“I have a dream… that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Recently, a friend and I went to see Lee Daniels’ The Butler at a dollar theater. The movie, though not completely accurate with every detail of his life, was based on the life and journey of Eugene Allen who was a butler in the White House from the Eisenhower administration until his resignation during the Reagan years.
We both left the movie feeling emotionally exhausted. It was a touching and eye-opening movie that gave me more insight into the prejudices so many African Americans faced in the USA not very long ago. There was never a time in my life when I witnessed that segregation, so it is hard to imagine what was going on in this country just a handful of years before Eric and I came on the scene. Trust me, I cannot even imagine witnessing young teenagers being bullied, spit on, or hosed down in the street for peacefully protesting or requesting service in the “white” section of a diner.
But I will say this – I am overwhelmed by the bravery of those who decided to make a difference. Could I have joined the Freedom Riders? I am not sure I would have had the courage. Could I have boldly, yet calmly, taken a seat in a restaurant and endured people hitting me, kicking me, or pouring soup in my lap? I am not sure I could have handled it without lashing out in anger. It is people like this – like Martin Luther King, Jr. – who are the reason we saw movement away from that behavior in this country. I am not sure the Presidents would have realized the depth of the situation in the segregated South if a few people had not been willing to stand up and say, “No. This is not right!” Were they afraid? Probably. Did they question whether or not they were doing the right thing? Maybe. But what if they had not? It takes brave people standing up and challenging the status quo for situations to change.
I Have A Dream
On August 28th, 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr., along with a quarter of a million people, marched on Washington for civil rights. Though it was a large protest, it was also a peaceful one and it was at this historic event that Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous I Have a Dream speech. Below is a small excerpt from the speech, but I would encourage you to watch the delivery of the speech in its entirety as a reminder of how far we have come and how much of a difference one person can make.
“Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.
And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today!”
Connecting with a Worthy Cause
Standing up for what you believe in often comes at a price. On April 4th, 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot and killed by a sniper in Memphis, Tennessee while standing on the balcony of his Lorraine Motel room. Do you ever wonder if he would have gone through all he went through if he knew it was all going to end so suddenly and at such a young age? Somehow, I believe he would have pressed on even knowing what was coming. Civil rights was not just something he half-heartedly supported. It was his passion. It drove him to get up and continue fighting.
His life was not long, but he did more in his thirty-nine years than many of us will do in a lifetime. What cause fills you with passion? What will you stand up for and devote your life to supporting? We have such a short time on this Earth. We act like we have forever, but the truth is, eternity is just around the corner. What do you want to do with your time here? What has God called you to do with your time here? What fire has He breathed into your belly? Make your time count (Ephesians 5:16). Connect with a cause which will outlive you.
Eric and I want to make a difference in young relationships and marriages so that a generation of newlyweds can, make a difference and faithfully represent to the world a truthful representation of the relationship between Christ and the Church. We want to prepare them for marriage so they can stand before the world united and ready to work together to see change. We want to help them avoid the relationship pitfalls so many new couples face so they can spend their time and energy serving God in the ministries to which He has called them. We want PreEngaged (and pre-engagement counseling) to outlive us.
So, what is your cause? Ponder the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. today and ask God to lead you to a cause with which you and your future spouse can connect. Invest your time and energy well so your efforts will outlive you, just as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s efforts outlived him. And, of course, put God first in everything you do and give Him all the glory for what you and your sweetheart accomplish in your life.
Do you have a dream?