Even though this pains me, I’m going to be really vulnerable and honest here, feel free to skip over this if it bores you, it’s perfectly okay. This doesn’t really have a lot of practical application like most of my posts do. I just need to be honest right now.

I’ve spent a good chunk of my evening watching a web series following a truly phenomenal group of spoken word poets called Striver’s Row as they tour, perform, and share their hearts behind the scenes. Seeing them, their hard work, hardship, and commitment to do whatever it takes to follow their calling is jarring. It’s an earnest slap to the face to watch a bunch of 20-something year old kids like myself pursuing doctoral degrees, writing their asses off, performing their poems around the world, in the White House, for television, at their alma maters as commencement speakers with awards named after them, all because they know that this impact is exactly what they were made for and they are committed to making it, life or death.

Meanwhile, I’ve known since I was a child that I want to change lives, but I grew up lazy, arrogant, foolish, entitled and most of all, terrified.

Terrified of my own gift.
Terrified of all of the work I knew lay before me.
Terrified of standing out.
Terrified of failing.
Terrified that I might not be everything I’ve sorely wanted to believe I am.

I’ve known all my life that I owe a huge debt to the world and I’ve run and run from it over and over and over, and now by some miracle, it dawns on me as I watch these videos:

I can do this.
I am absolutely capable.
All I have to do is work for it. Work hard for it. Really hard.

It’s in me, and I’m finally ready to do what is required of me. I’m not afraid anymore. I see myself better than I ever have, and I’m ready to suffer, to pour myself out because I know that I have a message that people desperately need.

Thank you Josh Bennett. Thank you Striver’s Row. Thank you for showing me what I am worthy and capable of. What God expects of me. What the world needs from me.

3 responses to “Strive.

  1. You really are an amazing poet! I thank God that you are so ready to really give it your all. I will be praying that even when it gets hard-God whispers in your ear & reminds you that this is your purpose. I pray He will remind you everyday that you open your eyes that your best is all that He needs to complete the task of impact in people’s lives. Plant your seed. Love you and I’m excited to see what God has in store! :)

  2. Mike, now that you know what you want to do, do it. Don’t look back at what you haven’t done, now its time to do it. I will tell you like I tell my nephew, you were made to accomplish so much more. You have the time, support, love and encouragement to pursue what you love. I am praying for you, as I always have these past 7 years. I believe in you, and Frenchie, and your brother David, and Brooklen, and Dominic, and Michael Johnson and all the other young men I have been praying for all these years. Keep striving Mike you can do this.

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