Taking the Next Step With Faith: a Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a man who lived his life with a purpose. He did not always know what would come next in his life, but he had a vision for the type of future he wanted for this country and the people in it. He lived out his purpose through faith, taking every step he could towards the vision of a more just and equal world.
King’s quote, “faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase,” speaks to this idea. For each step along the way, there was no way to fully know what would happen next. King had to take action with the faith that something good would come of it. There was no way to know if the Montgomery bus boycott would succeed, or if the efforts to integrate Birmingham would prevail. There was no way to know if the method of non-violence would have an effect on policies and unjust laws. There was no way to know if marching in Selma would make a difference, or speaking to crowds in Washington D.C. would change any minds.
King did know, however that this was God’s work. In his “Letter From a Birmingham Jail,” King wrote, “I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their “thus saith the Lord” far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid.” He knew that he was called to take this message of freedom to all of the United States.
Dr. King worked throughout his life to improve the lives of the disadvantaged and change policies that kept people from having equal opportunities. To do this, he had to step towards the unknown with faith. Each of us in our lives has to face change and the unknown. There are times when we do not know what is next, or how to best live out our purpose. Uncertainty can be a daunting thing. Martin Luther King’s life can teach us that it is important to take steps into the future with faith that we are working towards a better world. At Beacon Hill, our goal is for all of our residents to discover their best life–a life of purpose and of courage that equips them to take on life’s challenges and make a positive impact for good.
Dr. King’s life gives us all inspiration in how to do this.
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