A few days ago I was coming down the stairs very early in the morning. It was pitch black except for this strange green glow over in the corner. Initially I didn’t know what it was, but I then realized it was a little green light coming from my Blackberry that was plugged into the wall. As I got closer to it I was thinking, “That light is really bright.” I turned the lights on and walked closer to the phone. At that point the light didn’t seem so bright.
It made me think that a light is really bright when everything around it is completely dark. However, it doesn’t seem so bright when the lights are on. So what does that say about how and where we apply our lives? If we only hang around other “lights” (those with ideas, talents, and resources to make a difference), then our light isn’t having much of an impact. However, if we spend our time in areas and situations of darkness our light can shine very brightly.
The question is do you look for opportunities to shine in complete darkness, so that everyone around you would see your light and be drawn to and influenced by you? With the stock market, to get the greatest return on your investment, you are supposed to “buy high and sell low”. Likewise, you will reap the greatest return on your life investments – time, talents, and resources – when you invest in other people who may be at the lowest point of their lives.
Martin Luther King, probably the individual whom the word dream is most ascribed to, made a powerful statement, when he said:
“The gospel at its best deals with the whole man, not only with his soul but also his body, not only his spiritual well-being but also his material well-being. A religion that professes a concern for the souls of men and is not equally concerned about the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them and the social conditions that cripple them is a dry-as-dust religion.”
King’s dream wasn’t just about racial reconciliation. It was about love in action (what really is love absent from action?). President Obama’s vision for America is not just about a superficial “change” that doesn’t require you to participate or do anything different. His vision is for everyone together to shoulder the responsibility and accountability for “remaking America.” That means you and I getting involved in other people’s lives.
The hurting, hopeless, disregarded, and disenfranchised – especially our youth – need an investment of your time, talents, resources, ideas, and energy. They need to experience our dreams in action. They need the opportunity to work side by side with us. They need to learn from our mistakes. They need to see up close our successes and failures. They need intelligent solutions not just complaining and rehashing of old problems. They may need a pat on the back or a kick in the aspirations, but they still need us.
In essence, they need to experience love in action. That’s the true fulfillment of King’s dream.
Don’t wait for someone else to start the change. You can be the change catalyst in your family, church, community, city, nation, and world. I encourage you today to be the light in someone else’s darkness (Matthew 5:14-16).
Thrive on Purpose,
Paul Wilson, Jr.
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