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Archive for January, 2020

Be the best of whatever you are!

Today is Martin Luther King Day – a day for remembering King and what he stood for in terms of freedom, civil rights and advancing us toward the ideal set forth in our Declaration of Independence regarding all being created equal.

Two months before he was assassinated, Dr. Martin Luther King delivered a sermon titled “The Drum Major Instinct.” He described this instinct as “a desire to be out front, a desire to lead the parade, a desire to be first.”

By contrast, Jesus defined greatness as service. “You know that those who are considered rulers … lord it over [others] and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be servant of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life…” Jesus “became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son[d] from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Dr. King noted: “By giving that definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great, because everybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don’t have to know Einstein’s theory of relativity to serve. You don’t have to know the second law of thermodynamics to serve.

“You only need a heart full of grace [and truth] and a should generated by love. And you can be that servant.” 

In taking with a group of junior high students six months before he died, he used the words of Douglas Malloch to remind: “Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. If you can’t be a sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are.”

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