Recently I took a trip to Montgomery, Alabama. While I was there I had the honor of walking through the house that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once lived in. Our tour guide was an amazing lady who was once part of his congregation and knew him personally. I found myself in awe listening to her tell us stories of this man, his family, and many others that were so influential in our nation’s Civil Rights Movement. I enjoyed each and every room we saw, but it was in the kitchen that I found myself speechless.
It was in the kitchen she told us the story of a defining moment in Dr. King’s life. It happened while he sat at the very table I stood in front of. He had been actively leading the Montgomery Bus Boycott for about a month, which prompted multiple death threats daily. All the calls and letters began to take a toll on him; his courage began to waiver and he began to question his role in the movement.
That evening he’d been out late at a meeting arriving home around midnight. Exhausted after a long day, he began to get ready for bed and the phone rang. The voice on the other end spat out cold and threatening words saying, “N…., we’re tired of your mess. Leave town in three days or else we’ll blow up your house and blow your brains out.” When he heard this, Dr. King hung up the phone immediately.
He tried to go to sleep, but understandably shaken, he couldn’t. He walked into the kitchen, put on a pot of coffee and sat at the table with his head in his hands. Then something happened. He began to pray, and suddenly heard a very distinct voice speak to him, “Martin Luther! You must stand up for the truth, you must stand up for justice, and you must lead these people to righteousness.”
The guide explained that it was in that moment he regained the strength he needed to continue on. He knew it was his purpose. Three days later, the house was bombed. Thankfully no one was injured, and as we all know, Dr. King stayed the course and our country was forever changed because of it.
I left the tour feeling so blessed to have heard this story. It stayed with me for quite some time. I really thought about Dr. King and the things he accomplished in his life. He lived his life with such purpose and perseverance despite so much adversity.
We each have such unique and important things to offer in our own right, but all too easily we can become blind to the greatness we all have the potential to reach. We can let the weight of the world weigh us down and tempt us to remain in the “status quo” where it’s safe. If only we had the strength and courage to move past our struggles and into a place where we can bring greatness to the world.
The Two Things that Can Catapult You to Greatness
Recognize and Fulfill Your Purpose
The older we get the faster time seems to go by. The days can seem to run together as we become consumed by our routines. While this is a natural occurrence, it’s so important to make those days count. I completely and wholeheartedly believe that each and every one of us has something special to offer, a purpose that we are meant to fulfill with the precious life we are given. When you can recognize what it is that you can offer to bring value to the world around you, then you begin to look at life with a whole new perspective and focus.
Recognizing your purpose is hard enough, but actually fulfilling it can be even harder. It can be quite intimidating…even scary. Can you imagine the fear that Dr. King battled every single day? A great friend and mentor of mine once told me,
“Courage comes from a sense of destiny. The secret to your destiny is being able to surrender to God’s plan for you.”
When you have purpose you gain focus. When you have focus you gain courage. When you have courage you take action. From action, greatness can occur.
Don’t Let the World’s Opinion of the Life You’re Meant to Live Dictate the One You Do
There’s a fine line to walk when it comes to the influence of other people’s opinions; on one had they can help you to grow, but on the other, it’s easy to fall victim to them. When we listen to the “world” and what it has to say, it can be quite disheartening. It fills our minds with discouragement, self doubt, and negativity that can paralyze us from moving forward. Can you imagine if Dr. King let the world dictate the life he was meant to live instead of fulfilling his purpose?
When the world gets loud, remember what’s important. Remember that you get to decide what you do with the experiences given to you in life. We gain significant value from the things we encounter as we grow; but when situations and the influence of others begins to feel heavy and unhealthy, protect your heart.
Live with a purpose. Don’t let the negativity of the world dictate the greatness you can offer to those around you.
We all have an opportunity to bring greatness to the world in our unique ways. Recognize and fulfill your purpose and avoid letting the negativity of the world paralyze you. Life is a gift, and how we live it is how we show our gratitude.
Go make the most of this day! Please feel free to share with a friend!