Interruptions: Martin Luther King, Jr.

18 Jan

king

On August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial overlooking a mass of 250,000 people who had gathered in Washington D.C. to take part in the “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom”. With conviction, he spoke of struggle and hope. He spoke of breaking the chains of poverty and racial hate. He reminded us that we live in a country that, despite its flaws, is inherently good. He recognized the sense of urgency to unite and move forward.

As he looked up from his notes on that August day, he heard the voice of gospel singer, Mahalia Jackson, cry out, “Tell them about the dream, Martin!”

And so it was that a young black preacher from Georgia told us of his dream.

“A dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

“A dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

He urged us to bury our differences and come together, not being satisfied until “justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

After King’s death, an unfinished sermon was found among his personal papers. An unfinished sermon that had been written a short time before his assassination. I am convinced that those who are here with a God-given message tend to have an “awareness” that others may not be tuned in to. I believe King was fully aware of what would eventually happen to him. In spite of that knowledge, he faced his fear and continued to preach his ordained message with unabashed conviction.

So it was almost fitting that this unfinished sermon was found after his death. For me, it sums up his entire life. And it’s a message that I’ve taken to MY heart. Because after all……isn’t our finest glory in how we handle life’s interruptions?

“The major problem of life is learning how to handle the costly interruptions – the door that slams shut, the plan that got sidetracked, the marriage that failed, or that lovely poem that didn’t get written because someone knocked on the door.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

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