MLK: The Ultimate Measure of a Man

On a recent trip to Wichita, I took the turnpike, and as I entered the access ramp, I saw a bright orange sign with a warning:  Right Lane Closed Ahead.RightLaneClosedLarge

As I contemplated the message of the sign, I thought:  If the right lane is closed, does this mean I have to drive in the wrong lane? 

Sometimes decisions are difficult, and we have very few options; but, others can be made by the simple flip of a coin and either heads or tails decides a course of action.

Success and failure are the results of the decisions we make and the paths we take in life.  Robert Frost wrote of this when he penned The Road Not Taken.

Some people find comfort in going along with the crowd, and they choose the well-traveled path. There are others who are either more adventurous or who are willing to challenge the status quo, so they take the road less traveled.

Today is a day set aside to honor Martin Luther King Jr; a man who had a dream; a man of determination; and a man who chose to walk the road less traveled

Dr. King understood that, Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.

While darkness and hatred are a challenge to the ethos of the present day, they’re not race specific. There are elements within each race who inflict acts of darkness and hatred upon their own race as well as others.

To drive out the darkness with love, we need to think intelligently and respond with passion. Too many people, black and white, are reacting with an impassioned zeal that torches buildings, shoots the innocent, and who call evil good and good evil.

As Dr. King said: The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. To be a part of the solution and to help spread the light, we can either be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.

Words of a Particular Kind

154451011How long would it take you to make a summary statement of your life?  How many words do you think it would take?

Robert Frost said he could sum up everything he had learned about life in three words: “It goes on.”  There’s a lot of truth to what Frost said, but it’s also true that what you say can determine how far you go in life and how your life “goes on.”

Mother Teresa was more concerned with the nature of your words than she was with the number of them: “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”  David, like Mother Teresa, was well aware of the power of the spoken word, and he prayed: “May my words and my thoughts be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my sheltering rock and my redeemer (Psalm 19:14).”

When I think about David’s prayer, I’m left with a couple of questions:

  • Are my words and thoughts acceptable to God?
  • If not, what can I do to make them more acceptable?

Joshua gave the answer to these questions, when he said: “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success (Joshua 1:8).”

When you think about your words and thoughts, I encourage you to contrast them to the principles of God’s Word in general, and these words of Paul in Particular: “Don’t let even one rotten word seep out of your mouths. Instead, offer only fresh words that build others up when they need it most. That way your good words will communicate grace to those who hear them (Ephesians 4:29 ~The Voice).”