As a young man coming of age in America in the 1960”s I did not understand Dr. King and therefore did not appreciate what he believed or his goals for a better America. Besides, I was busy with the interests and activities of a teen-aged male of the times (primarily “the fumes” – perfumes and car fumes).
However, I was a protégé of my maternal grandfather. He was significant in my life and remains so today, decades after his death. He was a man of great wisdom who punctuated his rising and retiring for the evening with his study of God’s word. During the day, he lived out what he had learned, quietly, without fanfare. His very life was a witness to the wisdom of God’s word. During his life he prospered several businesses, his family, his church, his community, and the lives of countless individuals with whom he came in contact. I continue to hear new stories of “…what your grandfather meant in my life.” I’m fond of saying, “If I ever have to grow up, I want to be like my grandfather.”
His lessons – God’s lessons – were not lost on me as a boy, but they were dormant for years. As an adult, I returned to those timeless insights of wisdom, to those lessons of what’s right and what’s not, seeking to understand and apply them better. As I heard Papa (my grandfather) say one day, “It’s hard to do wrong by doing what’s right.”
Somewhere along the way I also rediscovered Dr. King, who, like my grandfather was very wise. He, too, knew and understood the wisdom inherent in God’s word. He knew how to apply that wisdom to the challenges of his day. He clearly discerned that there are two kinds of laws: God’s law and man’s law, and that until the second aligned with the first, grave injustices would prevail in our lives.
Dr. King shared what he believed and beloved. He shared what he knew to be true. And, it seems to me, he got a lot more right than wrong.
I’m a better man than I was a boy. I’m thankful for the model and inspiration of (many) wise men; men who knew the truth about wisdom and where to find it. I am humbled by their contributions to my life and the lives of others. I’m always working to get better at getting better.
I’m curious, where do you find wisdom?
In Other Words…
“The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ But…the good Samaritan reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
“Use me, God. Show me how to take who I am, who I want to be, and what I can do, and use it for a purpose greater than myself.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
“Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
“Morality cannot be legislated, but behavior can be regulated. Judicial decrees may not change the heart, but they can restrain the heartless.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
In The Word…
“For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.” – 1 Corinthians 1:25