Many of our problems are directly related to not knowing, “who we are”. Only recently I heard from a good friend who stated the age-old statement, “I need to find myself.” Without knowing this most important fact, this fact remains, many of us will continue going around in circles never reaching the intended purpose of our lives.
One of the ways, during Biblical times, of establishing who we are was determined by the name given. As a young Bible student I wondered how parents, more specifically, fathers like Jacob could pronounce blessings, or curses, upon their sons as determined by their names. Even Jacob himself whose name meant, “Supplanter” or “trickster” would in fact have this as a major character flaw until God dealt with him on a personal level, changing his name to a more honorable position which would eventually be the name of a nation. Has God called you to such honor?
What is your name? Thankfully, my parents named me separate from a time during the 70’s and 80’s where African-Americans were naming their children based upon some creativity wanting their children to be, “U’nique”, pronounced, “u-neek-ah”! The name, “Roy” taken from the French, “Roi” means, “king or kingly”. Therefore, perhaps unbeknownst to my parents or my father’s parents who gave him the name, and not knowing the significance, could I have been born with the purpose of being, “kingly” in my destiny and approach to life? When I lived the life of a drug addict, a pauper, begging and scheming, a direct contradiction of the purpose of my birth, did have a wakening influence which started me onto the road of redefining who I really was meant to be.
Coming to prison you came across men whose real name you will never know for nicknames or street-names are more common. For example, during my most current incarceration I met a young man, 21 years old, with the name, “Murder One” who was in fact charged with “Murder in the 1st Degree”, coined in legalese as, “Murder One” and now serving a twenty year sentence. While being locked down, our windows facing the community where we could see people walking, he’d shout out his window apparently knowing them, letting them know, “Murder One” was speaking to them. Later, I asked him, “Was this a name you took while being here?” He answered, “No, that’s my street-name.” Hence, another prophetic moment being foretold and coming to fruition. Certainly, I can understand the purpose of nicknames in jail, when cases are publicized and you want to keep others from knowing what you did, having concern of your personal safety especially if your crime involved the relative of another inmate.
Before knowing who you are you have to determine, “Who’s you are”. The only person who can possibly help to point you in the direction of your true purpose is by developing a relationship with the One who created you. He knows why He put you here and for sure it was not to “murder one or two”. He has a noble purpose for each one who is locked up within these walls. Each man or woman who are on either side of you, or across from you, were born with an honorable purpose. By being here was His way of getting you quiet and still enough to be able to redirect you to the path already determined for you. Let’s be honest, you were not happy doing what you were doing, were you? You wanted something but whatever you were caught doing was not it, was it? Thank God He has prepared houses where His people can find peace, their needs met and to prepare to fulfill the purpose for which we were created. This is why you are here, to know who you are, and once this has been achieved you are able to go out and fulfill the purpose for your being here.
Although I’m incarcerated, like you, and remembering I’m a king, I must carry myself as a king. I cannot allow the place I am dictate how I should act. My walk is purposeful and direct. I don’t, “hangout” in the yard, standing idly. Have you ever seen a king just hanging out? Those of kingly positions, such as Great Britain or the Arab Emirates have duties and a purpose. They’re involved in kingly pursuits and activities.
My kingly qualities are carried without coarse language. Anyone speaking to me will only hear words clean and without profanity. I don’t see myself above—no, a king is an example of how one should be even if you aren’t a king. My eyes are focused on the Great King of the universe, and I follow His example of what a king truly is. I cannot imagine Him cursing and swearing. I cannot imagine Him standing idly by, for hours, without any productive meaning. I cannot imagine Him leaving a group without the others feeling good and elevated within themselves, sorrowful for now being alone but ever grateful for having His presence even for a moment. I’m representative of this King by being a king myself. It is no longer something I try to do for it is who I am.
Kings have been brought down for failing to keep a line between themselves and those who would take them down. The adage, “guilty by association” is very common in the prison environment. The other day while working my hospital clerk-typist job, I needed to leave early to get my commissary. Other inmates who had been scheduled for an appointment were in the waiting room had gotten tired of waiting, were leaving. I, too, wearing the colors of an inmate was questioned by the officer, “Where are you going?”, was quietly silenced when I said, “I work here” implying, although I’m dressed as an inmate, I work here as you do, making us equal if only in this way! You have to be very careful who you choose as comrades. Although called to ministry, my current outreach is to other inmates, so when I congregate with them, for that moment I am taken for being as one, but my purpose for being there is not as theirs, nor will I stay for any prolonged period of time. I’m there to find the one who wants more than what they’re getting and then attempt to do a one-on-one where I can personally minister, but no one can say, “I am as they are” because I’m not. I know my name and my purpose for why I am here.
Although I’ve not always acted in this way, it never stopped me from being a, “child of God”. You, too! We weren’t angels while, “out there” in the streets but we never stopped being God’s children. Even if you never believe in Him, or thought He was interested in you never changed the fact that you are a child of God, and by virtue of this relationship you have God-given rights and attributes available to you at all times which you can activate by merely using them. Prayer is one of them. Do you realize by simply saying, “Oh God” you have the immediate attention of God! Yes, you do. He’s listening to you. He’s involved with you. He’s never stopped even when you turned your back, or never knew Him to begin with, He was available and involved with you, so why not now begin to use your rights as His child and ask for His help?
Lastly, because I know who I am, and Who’s I am, I no longer allow or subject myself to what man, judge, prosecutor or state say I am. I use affirmative statements every morning. The ones I say to myself during my devotions are: “I am not bipolar. I am a child of God. I am a minister of the Gospel. I am a loving father and wonderful husband.” Today, I am not a father nor a husband, but I’d like to be, so therefore I am, because for many years I’ve said I could not be and I have fulfilled my own prophetic word because I’m not a successful husband being divorced four times and never had children, going so far as aborting two of them! So, today, to counteract those negative beliefs about myself and to replace them with positive ones is preparing a new prophetic destiny for me.
You and I are not what others say we are. We can change into the men and women God designed us to be, but it has to begin today and remain consistent from this time forward. For today is the day, the beginning of your eternity!