Ron McNair was a NASA astronaut who was killed in the tragic Challenger launch in 1986. He was born in South Carolina in 1950 in a pre-Civil rights-era rural town. Ron was brilliant even as a young child and he wanted more than anything to read books and to study mechanics and mathematics. At the age of 9 he walked a mile to the public library by himself, something that a child of color was not allowed to do. He went to check out a book and the librarian called the police. When the policeman arrived he saw a 9-year old boy sitting there with a book in his hand. Ron had the audacity to act.
Ron McNair later gradated as the valedictorian of his high school class and later graduated from the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro magna cum laude. He was a scientist, an athlete, a musician and an astronaut.
God calls us to be our best selves. Ron knew who he was, even at the age of 9 and he stood his ground when people wanted to deny him an opportunity to learn. It is my prayer for all of you in this New Year that you will have the audacity to act. Be who you are being called to be. Stand up against systems and negative thinking that would prevent you from following your calling. Some of that negative thinking can even be your own voice of self-doubt. Paul reminds us that “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-control.” (II Timothy 1:7)
Many your new year be bright with holy boldness and a clear vision for your future.