A Call to Agape Love: The Fighting Spirit? [Muhammad Ali Tribute]
Updated: Jan 11
With the Midway through Jan 2022, the question remains "Are the people of God finally ready to move forward from the double consciousness as a nation? As citizens of Heaven, are we sharing the true gospel?"
From Dec 28th 2021 until Jan 1st 2022 I went to a Christian missions conference in Louisville, Kentucky. This is the home of the late Great Muhammad Ali. Of course, I had to go to the center that is dedicated in his honor called the Muhammad Ali Education center below is the first thing you see when you walk through those doors.
As soon as you fly into Louisville, Kentucky you're met with Ali's photo on YouTube. It's the home of the worlds greatest boxer to ever touch the face of the planet. It had me asking so many questions. What makes Muhammad Ali the greatest? What did he represent? Why is the airport named after him? And the most profound question was what was his faith and spiritual journey like when he lived on earth?
Some of the pictures from the gallery below:
Was Ali the most loved person on earth at one point? Why did I not learn about him in school?
Some say Ali was the greatest boxer that ever fought in a ring.
Others say he was the symbol of hope this country needed at a time of racial divide.
They say a picture is worth 1,000, words. I say, 1,000 pictures are worth 1 word. UNITY.
“Ali became a symbol of hope for the city of Louisville." - Local Louisville Native
It is with deep conviction to say Ali was a symbol of hope in a country that attempted to take civil rights from the African-American community. The fighting spirit Ali brought was one that outlives his life. Individuals all across the city still know him as if he's still with them today.
His murals are all across the city. You can't turn the corner without seeing a photo or painting of Muhammad Ali. So the question remains, what was his intention with his life?
My personal conviction tells me he leads with love in all that he did. Not just love, but the agape love. The sacrificial love that this world needs to hear about. The Christ like love that puts others before yourself. Ali's mother raise him in the church. He accepted Christ and was baptized at the age of 12, and has been boxing since that age. His rise to fame grew quickly, but he also knew America [and the powers at work] did not stand for what he represented. Ali used his boxing platform as a way to promote social justice reforms in a way that honors God.
Cassius Clay [changed his name to Muhammad Ali] converted to the nation of Islam because it was his way of coming against white-washed Christianity. It's painted in the photo of him fighting and beating the man of steel which represents white men and the power structure that surrounds white conservatives and Christianity.
The call to action:
One of the most challenging things you can do is help others before help yourself. There is a reason as to why flight attendants tell you to first put on your oxygen mask before you help anybody else's with theirs.
A traditional hero is defined as "a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements or noble qualities." I view nontraditional heroes as those who do not get the recognition for the outstanding achievements that the traditional heroes receive. Those who decide to answer the calling of a "nontraditional hero" feel a sense of responsibility to the greater good. I wonder if Simone Biles felt a sense of responsibility to her brothers actions.
Ali battled many mental health situations as seen throughout the education center within his gallery. I mean, the brother went to jail and spent 5 years in prison for standing up for rights that us U.S. Citizens don't even know about. Why? Because he loved his neighbor as he loved himself. Ali is one of the greatest humans to ever walk planet earth because he stood for what's right. He stood for all people, everywhere.
There's no secret that the over stimulating negative broadcasting in the media has placed fear in all people across the globe. Muhammad Ali is more than an African-American hero, he is a global hero. That makes him a "nontraditional hero."
I am an individual that is willing to take action, not because I am supposed to but because of my conviction of being a Christ follower. I love God because He first loved me. Learning that He can use anyone in any religion, in any way He sees fit, is icing on a cake.
Muhammad Ali is the example that within each individual lies the answer we seek to solve the problems in the world. We first must look to ourselves.
I tell those who are all around me"I do what I can to be responsible for the leadership within this community, you have the responsibility to lead your life by example through your actions." (#BeYourOwnHero #Leadership #HeartbeatofHeros)
This blog is in recognition the Muhammad Ali Center, all the individuals who contributed to such a beautiful center and to those who appreciate a legacy that is to be lived daily.
This blog is owned and under copyright laws and of the Be Your Own Hero authorization.
Check out heroleadershipgroup curriculum: https://youtu.be/9KX7Xzik6Lc
Order a copy of Be Your Own Hero and contact firstname.lastname@example.org for training and workshops.
Reference: All photos are copyright owned and as originally taken by Schwartzen Precil