Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Count your blessings...

Well, I know that I haven’t posted in a while. But this time, I have FANTASTIC excuses to explain my long absence. First, my dad has been dealing with some health issues that were pretty serious. I took time off from work to help manage that situation on the home front since my mom seemed to be pretty overwhelmed by it all. Long days spent at the hospital turned into short nights and then more long days at the hospital. This left very little time for me to get my thoughts jotted down, but it did give me a little time to think about some things. And whenever I start thinking that means… yep! You guessed it! MORE BLOG POSTS FOR YOU! Whoo-hoo!

Anyway, during this time, a very close friend of mine decided to quit his out-of-state job and move back to DC. He wanted to spend his days looking for a new position, but didn’t have a computer. So I, out of the kindness of my own heart, allowed him to borrow my beloved laptop for a few days. Which then turned into an entire week! So, that didn’t leave me much time or opportunity to write a post. When I told this friend that I needed him to return my computer so I could get back to blogging, he said, “You’ve gone longer than this without blogging. Nobody will miss you.” Well, he can just kiss my tookus because I know for a fact that I have been missed. (And I feel great about that, by the way!) I know this because I got cursed by several people who had been checking for new posts and finding nothing. And for that, I apologize. So, here goes a new post. And I’m working on a few more… hopefully, I’ll have at least two more to post later this week…

I wrote this post last week when I was feeling overwhelmed and a little bit depressed by my circumstances. But since then, my circumstances have changed for the better. You can't have a TESTimony with a TEST. And I was being tested. But, I'm here to tell you that God is good all the time, and all the time God is good. Amen. I still have a few questions, tho... LOL!

Ok, so we all know that there are some people who have fabulous lives. Everybody has that one friend that it seems can do no wrong. No matter what, s/he always gets what they want. A new job? Got that. In fact, they got the exact job they were looking for. No, better yet, it was the job they had always dreamed about and it was handed over to them with little effort. Wait, actually, it is a job that is BETTER than the job they had always dreamed about and it pays significantly more too. And, no their girlfriend isn’t just the most beautiful woman in the city, she is actually the prettiest woman on the East Coast, knits blankets for orphans in her spare time, sings in the church choir, AND cooks like Martha Stewart to boot.

And though you are genuinely happy for said friend and all of his/her happiness, sometimes you wonder why God seems to smile on certain people while ignoring the pleas of others. Sure, you are blessed, and you don’t even deserve the blessings that you DO get from God – truthfully. But you also notice that there are other people out there who happen to be ordinary people just like you, but it seems as though their blessings are constantly overflowing. And the question is WHY? Who are these people and what have they done to deserve them getting so much out of life? There’s got to be some reason why they are highly favored and the rest of us are just trudging along trying to make chicken soup out of chicken shit.

I’ll be the first to admit that these sorts of questions pass through my mind all the time. And, there are certain people that I encounter on a regular basis that manage to spur these thoughts. And I can think of quite a few people that I know personally who I could mention here in this post. They would actually be textbook examples of this phenomenon. But then I thought better of using their stories. Some of those blessed and highly favored people I had in mind do read this blog and would probably recognize their lives once I described and laid them out for the whole world (or at least the 5 or so people who read this blog!) to see. So, instead, I’ll go with someone who everyone on the planet knows and who has probably spurred these types of thoughts in millions of people’s heads.


Yes, that “triple threat” – the singer, actress, dancer (although she has really only mastered two of the three… guess which two??) – that we all know and love. You can’t help but give her the props that she is due. The girl seems to have it all!

A few years back, I paid over $100 to see Beyonce, Alicia Keys, and Missy Elliott perform in the Verizon “Ladies First” tour. I had liked Beyonce since her days with Destiny’s Child. But it wasn’t until I had seen her in living color that I began to respect her and her craft. She is a PERFORMER, plain and simple. I got my money's worth just as a result of her performance. She is the embodiment of the term “entertainer”. Through her whole set, I couldn’t take my eyes off her. She belted out the words to every song enthusiastically, didn’t miss a note, her feet didn’t miss a beat. My friends and I were enthralled. Not to mention that she did all this for approximately an hour and a half and didn’t seem to have a hair out of place when she was finished. Now THAT is talent.

A couple of months ago, my mom and I were watching “The Beyonce Experience” when it aired on cable. By the end of her first set, my mom was out of breath. When I asked her what was wrong she said, "I got tired just watching her!" That’s how much energy Bey displayed. It was outrageous. Then, she belted out one of her slow tunes and I was in awe of not just her stamina, but also her level of talent.

My awe quickly turned to curiosity. How is it that one person could be so blessed? I mean, she has the stamina and the attitude and the look and the talent to back it ALL up. Not only is she a very capable vocalist, but she can also dance her ass off and (halfway - let's be real) act. And, of course, those three blessings weren’t enough for her. She also happened to fare well in the genetic lottery, which made her the lucky winner of a bodacious bod and gorgeous grill. Some chicks have all the luck!

But, I don’t believe in luck, I believe in blessings. And this girl is clearly blessed. Aside from all those things that I outlined about Bey up above, add to that the fact that she is also a multi-platinum recording artist in a very depressing time for the music industry where pirating and digital developments have caused record sales to plummet. Plus, she’s got a fashion line, House of Dereon. And even though the shit is a hot tranny mess, well, it’s STILL a fashion line! And, finally, she can take responsibility for snagging the most swaggerific dude in the game, the shrewdest business man in hip hop, one of the greatest rappers of all time, Jay-Z. The same dude who used to mean-mug the camera all the time now walks around with a constant grin on his face, looking like a kid in FAO Schwartz who has just been handed his father’s Amex Black Card and been told to "go crazy!".

So I wonder, what did Beyonce do to earn all these blessings? Was she Harriet Tubman in another life, bringing slaves to freedom in the North? Perhaps she a former nun who dedicated her life to caring for the afflicted residents of a leper colony? Did she take a bullet for someone? I mean, really, WHO DESERVES ALL THAT?

I’m waiting for an answer…

No really. I can’t answer this question, so I’m hoping someone else can! LOL!

Now, I know that maybe some of this sounds a little haterish, but trust me - it is not. Bey got SOME of her success through hard work and dedication. But to be able to have all that she's got... she also had the Lord on her side.

I get the fact that every generation has one or two pop culture icons who become larger than life. Beyonce is that icon for my generation. So, I can sorta understand that maybe God gives chances like this to one person per generation and Bey did something that found her favor in God’s eyes so that made her the perfect candidate for icon status.

I also recognize that, as the Good Book says, to whom much is given, much is expected. So that means that Bey has got to do some things to justify her blessings. I don’t know her giving history, but I’m sure that she finds ways to help out those less fortunate, which would include… basically everyone else in the world! I have no concrete knowledge of what she does or doesn't do, but I do know that God is expecting a lot from her... he gave her this kind of life for a reason. She better prove him right!

Anyway, even though I realize the extent of Bey’s blessings, the pills that are a little harder to swallow are those people who receive these kinds of blessings on a smaller scale. Like for instance, the friend who wished that she could get an internship for a record label and ends up skipping right over the internship and getting a job as a high-paid exec instead. Or that guy who wants to make it to the college team to play Division I ball and instead ends up going pro... as a first-round draft pick. Possibly it’s that young lady who wants to buy a condo and ends up getting blessed with a 20-room mansion. Whoever it is, sometimes it just doesn't seem fair. There are a million guys waiting to go pro, some of them just as talented as A.I. or LeBron or Kobe (barf). Why didn't they get the contract and the endorsements and the millions?

The examples I used might seem unrealistic and you are probably thinking that stuff like that doesn’t happen to "ordinary" people like me and you. But, guess what, everyone is “ordinary” until something EXTRAORDINARY happens to them. I’ve seen the throwback videos of Bey and Miss Kelly and the rest of them chicks singing and dancing in Tina’s beauty salon back in Houston. In those days, they were just ordinary girls, but then… something happened that transformed them into who they are today. And, when you think about it, there had to have been a ton of other girls also singing in churches and barber shops and talent shows who didn’t get the same kind of break that Bey and Kelly got. And those “ordinary” chicks are still just “ordinary” because that extraordinary thing, that BLESSING, did not happen to them.

Now, this is the second post where I’ve mentioned Beyonce. Trust that I’m not a Beyonce stan, but I do admire her and what she has achieved at such a young age. And, I’m genuinely happy that she has accomplished what she has. I just want to know… why her? Why not someone else?

I know you’re not really supposed to question the divine order of things. Sometimes, “why?” is not appropriate. I don’t really expect to get these questions answered in this lifetime, so don’t rack your brain trying to figure it out or anything…

I thank God for my many, MANY blessings. Although I haven't been blessed with Bey's talents (or her man, OR her millions) I've got a lot of amazing things to be thankful for. I still wonder why Bey is so blessed (and Oprah on a larger scale and a certain NYC pal on a smaller scale). But I am also not so dense as to be unaware of the fact that I have been blessed with exactly what God WANTS me to have. And for that, I am grateful.

So, God, no hard feelings. You’re still my homeboy and I’ve got nothing but love and respect for you. Keep on blessing Beyonce and them. And keep on blessing me. This is just food for thought…

1 comment:

less is more said...

Thank you for posting! I'm one of those who hates waiting for your posts. This was a really good one, its all true and I do wonder this also. Why does it seem God favors some more than others? ESPECIALLY when its someone who is not a believer? Or when its someone who doesn't seem like a 'good person'.
But I try to remind myself that my time will come. And that I already have way more than I deserve, like you said. But then why do we care about the others?? I don't know.
But I do know that we have no idea what they don't have that we do have. There's so much we take for granted. They could have more money than they can spend, but they could be missing the family we have or the good friends, or the stability or the privacy (in the case of celebs). Or they could be missing a good relationship with The Lord (which we wouldn't trade for the world). Chances are some of these people who seemed so Blessed, also have demons we know nothing about, or pain and drama in their life we know nothing of. Great things often come at great cost also. And some people have it 'all' it seems, but they're missing the ability to realize it and be grateful and enjoy it. If they don't see how sweet they have it, what's it worth anyway? And for others, it's a curse, the money or the fame or whatever, it's just not enough . . . so it's always a paperchase or famechase, etc, for more of it . . . never enough and they're never content. Again, so then what's it worth? In such situations, is it not better to have 'less' and know its worth?

Maybe less is more . . .