Race to God
Based on the title of this you may think you already know exactly what I am about to talk about, and I’d say you are right. Let me start off by narrating some of my experiences in relation to race.
I recently got the opportunity to move to a country with a school that has made pursuing my dream career a reality. I was excited to come to this place, embrace its culture, food, people, and all it has/had to offer. Of course, I had a little anxiety as would be anyone else excited about moving to a completely different place in a foreign land. With high spirits and expectations as though a bubbling fizzy drink I soon saw myself slowly fizzing away as I faced some racial disparities that left me questioning if I was imagining this experience or I was really living through it.
In all of the experiences I’ve had thus far, I was left wondering and questioning if there was something wrong with being born black. I suppose we often take it for granted when we look like most of the people around us but when we find ourselves being the minority in a place/country we start to really live in the reality of what that feels like. Not only did I wonder what was wrong with the color of my skin but I felt a sense of pride, yes I realized more now than ever the importance of me showing an appreciation and admiration of my skin but also my heritage because if both of those led to such indifference it must mean there is something special and great about it. Nonetheless emotions of anger and retaliation grew heavy on me like a cloud-ready to precipitate and I had to find myself grappling with the possibility of not being able to ever address the issues I was facing or to wait for another time, either way, the way I felt was quite foreign to me.
This led me to pray a payer I’ve never prayed before, “ God please take away the feelings I feel right now, I don’t like how these people have treated me and how it has made me feel, I would rather not have emotions so that I don’t have to feel the way a feel right now”, what were those feelings? A little helplessness, overpowered, less than, unappreciated, looked down upon. Suddenly a scripture that my Dad always says to me came to remembrance,
Deuteronomy 28: 13
And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail, you shall be above only and not beneath, if you heed the commandments of the Lord your God.
I also realized that it isn’t every time we have the opportunity to speak up on forms of racism and why I say this is because as we navigate the feelings and situations associated with the race we still ought to use wisdom in our approach which will allow us to address issues firmly , effectively but respectably with the love of God thus allowing us to drive the change we want to see. God has given us feelings that allow us to feel happy or sad or even fearful and all these are often dependent on the situation we find ourselves in but as children of God it does not end there for us because we know that we are driven with more than our feelings, we are driven by what God says about us. And yes it is not easy to remember that sometimes, but it is essential to our existence. I found myself reciting
Psalm 139 vs 14
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
Guess what, black, white, yellow, green, or even blue, you are fearfully and wonderfully made, you are the head and not a tail, above and not beneath and you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, and a peculiar people, basically you’re special and perfect exactly the way you are, Your very existence is a symbol of God’s good works in human form and thus you are full of purpose.
What is Race to God we may ask? I think it is simply the creativity and variety of God’s creation and to him, He loves it all uniquely and equally, but most importantly our very existence on this earth goes beyond how we look and centers more around the Race we are running towards God every day the Race to God, which is more eternal than the color of our skin or our geographical location.
Let us remember to be kind to one another despite our differences and to be the perfect depiction of the love of God as we all individually run our race towards God.