Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Mountain Top

When Joshua was old and well advanced in years, the LORD said to him, "You are very old, and there are still very large areas of land to be taken over.” – Joshua 13: 1

When I read these words for the second time tonight several images flashed before my eyes.

The first image was of Moses. I imagined what it must have been like for Moses to go to that mountain top with God, take a good long look at it and achieve his eternal rest in the presence of God.

It must have been wonderful.

The second image was of Martin Luther King Jr. My parents are from Birmingham Alabama, and I grew up learning about him and other folks and events of the civil rights movement. Last year I went back with my Dad for a family reunion. As we drove to my Great Aunt’s house (the house my Great Grandfather built with this own hands) my Dad casually pointed out various homes of people in his childhood along the way.

“The first black mayor lived in that house. It was firebombed by the klan.”

“One of the girls who were killed in the church bombing lived there. I knew her.”

“Angela Davis grew up there. Her mom was a teacher in my school.”

Wow, wow, wow.

Then I thought of the last speech that King ever gave. He spoke of how he had been to the mountain top, he had seen the Promised Land, and even though he may not make it there with us, he knew we would make it. Here is what flashed in my mind.

I think about all of this now, over forty years later. I and many other folk have opportunities that we may not have had back then. We have a black president. We have a voice. Although there are still systemic issues to deal with, they can and are overcome every single day by millions of people of all races, genders, backgrounds and sexuality.

Much has been accomplished.

But like God said above to Joshua, and like King said to us over forty years ago there is still much work to be done.

I believe that when we pursue our God given dreams and walk the paths of purpose laid out for our lives we are doing this work. The battles we fight, the struggles we overcome, the wars that we win… they are not only for our own good. They are also for the good of others. They are for the good of those other folks watching our steps who desire to walk in them. They are for the good of our children who will be nourished by our dreams. They are for the good of the world as a whole.

The brighter we shine the more light we can spread through the world.

So when you are thinking of giving up just remember that you can do it. You can do it because other Moses' came before you and paved the way.

And one day hopefully we will all be like Joshua. God will look at us and say, “there is still much work left to be done, but you did good my son… you did good.”

Then, we will be able to rest easily knowing that we held strong as that next link in the chain of love, progress, prosperity, and freedom.

Let’s get it.

Dedicated in loving memory to a mother, daughter, friend and child of God.

Today’s Reading Joshua 13-15; Luke 1:57-80


  1. Thank you for this take on it. It always reads way more imperialistic to me. This is a much better approach.

  2. Thanks man. You know me... the exact opposite of imperialistic.


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