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                                                      Legacy…
 
Good afternoon dear reader & welcome to my world this week. On Sunday evening last weekend I witnessed the last total lunar eclipse of the decade. I remember clearly, because I was awake from 0200 until 0500. It was called a “super blood wolf moon” because the moon appeared slightly larger than normal (“super”), it was a full eclipse (thus traditionally called a “blood” moon), & it was in January [thus called a “wolf” moon in Native American & early Colonial times].
 
But like the latest loss by Australian cricket team, this interesting event will leave no lasting effects on the world. So, given my three hours awake, I began to think: “how can you & I leave a legacy which matters dear reader?
 
For the answer, let us turn to a man who was assassinated fifty years ago but “being dead yet still speaketh” [1]   Monday January 21st is Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the United States. This annual observance is held on the third Monday in January, in proximity to Dr. King’s January 15th birthday.
 
As a young man, Dr. King had many options. He was an outstanding student, skipping both the ninth & twelfth grades of high school & entering college at the age of fifteen. He became a pastor at the age of twenty-five & completed his PhD at Boston University the next year.
A brilliant orator, he had a very promising future in pastoral ministry or academics.
 
Then Rosa Parks was arrested in 1955 [the year I was born], for refusing to give up her seat on a city bus. Dr. King led the Montgomery bus boycott in response. He was arrested & his house was bombed. Convinced “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” he devoted the rest of his life to the cause of civil rights.
 
Dr. King warned us: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” He was convinced “a man who won’t die for something is not fit to live.” The singularity of his focus teaches us to give everything to something, no matter the cost.

How one person can change the world? Martin Luther King Jr. entered the ministry at the age of eighteen out of what he called “an inner urge to serve humanity.” He believed “everybody can be great, because anybody can serve.”
 
Here is an example: Bill & Melinda Gates have invested $10 billion in three organizations who bring medicines to remote villages & war zones. The results produced by these organizations have been astounding.
 
Polio cases have nearly disappeared (the number worldwide last year was thirty-one). The number of children under the age of five dying in low & middle-income countries has dropped by about 40 percent. AIDS deaths have fallen by more than half.
 
Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Bill Gates calls his commitment to these organizations “the best investment I have ever made.”
 

Do you know why you are alive my friend? There burns in every human heart the desire to live a life which matters. We want to be successful, but we want even more to be significant. I was fourteen years old when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated back on the terrible day in Memphis. He could not know I would write this article about him five decades later. Nor could he know the hotel where he was murdered would become the site of a National Civil Rights Museum.    [2]

 
And he could not know his life would inspire generations to follow his example. If we will give everything to something out of a passion to serve our neighbour, we will change our culture in ways we may not understand this side of eternity.
 
Dr. King: “No one really knows why they are alive until they know what they had die for.”
What would you die for my friend??
 
Thank you for taking the time to be with me once again. I hope my journey may encourage you also. This is Kenn Butler in Paradise, Nelson, with my best wishes for the 2019 year ahead, as many are returning to the workplace. I look forward to being with you all again next week.

 



www.kennbutler.com
 
[1] Hebrews 11:4 KJV
[2] Inspiration & contribution from Dr Jim Denison, Ph.D., he speaks & writes on cultural & contemporary issues. He is a trusted author & expert in areas where faith & current events intersect. His Daily Article provides leading insight for discerning today’s news.

Kenn Butler
Director
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