Imagine getting the best gift possible on Christmas Day. It’s all wrapped up with your name on it. When you open it up, it’s the present you’ve been dreaming for. But for some strange reason, you don’t get around to using it. In fact, it stays in your closet gathering dust. All that you thought you wanted stays locked away until your next Christmas. I admit, this has been me a few times in my life…
However, this Christmas season I’ve had the unexpected occurrence of experiencing the #SelenaEffect all over again. True Selena Quintanilla Perez fiends know what I mean. It’s what happens when you hear Bidi Bidi Bom Bom and start belting out the lyrics (nice try SG). Or when you see anything related to her on Social Media and you immediately tag all of your friends. (I mean they NEED to know that before Jlo, Beyonce, Kim K and Iggy — there was Selena. SMH…I STILL have to educate some people…). And Heaven help me if Univision or LifeTime decide to play the Selena movie. I’ve only seen it about 1000 times and yet I still cry at the end.
Her smile was contagious, her music is timeless and her personal message of love, family, morals and education speaks more loudly now than it ever could. Her memory lives on so much, it’s almost as if she never left this world. But then it hits you suddenly. She did.
Hence, the emotional reaction that I have deemed the #SelenaEffect. As much as I know she is in a better place right now, it’s still bittersweet.
I wondered why at almost 20 years since her death, the #SelenaEffect hits me just as hard as a 28-year old as it did when I was a 9 year old girl? What did I and the rest of the world still miss about Selena?
I think it’s because for me, there’s nothing more inspiring than seeing a person using the gifts that the Lord has given them in the right way. We see countless entertainers, celebrities and professional athletes misuse the gifts God has given them. Even more, many of them seem resentful when we characterize them as “role models”. Yet, Selena never shunned that title. In fact, she embraced it.
From her voice, her career, her family, her charity, even her body (Selena was beautiful,sexy and yet remained CLASSY)… Selena set an example to others of what it meant to use your gifts for GOOD. She brought joy and touched hearts each time she sang. She used her gifts to SERVE others and heavily promoted charity and education. And yet with all of her success, she stayed as down to earth like no celebrity (or human being for that matter) I’ve ever seen. In an entertainment industry that thrives off of huge egos, Selena appeared to have none.
The #SelenaEffect taught me that it’s not how long we live but what we do with our lives that matters the most.
Selena hardly lived 24 years and yet had already accomplished so much And with the lasting impact she’s had on the world since her death, we see that she was never truly lost. WHY is that? Because she used her gifts WELL.
Now why did the #SelenaEffect remind me of that Christmas gift that I never used?
I believe when you and I use our gifts well, the same is true for us as it was with Selena. As 1 Peter 4:10 teaches, God has given EACH of us special gifts and talents. He is no respecter of persons. And we were all destined to use our gifts for the service of others and to glorify Him. However, time is not promised to any of us and we are called to be faithful with what God has given us (Matthew 25:23).
If God gives you a gift, would you have the faith to use it for others and not yourself? Do you have the faith to use it at all?
Or is it still lying in the closet with the gift wrapping on?
During this Christmas season, I can’t help but thank God for the particular gifts and talents he has already given me. But I know I have to remember what the #SelenaEffect has taught me. Am I using everything He’s given me? Am I serving Him with my talents? Am I using my gifts, well?
By doing so, I know I will not only live a life full of meaning and love but will hopefully inspire others to the same with their gifts. (1 Timothy 4:12-16)
I pray that as we all gather around the Christmas tree, we remember that God has already given us every gift we could’ve asked or dreamed for. Our job now is to give them back to others.
And if the #SelenaEffect hasn’t already hit you, I pray that 2015 is a year that you will be inspired to use your gifts and use them WELL.
Shout out to SQP_Nation and all my Selena Fans on Instagram for sharing these pics!