Today we celebrate and commemorate the life and impact that Martin Luther King Jr. had on our nation and around the world. While the day is officially set to mark Dr. King’s birthday, it is really more about honoring the progress he helped bring into racial equality and the inspiration he gave to so many people who lived, and in some places still live, under the oppression of racism.
Where did Dr. King’s dream come from? The Sunday School answer is “Jesus,” right? If ever in doubt, just answer Jesus. I’m not talking about that. Obviously, God is FOR racial equality and the end of racism. “Red, yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight.” We sang that as kids and it’s still true today. But again, I’m not talking about that. Why was Dr. King so focused, so fueled, so sure of his dream that he would be willing to face the criticism and attack that he did for his position? His dream was born in the same place that yours can be as well.
So many people struggle to know what they are “called” to do. “I don’t know what God’s will is for my life? I don’t know what I’m called to do.” We see people like Dr. King and we think, “Man, I would love to be so certain about God’s dream for my life.” And you can. This is not original to me, and I don’t know who to give credit for it, but it helps me communicate to people where to find your “dream” in life. To know your dream you need to answer these three questions:
- What makes me sad?
- What makes me mad?
- What makes me glad?
It’s in your answer to those questions that you will most likely find your dream. That thing worth pursuing with your life. My own calling, specifically to start Element Church, was born out of my answers to those three questions:
1. It breaks my heart to see people live outside of the life-giving power of Jesus in our communities. Jesus is the ONLY way to receive life, and right in our own towns, there are people who don’t know the way to eternal life. That fuels me. It breaks my heart.
2. It infuriates me that there are Christians, churches, and pastors who think that the community exists for them and not them for the community. I made a commitment when we started Element Church that we would be FOR our community through generosity, serving and an open door. People may not agree with what we believe or teach but our prayer is that they wouldn’t be able to argue about the benefit we bring to our community.
3. Nothing makes me happier than to see people take their next steps in Jesus. Whether it’s the first step of salvation, the step of baptism, or the countless other steps that people take in their walk with Christ. It keeps me going in ministry. When someone shares a story of victory, a testimony of God’s grace or how a message, song or event allowed God to invade their life it puts a smile on my face and brings joy to my heart.
If you’ve never watched the entire “I have a dream” speech, you need to. Any progress we continue to make as a nation in racial equality and treatment, Dr. King is a part of that. I’m thankful for men and women like him throughout history that knew what their dream was and pursued it with all their heart. Sadly, he paid the ultimate price for his dream.
As you watch the speech, you’ll hear his answers to the questions you need to answer: What makes me sad, what makes me mad, and what makes me glad. It’s there you’ll find your dream.