I conducted my own survey on just how much time in the run of a day people spent on praying. I surveyed family, friends, associates, lecture and workshop attendees. The question posed was: “How much time do you give daily towards prayer. Not while you are driving the car, washing the dishes, or at work. But when you sit down and be still specifically to pray and do nothing else?” To my surprise, the general consensus was between none and 5 minutes! (and we wonder why we have so many problems!). Needless to say, after a little thought and self-reflection on the question, most were embarrassed by their answer. I explained that the reason for the question was not to embarrass or incite feelings of guilt but to shed light on where we place God in our lives. It is so very easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of life, so much so that prayer might not even cross your mind, and it seems that it is only when faced with a crisis situation that prayer is used or considered.
I gave the group the prayer survey and the general consensus was that about five minutes of their day was spent on prayer. I then asked if they spent the same amount of time in prayer that they did watching a movie or their favorite show, did they think that their life would be more harmonious? They all rose their hands. What if the “entertainment center” was converted into their altar, their “elevation center”?
A little lexicology will give a deeper “insight” into the words entertainment and elevation:
• Entertain – to hold the interest of; divert; amuse
• ment - the state, condition, fact or degree of being
• Elevate – to lift up; to raise the spirits of; to rise to a higher intellectual or moral level;
• tion – a state of being
Some of the reasons that people are resistant to pray are because they feel that they do not know how to pray, and they do not really know the power of, and the reason for prayer. There is no right or wrong way to pray, what matters is the sincerity of the heart. Would God answer the prayers of a pastor before that of a child?
I usually suggest that people make an altar in their homes, which can be nothing more than a place specifically created for prayer and to just clear the mind. An altar can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish to make it. Your altar can be in, or on top of anything, a table, a dresser, a mantle, a snack table, or in a shoe box. On your altar you can place anything that is sacred to you or symbolic of something. For instance, once my altar had one side that was Native American and the other side was African to reflect both sides of my lineage. You can cover it with a beautiful fabric and adorn it with pictures of loved ones (those still alive and/or those deceased), your holy book, candles, crystals, statues or figurines, flowers or incense are some things that can also adorn your altar. Your altar should reflect you, and it is something that is very personal and sacred to you because this is where you connect intimately with God. You can change your altar as frequently as you wish to reflect your consciousness at that time.
I also suggest to parents to make an altar for their children to familiarize them with prayer, being comfortable with talking to God and being still. It is a place that is theirs and everyone in the household should respect when they are sitting at their altar as well as what is on their altar. The altar can also serve as a space where if the child is having behavior problems, they can be taught to talk to God about it and hopefully when they leave from their altar, maybe they will be in a more peaceful state and be willing to express their feelings.
To spend time being entertained, your mind and Spirit are being held in a state of diversion. To spend time being elevated, your mind and Spirit are being uplifted to a higher state of being. Which state of being do you choose to spend the most time in?
Ma’at Seba is a motivational speaker and writer. Email her at Maatseba@yahoo.com. or call (313) 861-1118.
Mom on the Rebound
By D. L. Gibson
SUN LIFESTYLE COLUMNIST
Oh Lord...help us!
The crazy deacon’s sister-in-law was hot on our trail. My car was five rows away. She was keeping pace with us, even though we tried to walk faster.
Sister girl looked back and said, “She’s about a row behind us. She may be big, but it ain’t slowing her down. Girl, we may have to run to get away.”
I wasn’t in the running mood, but I wasn’t ready to fight a 300-pound woman with crazy in her bloodline either. There wasn’t a security guard in sight. They must all be in the hospital’s lobby.
I was afraid that if I hit the unlock button on my remote, she would hop into the back seat. I told sister girl to go to the end of the aisle on the left. I would hop into my car and drive down to get her. Hopefully, Marsha would continue to follow me, instead of sister girl.
Ok. On the count of three, you run to the left and I’ll run to my car on the right. I’ll pick you up at the end of the aisle. If she follows you, head back to the entrance. Hopefully, she’ll be too tired to follow you. And, if she does, security will be there to help.
I counted...one, two and before I said three, sister girl took off. I then ran like a criminal running from the police to my car.
Then, the worse happened. I dropped my keys, while trying to press the unlock button.
Marsha continued to follow me.
As I stopped to pick up my keys, I could see her about two rows back.
She was screaming, “Stop!”
I finally got my keys and unlocked the door. When I hopped into the driver’s seat and tried to shut the door, Marsha grabbed it. She was huffing and puffing. I put the keys in the ignition and started my car. But, Marsha was still holding on.
I told her to let go. I then told her that she was not getting into my car. I was going to drag her big behind down the parking lot, if I had to. I hoped that sister girl wouldn’t come back, but would wait at the end of the aisle as planned.
Marsha’s hand was at the top of my driver’s side door window still hanging on. I was pulling the door with my left hand, while turning the ignition with my right hand. I then shifted gears into drive and told her, “I ain’t playing with you. Let go.”
I put the car in reverse to back out of my parking space. Marsha still hung up with another car beside her. It was a tight fit. At this point, I feared for my life and continued to back up. I then took my right hand and pounded on her fingers, hoping she would let go. She screamed, then let go. I shut the door, locked it and continued backing up.
Then, matters turned from bad to worse. When I looked up, Marsha was lying flat on the ground. I knew that I didn’t run her over. I pulled out, grabbed sister girl and decided to drive back around to see if Marsha had gotten up. She was still lying on the ground, not moving. Oh Lord...What just happened?
Mom on the Rebound is based on actual events.
to be lauded in lecture
By Dr. John Telford
Detroit Pistons All-Star forward and later coach Joe Dumars calls the great coach Will Robinson a LEGEND. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan has proclaimed the Will Robinson story a civil-rights saga of national significance. Pistons guard Isiah Thomas and Illinois State University All-American Doug Collins say Will Robinson was like a father to them. Olympian and high school and NCAA All-American and all-time great pro forward Spencer Haywood--who starred on Will's best team at Pershing High--observes that Will Robinson's nearly ten- decade-long life was God's gift to the thousands of youngsters whose futures he molded.
On Thursday, November 15 at 6 p.m. at the Detroit Historical Museum at 5401 Woodward Avenue, this writer will recount the life and times of William Joseph Robinson, who following the 1943 Detroit race tiot was brought from the Chicago schools to become the first African-American athletic coach in a Michigan high school. By 1947, Will Robinson had established a basketball, track, and football dynasty at racially segregated little old Miller High, a former junior high school on Detroit's near east side that had no track, no football field, and a gymnasium the size of a match box. Two of Will's players on his four city champion basketball teams at Miller--Sammy Gee and Charlie Primas--became the state's first black athletes to achieve All-America ranking while still in high school. Other Miller stars competed on an Olympic track team (Lorenzo Wright and Charley Fonville), set world records (Fonville, Buddy Coleman, and Aaron Gordon), and played professional football or basketball (Gene "Big Daddy" Lipscomb, Walt Jenkins, Gee, and Primas). Will Robinson went on to work his magic again at Cass Tech and then skippered Pershing to two state basketball titles. In the meantime, he became the first African-American talent scout in the NFL and NBA, recruiting Dick "Night Train" Lane, Lem Barney, Ollie Matson, Charlie Sanders, and Earl McCullough for the Lions and Joe Dumars, Isiah Thomas, Dennis Rodman, John Salley, and others for the back-to-back NBA champions-to-be Pistons. After a winning five-year stint at Illinois State as the first black head coach in NCAA Division One basketball, Will came home to Detroit to become the first African-American front-office executive in the NBA as the Pistons' Assistant General Manager, a job he held into his nineties. Born in South Carolina to a twelve-year-old mother and a teenaged father, Will began his remarkable athletic career by quarterbacking an all-white team to the Ohio state title and then quarterbacking West Virginia State to the national black college championship, making All-American in the process.
Will Robinson sent a record 300 players to college on athletic scholarships, and thirty of them went on to play professionally. Will golfed with heavyweight champion Joe Louis and had Mayor Coleman Young's private phone number, but he never lost the common touch or forgot where he came from. I was privileged to coach track champions at Pershing during years he coached basketball champions there, and in 2015, I wrote his life story, 'Will the FIRST - The Saga of Sports/Civil-Rights Pioneer Will Robinson.' Signed copies of that book will be available at the November 15 lecture--proceeds to go to the Detroit Historical Society. Admission and parking are free, but get there early to be sure to get a seat.
Detroit author and poet John Telford, a recent DPS Superintendent, was an NCAA Al-American quarter-miler for WSU and outran Olympic champions on the U.S. National Team in Europe. Hear him Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. and Mondays at 6:30 p.m. on WCHB1340 AM. The call-in number is (313) 837-1340. Get his books at The Source Booksellers, 4240 Cass in Detroit, the Grey Wolfe Scriptorium at 145 E. 14 Mile in Clawson, Barnes & Noble stores, and on amazon.com (type in Dr. John Telford). His website is www.AlifeontheRUN.com. Contact him at (313) 460-8272.