Monday, January 21, 2008

Monday, 21 January 2008 - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for Martin Luther King, Jr.

This morning, T and I brave the cold and snow and tour the neighborhood and park. The snow blows in from the south. Big, fluffy flakes.

We complete our first loop around the park. As we begin our second lap, I notice that the snow has already filled in my footprints and T's paw prints. Lost in thought, I didn't realize the snowfall was that heavy.

I think about many things while T sniffs around the freshly flocked fir tree before pulling me towards the children's playground. The weather. My various writing projects. How M is "enjoying" his team's morning practice in the snow. And, of course, Martin Luther King, Jr.

In my minds eye, I hear Dr. King speaking, his voice conveying power and authority, his eloquent words expressing universal messages that speak to my heart.

The local PBS station celebrates Dr. King by broadcasting an excerpt from one of his speeches. Not the famous, "I have a dream" speech, however. Rather, a timely exhortation.

Whatever your life's work is, do it well. Even if it does not fall in the category of one of the so-called big professions, do it well. As one college president said, "A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better." If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, like Shakespeare wrote poetry, like Beethoven composed music; sweep streets so well that all the host of Heaven and earth will have to pause and say, "Here lived a great street sweeper, who swept his job well." As Douglas Mallock says:

If you can't be a pine on the top of the hill
Be a scrub in the valley--but be
The best little scrub by the side of the hill,
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 the sun be a star;
It isn't by size that you win or fail--
Be the best of whatever you are

~Martin Luther King, Jr.
3 December 1956, Montgomery, Alabama

For this blessing, I am grateful.


1 comment:

Claire said...

I was so blessed by this I shared it with a pastor friend of mine, and he posted it on his own Myspace blog. Thank you for sharing.