If I'm Being Honest
What Was That?
If I'm being honest, 2023 was possibly the worst year of my life. I can't tell you exactly when it started or what caused it. I just know that the year felt like a huge regression in almost every area of my life.
By the end of the year, I was the heaviest I had ever been at almost 250 pounds. I overindulged in junk food and excessive carbs. Mentally, I experienced moments of loneliness and depression. I had never felt lonely before, and I thought depression was long behind me. These feelings weren't always tangible, but I could sense that I was experiencing them, based on how I was eating and consuming media. I realized that I was sedating myself into a stupor to cope with the underlying issues. I started hanging out with my worldly friends more often just for something to do.
I would endlessly scroll through social media to keep up with world events, the gender war, social issues, and celebrity gossip. Focusing on the world's problems became a twisted way of justifying my sunken state. As far as I was concerned, being born into this cesspool of a world gave me a right to be disgruntled. I wanted to be a victim, so I could have an excuse to continue how I was living.
Spiritually, I was going nowhere fast. Everything seemed to be drying up. My prayer life, my devotion, and my ministry were stagnant. By the grace of God, I was still able to produce certain things for ministry, but I knew the inspiration was not flowing as easily as before. When I did get an assignment, I had to muster up the discipline to be obedient instead of the enthusiasm that I used to have. The best analogy I could give is like sipping a drink through a straw with holes in it. I was getting enough liquid to stay alive, but it wasn't flowing how it's supposed to. It was like listening to an old radio with a tuner and not being precisely on the station. I was hearing the music, but other signals were interrupting because I was out of position.
As 2023 winded down, I basically tanked the last few months in hopes that I could start fresh in the new year. Now, I'm a little over a week into 2024, and I believe it is already turning around for me. I started a 21-day raw vegan fast which has effectively fixed my eating issue. I am also not consuming social media, which has freed me to be more productive. The words that came to mind when describing last year were: regression, wilderness, wounded, heavy, and backslidden. However, when I woke up this morning, the Lord spoke a very specific word to me: momentum.
Present in the Moment
Immediately, I began to meditate on momentum, and I started researching. The simplest equation is that momentum = mass x velocity. As one YouTube video explains it, a truck and a mosquito can travel at the same speed, but if they crash into a building, the truck will do more damage because of its mass. Regarding velocity, if a child throws a baseball, then you will be able to catch it. However, if an MLB picture throws a baseball, it could seriously injure you because of the velocity.
Without turning this into a physics lesson, the last thing to note is that momentum is changed by force. For example, if you are driving a car and slam on the breaks, the car will come to a screeching (and sliding) halt because of the force from the brakes. Conversely, if you drive that car and simply let go of the brakes, the car will come to a gradual stop because of the friction from the ground (a lesser force). If you let go of the brakes while on a hill, then the car will have downward momentum because of the force of gravity.
Why is this important? Well, if I lost my momentum, then I need to identify the force that changed it. I also need to know the force that started my momentum in the first place to return to it. In the natural, it's much easier to gain momentum on a decline. Ironically enough, the same principle applies spiritually. In other words, the negative things like lust, gluttony, pride, and idolatry are easy to fall into. They are designed to take you on a downward spiral. The road downhill is thrilling, until you lose control and come to a fatal end.
That's why it's important to have force that is strong enough to ascend us to higher heights. That force is the Holy Ghost. It's not by power, nor, might, but by His spirit (Zech. 4:6). Prayer, communion with God, meditating on the word of God, fellowshipping with the brethren, worshipping and praising God, and the like are all powerful enough to overcome any decline that we can experience. The Lord is the only one who can get us on level ground and even take us to higher heights.
Ultimately, it's up to the believer to decide which force we will yield to. The scripture says that the flesh and the spirit wrestle against each other constantly (Gal. 5:17). It also says that we have to lay aside every weight and sin, which does so easily plagues us. A weight may not technically be sinful, but it can be just as detrimental to your walk. When it's all said and done, it comes down to choices. The root word of momentum is movement. Which move are you going to make?
He's on Fire!
The technical definition of momentum was fun to learn about, but I started to think of it in every day terms. One of the main places that momentum happens is in sports. Basketball is a great example. One game-changing play can spark momentum one team and crush it for the other. There's no equation on the basketball court, so what is actually happening when a team shift the momentum of the game?
Simply put, whenever something positive happens, it has a way of inspiring faith. Imagine a team is down on the scoreboard, but a player suddenly makes a 3-pointer. Next, they come down the court on defense and block the other team's shot. They throw an outlet pass down the court, and another player throws an alley-oop for the slam dunk! Before you know it, the crowd goes wild and the announcer shouts, "He's on [Holy Ghost] fire!" Why? because every time something positive happened, it sparked more and more faith.
Something special happens when the players, coaches, and crowd begin to believe. Our belief is what the enemy wants to attack to steal our momentum. If he can take away belief, then he can take away hope. If he can take away hope, then he can take away action. However, in 2024, belief in the Lord will produce Godly momentum.
In closing, momentum must be maintained. If you feel like you're experiencing deja vu, it's probably because I've spoken on this before. Now, I have finally accepted that I need tangible parameters in place to maintain my momentum from God. In hindsight, last year wasn't a total loss, as I did have some noteworthy accomplishments. I worked on my first film crew. I released a music project. I won an award at my job. I did some traveling. I enjoyed time with family. However, I realize that the greatest accomplishment I had was simply not giving up on God.
Don't give up on God, because He won't give up on you.