“I decided early to give my life to something eternal and absolute.
Not to these little gods that are here today and gone tomorrow,
but to God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in “Rediscovering Lost Values” Feb. 28, 1954
On Monday we will honor the memory and the message of one of the great spiritual leaders of our time – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Yet, I believe as Rev. Barry Vaughn wrote in 2005, “Ever a Baptist preacher, King would invite us to turn our attention away from the messenger and to the message and to invite the God whom Dr. King served to work as redemptively and powerfully in our own lives…”
I believe if he were with us today he would challenge each of us to live out our own legacy of truth to serve those around us in our own unique way. And, daring to leave our own legacy of truth is not so much about our feelings of readiness or worthiness as much as it is about our willingness to listen to the voice of God and rise up and follow in faith.
Rev. Mark Davidson wrote, “The clear truth that rang forth in Dr. King’s words didn’t come from his brilliant mind, his talent with language, or his powerful voice. The truth came from listening to the voice of God. If we too will listen, tell the truth we have heard, and follow where the Voice leads, we will, with God’s help, step out of the shadows of his greatness and create new sources of inspiration and hope ourselves.”
Sometimes we may feel that only special people do special things. Not true. I would offer that very ordinary folk do extraordinary things when they answer the call of God in their own lives. Oh, everyone’s legacy won’t make front page news. But every person’s legacy is needed to weave the tapestry of Divine love here on earth. We each have a part to play.
Or sometimes we may feel that we’re not perfect enough. Not true. There has been much written about the humanity of Dr. King. We’ve all heard of his imperfections. In his humanity, he was just like us and we like him.
And, the most beautiful thing of all is it really isn’t so much about what we are doing at all as much as it is how we are doing it. Dr. King reminds us, “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.’”
Hand me the broom, please!