For the last year and a half, I’ve been commuting by train. I hate driving. Commuting allows me to relax, rest, and read in the mornings. I arrive at work in a much better mental state than I would after fighting through the anxiety and road rage engendered by metropolitan area traffic. There’s always a lot of activity at the station where I board the train. Last night, I passed a homeless man being placed in handcuffs by two police officers; a few guys smoking blunts; countless school children- some rowdy, vying for attention, others simply entertaining their friends; a guy practicing his dance routine; a few women with multiple piercings and tight dresses talking loudly like they wanted to draw attention to themselves to advertise their wares; and large mobs of people headed to buses or trains just like me. And I made some “observations”.

Moment of honesty: Sometimes I can be judgmental…like that crotchety old church mother who, with her nose turned up, sizes everybody up as soon as they walk in the room. I may not say anything aloud but I have mastered the side-eye and more importantly, I carry the judgments in my heart. Man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart.

I wondered to myself, “Why is it that some people don’t reach higher? Why is it that this is what they pattern behind? Isn’t there more to life than this? From generation to generation, some people follow a cycle of low aspirations and mere existence.” But as I power-walked and threw side-eyes last night, God convicted my heart with one thought.

You aspire as high as what you see.

It is human nature to reach for what’s in front of you. You aim to grasp what is in your line of sight.

So, what is in front of you? What examples are in your view? Who are you looking at? What are THEY doing?

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In a few years, that will be you and that’s what you’ll be doing.

As I mentioned before, I’m a strong believer in visualization.

So, the pictures that fill my mental space become the future to which I aspire.

When I wake up in the morning, pictures of healthy, ambitious, resolute, and empowered women on the grind greet me on my vision board.

When I open my Bible, images of women like Deborah and Lydia, Shiphrah and Puah leap from the pages.

When I log into Facebook, I see people like Jacqueline Cofield, Dionne Boissiere, Courtney Bennett, Sandra Scruggs, Pozzie Mazerati, Mariama Carson, Dana Hines, and Andrea Bomo doing amazing, world-changing, God-glorifying things.

When I scroll through Instagram, I am inspired by the work of Natalie Cofield and Ashley Joy Sutton.

When I open a book, I am gifted by the words of Claudette Copeland and Victoria Christopher Murray.

These are just a few of the images that I keep before me. These women give me something to aspire to and a reason to keep pushing forward. Their presence in my mental space empowers me to demand more of myself because I am capable of more. They remind me that there is untapped potential and unharvested gifting dormant in my soul and I owe it to the world to cultivate and produce!

And maybe the people that I judged too quickly reached as high as the examples that were set before them. Perhaps my job, and yours too, is to set a good example, be a healthy model for someone else to follow. Blaze a trail. Show the way. Carve a path. Be a guide. Let some man or woman, young or old, look to our lives as a lights in darkness. Be someone that someone else will want to become.

Then Elisha prayed and said, “Oh Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.”

What are you looking at that you don’t mind becoming?

Selah.