As many of you know I am an amateur historian, and I love to study historical figures. One of my favorite leaders is Dr. Martin Luther King, and a few years ago I ran across a site created by Stanford University, called the King Papers. This site is a collection of every sermon, speech, article and even personal letters written by Dr. King. It is amazing to re-live the thinking of a person through very trying times in their lives to get a fresh perspective on how we live. In April of 1967, Dr. King delivered a sermon at the New Covenant Baptist Church in Chicago, IL. The Speech is entitled “The Three Dimensions of a Complete Life”, and it was delivered almost one year exactly before he was assassinated. Dr. King having achieved great victories in the battle for decency in this country is now a battled scarred warrior at the age of 38. The ever mounting pressures of a more cynical nation, the pressures of wire taps and FBI surveillance, and even the pressures of his own personal moral lapses in judgment had become a heavy load to bear. Leadership in a sense can become self exile to an island of isolation, and Dr. King even though surrounded by a team of friends, no doubt is more reticent about the future.
I encourage everyone to go and read the speech in its entirety, but for a moment I want us all to think about the three dimensions of our lives. Dr. King proposes that the complete life is made up of three separate and important areas. First there is the Length of life, how long and how well we live. What we personally achieve in the time that God has blessed us to be alive. This also includes what we amass with the talents and resources that God has blessed us with.
The second dimension is what he calls the Breadth of life. How wide does our influence reach? Life cannot solely be about me, myself and I. Life must include the aspect of what we do for others. How many lives will be effected because our influence? When my time is up, what will my children say, and will the world know that they were better for having me in their lives? Will they stand upon a solid foundation of values that I have led before them, or will they carry regrets and emptiness because of what I did not do with and in front of them?
The third and final dimension is the Height of Life. Do you know God for yourself? Why are you here? What is your purpose? Why did God spare you and what is your reason for living? The height of life is the ultimate dimension for without it, the other two dimensions are fleeting at best. Most people today are living only for the Length of life… How much stuff can we gather? Some people understand what it means to be a leader and influence the lives of others in a positive way. Few people will learn to walk in their God given calling, these are the ones that will live the most fulfilled material lives, these are the few that will be remembered for years and decades for the lives that they have touched, and these few will be the ones to ultimately bring God Glory. So where is your life? Are you live one dimensional, two, or three? I believe that we are called to greatness in all three. We can leverage a great TEAM educational system to learn how to prosper financially, and buy back our time. The people that we are building relationships with, will reap a harvest beyond what we do in business. And finally, my prayer for each of you is that the older you become, the more we mature in our Spiritual walk. I believe that as we age our gravitation toward the third dimension should grow stronger. So that when our time is up we will have truly lived a complete life!