Chapter 8 – Footprints in the concrete

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.’ We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. You’re playing small does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Marianne Williamson.

From the day I decided to become a follower of Jesus, my desire to be a voice could never be quenched, the style and way to get it across did. I was working out what I was going through in rhymes. It went like this;

“Sitting on a park bench wondering,
How was I made, how was I created?
Mmmmm I heard it was the 6th day,
Yeah I heard it was the 6th day,
Somebody told me I came from dust, could I trust?
I knew to read the bible was a must,
Naked I came forth and naked I will leave,
My destiny hangs on whether I believe,
Mmmmm let me think for a minute,
The closer that I’m coming to the truth I’m feeling freer in my spirit,
And I won’t stop until I get there, It’s so clear,
I sense the truth is close for real I won’t fear.”

I was full of life, you couldn’t shut me up. I knew I was loved, I knew where I belonged I was a child of God. I knew where I was going; I had a sense of destiny. I chose to appreciate the very thing that Jesus died to give me, life. I decided to live life to the fullest I possibly could, making mature responsible decisions based on the truth of Jesus’s life. I chose Jesus because I loved the way he loved and stood up to those who were fake. I loved how he put people before religion and loved outside the box. I like the way he painted word pictures to get his point across. Wherever he went he exposed limiting beliefs and presented a limitless god. Now I was relating to God for real, through his Spirit. I was going to talk to him with the words from my heart, I prayed with my eyes open.

“Sweat drips, steady drip its instrumental.
Steady flip my potential, in the mental it’s essential.
It resembles in my temple like an avatar.
My voice merges releasing an inner bar.
It transforms as I storm upon this platform.
I react to His spark now I’m getting warm.
Brings balance to the force just like Anakin.
Breaths life, life into this manikin.
It engages your heart like cerebro.
As I plug into his Spirit it detects flow.
Stimulates your mind to cause movement.
Your Impulses throb for improvement.
Your heart will never feel the same.
As I remain true to the game.
The time of His Spirit will never pass.
From the first to the last”.

Times are rough it seems we never have enough. It is in these times that we all need something to hold on to. I began to get involved in youth work, I was still trying to inspire the next generation. Young people on the edge of gangs, drugs, prison and death were my target to transmit life into. My goal was to spark something in them that might cause them to dream. This led me to writing again; this led me to dream again. From the first to the last I couldn’t deny what I was, a rhymer with heart.

“From the first to the last, we be the new class.
New teacher to reach yer with the new pass.
Led by the presence of the Spirit that’s within.
The seal of God, when you’re born again.
True freedom and I’m ready to select.
Respect to the soldiers with the Holy tech.
It drops next, from heartbeats to flat lines.
He leads me, now I see the signs.
You best believe, this walk is a tight squeeze.
I’m on a narrow road, ain’t no room to slip please.
In a dark time, he is like a lantern.
Lighting up my way before He returns.
Bringing peace in the middle of the storm.
Trend setters getting better and still getting warm.
The time of His Spirit will never pass.
From the first to the last”.

Once again, I feel inspired to write as I attack each verse with poise and purpose. I think about rhyming all the time, “Hard lines for me are hard rhymes, now more like a poet for these times.” Searching for truth should be an inspirational journey that leads to happiness, but there are so many whose own insecurities lead them to only feel secure if they are in control. I can only control my responses to life not yours. Why should I frustrate myself in trying to make you behave the way I want? I always remember being told that actions are like a boomerang they always come back. Sometimes the rule is broken, and you can always look at cases to justify a certain point. But generally, if you’re cool with people they will be cool with you. So be cool.

“From the first to the last.
God remains true.
His Spirit is the proof.
His Spirit is the truth”.

Footprints are the impressions left behind by a person walking or running. Footprints can be followed they leave a trail or tracks, so you can get to where the person your following is.

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there were one set of footprints.
This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from
anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.
So I said to the Lord,
‘You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most, you have not been there for me?’
The Lord replied,
‘The times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand,
is when I carried you.’
-Author Unknown

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there were one set of footprints.
This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from
anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.
So I said to the Lord,
‘You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most, you have not been there for me?’
The Lord replied,
‘The times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand,
is when I carried you.’

-Author Unknown

For many years Beethoven couldn’t hear a note of music, yet during this time he composed some of his greatest masterpieces. At the opening performance of his Ninth Symphony, Beethoven conducted himself. He could not hear a single tone from the orchestra or chorus. At the close the audience erupted into applause, Beethoven was oblivious of it until the lady who sang alto turned him around to face the audience. People were moved by the man who had to see, instead of hearing the applause. He didn’t let the fact that he was deaf destroy his passion. He held onto his dream. In the face of the assassin’s bullet, growing hatred and opposition Martin Luther King Jr dreamed a better future. The Wright brothers is a tale of failure, it is also the story of passion and flight.

It is related of Michelangelo that, while walking with some friends through a street in Florence, he discovered a fine block of marble lying neglected and half buried in mud.

“There’s an angel in the stone,” he explained and straightway went to work clearing off the slime and mire, doing havoc to his holiday clothes. Taking the stone to his studio, he patiently toiled with mallet and chisel and finally let the angel out—in a statue of a beautiful angel.

So many people today are ready to die for something, an insult, a post code, for being disrespected. Yet how many are ready to live, for their dreams, their futures, and their destiny. Leaving footprints in the concrete is a privilege. Plant seeds of change that once fully formed could allow this generation to focus their energies in more productive places. Sacrifice is not a word we readily use as we see over paid individuals that lack the character and responsibility that comes with large amounts of money and influence. We need the type of men and women to rise up who see themselves as a voice regardless of what society demands. A hurdler, runs as fast as they can but are faced with obstacles to get over. The winner is the one who best navigates the obstacles in their path in the quickest time. Our lives will be successful as we navigate the obstacles that we are facing and will face. The world may right you off, it’s your job always keep believing. You have to push beyond the pain barrier and enter the part of the race where champions are made. No champ ever gained victory by quitting, so don’t give up.

We are those who can shake the planet, it will impact my story and shape His story. Every dream, every pursuit of our God given potential means we are closer to be the men and women we were created to be. We must see the invisible, so we can do the impossible. Before they were done most things would have been considered impossible. Flight, a man on the moon. Someone saw it, dreamed it long before it was realised.

“We are like dwarfs sitting on the shoulders of giants. We see more, and things that are more distant, than they did, not because our sight is superior or because we are taller than they, but because they raise us up, and by their great stature add to ours.”

John of Salisbury

We remember those that have gone before for what they have done. We will be remembered for the things we have done. Leave your mark on the world and be remembered for something positive, something good whether small or big. It is our time to make the best of what we can and do something good in the world. Our steps today are creating an impression for the future that influences others. Everyone leaves a footprint in concrete somewhere, though not everyone has the qualities or opportunity to leave such a footprint where it will be widely noticed. We need to be content with whatever impact our individuality brings to the ground we walk.

“Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life; everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone’s task is unique as is his specific opportunity to implement it.”

Viktor E. Frank

I choose my attitude in every circumstance and situation. This is true freedom and cannot be taken away, it is what makes life meaningful. I had to take responsibility to find the right answers to life’s problems and to fulfil the tasks which it constantly sets for me. This has helped form my purpose and give me perspective and direction. This will be different and unique for each person. Treat yourself as the unique creation that you are. No situation is the same and each situation calls for a different response. We must ask ourselves what does life expect from us? Look into your future, there is always something that is expected from us. Be it as a father, brother, husband or friend, entrepreneur or creative, the questions are continually being asked. We must guard the hope in us that strengthens our ability to dream. If we are without hope it leads to a decline resulting in a death, of our dreams our future and last of all our life purpose. We must not lose hope but remain courageous in whatever we are facing. To inspire courage, we look forward into the future. A future success and from that point we work back to our present. This will give us a map towards our dream. This will help bridge the gap between what you are to what you can become. Everyone has his own specific calling, their mission in life that demands fulfilment. Every situation they face they do so in the knowledge of their mission in life and through this they find the strength to overcome the obstacles they face. I don’t question life, but life is continually questioning me. It is my life purpose to inspire that helps me define my answer to what it throws up. I followed the footprints and they led me to a love so real and dynamic it has redefined me. I am what I am through the choices I have made. When we think about the talents and giftings of the next generation we can learn a lesson from hip hop. A group of people got together and made something out of nothing, and how that nothing has come to define an entire era. In language, fashion, attitudes, and art. That nothing, that thing that was invisible was that dream, that passion. Once it has been seen and acted upon it is able to make the invisible manifest. It will transform our future. My faith has the power to do so much more!

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.

Harriet Tubman

Don’t stop dreaming!