We seem to think that they dictate events in our world (and that they have throughout the course of history).
I have a dream. Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. Love thy neighbor.
We value these statements (and so many others) and truly believe that we as individuals live them out. But are we doing this in our daily lives?
I have a dream: Do I have hope in the future? Do I actually want every single person I know to have an equal chance at things I want (the same job promotion, the same income, the same level of popularity)? Or if I look closer at myself, do I only want this for those people in my life who I deem as worthy of receiving the same things?
Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country: What am I doing for my country? How am I serving the people of my nation? Am I one who lodges an Internet rant when the leaders of the country are doing something I disagree with, expecting the nation to do what I want? Or am I striving to do things to make my community a better place? Am I asking what I can do for the people of my country?
Love thy neighbor: Do I truly love the person I work with or do I give a blank stare every time they say something that I think is stupid? Do I harbor resentment or do I strive to see what God sees (good and bad)? I am able to love my husband, family and close friends- with both their good and bad traits, because I know I have good and bad traits as well. But beyond that, can I honestly say I love each person, each neighbor in my life?
We like to think that these statements rule our lives- as Americans, as Christian, as progressive people. But are these evident in our own lives or are they just statements we believe that we live by? Just because we don't think we are racist, doesn't mean we believe in social, class or other forms of equality. Just because we love our country, doesn't mean we are serving the people in it and trying to make it a better place. Just because we love most of our neighbors, doesn't mean we are showing love to everyone in our lives.
How do we fix this? How do we humble our hearts to truly live out equality, service and love?
Lord, show me how to live out these things more. Especially Your command to love thy neighbor, because that is where it all begins. Amen