What have you read lately that has inspired you? Let me tell you what lit my fire a few days ago.
Shortly before his death in mid-July, John Lewis, the U.S Representative and civil-rights leader, wrote an essay that was published in the New York Times just days after his funeral.
I had been deeply touched watching the coverage of his funeral, especially his last trip over the Edmund Pettus Bridge which played so prominently in his life and the whole civil-rights movement. Watching his caisson retrace the steps of that fateful Bloody Sunday march which nearly cost his life in 1965 moved me to tears.
Then on July 30 the Times posted what would be his last words. As I read them that morning, I was agitated again with the idea that everyone has a summons on their life. Clearly John Lewis was a man of destiny. He was a man with a crystal clear why to live for. And he wants the rest of us to follow him into a life of calling.
Pay attention to these words of John Lewis…
“While my time here has now come to an end, I want you to know that in the last days and hours of my life you inspired me. You filled me with hope about the next chapter of the great American story when you used your power to make a difference in our society. Millions of people motivated simply by human compassion laid down the burdens of division. Around the country and the world you set aside race, class, age, language and nationality to demand respect for human dignity.”
Notice how Mr. Lewis wants others to pick up the mantle of “laying down the burdens of division” and “demanding respect for human dignity”. Those are powerful callings!
“Emmett Till was my George Floyd. He was my Rayshard Brooks, Sandra Bland and Breonna Taylor. He was 14 when he was killed, and I was only 15 years old at the time. I will never ever forget the moment when it became so clear that he could easily have been me. In those days, fear constrained us like an imaginary prison, and troubling thoughts of potential brutality committed for no understandable reason were the bars.”
It is obvious what ignited Mr. Lewis’ destiny. What has kindled yours?
“Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble.”
People living with a summons on their life take great risks. They live brave,, not safe.
“Though I may not be here with you, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe. In my life I have done all I can to demonstrate that the way of peace, the way of love and nonviolence is the more excellent way. Now it is your turn to let freedom ring. So I say to you, walk with the wind, brothers and sisters, and let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be your guide.”
Phew…that phrase “walk with the wind” gave me new language for living with a sense of destiny! As I read it the first time I felt my heart leap! What does it do to you?
My friends, ”answer the highest calling of your heart”! And if you need help in discovering just what that high calling is, I will be glad to guide you. Just drop me a note!
Let’s walk with the wind!