I used to joke with people all the time that I dreamed of becoming the next Oprah.
I would say that it made sense because when she retired, we’d just remove the O-P-R-A-H from her studio sign, and replace it with a V-I-M-B-O. We both have 5 letters in our name. We’re both talkative, people loving, sanguine-choleric personalities. It just made sense.
(Wait, who am I kidding…that still crosses my mind from time to time).
I mean, honestly, all of us have thought about our legacy. How will the world remember us?
And from time to time, you’ve probably thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool to do something SO big that no one could ever forget me?”
This past weekend, God reminded me in some subtle (and not so subtle) ways that becoming great is not the point. Really, I am but bones and flesh and blood and dust. I am nothing. He is everything. And that this dream he has given me is so much bigger than any one person. It’s all about Him.
God spoke to me through two things: a concert, and a holiday.
I ended up going to a concert on Sunday that I didn’t even buy tickets for! Through God’s providence (and some amazing friends), after the tickets for the concert were sold out, I got not just one, but TWO tickets to the Israel & New Breed concert.
Long story short, it was such a BLESSING. My family has DVD of a performance in South Africa from a few years ago, and it has brought us much joy many Friday evenings as we praised God for the Sabbath. The live concert this Sunday was an even more beautiful evening of music and unrestrained worship.So both I and my father were able to see Israel & New Breed live. (If you haven’t heard of them, stop reading this and watch this YouTube video. He did this song live on Sunday).
Major things I learned/was reminded of through the concert, and his appeal:
1. Little is much when God is in it. $1 a day literally changes the lives of the children that it goes to.
2. It you’re only excited to do God’s work when a million people are watching, there’s a problem.
3. Getting to where God wants you to be isn’t at all glamorous. Sometimes you’re going to have to sing the song that God has given you to the kitchen utensils before you can do it for millions of people. But if God’s put the dream in your heart, He’ll see it through.
All of this from a Grammy Award winning artist, who probably would rather just be known as a humble servant of God.
Secondly, Monday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Of all the people to learn humility from, he’s high on the list. We now have a statue to honor him in Washington DC, but if you see the quote below, I doubt he would’ve wanted that…
There are a million things I could say about MLK, but I think what I learned can be summed up in this quote from his speech, “The Drum Major Instinct”:
If any of you are around when I have to meet my day, I don’t want a long funeral. And if you get somebody to deliver the eulogy, tell them not to talk too long. (Yes) And every now and then I wonder what I want them to say. Tell them not to mention that I have a Nobel Peace Prize—that isn’t important. Tell them not to mention that I have three or four hundred other awards—that’s not important. Tell them not to mention where I went to school. (Yes)
I’d like somebody to mention that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to give his life serving others. (Yes)
I’d like for somebody to say that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to love somebody.
I want you to say that day that I tried to be right on the war question. (Amen)
I want you to be able to say that day that I did try to feed the hungry. (Yes)
And I want you to be able to say that day that I did try in my life to clothe those who were naked. (Yes)
I want you to say on that day that I did try in my life to visit those who were in prison. (Lord)
I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity. (Yes)
Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. (Amen) Say that I was a drum major for peace. (Yes) I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter. (Yes) I won’t have any money to leave behind. I won’t have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind. (Amen) And that’s all I want to say.
If I can help somebody as I pass along,
If I can cheer somebody with a word or song,
If I can show somebody he’s traveling wrong,
Then my living will not be in vain.
If I can do my duty as a Christian ought,
If I can bring salvation to a world once wrought,
If I can spread the message as the master taught,
Then my living will not be in vain.
Yes, Jesus, I want to be on your right or your left side, (Yes) not for any selfish reason. I want to be on your right or your left side, not in terms of some political kingdom or ambition. But I just want to be there in love and in justice and in truth and in commitment to others, so that we can make of this old world a new world.