Occasionally, I suffer from “writer’s block” and cannot seem to put thoughts together enough to have any sort of reasonable message, much less a devotional. This week was one of those times. I tried a few things to generate some ideas….first, I thought about what’s going on in the news, perhaps. What big events have just taken place or will happen in the not so distant future. Well…there’s the MLK holiday we just observed. “I know”, I thought. “I can write about Dr. King’s I Have a Dream speech and draw some contrasts or parallels to today?”. Nah….nothing.
“Okay”, I strategized. “Let’s see if I can draw some sermon from the NFL playoffs this past weekend. Isn’t that quarterback from Green Bay, Aaron Rogers, king of the Hail Mary touchdown passes this season….?”. Nah….could come across as sacrilegious.
Then there’s the obvious story of this week’s inauguration of a new American president. “Not a winnable devotion”, I concluded. “In a much divided nation, I’m more likely to anger or alienate half of the WAWA audience.”
What to do what to do…..
Then it hit me. What I really want to focus on this week is prayer. I don’t do it enough. It’s challenging for me many times. And, sometimes the words don’t flow as smoothly as I’d like them to.
But I know I need it….and I know you need it….and I know our nation needs it.
How far have we come since Dr. King preached on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial back in 1963? What would he say today if he were still alive? Would he say we’ve reached his dream where his “four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Are we there yet? Most might say “not yet….”. Others might say, “We’re even farther away than Dr. King’s day…”.
Dr. King also said, “I have a dream that one day, every valley will be exalted, every hill and mountain will be made low. The rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight……this is our hope. This is the faith I go back to the South with….“. So today, I ask you….where is our faith in the South…in the North, and stretched out across the globe?
Like it or not, this week marks a new chapter in our country. We will be okay, in spite of the stretching out of the doomsday stories on all the major cable news networks that the “end is near”.
It will not be easy. And there are perceptions of great divides that could be closer to reality.
So, let’s just pray about it. Join hands, physically or virtually. And pray about it. Pray around your dinner table at night. Pray in the stillness of your mornings. Pray in your church or your synagogue or even your mosque. Pray at the end of your workouts and, for some of you, pray at the beginning of the workouts too!
“My country ’tis of thee. Sweet land of liberty. Of thee I sing….”
I need it. You need it. Our nation needs it.