I have often referenced this question, “Would you cross the line?,” in classes that I’ve taught, sermons that are given, and even in casual conversation. It is a question that I myself have pondered and ruminated on. Even to this day I ask myself, “Would you cross the line?”
Now if you are one of those people who have not attended one of my classes, haven’t heard me speak, deliver a sermon, or engage in philosophical conversation, you may be wondering, “What is this line that I’m asking would you cross?”
The line that I’m referring to is that point in one’s life when there is no going back; when you know that the decision you are about to make, any action you are about to engage in, or any number of changes that you are about to embark upon will change your life in such a way that you cannot go back to the life that you had before. This line can be something as common as applying for college to something less common as becoming a celebrity or national figure demanding change. When I refer to this line in conversation or in classes I’m often using people like Oprah, Mahatma Gandhi, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Michael Jackson, Nick Vujicic, Einstein and many others as examples of people who decided to cross the line. I mean think about someone like Oprah, who many years ago led a life that for the most part went unnoticed by the masses and yet now her anonymity is relatively a thing of the past. While there are those few occasions where she may enter a shoe store or a boutique to purchase some extravagant purse and the clerk not know who she; is for the most part Oprah is a person who is known the world over. Once you cross this line into fame is it possible to go back to a life of being unknown, unrecognizable, un-famous? And while yes there are many people who at one time were famous and were highly sought after for photographs and autographs and now live relatively common lives, there are those whose fame could never allow them to go back to a life of the “mundane.”
Michael Jackson for example, while living could never have gone to a life where he was not highly sought after for one thing or another. The only way someone like Michael Jackson could have relative security is by becoming a recluse and hiding away in a prison of his own making. Once you cross that line there is no simply going to target to buy a shirt, there is no going to the supermarket for a gallon of milk, or going to the neighborhood theater with your children to enjoy a movie; because once you cross that line you become someone who is recognizable and sought after.
Have you ever thought about what it took for someone like Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., or any number of the civil rights activist, the people who were going door-to-door registering voters who knowingly cross the line from safety into danger. There was that time when you could talk about desegregation, you have a small protest or even a small sit in at Woolworths and while you might get mildly beat up or arrested you did not become a target in the same manner as those men and women who crossed the line. Had Nelson Mandela not crossed the line he would not of gone to jail and had he not gone to jail more than likely he would never had become president of South Africa and it is very possible or even probable that had he not become the President of South Africa apartheid may still be a common government practice.
Each one of us at some point or another in our lives get to that place where we ask whether consciously or unconsciously, “do I cross this line?”
The line we are questioning could be marriage, having children, relocating to a new city or new state or even a new country, applying for a new job or resigning from a job, taking the leap of faith to manifest a long-held dream, to forgive our parents, to forgive ourselves, or to be the change that we want to see in the world. Every decision we make has consequences, every action sends ripples throughout all of creation, every thought attracting, demonstrating, manifesting. Because of this power, is it wise that we ask before we’re ready to cross that line? I mean are you ready to cross that line? Are you willing to cross the line? And before you answer, I’m saying if someone were to ask you to do what Martin Luther King Jr. did, would you? If someone were to ask you to be a revolutionary leader and change the face of education in the United States, would you? If someone were to ask you to do whatever was necessary to change yourself and to become the person that you are meant to be would, you do it? Would you cross the line and go to that place that the average person fears to go? Would you cross the line and face your fears? Would you cross the line and forgive everyone of everything they ever did?
In truth until we reach that time that we are honestly ready to cross the line, to step off of the merry-go-round and the hamster wheel of mediocrity, we will be victims who shake our fists and blame rather than being the spiritual warriors that we are here to offer our hands in holy and blessed service to every man woman and child the world over.
Are you ready to cross the line? I believe that you are…