The Weekly Dream: Phoenix Rising

“They say Jay, how you get so fly?  By not being afraid to fall out the sky…”

-Jay-Z, Beach Chair

This morning I was watching MTV and I saw clips of the next Making the Band 4 episode.   For those unfamiliar with the show, Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs has this competition for whatever type of band he wants to put together and MTV tapes the competition as Puff has them complete various tasks.  This season he is putting together a male R&B group. And for whatever reason, Puff says in the clip “Count the number of beds, and count the number of people, somebody is going home.  It’s every man for himself.”  For some reason, it struck a chord with me. 

Normally, I hate reality shows, but I am drawn to the ones where there is something at stake and there are eliminations.  Why?  Because on those shows you watch people get taken out of their comfort zones and see who they really are. 

 As individuals, we spend our lives fighting change.  We are afraid to do something different, that we know will be beneficial because it will make us “uncomfortable.”  Why do people stay in dead-end relationships?  Because they are used to the person.  Why do people not stick to their workouts?  Because it is much more comfortable to continue to do what you have been doing.  And the list could go on and on.  We cleave to the comfortable and familiar.  A lot of people become victims of negative inertia.  But what they do not realize is that negative inertia becomes apathy and complacency.  Selah.

These are the type of people who consistently limit themselves, boxing themselves into their environment.  I call them ostriches, just sticking their heads in the ground: Not wanting to see anything, not wanting to hear anything, just staying put. 

Forsake the Familiar

There is a type of eagle, who when its young is first born,  builds its nest with the sharp ends of the sticks pointed out.  However, as they young mature, it gradually begins to turn those sharp ends inward in order to provide an “incentive” for the young to want to learn to fly and leave the nest. 

How many of us are the same way?  We do not want to leave our comfort zones until we are forced to by external circumstances?  Without challenge, there can be no growth.  Shouldn’t that challenge come from within and not always from our environment? 

In the Bible, God told Abraham to leave his family and homeland so that he can make him a great nation.  If that had been us, would we have done it?  Throughout the Bible, God was constantly taking people from what they were used to in order to change and transform them.  Look at the stories of Daniel, Moses, Jonah and Joseph to name a few.  It was scary, uncomfortable and risky but there was a job that had to be done. 

Life has a way of making us do the things we normally would not do on our own.  Why not turn the tables and challenge ourselves to reach a higher level?  We forget that life is a journey, and you cannot take a journey if you are standing still.  We must strive and compete to realize our potential.  I often speak of my time hiking in the mountains of Colorado in high school.  Hands down, the most uncomfortable experience of my life.  But I learned so much about myself in those two weeks than I had at any point in my life.  Like a phoenix, I was reborn better than ever. 

Meet You At The Crossroads

We all at some point, come to the fork in the road, where to get where we need to go, we must venture into the unknown.  It may be taking the next step in your relationship, making a move to a new city or job, or becoming a parent.  Anytime there is a transition in life and roles we must play, there is a little bit of awkwardness and angst.  Especially when it comes to timing.  You may tell yourself,”it is not time” or “I am not ready.”  Well, what I have learned is that if you do not get ready, you will never be ready.  And sometimes, there are just things you can never fully prepare for.  It is just baptism by fire. 

But do not worry.  You too will arise like a magnificent phoenix.

Shout out to my people studying for the bar.  

Truth and Peace,

Steven M DeVougas



3 responses to “The Weekly Dream: Phoenix Rising”

  1. Alfreda Robinson says :

    Another winner.

  2. Jeremy Browning says :

    As I’m reading this post, I feel so convicted and challenged in my heart. How often does this happen in life? I mean, getting so familiar and comfortable in your surroundings that you actually become paralyzed in your own little world. The quote from Jay Z’s song “Beach Chair” struck a chord with me also. It brings to light a saying an adult mentor used to tell me; and that’s “failure is a blessing in disguise”. Yes, most of us are afraid of change for the simple fact that we’re more afraid of failure, or rather making a wrong decision and suffering the consequences. But from personal experience, I know the times that I’ve learned most about myself were when I failed at something I desired to succeed at. That pain, angst, or whatever you’d like to call it, helped me realize my strengths, weaknesses, limits, and most of all my future. By initiating that forward motion in my relationships, job, etc., regardless of the outcome, whether it be success or failure, after the smoke settled I always came out a new man. Friends, change is rejuvenating. Doing something that’s out of character and stepping outside the box is so necessary for fulfilled living. A wise man once said, “I’m not afraid of death, I’m afraid of not living”. This statement, as does Jay-Z’s, screams change! It screams words like risk, faith, dream, and venture. So with that, allow yourself to meditate on this wonderful Weekly Dream and see what you’re really made of. The sky’s the limit.

  3. Carl Quindel says :

    Real talk. It is refreshing to put ourselves in the most challenging or our most feared situations. Afterwords, what we saw as hard, impossible, uncomfortable, or, most commonly, unfamiliar, becomes familiar. Through regular practice of placing ourselves in these tough situations, you see that after the rain comes sunshine:

    “After the rain good weather
    in the wink of an eye.

    The universe throws off its muddy clothes…”

    “What could be more natural?
    After sorrow, comes joy”

    -Vietnamese Poet and Peasant Leader

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