A PERFECT PATRIOTISM STORM
by CHARLES ROBEY
(MOODY AL USA)
Can you remember back to your school days? Who were your favorite teachers? What about your favorite scholastic subjects? Perhaps it was only a few days ago, or perhaps significantly longer. However, if you were like me, older than dirt and twice as gritty, I’m sure your classroom experience included our Founding Fathers’ documents.
As Dr. Larry P. Arnn, President of Hillsdale College, put it, “Because men are not angels, government is necessary. Because no man stands to another as God to man, or as man to beast, government must be based on consent. The moral foundation of the Constitution is in the Declaration of Independence and its principle of equal rights. Under the Constitution, government was to be limited to protecting those rights.”
I was so lucky, or should I say fortunate, in having to study both founding documents. I’m thankful that the “laws of nature and of Nature’s God” were found in such writings. I would be remiss if I failed to share two of my favorite excerpts from these documents.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. (The Declaration of Independence)
“Congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” (The Constitution of the United States of America, Amendment I)
Now, I trust you will follow along and enjoy this bit of fictional musing within this parable, an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. It is entitled A Perfect Storm.
It was a nice relaxing fall day, with a breath of winter not far behind. Mother Nature seemed in true form as expected for the season. Looking out, my lonely front porch glider appeared to be calling my name, as it gently moved in time with the soft fall breeze. Of course, being retired with nothing to do, I couldn’t turn down this invite.
I grabbed a big ice-cold sweet tea and a couple of the wife’s homemade butter cookies and jumped on board. Where are my sunglasses? Never mind, I feel them on top of my head. Isn’t retirement wonderful!
This make-believe serenity didn't last long, however. Was it my routine catnap that took me there? I found myself entrenched by another of my weirdly narrated dreams. I’ve been having them quite often of late. This one, as you will see, has taken the cake.
Instantly, lightning bolts appeared to be surging back and forth before my very eyes and dancing about me. I could have very easily reached out and grabbed one, if I had a mind to. These bolts were followed by a few well-placed claps of thunder. Why me, why did heaven’s beauty choose me for this wake-up call? It was a warning of things to come, I suspect.
Actually, it was an unusual dream giving way to segments of three distinct demographic divisions. Each part came to me in sort of an overwhelming, historical style. Each time a segment occurred; the situation molded me somewhat into a would-be prophetic theist. Biblical quotes twirled wildly within this dream world narrative. Maybe I should not have skipped my last week’s Bible study class.
The first segment was pictured between two north Baltic countries. The larger country was getting ready to make war with the lesser one. The next segment was somewhat comparable in nature, between two middle eastern countries. Again, the bigger, more powerful was set to quickly overcome the smaller. Both segments were somewhat brief in dream design, not really giving much detail, as if the happenings were not as important as the third dream segment.
The third vision came in like a whirling wind, somewhat different, more complex and in greater detail. I was actually caught up in the spirit. It was set in my country, the land of the free, the home of the brave.
My country came alive in vivid living reality. Chaos was everywhere, in the home, in the halls of learning, in the government, and even in the religious institutes. There was no rule of law or order. It was everyone for themselves; the me, myself, and I syndrome running amuck, as are the modern-day progressive social orders.
My country’s future appeared to be nothing but gloom and doom. There was no hint of freedom’s progress or suggestion of prosperity. My country had completely gone under. Apparently, no county dared interfere with this God-forsaken country.
There were no enticing temptations. Nothing was of an international interest. There was no money, no morals, no religion, and no government. For all practical purposes, my country had gone completely amok. It was found to be completely helpless, as far as the secular social mindset was concerned, not to mention no indication of religious life.
What happened next was unexpected and off the wall. Seldom before had I experienced such a dream. What’s next for our country? What’s next for me, I wondered? But I quickly found out.
As the dream continued on, I found myself sitting on my front porch swing, helpless. I was wringing my hands to beat the band, so to speak. My hands were numb from holding my chair rails so tight, and all I could do was sit and think. At some points all I could do was sit.
I had no solution in sight, with my dream possibly ending in total and complete despair in this whole man-made chaos. What will our country do? And what will, or what can I do? It seemed as if the entire dream was a well-planned perfect storm.
But wait just a cotton-picking minute, where’s Mom’s old, tattered Bible? It always seemed to give her comfort in times of need, along with her simple prayers. But has her God left the scene? Has He given up on our country?
Well, there’s one way to find out. I will surely try, if I can only relocate her old worn Bible. I know it to be a fact that miracles and unknown realistic results always seemed to come along after this type of societal emergency. It was Mom’s routine Bible worship that always found a solution.
There it was, and I wiped off the cobwebs and dust. With a little corresponding prayer, I've got nothing to lose, I thought, as I began reading. (II Timothy 3:16-17)
But wait again, what are these booklets stuck in her Bible? Where did they come from? Mom always was a true patriot. She believed in bringing her patriotism into the Christian realm.
Although being much the worse for wear, they were my high school copies of The Declaration of Independence and US Constitution. I had thought these documents were long since destroyed in a long-ago house fire. Why are they both here, inserted into Mom’s Bible?
Mom, I read you loud and clear. Your prayers have been answered. Not only will I start back to church, but I will also work for the patriotism of our community.
That’s when it instantly happened, and it all changed for me. I don’t rightly know how or what, but it just did. Down deep in my soul is where it took place, with a little help from Mom’s memory. You see, she had not only marked the spot in her Bible, but the crumpled pages bore a strong indication of dried tears. There even was a hint of my name blurred out and underlined.
The corresponded date was the clue. It was the date of the miracle cure of my near fatal car wreck. Did this all grab me by the neck? You bet your life it did. And the conclusion did as well.
I don't rightly know the conclusion of my dream, it ended without explanation. I was back sitting on the porch glider still rocking away, when my neighbor came visiting. He seemed to come out of nowhere, waving the evening newspaper. He had good news.
The solution was simple. Yes, it had all been a dream. My country was still here, but all was changed. It happened with the positive election. Patriotic music was everywhere. The churches were wide open and filled to capacity. Street flags were flying, And I was sitting on my porch glider happily soaked from the ongoing perfect storm. My tea was mixed with a few cookie crumbs. Oh! Did I tell you the storm had let up? Amen!
One other comment in closing; along with certain Biblical passages given to memory, this excerpt taken from the closing paragraph of our Declaration of Independence has also stuck with me.
“… with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” To this I shout a big Amen!