I went to Montgomery, AL this weekend with another opportunity to preach at 1st Baptist Greater Washington Park. Pastor Welch is a good man and a blessing. To have an opportunity to do the things I have done in my thirties without being a pastor has been because of God’s grace and people who are willing to extend help to others who are trying to do something for Our Father.
This time I made it around to the MLK house, Dexter Baptist, and Selma. I think I made it this time because Theresa was able to come with me and how much better for us to experience it together. There is nothing mysterious in the house, but perhaps it was the tour guide, Ms. Shirly Cherry ‘s ability to bring over 50 years ago back to life. I am still trying to make sense of it all I got a feeling of hope, of a desire to want to keep moving, of disappointment with myself, and a little teary-eyed while being there. It is all very humbling to think that by age 29 King and many others like him had done so much more than I have done at 34.
I think that it reaffirmed a strong recurring theme that lingers in my head from time to time: life is beyond being short. There is just no time to be wasted in general. And when you know that your life has been given to you freely there has to be some sort of urgency (not anxiety mind you) in our motivations. It does not detract from our frailties and constant displaced attentiveness. But the motivation should always be looking to turn in the right direction. Even if it takes time for the body to catch up.
In this small home (with a library added later) King and others did more than a little to remind people that God’s truth is still marching on.
I kept thinking. I’m sitting at the same table the family sat at to eat. The same table where decisions were made. The same table where long conversations with God occurred about what to do next, about His own fears, frailties, and certainly sin. But also a place where they stood up and kept moving.
I am not quite sure what it all means yet. But it is all very humbling. What I do know thus far is there is still a great work for us today. Not just the one of bestowing dignity upon every human being, but the same noble work that Paul encouraged the Philippians to recognize that God would carry it through till its completion. That work is one I need to press forward to work harder on. Not to self-sanctify, or to attain some sort of holy brownie points, or even to maintain my own belonging. But just because of the privilege of already belonging.