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Why Settle?

I was raised a Christian. I was raised to be God-fearing. I was raised to be thankful for all that has been given to me and all that is in front of me. When I wake in the morning I thank the Lord for the air I breathe, for the sky and sun above and I ask that I be a blessing to all around me regardless of whether anyone blesses me back.

As I aged and matured in years, wisdom and my own faith walk I realized I had certain abilities. The ability to create something out of nothing. The ability to take a little bit and turn it into a lot. The ability to make the mediocre great --- in time. In my late twenties I began reading money management books and learned how to save and how to live debt free and how not to splurge on myself. My life became an exercise in sacrifice for the great payday. I taught myself to become more by being less.

And all the while I took all the dung that life has had to offer me. Black eyes and a bloodied nose again and again. Some broken ribs and a terribly mangled ego. There were and remain jackasses who never deserved even my delusional belief that they were my friends. There were girls who brought absolutely nothing to the table other than a Coach or a Gucci bag, maybe, along with some mediocre lovemaking. I allowed them to enter my life again and again and wreak havoc on my sanity and my belief system because I thought the two-bit lust we may have been making at the time was something I didn't think I could live without. In the relationship department I've rarely chosen and never pursued. It may sound enviable, but it is not. The pursuer does the picking. The pursued is the veritable prey. I've always been the prey and it has almost been 100% to my detriment. I have been places where not a soul has even deserved to know my name let alone touch me. And yet I've allowed myself to be mishandled by misguided souls. I've had my kindness distorted into weakness and my lack of facade used as a weapon against me.

When I've shared the above sentiments with my parents and other like-minded Christians I've been told to hold my tongue and be thankful and I will know when my time has arrived, and I will know when wrong is dead wrong. Until then, pray about it. In other words settle for other people's inexcusable disregard for their fellow man's existence on this planet and ask God to give me the strength to endure them. Accept whatever is offered to me because through His strength I can make it better. I've taken jobs I had no business taking and accepted salaries I should be slapped for accepting. I've waited instead of acting. I've listened to others tell me about Jesus rather than just listen to Jesus myself. And despite what I know, feel, hope and dream, I've lived a settler's mentality when faced with reality. Scared to demand better for myself for fear I might be chasing away a gift --- looking a gift horse in the mouth. This is something that has been unintentionally ingrained into me for longer than I can actually remember. Maybe all this time, I've just been looking at big teeth.

Does God, the New Testament God of peace and love, want me to settle and then fight an uphill battle for the natural desires of my heart --- his desires for me? All the time?

Does he want any of us to endure this BS nearly 24/7?

After a 2.5 year period of unemployment followed by a 1.5 year period of underemployment --- a total of 4 years working against the odds --- I arrived somewhere I never imagined I'd would: working for Coca-Cola in social media. My 2.5 years of winter followed by my 1.5 years of planting has yielded an unimaginable harvest with fruit that bears so much knowledge it is almost uncontainable. And with this knowledge there is something there that hasn't been before. Dissatisfaction.

Initially I was thankful for the opportunity, but now my standards have skyrocketed. To make a pretty huge leap and compare myself to Neo of the Matrix movie trilogy, I see the world around me differently now. It is now a world where very little is good enough, most likely because it never has been in the world I've allowed to be created around me. Arriving at the place where you belong has a habit of doing that to you.

Being 40 hasn't brought on this revelation so much as now clear understanding of what I am truly capable of and understanding that based on my own previous decisions I don't have all that I should have because I believed through Jesus I could turn the nonsensical into the completely logical. And when I use the word "have" I don't mean material possessions. I mean the intangibles, such as peace.
But what Jesus has given me is a brain and a discernment that reaches far beyond my years; an inextinguishable willpower to press on when everyone else has thrown in the towel; a handyman's ability without a handyman's training; an eye for photos that can only be heaven sent; an understanding of people that allows me to get along with everyone except for two people in particular; and the ability to already have a story written down in my mind long before I tap the first sentence. The eloquence I'm told I convey here far outpaces the eloquence of the words of my mouth. Oh yeah, and I an undying belief in and love for my fellow man and woman.

Where in all of these gifts does settling for second best or less than what I deserve fit in the above or even make sense?

It doesn't.

Why settle?

Don't settle.

Thanks for reading! To learn more about me, you can read my story.

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