organized religion.

So instead of choosing a religion, I chose to immerse myself in the Bible and really study it for myself to see if I could see the ‘janky’ parts in it, those parts which have been changed by those evil men running the world. So what you’re about to see these next few days, is my testimony of why I know that Jesus is real. I love the LORD ya’ll, He heard my cry. And I know no matter how many seeds I may plant through my words or how much water Curvey may distribute, it is God and God only that can give the increase.

So all ya’ll agnostics out there who are dabbling along the fringes of faith? Get ready…we’re coming to get you.