Why I’m Here

Posted: January 22, 2004 in Everything

Walking briskly through our church building, one of our members asked me a question that I used to be asked a lot. “Were you comfortable when you first came here?” You have to understand that I’m a young black man ministering to a mostly upper-middle class white church.

Before I moved here, I ministered in a mostly Hispanic city and was asked the same question. The answer to that question is simple. My father constantly ingrained into my brother and me the idea that black people should be represented everywhere.

Once we were watching the movie, The Lords of Discipline. The movie tells the story of an all white military school that enrolls it’s first African-American student. Needless to say, the students did not welcome him with open arms. I asked my dad, “why doesn’t he just leave, why would anyone stick around to be treated that way?” My dad told me, “because if he stays and makes it, he can prove that he’s not only as good as the other students, but that he’s better and he makes it easier for the next guy.”

Hide this story away in your heart.

Once a king built a great highway and invited his people to see who could travel the highway the best. On the first day, people who traveled the new road complained to the king that a large pile of rocks and debris had been left and the mess hindered their travel. One lone traveler, tired and dirty, handed the king a bag of gold, explaining that he had stopped to clear a pile of rocks that blocked the road and found the gold. The king gave the money to the man, saying, “You’ve earned this gold. He who travels the road the best is he who makes the road smoother for those who will follow.”

I think that’s one of the great aspects of my life. I get to break down barriers, plow through pre-conceived notions, and make the road smoother for those who will follow.

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