1 Cor. 13:11 “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.”
I never knew about her earlier life. I knew of her activism, her poems, and her infinite wisdom but yesterday was my first glance into young Maya Angelou. That is — 7 year old Maya Angelou. In one of her many interviews with Oprah Winfrey, she spoke of being raped at age 7. A few days after being released from jail, the man she accused was found dead. It was the end of his life and the end of her voice – for several years. Her 7 year old mind led her to believe that her voice was the cause of the man’s death and that if she continued to speak then more people would die. Where did she get that from? Who did she consult about those thoughts?… No one.
Her tragic story plays out in the lives of many people across the globe, including myself. No, not everyone is raped at 7 years old… Thank God! But there are millions of people that allow one bad, sometimes tragic, experience cut them off from their destiny. We often sit with our minimalist viewpoint, only looking at what we can physically see and we shut down. We already tried to start that business and it failed. We fell in love with “the one” and it failed. We didn’t finish school the first time so we failed. We took the wrong career path in our twenties so we failed. We let one bad incident trick us into silencing our dreams. Similar to Dr. Maya, we stop speaking about our hopes and desires. We’re no longer bold about our passions and fall into the background, quietly going about our safe routine so not to make the same “mistake” again.
1 Peter 1:18 “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors…”
We all have that 7 year old mentality at times. No matter how old you are. I don’t care if you’re 30, you could have thought like a 7 year old yesterday. I believe the older we are the more fearful we can become because we allow our bad experiences to outweigh the good ones. We allow our poor decisions to keep us in a poverty mindset. The thought of Dr. Maya Angelou allowing a vile person to cut her off from her God ordained destiny would not only have been a tragedy for her, we all would have suffered. She has left her footprint in history. She’s stood alongside giants as both a supporting role and a leader in her own right. She’s written and spoken words that have freed so many generations and will continue to do so. Lives would have been adversely affected if she did not push through her struggles and step into her calling. If you haven’t learned anything from her life, I hope you acknowledge that it’s no greater than your own. Her background is similar to so many others. She wasn’t “supposed” to stand out. She wasn’t “supposed” to demand a presence. She wasn’t “supposed” to be honored as a legend… but she accomplished all that and more. Why? Because she had the audacity to believe it was possible and she took the limits off her life.
Take the limits off your life. Don’t let one ill fated moment define a life full of untapped moments. You have a voice. You have a presence. You have a calling no matter how big or small. You are important to this world so take your rightful place and own it. The world can be better off with you in position!
“Your crown has been bought and paid for. Put it on your head and wear it.” – James Baldwin
1 Cor. 7:23 “You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings.”