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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Falling for Christ, I owe it to my brother Corey (part 2) - Commitment

Me, Big Wood, Matt Vasgersian, Corey, and Shady (in Detroit, MI)

“I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” - Robert Frost

"That is why your death is going to be so sad... You've never fully committed to anything." - Bishop T.D. Jakes
What is commitment? According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, commitment is defined as "an agreement or pledge to do something in the future; something pledged; the state or an instance of being obligated or emotionally impelled." 

When the circumstances of life become difficult, people disappear. Marriages are not long term, because we don't understand commitment.  Commitment is only realized through reciprocity. Do you give as good as you receive? Do you understand that any relationship requires reciprocity? To be committed to your dreams and goals is a relationship. It's a relationship that you have to constantly add to. 


Think of a relationship as if it's a front lawn of grass. If you don't water this grass, remove harmful materials from it, and feed it with the proper resources, that grass will die. Likewise, any relationship that lacks the proper attention and care will diminish. That's why many of us don't reach our full apex. That's why people talk about becoming this or becoming that, only to fall short years later.


The bible talks about commitment. 
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices... 
Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize...  
For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.  

Commitment is unusual in our society. When my best friend Corey found Christ, he realized that he had to fully emerge himself in God to reach his personal and professional apex. That required him to lose some friends. He stopped hanging around people who were negative, evil, and promiscuous.  He tried to persuade many of his friends (including myself) to develop spiritually. He did this as a high school student in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Milwaukee for many teens is all about sex, parties, alcohol, and drugs. Corey fought against that status quo. 



Why aren't we more committed?

  • It is costly. True commitment is an investment. To reach your apex in any area of your life, you have to invest everything. That means your time, energy, soul, body, money, and faith. 
  • It requires patience. In a technology-savvy society, we are able to obtain many things within a press of the button. As great as technology is, we have become impatient people. To reach the apex of your success, you must be able to delay gratification. Thus, if you need to go back to school to retrain for a specific career, that will take time. There are no shortcuts to holistic success.

Corey's daily activities changed to studying the bible, praying, attending church multiple times a week, starting a bible study class at our high school, finding a spiritual mentor, and more. He did all of this as a 16-year old male. He continued to enjoy Chris Rock movies, to play basketball, and to listen to some hip-hop music. 


The things that we loved about Corey didn't change when he found Christ. They were enhanced. His sense of humor was funnier. His oratory prowess skyrocketed to a higher plateau. His academic ability heightened. He would even occasionally showcase his rapping and poetry skills. He was a normal 16-year old male like the rest of us. But unlike the rest of us, he had a commitment to something greater than himself. 

Until God called my best friend and brother to Heaven, he continued those activities at a higher level. At this point, he had attended Rhema Bible College, used his basketball gifts as a college student, and returned to Christian Faith Fellowship Church in Milwaukee where he began preaching. 


Thus, from the age of 16 until the age of 22, Corey did what was considered odd, weird, or unpopular for men of this age. He could have been partying, drinking, sexing, and balling. Corey possessed the talent to play Division 1 college basketball. His intelligence defines the true meaning of student-athlete. He didn't half-step or half-ass anything he pursued. He didn't mind being a misfit. He wasn't trying to fit in. He was always seeking more. Wherever Corey went, he stood out. He wasn't created to be of the world rather he was designed for God.


What should we be committed to?

  • Be committed to God. Regardless of your beliefs or religion, he gave you life. As evil as this world is, you need to focus on your spirituality to reach your personal apex. 
  • Be committed to family. Your relatives need you. Individually, we all encounter obstacles. It is our individual responsibility to be committed to the well being of one another. The government won't help us, the one percent (of the wealthiest families in America) could care less about us, and non-profit organizations have enough people to care for. The onus falls on us. Show love to your parents, teach your siblings, and raise your children with love.
  • Be committed to church. 
  • Be committed to your dream(s).
Corey understood this. He proved his commitment to God by consistently attending church, consistently reading his bible, consistently praying, learning from several mentors, enrolling in a biblical college, and more. 

He was committed to his family as he encouraged all of relatives and friends to build a deep relationship with God. He didn't mind being challenged. He used his debate experience to persuade his loved ones to change their life for the better. He desired to become a minster. 

He committed himself to the church. When everyone else was watching television, sleeping, or partying, Corey remained steadfast to his goals by sacrificing himself for the benefit of the church. He was involved in multiple ministries at Christian Faith Fellowship Church. 

Lastly, he was committed to his dreams by learning from strong church leaders and ministers, learning how to study the bible, and expending the time and energy to gain a strong understanding of God.

His wisdom surpassed his years of age. At a young age, he decided that he wasn't born to be like everybody else. Thus, he lived differently to fulfill the destiny that God had designed for him. Corey saved souls. I cannot count the number of people that found God, developed their spirituality, or became better people because of Corey's advice, wisdom, and life.


It's amazing that one person with the right amount of focus, determination, and commitment could impact the lives of hundreds or thousands of people.


So what's stopping you from being great? What are you willing to do to fulfill your destiny? If you are seeking your purpose of life, I recommend you began reading a bible, join a bible study class, and read A Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.


If you know your purpose, then I recommend you read books and listen to podcasts about commitment. Focus on positive thinking as your thoughts influence your actions. 
















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