It’s about priorities, about who has the right to take precedence, about what is more important, about the most pressing matter. It’s about who will hold our attention and what will hold our tongues. It’s about who will hold us back and what we will hold back no longer. It’s about speaking up, giving voice to the lofty purposes. It’s about stepping up, which will require us to a take a step back to see what is required.
W.E.B. DuBois prayed,
Give us the grace, O God, to dare to do the deed which we well know cries to be done. Let us not hesitate because of ease, or the words of men’s mouths, or our own lives. Mighty causes are calling us—the freeing of women, the training of children, the putting down of hate and murder and poverty—all these and more. But they call with voices that mean work and sacrifice and death. …”[I]
To be sure, it’s about life and death, what will live on or through us and what we will eulogize, who we will let go of and what we will hold on to. It’s about no longer feeling our way through life, hitting a brick wall or being backed into a corner. Instead, it’s about turning the corner. It’s about moving on so that purpose can move over, so that the Spirit can scoot closer.
It’s about open and closed doors. It’s about the ones we walk through and the ones that are slammed in our faces. It’s about the God who whispers through the cracks and who has a knack for tight spaces, who wiggles into a womb just to make room for us. It’s about taking up space and claiming our rightful place in life, about trying and trying and trying again. It’s about resilience and perseverance, strength and the endurance to keep going. One foot in front of the other, it’s about first and last steps, going in circles and coming full circle.
It’s about time. Time’s up for excuses, for sentences that include should of, would of and could of. It’s about getting it done and getting over it, about cutting our losses and cutting the cord.
It’s about coming home to ourselves, about stopping the search to find ourselves, about no longer looking for love in the wrong faces but seeing love in the mirror. This year is not like any other night and yet it is exactly the same as the one before. Because it is another opportunity to change, to change course and to do a new thing, to break with tradition, to break generational curses, to be freed of the snares of sin, to not keep doing the same thing over and over again.
It’s about me and you and us and them. It’s about everything we have every dreamed of and the nightmares we hope to never see again. It’s about living with our eyes wide open and being fully aware, fully present, fully invested in this moment in time.
[i] W.E.B Du Bois, Prayers for Dark People, (Amherst, MA: The University of Massachusetts Press, 1980), 21.