Thursday, May 26, 2011

Push Your Destiny to its Boundaries with the Wind of God at Your Back

“You are responsible for your own life.”

Desire is not enough to change your life. Real change takes the courage to act upon your desires. I don't seem to possess enough courage - yet.

I never attended the church of Oprah on a regular basis. That does not mean I think she is anything less than a powerful woman. She puts her money where her mouth is. She pursues what she believes in. She is not afraid to tell you what she believes and she's not afraid to tell you why you should believe it too. On the flip side, I think she will listen to why you don’t believe. Maybe I’m wrong about that, but we all have to be able to listen, right? She was a master at giving us the powerful story of survival and redemption. She found the truth and exposed the lies. She sat and she shared and she talked and she preached and she gave.

After 25 years of trying to help people change their lives Oprah has now signed off; at least The Oprah Winfrey Show has signed off. As most of us know, Oprah will continue to try and enlighten the world through her own network, OWN. It seems fitting that her initials Oprah Winfrey followed by Network should spell OWN as she has owned the daytime talk show crown for most of that 25 years.

“Please take responsibility for the energy you bring into this place.”

As I watched Day 2 of The Oprah Winfrey Show 2-day secret celebration (an event if ever there was one) I enjoyed watching the surprise-hating Oprah's face as she was met with surprise guest after surprise guest. Then I found myself struck with tears as one man after another began to talk about his education. An education he would not have had without Oprah’s generosity. Each man was a recipient of the Oprah Winfrey Scholarship at Morehouse College in Atlanta. A select few had recorded their stories. She was visibly moved. I was drenched. My glasses actually started to fog up as the tears fell from my cheeks. Then, as if that accomplishment weren’t moving enough, Kristen Chenoweth took center stage to sing “For Good” from the musical WICKED. The song in itself is powerful enough as its lyrics talk of friendship, forgiveness and how life has been changed because "you" were in it. Then the ultimate surprise – small lights began to fill the stage as men who had earned degrees thanks to the Oprah Winfrey Scholarship filled it. It didn't stop there. Lights began to move down the aisles as man after man filled the space – men there to celebrate how Oprah and her generosity had changed their lives. Four hundred and fifteen men with educations from Morehouse College because of Oprah. She wept. I wept. I wept as I thought about how blessed I am that I didn't have to worry about getting an education. I thanked God for it and realized how I had taken for granted that my parents would pay for my education then I thanked God for them. I continued to weep as I asked God for the courage to make a change in my own life and to inspire others with my actions and words.

“You have to know what sparks the light in you so you, in your own way, can illuminate the world.”

It takes more than desire. I don't know my purpose. I'm not clear on my road. I just want to be able to proceed with an open heart and mind. I wonder how much potential I squander every day just sitting on the sofa?

“Embrace the life that’s calling you.”

Courage is hard. I have the word tattooed on my right wrist. I look at it often. I pray for the courage to face the challenges of my life and make the changes that will affect me and maybe someone else along the way.

“Everybody has a calling and your real job in life is to figure out what that is and get about the business of doing it.”

Oprah left a legacy of courage to fight for what you believe in, to find change through spiritual enlightenment, to read the words of a good book, to value the merits of a getaway with your best friend.

I may not have always agreed with what she said, but I never would have experienced The Secret and the changes it brought to my way of thinking if it hadn’t been for Oprah showcasing it on her show and my friend Neal calling me to tell me I should watch that day.

Desire is the seed. Courage is the water. The fruit the tree will bear is Change.

“We have the power to change our own lives.”