Do you ever grow weary of human beings and feel like quitting? Let’s face it, we all do. Do you ever become sick of people and wonder if prickly others are worth it? It happens to everyone. As we head into the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend, I wonder how he managed to keep on keeping on. How did MLK keep his eyes on the prize? He surely never wanted to head the civil rights movement. A reluctant prophet , King dreaded the national spotlight. He was drafted and wondered for the rest of his life why he said yes.
Some will be away this weekend, what with the freedom of the three day weekend. I will preach about dealing with disillusionment, which is inevitable no matter which way we turn. I planned to end my sermon with what is called The Paradoxical Commandments, written by a Harvard undergraduate in 1968. Alas, they ended up on my cutting room floor as I edited. Still, I cannot let them go. As we face into the post-Christmas winter blahs, they are a clever, fresh tonic against disillusionment. Put them on your fridge and revisit them. They are full of the paradox which MLK lived so abundantly, the gospel of Jesus Christ:
-People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway.
-If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish motives. Do good anyway.
-If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.
-The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
-Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.
-The biggest persons with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest persons with the smallest minds. Think big anyway.
-People favor underdogs, but only follow top dogs. Fight for underdogs anyway.
-What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.
-People truly need help but may attack you if you do help them. Help people anyway.
-Give the world your best and you’ll get kicked in the teeth. Give your best anyway.
Dale Rosenberger, Minister