One of my favorite Bible scriptures is Matthew 17:20.
It reads, “You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” This verse has always stuck with me because like most people I knew I could never physically move a mountain. Regardless of my physical strength, that would always be an impossible task. However, life has taught me that faith makes impossible tasks, even pushing a mountain, possible.
”Like the verse teaches us, even faith as small as a mustard seed can transform your life in unimaginable ways. While experiencing this wild and crazy thing called life, I have witnessed how faith has not only led me to success but so many of the greats that I admire.
In the sports world, I have seen stories of triumph against all odds. I see it during moments like Aaron Rodgers throwing a Hail Mary, Rodgers to Rodgers for a comeback victory. I have watched poor or homeless kids becoming some of the brightest stars in sports and etching their names in sports history. I have read stories of pioneers jumping over hurdles others could never overcome. I am constantly inspired by the ones that stuck to their beliefs without wavering and became the heroes we praise today. Icons like Henry Ford, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates— and some of my favorites like Master P, Jay-Z, Diddy, Russell Simmons and Beyonce! Through their accomplishments, I see the manifestation of this scripture. The meaning of the verse remains the same no matter who you are.
”If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, then you have the ability to move every single mountain.
When we look at the people I listed above we could say that they moved mountains by just looking at their contributions to society. What they have done can be inspirational but many of us look at their lives and count ourselves out. We automatically believe their extraordinary success is a result of some special talent or skill that we weren’t granted. That’s why we need to stock up on our mustard seeds.
We may not have the money or connections these celebrities do but what we have is enough. Just look at Oprah Winfrey. When we see her greatness we think of the millions of dollars, talk shows, and product lines. Yet, all of that started with mustard seeds like going to college coming from poverty and getting fired from jobs earlier in her career. It was her faith that made her the woman we know today not anything else.
I know the power of mustard seeds because I had many of my own. One of my biggest mountains was that I did not have a father for the first 15 years of my life. Not having a father in the household left a tremendous hole inside of me. It caused the lingering question in my head, “Was I not good enough to love?” With the help of the mustard seeds my mother instilled in me, I used this void to motivate myself.
At a very young age, I was exposed to the temptations that Black youth often face. I could have turned to gangs and crime to gain the male familial bond I longed for. However, I allowed myself to find father figures in coaches, mentors, and teachers. This mountain moved out of my way and allowed me to find relief in education and sports. What I thought was a setback in my life exposed me to some of the greatest men in the world.
”God doesn’t just move mountains for us but He does so mysteriously.
After getting the football scholarship of my dreams, it seemed like the mountains just kept on coming. Even though I was raised in a military town, I didn’t have any battle experience. Yet, playing football made me feel like I knew what it meant to fight like a soldier. When I suffered an injury that changed the trajectory of my sports career, I knew I couldn’t let that defeat me. I stayed in my own “training camp” that consisted of reading, writing, exercising, and meditation every day. I told myself that I was going to do this every day for the next 3 months as if this was my job.
I was blessed to receive a large lump sum of money through the permanent-injury insurance policy I signed before my senior year. This was a two-million dollar policy and by the grace of God, I did not blow the money during my depressive state.
”For the next three months, I dived into myself and stocked up on mustard seeds of faith.
I cut off social media, limited partying and eating out at restaurants, and removed the drugs from my life. I focused on my faith and getting out of this situation that seemed like the mountain of all mountains. This became the most fruitful time in my life because it resulted in a strong faith that has led me to become the successful entrepreneur and thought leader I am today.
Faith is not an easy road. It’s challenging but has a power so big it can defeat the biggest giant. My life transformed when I came to terms with the hurt and pain that took place in my life. I was humbled by my experiences and allowed them to transform me for the better. Those huge mountains changed my view of the world but more specifically it changed how I saw myself. No longer was I Deunta, the broken used to be star athlete with self-worth issues.
I was no longer angry at the world. I remember even having someone trying to sue me for half-a-million dollars and this place of awareness allowed me to release all of the angry I had towards this individual. I realized how destructive I had allowed my mind to become and how it was affecting my actions. No longer would I allow my pain and fear to control the future of my life. I just made my mind up on this matter and I would not take no for an answer when it came to living better and thinking better.