Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
As the morning sun breaks through a long and silent night of darkness into my upstairs windows—as it always does—it’s happening once more. You can feel it.
The morning sunshine has a way of doing that for all of us. Aside from casting a light on all that’s good and not-so-good around us and providing life to all it touches, its simple action of rising again and then again—breaking through the dark silence of the night—has the remarkable effect of reminding us that no matter what yesterday was like—today is a bright new day full of brand new opportunities. And tomorrow will be another bright new day. Day after day. Sunrise after sunrise. Pretty simple really.
Remembering that, no matter what we have been through, the sun will still shine over and into our lives. And that no matter what we are facing, we can draw hope—simply from the sun rising every morning as our Creator intended when He cast it in the sky—that today is a new day, and it’s a day which can be better than yesterday.
With that assurance, the question becomes—what will we do with it? A brand new day—what will we do with the opportunities that this brand new day presents? And the answer depends, as it always has and always will, on us.
“Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand, signed the Emancipation Proclamation…It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity.”
And we’re reminded of that on days like today, where we as a nation pause to recognize the life of one person who always believed a better tomorrow for others depended on what he did with his life and with the opportunities with which he was presented each day. He recognized that in the gift of each brand new day were new opportunities for contribution that his one life could make in the darkness of someone else’s night.
“Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God’s children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.”
Today as a nation we pause to celebrate and remember the life of a great American—Martin Luther King, Jr. A man who was born and raised in relative stability and security—but lived during times far from secure and stable, and refused to stand silent in the face of prejudice, injustice and wrong while striving for purposes seemingly unattainable, but strived anyway believing that tomorrow could be a better day for others and for us as a nation.
His life was cut short by an assassin’s bullet and he died on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee. The autopsy revealed that he had the heart of a sixty-year-old. He was thirty-nine. That may happen when every day you decide that your life will make a contribution in the life of someone else. And by acting on the opportunities of each brand new day he was given, Martin Luther King, Jr. began to change the face and heart of a nation.
“I have 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…that one day…little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.”
Each brand new day—and the opportunities it presents—may not require that we hold a mirror before the world to show it a face of prejudice, injustice, discrimination and unspeakable hatred. But as with each day which unfolded in the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.—the days in our lives will require action. Without our action, the day may be like just every other day, the opportunities presented to make a difference for our life and the lives of others around us may be lost forever, or at best delayed by one day. A delay which could be a lifetime for someone else living in darkness, longing to be free, who needs to feel the hope of the sunshine of a brand new day—the hope that God intended for their lives.
“When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children…will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, ‘Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!’”
The morning sun has once again broken through a long and silent night of darkness presenting us with a bright new day full of brand new opportunities. It has happened our whole life long. It will happen again tomorrow.
The question for today, tomorrow and the rest of our lives is this: What will we do with it?
Your answers will be memorialized in the legacy of your life.
In His Name—Scott
Copyright 2010. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.
Quotes in text from: Martin Luther King, Jr., “I Have a Dream”, August 28, 1963