…and quench your deepest thirst as you read this post, a toast to Paul Harvey.
Michael (Mike) King was a dad and a preacher from the deep South. In 1934, after completing the dream of a lifetime — a pilgrimage to the Holy Land — he finished his trip by attending an international conference for Baptist pastors in Berlin. He came back home to Georgia, feeling peachy and soaring with fresh inspiration.
You might say the experience made him a new man and gave him a profound new sense of identity.
Like Nelson Mandela and Mike, the names you take on, the names you call yourself — the people you imitate — will transform your life — for better or for worse. Choose wisely, like Nelson and Mike did. Your choices have consequences. Nelson was Invictus, “I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.”
The flock Mike pastored was mostly poor and had neither status nor voice in a segregated America where “liberty and justice for all” had an asterisk if you were a person of color. What inspired Mike in Berlin was the story of a mere German monk who had the conviction to stand up and challenge the institutional powers of his day, more fearful of disobeying God than the Pope or Holy Emperor.
The monk, of course, was Martin Luther. His “95 Theses,” which propounded two central beliefs—that the Bible is the central religious authority and that humans may reach salvation only by their faith and not by their deeds—was to spark the Protestant Reformation. He led this reformation on behalf of the common people, declaring through courageous acts of peaceful civil disobedience we are free at last, free at last — thank God we’re free at last!
As told by Eric Metaxas in MARTIN LUTHER: The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World, Mike King “became so impressed with what he learned about the reformer Martin Luther that he decided to do something dramatic. He offered the ultimate tribute to the man’s memory by changing his own name to Martin Luther King. His 5-year-old son was also named Michael — and to the son’s dying day his closest relatives would still call him Mike — but not long after the boy’s father changed his own name, he decided to change his son’s name too, and Michael King Jr. became known to the world as Martin Luther King Jr.”
And now you know…the rest of the story.
How ’bout you, friend? Who has made you thirsty to stand up, inspired to become a new man or woman? When your inner little voice is saying you don’t have a voice, what names do you preach back to yourself? What role models are you imitating? How will you end the rest of your story? Write. Then, do another rinse of your “I am” statements from Days 14 and 21, please.
Be like Mike. Be like Mikey. Try it, you’ll like it.
Embrace it. Live it. Love it (Thanks, Toto)…