“…Deep in my heart, I do believe we shall overcome…” – Martin Luther King Jr.
Confessions of a Homeschooling Dad
During this time of lock down, the closure of schools meant the opening of homeschooling. I give teachers a lot of credit for their dedication and commitment to educating children all over the world. My experience concluded that this is no easy task. Each day we received the “learning packets” that were emailed each evening for the next day. These packets acted as scripts to follow as our dining table became the new classroom. As helpful as these packets or scripts were, they did not account for the accompanying scenes of frustration and disappointment. These scenes often tempted me to quit mid script. What kept me going was how completing the daily packet would benefit Esther in the long run.
We Shall Overcome
Scores of people have experienced difficult scenes in the first half of the year. Unemployment has soared as the economy has tanked. Tensions have increased as we are witnessing an awakening in the area of racial injustice. Sometimes we can conclude a bad ending based on a bad scene. But in the 1960s as the Civil Rights Movement gained momentum, there were some devastating scenes that were experienced. One, in particular, was the racially motivated bombing of an African American Baptist church in Birmingham, Alabama, on September, 15th 1963, in which four innocent girls lost their lives. Living through scenes of death threats, prison, and police brutality, Martin Luther King Jr. carried a script containing three words that became a rallying cry for the Civil Rights Movement. “We Shall Overcome.” He believed that the scenes were not greater than the script. This is why he said, “I have a dream that my 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.”
Do You Have a Life Script?
Just as Martin Luther King Jr. had a script to keep him going on dark days, we also need a life script to keep us going when the going gets tough. And we are living in those times. A life script is what you choose to stick with no matter the cost because deep down in your heart, you believe it.
Is It Effective?
For a life script to be effective, a life script should make room for three qualities. Without them, we risk losing our passion for living and becoming casualties of the bad scenes we experience.
Without light, there can be no life. Human, plant, and animal life thrive on it. It is the first thing God called into existence on earth amid darkness and emptiness. A life script that orbits around trust, hope, peace, courage, and joy will always promote growth and progress. Even in times of crisis. Does your life script perpetuate fear, worry, anxiety, hatred or does it bolster care, service, appreciation, attention, and compassion? Martin Luther King Jr. believed in the importance of light when he said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” And where light is present, love is discovered.
The highest return on life does not come from successful financial endeavors or millions of followers on social media but from knowing that you loved and were loved.
Like any investment, love comes with risk. No matter how safe it may appear to be. Don’t get me wrong. When love is authentic, it’s perhaps the safest place you can be. But getting there, as with all matters of the heart, carries a great personal risk. In a way, choosing to love and be loved is like walking from one skyscraper to another on a thin wire. That wire is called trust and requires balancing transparency and courage. While transparency is the willingness to be open and vulnerable, courage is the ability to take the steps to become transparent. And love flourishes when it is held in the container of trust. When trust is violated, and the container begins to crack, love is threatened, and it starts to wither.
If you want to build an environment of love around you, create a container of trust. Here’s a starter list to building it:
- Have a listening heart
- Don’t judge
- Don’t gossip
This does not refer to the volume of the script but the ability to outlast any opposition that is pitted against it. Measuring your script by value instead of volume postures you with concrete evidence of why you will reach your intended destination. Without any attached value, a life script turns to ash in the furnace of life’s trials. Your value script may be short on words. But if it is weighty in quality yet pliable, like gold, it will prove durable when the fiery scenes of life try it.
If you have a life script regarding the personal, professional, financial, and relational areas of your life, check to see how it intersects with each area by measuring how much value is being added.
Final thought: What is your life script? What do you believe deep down in your heart despite the odds you are up against? Others may be slow to believe. Don’t vilipend your script based on the opinions and views of others. If it has light, love, and length, stick to it. Live it out daily. Difficult scenes will arise, but with a script etched in your heart, you too will overcome.
Keep on Keeping on!