Death & Vision

I  was introduced to death at an early age. My family never shied away from the topic or event. I was told stories about the old southern tradition of passing infants over graves at funerals to protect their spirits. (Don’t ask. I still don’t understand how that works.) I remember going to the funerals of aunts and uncles as a child. I hated wakes, though. The idea of sitting in front of an open casket for hours seemed like pointless torture. When I was 9 or 10, I had a terrible nightmare after my favorite Aunt Mary’s wake and decided then, that was the last wake I would ever attend.

The fear from that nightmare prompted me to ask my ailing Grandmother to promise she would not come in my dreams after she died. She laughed and told me she would be too busy enjoying Jesus to come bother me. For my comfort, however, she made the promise and said she wouldn’t let anyone else bother me either. This past Wednesday, it has been 17 years and she has kept that promise.

My last post was written to honor Erica McCullough, who recently passed away. (To see that post, click here.) She was a dynamic vocalist with whom I had the pleasure of attending the same church for a few years in Charlotte, NC. My most memorable moment with her was a brief conversation we had after a Sunday service. We spoke about headshots, theater and our desire to break into the entertainment industry. Erica was already a respected and sought after voice in gospel. In my mind, it was only a matter of time before the world knew her name and her music. Now, she’s gone. Though I was shocked by her death, I was more shaken by my questions about vision.

Erica’s death did something that no other death has done since my Aunt Mary’s. It scared me. I am forced to face the possibility of a vision going unfulfilled. During our conversation, Erica talked about the steps she was taking towards her goals, which made me ask myself, “Well, what are you doing?” A few months after moving to L.A. in 2006, I clearly heard God say,

The vision is here. The appointed time is now. Habakkuk 2:3

Ten years later, after little progress due to my own procrastination and fears, I see Erica’s smile as I hear the question again. “What are you doing?”

Death can be tragic, but it can also be an eye opener. The reality of our limited time on this Earth is very clear to me now. My answer to Erica’s Question can no longer be laced with excuses for my laziness and anxieties. My answer will be concrete steps I am taking towards my goals. I have surrendered my career to God with the commitment to give 100%.  Forget what I haven’t done since 2006. “The vision is here. The appointed time is now.” I am moving forward to a vision fulfilled.

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