Listen carefully to the voice in your head. Listen to its tenor and timbre as it urges you to consider or reconsider aspects of your life you thought had long since been settled. You may not even hear it if you’ve closed your mind to transformative change. If you have accepted raw imperfection and an aching in your heart that will never diminish, you may not want to open your heart to possibilities.
If you’ve accepted a path riddled with sharp thorns and stones—and holes that will only sprain your ankles—perhaps you would rather not listen to the pleas of that voice. But if you’re ready to fight hard against a lifetime of treading the same painful path—if you’re willing to risk broken bones as you jump forward in pursuit of a new route to relevance—you must listen to that voice. You must give it the freedom to speak out, ever louder, and to to call to you to reach for impossibly hard and distant dreams.
I am not here to tell you to go in one direction or another. But I caution you: if you decide today to stay with the endless path of dissatisfaction you follow, you will never again be given the opportunity to follow a new road. Today, you must decide to either reach for all life can offer or settle for what will surely be a growing aching in your gut, telling you you’ve missed the point of living. If you make no decision today, you will have made an irrevocable decision; the decision to fester and wither and sink deeper and deeper into a quagmire from which there is no escape. The choice is yours.
With those words, “Reverend” Stratford Cole submitted his bid for the lives of people who would either become his followers or enemies he would dispatch in order to protect his growing power and material wealth.