By AYANNA CLARKE
So, I’m reading this book by TD Jakes called “Crushing”. The main premise suggests that through the pressures of life we can obtain the power to benefit and thrive. A friend of mine is also reading the book but admitted it is taking her forever to finish. I asked why and she admitted to the following:
She’s tired of constant struggle.
She’s fed up with the marginal gain after coming through trying times.
She’s afraid that some great destiny is not really awaiting her but that she will forever be disappointed with a less than stellar existence.
Then, after this litany of reasons she had the nerve to ask me what I think!
I had to pause before even answering her statements because I realised that everything she said held truth for her, as it may for us all.
We’ve often heard people say, “When it isn’t one thing, it’s the next”, implying that our lives are filled with constant battles that must be fought. Or we find that the result of promotion, or gain, is harder work, more responsibility and greater sacrifice. Then to top it all off, we seem destined to live out a meagre and mundane existence, never knowing the worth of truly being celebrated.
What do we say to those who don’t buy that their phoenix is rising? Or to those who feel that they have reached the apex of their lives only to find the view not so spectacular.
I guess my answer would be that we should endure the pressure so we can embrace the product. I never suggested to her that her opinions didn’t have some validity. None of us want to go through trying times, or be marginalised in perpetuity. But you must agree that the hard times gave you a greater wisdom and strength you may not have had before.
So, I guess our talk of “Crushing” will encompass a) Knowing who we were before the struggle and b) Appreciating the finished product.
As we begin the book, we find TD Jakes discussing two important crushing experiences in his life. The first, the revelation of his daughter’s teen pregnancy. It amazed me that he would mention how some external tragedy was part of what God used to catapult him toward purpose.
Take note that his daughter’s experience remains secondary to the idea that the strain and pressure of the experience pushed him on to destiny. Although he has to face her being sexually active at such a young age, Jakes suggests that this along with a few other experiences built fortitude within himself to fulfil purpose at another level. To be sure, a young girl going through such a trying time is a crushing experience, but it’s Jakes crushing that remains the focus at the outset of the book, pointing to my first idea of this series: No grape crushes itself!
Let me ask a few questions:
• Is it really crushing if you are diagnosed with high cholesterol after a lifetime of never eating a vegetable?
• Is it crushing if your car breaks down after you’ve ignored all servicing requirements?
• Is it crushing if you have failed every test because you’ve been focused on everything except application and study?
Having gone through my share of life’s pitfalls and potholes, I am never one to belittle any trauma or tragedy, but here’s a thought. Life does throw us our fair share of turmoil and hard times, and although we are crushed in many senses, can we really call it crushing if we ourselves are at fault? Here’s an idea: Perhaps some of what we have called crushing is really consequence.
Hmmm...I truly can’t wait to get started. God bless you this week!