If you had to choose one word to describe yourself, to describe who you are, what you’re all about, why you exist, what word would you choose? For me, the word that I would choose, and have chosen, is the word serve. I have come to learn that I was put on this earth not to serve myself, but to serve others. My life, is not about me. My life is to be about, and for, others. God did not gift me so that I could create a better life for myself, but God has gifted me so that I could help create a better life for others. I feel the most alive, I experience the greatest joy, when I am in service to others. My soul burns to serve others. My heart yearns to be a man who puts others ahead of self. I want to be a leader. An example. I want to be someone to follow. All of these begin with service. A leader, an example, and an individual to follow, must first become, and continue to be, a servant. A servant is one who takes action. Consistent action. Day in, and day out. A true servant is one who seeks no glory, praise, or recognition from others, but they quietly, relentlessly, and boldly serve in the shadows of those servants who have gone before them. A true servant is living for that which is beyond the here and now, beyond the distraction of materialism. A true servant realizes the present is not what the future reality has to be. There is more. So much more to life then living for one’s self. Life is service. Service is life. You and I were made to serve one another. To love one another, until death do us part. Serve. If I had to choose one word to describe myself, to describe who I am, why I am here, what I am living for, I would, and will continually choose the word, serve. I am a servant. What are you?
Tyler Johnson is a Husband, Father, Coach, Mentor, Trainer, and Founder of Elev8 Educ8 Rejuven8. Tyler and I have an awesome conversation covering a variety of topics. Some of the topics we discussed included: Family life, childhood experiences, finding purpose, the importance of athletics, leadership, and much more. Tyler is full of fire and passion for life. You will thoroughly enjoy this episode!
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I want to serve you. I will serve you. I want to listen to you. I will listen to you. I want to love you. I will love you. I want to be the man you’ve always wanted. I will be the man you’ve always wanted. I am not perfect. I don’t have it all figured out. I am unfinished. I am learning. But I have been waiting for this moment for nearly 32 years. Yearning for this moment, preparing for this moment, anticipating this moment. I don’t know your future. I don’t know my future. I don’t know our future. But, I will give you everything within me to give. I will serve you. Listen to you. Love you. The best I can. The best I know how. I will be the man God created me to be. I can be nothing more. And what will be, will be.
I have walked through many seasons in 31 years of life. Seasons of great accomplishment, seasons of great difficulty, seasons of struggle, seasons of loneliness, seasons of anxiety, seasons of frustration, seasons of searching, seasons of questioning, seasons of rebellion, seasons of exploring, and seasons of great joy. Seasons in life come, and seasons in life go. Some seasons are short, others, endure seemingly far too long. What I have learned over the years though, is that each season we walk through in our life, is preparation for the upcoming season. Each season we experience within this life, offers us valuable lessons in order for us to continue to grow, mature, and become the individuals God created us to become. Seasons are opportunities for us to learn, apply, teach, and expand as human beings.
One of the greatest seasons of my life occurred in my early and mid 20’s. I had graduated from college and was living in Sioux Falls, SD at the time. Through God’s working, I had the opportunity to move into a small, one bedroom house in a lower-income part of the city. Again, through God’s working, He began to open my eyes, ears, and heart to the hurting youth of my community. Many of the children in my neighborhood were Native Americans. I began to learn a great deal about the Native American poverty, plight, and generational struggles during this season of my life. God began opening doors like crazy for myself and others in my church family at the time, to begin reaching out to kids not only in my specific neighborhood, but kids throughout the city of Sioux Falls as well. But this was just the beginning. Doors began opening for us to serve youth in JDC’s and drug rehab facilities. Then, the greatest door for me personally opened. God opened the door for a trip to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South-West South Dakota, one of the poorest places in the United States. Through the service opportunities in Sioux Falls and Pine Ridge, my heart began to change. God began a work in and on my heart towards youth. I could not get past the fact that my childhood was so good, but in comparison, so many children experience a childhood that should never have to be experienced. I had it so good, but so many have it so bad. My heart began to yearn to help. My heart began to fill with love and compassion toward the hurting youth I was encountering and serving. A fire began to be kindled deep within my soul. God was awakening me to my purpose for existence. A purpose that was not about me, but about the next generation. Throughout this powerful season in my early and mid 20’s, I learned a lot. Many invaluable life lessons. I learned so much about myself. I learned so much about others, specifically children, even more specific, the Lakota children of South Dakota. The greatest lesson of all from this season, was the lesson of what this life is all about. God has taught me that this life isn’t about me. This life isn’t about me getting mine. This life isn’t for my glory, fame, or recognition. But, this life is first of all, about Jesus. The Son of God. Secondly, this life is about serving others. When we realize the great power in serving others, the great joy in serving others, and the great impact we can make within this world through serving others, then we realize why we are alive. Through the service to others, we become alive. We step into the purpose for our existence. We step into the reason for our being. Jesus Himself did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. We were created in the image of God, we were created to serve one another. God is good. Be open to what God wants to teach you in this season and in the seasons to come. Be open to humility. Be open to the uncomfortable. Be open to the new. Be open to being transformed, changed, and becoming a different person. God loves you. God is interested in you. God has a plan for your life. BUT, YOU have to be willing to submit to His plan. Open your eyes, open your ears, open your heart. God is working, God is moving, God is always willing, God never fails.
I struggle. I struggle a lot. I struggle everyday. It is an inner struggle. An inner battle. I know you struggle. I know you struggle a lot. I know you struggle everyday. The inner struggle. The inner battle. No one is exempt from the struggle.
I have nothing to hide. I know who I am. I know what I am. I know my passion. My purpose. I know why I am alive today. I know my strengths. I know my weakness’. I know where I need to improve. I know my shortcomings. I know my failures. I know where I have missed the mark. I know that I and you, are imperfect, works of art in progress. Knowing all of this, allows me to know, you need to hear what I am saying. WE ALL STRUGGLE. WE ARE ALL GOING THROUGH AN INNER STRUGGLE TODAY. Each one of us have thousands of thoughts racing through our minds. Each day. Every day. Positive, negative, and indifferent thoughts. They attack us constantly. The thoughts are relentless. All of us struggle on some level controlling our thoughts. The most confident individuals on earth, struggle controlling their thoughts. The wealthiest individuals on earth, struggle controlling their thoughts. The greatest athletes in the world, struggle controlling their thoughts. All of us have insecurities. All of us have had life experiences that have caused us some kind of trauma. All of us have been embarrassed. Made fun of. Laughed at. At times, ridiculed. All of us struggle on some level with wondering what others think about us. All of us struggle on some level with comparing ourselves to others. All of us have jealousies. All of us have annoyances. All of us have prejudices. All of us have body image issues. Some of us have eating disorders. Some of us have severe addictions. All of us have, a lot of issues. With all of our issues, come thousands and thousands of thoughts. Thoughts that can control us. Thoughts that can create fear, anxiety, nervousness, and a host of other debilitating factors. Thoughts are powerful. Thoughts dictate our perception and reality. Our perception and reality of our surroundings, as well as ourselves. Thoughts create an inner struggle. The inner battle. Thoughts become reality. As a man or woman thinks, so they become. As a man or woman thinks, so those around them become.
I want you to know, wherever you are today in your life journey, whatever you are struggling with in this moment, whatever internal battle you are fighting in this moment, as you read this, please hear me, please understand, please grasp, please accept the fact, that you are beautiful. You are beautiful. You are beautiful. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. You are in progress. An artwork, a masterful, beautiful piece of art, in progress. You have gifts. You have talents. You have abilities. You have capabilities. You have opportunities that you have been given to you. You have a Creator that created you to love and to be loved. The struggle is intense. I know. The battle can be overwhelming. I know. The fears, the anxieties, the yearnings for things to be different can be nearly unbearable at times. I know. I’ve been there. I am there. I will continue to be here, in the struggle, in the battle, just as you are. We struggle together. We battle together. Your struggles may be different from mine, your battles may look different then mine, but you struggle, I struggle, we all struggle, we all battle from within. Lift up your eyes. Look around. See the beauty. The beauty within the struggle. The beauty within the battle. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. YOU WILL OVERCOME.
I don’t know where you are. I have no recollection of your name. Five, six years have passed from the last time our paths crossed. Today, you are a young lady. You are becoming a young lady. When you were a child, you were so precious. So joyful. So loving. You always wanted to be held. You were curious. You were happy. I know your home life was a mess. A complete mess. You saw things, no child should have to see. You heard things, no child should have to hear. But through it all, you continued to smile. THANK YOU. Thank you for bringing such joy into my life. Thank you for allowing me to help you, love you, and share God’s truth with you. Today, wherever you may be, please remember, you are, you always will be, LOVED! No matter the pain and hurt you are experiencing in this moment, no matter the suffering you have been forced to endure, you are LOVED! You are a beautiful, peaceful, compassionate, resilient soul. YOU ARE LOVED!
Ashley is a sustainable health practitioner. She also is the creator of The Inner Athlete. Ashley and I have an awesome conversation covering a variety of topics. We really dig deep into Ashley’s story, which includes several life-changing vehicular accidents, in which one involved being hit by a drunk driver. Ashley opens up about her challenges with PTSD and how this became an impetus for her to begin focusing on the inner person, or inner athlete. We also talk about Ashley’s childhood experience of being an only child, body energy, the importance of knowing who you are, alone time, and much more! Ashley is a strong, energetic, lively, and beautiful soul! You will thoroughly enjoy our conversation and Ashley’s vulnerability with her story.
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