One of the things I often look forward to receiving in my inbox is the “Verse and Voice” from Sojourners. I often find an encouraging or challenging word. Today, they used a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that really made me think. Dr. King said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
When I read that sentence, I found myself challenged in two ways.
First, there are times when I do find myself remaining silent on things that matter. I am in a field in which I need to speak about injustice, oppression, and the like. And, yet, when presented with opportunities to speak up, I often back away silently. I need to have the bold courage to stand up for and raise my voice on the things that matter.
On the other hand, there are times in which I boldly speak out about things that don’t matter. Take last Tuesday night for example. I was speaking forcefully and passionately about tables and chairs. The words I spoke were honest and truthful. But, in the long run, it was about something that simply does not matter. I could have directed my time and energy into much more important ventures. However, I let a simple matter momentarily steal my focus. I believe our lives begin to end when we waste our time speaking of things that don’t matter.
So, today, I’m going to do my best to remain silent on things that don’t matter and to have the courage to break my silence on those things that do matter.