Let your light so shine…
Last week I watched a documentary about a man who started his career at age twelve, won an Olympic medal by age eighteen, refused to participate in a war that went against his principles, spoke his truths, and modeled a comportment that inspires others to refrain from vulgar word choices in front of women and children. I also learned that his IQ assessment yielded a score that fell in the 70’s. (This was most likely not an accurate assessment of his ability.)
Two things strike me about the life of Muhammad Ali: survival and consistency.
He was very vocal during a time of overt intolerance. Yet, he unabashedly expressed his opinions. Medgar Edgers, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X were not so fortunate. They were publicly assassinated because their voices were revolutionary. Interestingly, Mr. Ali’s experience could be viewed as an attempted character assassination because he thought “too highly” of himself.
I do not claim to know all things Muhammad Ali but from the footage that I saw, he was very consistent in his views. You knew exactly what he thought and he did not waver in his assessment whether he was conferring with a president, religious leader, or an opponent in the ring. While growing up I paid little attention to him because of his use of a foul word that is too common today. Now I know that you can and should learn from others regardless of differences.
As I was watching the documentary, I was thinking about how visible our lives are even when not connected to technology. We may not have huge circles of influence like well-known people but our light shines nonetheless for good or bad. Neighbors and strangers pick up on how we treat people by our word choices and by the things that we choose to do. With a bit of observation, they can often suss out what our brains most regularly ingest. Frankly, we are almost always visible to some degree and in those times when we think we are unseen, our character is often revealed.
Moses had to wear a vail because of his experiences with the Word. People feared him because of how brightly his light shined. It is an interesting point to ponder: does my light consistently represent my faith and principles?
Passage to Ponder:
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.