By Dawn Onley
I love Bishop T.D. Jakes. In addition to being a powerful speaker, a gifted preacher, and a devoted family man, I think he has great discernment and incredible insight.
Whenever I hear him preach, whenever I watch one of his videos, whenever I read one of his books, I am furiously writing down his message as quickly as he speaks it, filling pages upon pages in my notebook. I keep this notebook, as well as a Word file, of some of his powerful quotes nearby, and I turn to his sage words whenever I need a pick me up or to feel inspired. He’s like having a preacher, a counselor, a teacher, a spiritual advisor, a therapist and a coach, all rolled up in one. He breaks the Bible down in a way that is easily understood. He has a great ability to explain the stories in a way that make them relatable to what’s happening today.
I can’t think of a public figure who moves me to action more than he does. He was a visionary before visionaries became cool. From humble beginnings in West Virginia, he always dreamed big, and he had the faith, the work ethic, the perseverance and the resiliency to realize, and to fulfill, his purpose.
One recent day, I was perusing some of his quotes and I stumbled upon one of my all-time favorites. Immediately, I remembered some of the context of the message, which dealt with how we need to keep ourselves steady and focused in pursuit of our purpose, despite what is going on around us. He said life deals us all hardships, pain, sadness and grief from time to time, but to not let those things take us under, or to keep us from realizing our purpose.
“Ships don’t sink when they are in water; they only sink when the water gets in them. You don’t sink when you are in chaos; you only sink when chaos gets in you,” the Bishop bellowed in a message entitled “Divine Expectations.”
I love the quote because it speaks to the fact that none of us can escape life without experiencing hardships and difficulties, yet he encourages us to stay the course, to stay positive, to keep pushing, to stay hopeful.
We must not let pain, hard times, doubt, insecurity, low self-esteem, or anything else, sink our ships. The waters will be rough and turbulent on occasion, but we have to fight to keep the storms of life from capsizing our spirits.
Our negative thoughts are the cracks that allow water to enter our ships. We need to block out any sinking thoughts. We need to choose positive thoughts to safely bring our ships to shore.
Don’t give that negative thought a voice. It could lead to a negative action.
Don’t let chaos get inside of you.