Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. It's a holiday, but a quiet holiday. It leaves room to spend some time thinking or learning, if you want to. To try to do both, and to honor Dr. King, I went somewhere looking for his words, and found this speech:
People forget or never knew that Dr. King was first and foremost a preacher of sermons. He was very effective as a communicator... perhaps one of the best our generation has seen. In Chicago in April of 1967, at the New Covenant Baptist Church, Dr. King delivered a speech which was recorded, and you'll find a transcript at the address above. I hope you'll go there and read this speech, because by doing so I think you will get a vivid impression of the sort of man he was.
Dr. King gave this sermon on the Three Dimensions of Life. Just as John in Revelation saw a vision of a heavenly temple that was the same in all three dimensions, length, width, and height, Dr. King maintains that to achieve completeness, our lives must also reflect three commitments: to self, to others, and to God. I can quote him briefly here.
1. "After we've discovered our life's work, we should set out to do that work so well that the living, the dead, or the unborn couldn't do it any better."
2. "A man has not begun to live until he can rise above the narrow confines of his own individual concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity."
3. "I know that when you are right, God will fight your battle."
I can't preach like Martin Luther King, but that's not my life's work. I do have broader concerns than my own life, but it is a challenge to find better ways to express them. God has seen me wounded, afraid, tired, poor, hungry, and in distress, but I'm still here and functioning, and can find reasons to smile. Thank you, MLK, for reminding me how lucky I really am.