For some reason, last Saturday was my very first time watching the movie, Malcolm X. I had heard lots of stories about the Muslim Afro-American Minister. He had grown from being just another Muslim to a symbol of the struggle for racial equality in the United States. Though I didn’t catch the movie in it’s entirety, I am happy I caught one of the last scenes of the movie because that forms the basis of my discuss today.
On the morning of his death, he was scheduled to speak to a growing crowd of followers. Everything didn’t seem right for many a reason. Some elements of the program were missing. A guest speaker had not shown up. In general, he didn’t feel as comfortable as any other day of his life. There had been many attempts on his life, but this day felt particularly different. Nevertheless, he gave up his feeling and carried on with his responsibility—inspiring the people who looked up to him.
Malcolm’s uneasiness was not unfounded. That day was going to be his last as a plan to assassinate him was well underway. The last piece of the puzzle was his—getting on stage to make his speech. And his part he played.
When chaos broke in hall, as planned by his assassinators, the man who would place the first shot drew closer to the podium for a point blank range. And one of the most fascinating things I ever saw happened.
Just before the man fired his shot, Malcolm X smiled at him like he didn’t give a care that the man was about to kill him. That smile broke a piece of my heart, but strengthened my resolve in the power of purpose. Malcolm X knew he was going to die, but that didn’t mean the values he struggled for died with him.
After the movie, I kept asking myself, ‘What would I have done if I were Malcolm?’ I would have docked or ran for safety. But that was not the lesson. The lesson was this: Am I strong enough to smile under the pressure of even death. Does my confidence waver at the very least of opposition? Or do I stare death in the face and press on like I know my life is worth more the air I breathe.
For me as a Christian, my life is covered in God’s arms and my purpose is secure in Him. That alone must be able to drive away every fear.
So from me to you: What would you do in the face of adversity? Cower in cowardice or push on to your purpose, like you know you can make it through the adversity?