Great themes, awesome visions, and radical changes are never totally based on the messenger. In fact, as I glance across history, the messenger becomes smaller than the dream, incidental to the progress, and part of the legend. The greatest know their role yet far too often I worried about my place, standing, and potential. On a grey drizzling English morning facts are obvious, priorities clear. I want to be a messenger of compassion, mercy, and acceptance.
Carli and Whitney were laughing the other day about the things people born after a certain date didn’t know. The start of their lives was after eight track tapes had come and gone, after the start of compact discs, wide use of the internet and mobile phones, and cheap airlines. I look back and see a world with more colors, failed experiments, and inventions lost and found. As interesting as the view is there is a another view we often forget. The second view comes as I find myself looking for the people behind the big visions. Where are they? What became of their efforts?
Martin Luther King is closely associated with civil rights. Even though he has passed, in spite of his failings as a person, and even with the lack of substantial progress during his lifetime, the dream he embraced lives on and flourishes. Eight track tapes is an example of something that initially seemed important and life changing. Yet today I have no idea who was behind the idea, what has become of them, or how relevant their efforts were other than as a footnote in history. The contrast between civil rights and the eight track tape are stark. I would suggest that all great ideas, in time, move beyond their initial supporters.
The best and brightest know this. Jesus’ response was blunt and to the point. “If I turned the spotlight on myself, it wouldn’t amount to anything.” (John 8.54) Jesus knew it was all about God. Jesus knew success would only occur when “he” wasn’t the issue, cause, or question. The question is; do I?
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