Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.” In essence: Take the first step assuming the rest will be there, even if you have doubts and fears. Believe that as long as you keep going, you will arrive.
King was born January 15, 1929. From the beginning he demonstrated natural gifts far beyond his years, ultimately leading him to become a pivotal figure in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. In this nation and around the world, his words, actions and charismatic leadership inspired men and women, young and old, to have faith.
Dr. King was arrested 30 times. His home was bombed. He was indicted for conspiracy and charged with tax evasion. He was stabbed, stoned and endured horrendous acts of violence perpetuated by people not ready for black equality at that time in history.
His faith undoubtedly was tested. Certainly, the “whole staircase” had not yet come into view when he took the first steps. In spite of the challenges, Dr. King pressed forward believing in something for which there was no proof; maintaining trust in the unseen that his dreams would come to fruition.
“Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood,” King said in his “I Have a Dream” speech on August 28, 1963. “We must … continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. … This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair … With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.”
Like Dr. King, we all have the ability to embark upon a journey of faith and to tap into our divine power and more fully express the Christ within.
This excerpt from his Nobel Peace Prize speech in 1964 illustrates his commitment to faith:
"I accept this award in behalf of a civil rights movement which is moving with determination … to establish a reign of freedom and a rule of justice… a new era of progress and hope … I accept this award today with an abiding faith in America and an audacious faith in the future of mankind … I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality… I still believe that we shall overcome."
Each person has the power of faith and can use that power to create a meaningful and abundant life. Like Dr. King, you can take “the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.”