The National Baptist Congress of Christian Education Health and Wellness Initiative is a collaborative effort of National Baptist churches, medical professionals, and health related organizations committed to health outreach and prevention education (H.O.P.E.).
A Forever Recovery is sponsoring the 2015 H.O.P.E. Week Health Initiative.
Topics will include:
- health and wellness education;
- resource materials and services;
- support networks of trained resource persons and facilitators; and
- evidenced based outcomes assessment.
June 22-26, 2015
Cobo Convention Center
National Baptist Convention Presidents Lunch
June 25, 2015
To my esteemed guests, I will be brief in my comments, and I will start off by asking a question. Who amongst us has witnessed firsthand the devastation of drugs and alcohol in our workplaces, in our friends and our families? Give a thought. Now, can I see a show of hands? I know it is a personal question but I can share a story with you about myself, which is a tale of drugs, alcohol and other sordid stories that nearly devastated me. I went through five (use your hand) rehabs before it worked for me and gave my life purpose.
The truth of what addiction is doing to all of us as a society can be seen be the number of hands that have gone up here today. In my years of treating thousands of addicted individuals and helping a majority of these people stay off drugs and alcohol, I have noticed one common theme among the folks I admit to my facilities.
That common theme is a loss of spirituality in their lives. These people have lost their sense of purpose; their sense of direction. I feel that society has lost that sense of purpose and a collective sense of direction. As Yogi Bear once said, ‘It’s hard to get someplace if you don’t know where you are going.’
Spirituality means something completely different to everyone of one us sitting in this room. Each of us recognizes the power of believing in a higher power and the sense of purpose and gratitude that comes with that belief. Without faith in a higher order and the existence of something outside of our everyday lives, life can become unbearable.
The following came from a US Army mandatory “Spiritual Fitness” training that the Army abolished in 2011. If a soldier failed the spiritual fitness test, they heard the following statement from a superior officer. I quote:
“Spiritual fitness may be an area of difficulty. You may lack a sense of meaning and purpose in your life. At times, it is hard for you to make sense of what is happening to you and others around you. You may not feel connected to something larger than yourself. You may question your beliefs, principles, and values. Improving your spiritual fitness should be an important goal.” It may sound a bit harsh, but it is real life.
Those who write about spirituality tell us that God answers all prayers. The answer can be any of the following three: Yes, or No, or Wait. A lack of spirituality and you cannot hear the answer or anything else for that matter. What you might be hearing is quite a bit of noise between your ears.
Spirituality is a journey not a sprint but a marathon. Forgive the past. It is over. Learn from it and let go. People are constantly changing and growing. Do not cling to the past. Recognize that there is one constant; change. Growing your spirituality is part of that change. I think all us recognize that a sense of purpose is needed to survive this world.
I have learned in my life that it is in your hands to make life miserable or happy. No religion, spiritual leaders or knowledge will ever make you fully satisfied. A change in your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being will only be achieved by changing your ways physically, mentally, emotionally and your spiritual ways.
I think Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had a powerful statement regarding our spirituality.
“If we are to go forward, we must go back and rediscover those precious values – that all reality hinges on moral foundations and that all reality has spiritual control.”