It is What it Is (Down the Line, Stran Smith)

Do you see yourself as a grasshopper? In the Bible, Numbers 13:33, Moses had sent twelve spies into the Promised Land to look at it. Two of them came back and said, “That’s our land.” The other ten said, “We were as grasshoppers in their sight.” My question is: how do you see yourself?

Yesterday I was in Los Angeles waiting to catch a flight. I started into a Denny’s to eat breakfast when a bum rode up to me on his bicycle and asked me for money. I told him I didn’t have any cash but invited him to eat breakfast with me. During breakfast I learned that Curtis was 50 years old and had been out of prison for four years. He was locked up for 25 years after being convicted of murder. Curtis had been a gang leader, a drug dealer, and had killed many people.

I asked about his family and he said he had a few kids, a mother, and grandmother scattered in different states. I told him, “You must have someone in your family who has spent a lot of time praying for you.” He said he did and that he believes in God. One of his sons followed in his footsteps in the gang life and was killed. Curtis had a slang quote that pretty much summed things up for him: “It is what it is.” During our meal Curtis became polite, quiet spoken, and it was obvious that he was very intelligent.

After we parted company, I began to wonder if Curtis knew that what he was doing would determine what he would eventually have or be. It also made me look at my life and think about how I view myself. Because that’s where it really starts – with your self-image. If I look in the mirror and don’t like what I see, then I need to change my environment.

Do I see myself as a guy that comes through in the short round or do I see myself as someone who can’t possibly tie a calf in seven seconds when needed? No, I view myself as the guy that can get the job done, whatever that job may be.
How I see myself in everyday life is just as or more important. How well do I handle things? Do I snap at people? Am I quick to be ill, to judge, or to be mad about little things? If I see that, then I need to change that picture, not just change the way I think about it.

It’s like looking in the mirror and then deciding to get in shape. If you change your diet and work out, eventually your image in the mirror will change. Making change physically or spiritually is always possible. It just takes work, time, and the knowledge that it won’t happen overnight.


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