Riots, Riots and More Riots

I know what you're thinking! She's headed towards all the happenings of riots within the last year: nope. Analyze all that within your own circles; tends to end better.

Normally, this would be the time that all families would be preparing menus and purchasing food for the upcoming HUGE Thanksgiving dinner! Grandma, Big Mama, GMom, MiMi, Mom or Auntie would be cooking their prized cakes, side dishes or pies for the family to enjoy; all the while denying the fact that have diabetes....

My mom, God rest her soul, admitted she had diabetes but almost cussed when she found out I seasoned mustard greens with turkey necks instead of fatback. No "thanks dear for looking out for me." Instead, "I never taught you to cook greens like that."

No matter how many times I tried to cook healthy alternatives, the ingredients were an enemy to her southern roots and stomach; I can still hear her laughing and scheming with my daughter to cook unhealthy options once I left for work or school. LOL, a catchy acronym the whole world uses, but I would submit that my mom was the epitome and originator of Laugh Out Loud and a complete riot in many ways than one! It was never a dull moment while she was still with us.

Picture a mother who's spontaneity was uncontrollable and she gives birth to a serious, structured and strategic Type A daughter who had sincere aspirations of becoming more than average. I joined the Army and within 72 hours, I was on a plane traveling over 1,000 miles to rule my world! Turns out, mom's spontaneity rubbed off on me and family, friends and colleagues refer to me as a RIOT too...those I allow through the firewall! I'm known to fly, set sail or travel to some uncharted landscape on a whim, of course not the case presently. My mom is remembered as a highly amusing or entertaining person and I celebrate her for it.

After traveling 1000 miles, I arrived at the first stop on my journey called "The Home of the Ultimate Weapon". These words were written on a statue that intimidated me to think, "Did I make a mistake joining the Army?" Within seconds, the bus stops, a new character entered my story that would change and challenge me mentally and physically: Guardians of the Institution - The U.S. Army Drill Sergeant (DS)! I am always mesmerized when someone is comfortable and successful in their natural habitat. There is no one more secure in their element than a DS in the midst of training recruits. DS are considered intimidating and unapproachable but what will surprise you about a huge majority of them: they could win a comedy contest. No doubt, if you are the one being addressed, it will most likely NOT be funny. However, all of your battle buddies will be in stitches; their cue and timing(spontaneity and structure) is spot on! One of my recruits had the courage to speak to me candidly after their graduation because you ONLY speak candid to a DS after graduation...and then you still tread lightly.

She stated,"Make no mistake about it, you have a reputation for two things: Hard and Hilarious. The majority of us anticipate what you are going to say next; its like watching a skit from SNL. I found out that day that no matter how hard I was on the recruits, I was a riot...unaware and being completely serious! Imagine that?

Disclaimer: The above photo is an inside joke, don't take it seriously.

We all need a little spontaneity and structure in our lives to motivate. It reminds me of Elijah, the Tishbite who was quite serious but also a comedian in his own right. Elijah was very well known by the people of Israel and, no doubt, the King of Israel, Ahab and hes wife Jezebel. About three years earlier, Elijah told King Ahab:

And then this happened: Elijah the Tishbite, from among the settlers of Gilead, confronted Ahab: “As surely as God lives, the God of Israel before whom I stand in obedient service, the next years are going to see a total drought—not a drop of dew or rain unless I say otherwise.”

God then told Elijah, “Get out of here, and fast. Head east and hide out at the Kerith Ravine on the other side of the Jordan River. You can drink fresh water from the brook; I’ve ordered the ravens to feed you.”

Theologians believe that Elijah was trying to persuade King Ahab to cease and desist from national idolatry for a lengthy time but to no avail; the last words he uttered was the end result. In other words, he was trying to give them an alternative recipe to become spiritually healthy; they were not interested either. Fast forward three years and now Elijah requests a meeting with King Ahab.

A long time passed. Then God’s word came to Elijah. The drought was now in its third year. The message: “Go and present yourself to Ahab; I’m about to make it rain on the country.” Elijah set out to present himself to Ahab. The drought in Samaria at the time was most severe.

Elijah presents himself to Obadiah, who was in charge of the palace and a devout follower of God, while he and King Ahab were looking for grass to feed the horses and mules during the drought.

Obadiah went his way and suddenly there he was—Elijah! Obadiah fell on his knees, bowing in reverence, and exclaimed, “Is it really you—my master Elijah?” "Yes,” said Elijah, “the real me. Now go and tell your boss, ‘I’ve seen Elijah.’

The moment Ahab saw Elijah he said, “So it’s you, old troublemaker!”

“It’s not I who has caused trouble in Israel,” said Elijah, “but you and your government—you’ve dumped God’s ways and commands and run off after the local gods, the Baals. Here’s what I want you to do: Assemble everyone in Israel at Mount Carmel. And make sure that the special pets of Jezebel, the four hundred and fifty prophets of the local gods, the Baals, and the four hundred prophets of the whore goddess Asherah, are there.”

So Ahab summoned everyone in Israel, particularly the prophets, to Mount Carmel. Elijah challenged the people: “How long are you going to sit on the fence? If God is the real God, follow him; if it’s Baal, follow him. Make up your minds!” Nobody said a word; nobody made a move. Then Elijah said, “I’m the only prophet of God left in Israel; and there are 450 prophets of Baal. Let the Baal prophets bring up two oxen; let them pick one, butcher it, and lay it out on an altar on firewood—but don’t ignite it. I’ll take the other ox, cut it up, and lay it on the wood. But neither will I light the fire. Then you pray to your gods and I’ll pray to God. The god who answers with fire will prove to be, in fact, God.” All the people agreed: “A good plan—do it!”

Elijah told the Baal prophets, “Choose your ox and prepare it. You go first, you’re the majority. Then pray to your god, but don’t light the fire.” So they took the ox he had given them, prepared it for the altar, then prayed to Baal. They prayed all morning long, “O Baal, answer us!” But nothing happened—not so much as a whisper of breeze. Desperate, they jumped and stomped on the altar they had made.

This is when the comedian inside Elijah surfaced and I can just here the snickering from the crowds as I read his jeering at the 450 of Baal's prophets. Elijah was a riot!

By noon, Elijah had started making fun of them, taunting, “Call a little louder—he is a god, after all. Maybe he’s off meditating somewhere or other, or maybe he’s gotten involved in a project, or maybe he’s on vacation. You don’t suppose he’s overslept, do you, and needs to be waked up?” They prayed louder and louder, cutting themselves with swords and knives—a ritual common to them—until they were covered with blood.


The word "RIOT" has had meaning meanings over the last couple of centuries. Most people will define it as to take part in a public disturbance but all the instances I wrote about are far from that; honestly in Elijah's defense, it was simply a peaceful demonstration that had serious consequences: God's Name and Reputation was on the line! Although, from the taunting of Elijah, he didn't at all seem worried because God is not a man that He should lie or repent. All was needed from Elijah was obedience and faith and it was in abundance! Only those who chose not to obey and have faith needed to be worried concerning their outcome.

The word "RIOT" also defines and describes the attributes of my mom, Elijah and YOU if you choose to accept your God-ordained destiny to become: SOMETHING SPECTACULARLY SUCCESSFUL!

Being part of riot, people define who you are. Becoming a riot, God defines who you were always meant to be. - Claudette Esmerelda

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