10 Life Lessons From the Undead

zombiesZombies are typically seen as a bunch of slobbering idiots that need a swift ax to the head, but I want to draw attention to some of their positive attributes. Sure, they may be terrible with personal hygiene–plus there’s that whole wanting to eat humans thing which is simply disgraceful–but I believe there are valuable life lessons we can learn from the seemingly unruly bunch. Just humor me here.

1. People are a Priority –
Zombies are not into material things or superficial beauty. They just want people for who they are. The simple fact that we are human should be enough to make seeking relationship with others our priority…not what we can gain with wealth, status or lifestyle.

2. Diversity is Valuable  –
Zombies pursue all kinds of people, even if they’re not the same. They’re never picky about gender, race, wealth or weight. We should seek diverse relationships as well. It will help us gain knowledge, perspective and experiences that we’d never have otherwise.

3. Patience is a Virtue –
Zombies are methodical and consistent. They don’t rush around with too many things going on at once, nor do they get into a frenzy over traffic or other everyday things like humans do. Likewise, we should plan our steps carefully and avoid making rash decisions. Then, when an opportunity presents itself, we’ll be ready to seize the moment.

From Welfare to Winning

poverty girlTwenty years ago I was the poorest I’ve ever been in my life.  I was also pregnant and unmarried. And to make matters even harder, my doctor ordered me on 24/7 bed rest because of a dangerous health condition that threatened the life of my unborn son.  So, I went from dirt poor to beyond destitute at the worst possible time.  I lived off of food stamps, Medicaid and welfare during that time and the $200 a month handout I received literally kept me alive for about a year.  But it was during those challenges that I learned a lot about who God is, as well as four important life lessons about how to win.

Step 1: Trust God
When I became hungry enough, lonely enough, and broke enough, I finally cried out to God to save me. Trying real hard just wasn’t good enough…it was a matter of life or death. I needed the one who controlled the universe to move on my behalf.  And when I finally put my life in His hands He provided for me in miraculous ways.  From food and shelter to diapers and a crib, I was given everything I ever needed…and mostly from strangers I didn’t even know.  I would not have survived without His intervention. Trusting Him was the most important decision of my life and the only way I accomplished the next steps in my journey.

Miracle in the Mundane

lawnmowerSaturday was a typical 90-degree summer day in the South, which meant the heat was accompanied by extreme humidity, so simply walking outside felt like I had been bathed in honey.  And I had to mow the lawn… again.  Ugh!

Cutting grass is a task I do not particularly enjoy.  In fact, I could honestly say I’d rather get a series of rabies shots than have to plow back and forth across the yard for two hours in a miserable sauna, just to repeat the same laborious chore again the next weekend.  I try to keep myself motivated by hoping I’ll shed a few pounds in the process, but I usually just grumble.

As I began to push my way up a hill on yet another thick, sweltering day, I began to complain, “Lord, please help me.  I’m hot.  I’m itchy.  I’m trying to rejoice and be thankful in all things but quite honestly I hate this.”

Then, BOOM!  The Holy Spirit blindsided me with a very vivid flashback.  In my mind I was suddenly transported back to a moment twenty years ago in my life.  There I was—24 years old and 6 months pregnant—on a similar hot summer day, as I tried to figure out how to mow my overgrown lawn.

At that time I lived in a tiny, run-down shack of a house. I was not married.  I was a rebellious wild child whose life had completely spiraled out of control. God was pursuing me, my parents were praying for me, and I was in the process of breaking, but I had not quite surrendered yet, because I fought to remain self-sufficient.

My empty shell of a home had no refrigerator, no stove, no air-conditioning, and certainly no cable TV.  I was made even poorer by the fact my doctor had instructed me not to continue my job cleaning hotel rooms or I would jeopardize the baby.  I was alone, totally broke, and scared to death.  God wanted my attention but I was strong-willed to boot.

As I stood alone in my yard, looking over my pregnant belly into the thick weeds that surrounded my legs, an angry man approached me.  In a firm and condescending tone he said my neighbors were all complaining about my knee-high jungle and if I didn’t mow immediately I would be fined and my landlord would be notified and I’d be asked to move out.

So then I had a real problem.  I had no lawnmower, no money to hire someone to help, and I was very pregnant.  So, I began a sheepish appeal to God under my breath and said, “Lord, if you really do care about me, then I could use your help.”