As we commemorate the 84th birthday of Martin Luther King, we reflect upon the courage and wisdom of the slain civil rights leader. He was undeniably a beacon of hope and a pillar of light in the midst of the dark and evil times in which he lived. He inspired many, including myself to dream and persevere, despite the challenges and obstacles that may easily seem to surmount us.
While the accomplishments of Dr. King are deserved and many, it intrigues me to ponder the thought of how MLK would view America if he were alive today. As we continue to see the downward spiral in the American economy, class warfare that is being driven by political elites, and an insufferable secular agenda that is constantly promoted by Hollywood, there is definitely a valid reason to want to lose faith in humanity.
Despite these obstacles, MLK envisioned the bigger picture when he said this: “If you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter.”
I like the analogy of being a drum major. A drum major is the leader of a marching band and is responsible for providing commands to the ensemble regarding where to march and what to play.
In today’s 21st century, I strive to embrace MLK’s agenda and march towards morality, righteousness, purity and leadership. Today’s culture is so entrenched in sexuality, individualism, greed and selfishness, and it is in desperate need of a voice that will not only impact today’s youth, but the generations to follow.
As a drum major, perhaps instead of playing the same beat of complacency, indolence, and apathetic living, perhaps I can create a new beat—a beat that strikes to the rhythm of hope and redemption. Hope for a better tomorrow and a brighter future and redemption for past failures and mistakes. It is very easy to highlight the failures of modern day society, but it takes a compassionate heart to advocate redemption and a fresh start to one’s life.
MLK’s view of faith still echoes amongst us today. He once said “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
Maybe you’re an individual who has to work two or three jobs to make ends meet. Perhaps you’ve just had the unfortunate experience of losing a job. Maybe you’re a recent college grad who’s had to move home with mom and dad because you couldn’t find a job and there were no monetary resources to meet your needs. Whatever the case may be, I encourage you to step out by faith and let God fight the battles. We do not know all the answers to the mysteries of life, but we can find refuge and strength in almighty God in knowing that he will supply our every need, and that he will not abandon us, even when our faith is feeble.
The very last quote by MLK that I would like to share with you deals with politics. MLK had a wise approach to this divisive subject He simply stated: “I feel someone must remain in the position of non-alignment, so that he can look objectively at both parties and be the conscience of both—not the servant or master of either.”
In a time where the political theory and philosophy is causing disarray and deconstruction, we all, myself included, have become saturated with our own ideology, that we have neglected accountability and honesty at times in our debate. It is easy to be passionate about our beliefs and convicted in our principles, but it must never blind us from becoming victimized by deceit and vanity that is displayed on all sides of the political spectrum.
Let us become visionaries of change, not disciples of blind loyalty. I truly believe the political discourse can be solved when we encourage ourselves and our peers to be better, even the ones who claim to be on our side. I believe that MLK would agree with me when I say that being on our Creator’s side protects us from fallacy.
Thank you Dr. King for reminding us to look at the bigger picture.