AMERICA'S OPEN BOOK
by CHARLES ROBEY
(MOODY AL USA)
Have you often stated in a fit of anger or remorse, that you could read someone like an open book? Well, I’ve been there, and done that many times, in my older than dirt and twice as gritty lifetime. And if you were honest about it, you have probably done as well.
You see, by the goodness and mercy of our Creator, we are all blessed by real life, down-to-earth feelings which can be frayed at times. But a story without an ending is really not a story (Phil Harris). Nor is a story over until you’ve heard the rest of it, according to Paul Harvey.
This metaphoric expression 'like an open book' is oftentimes used to mean that you can discern someone's thoughts or feelings. In this dream parable we see the best and worst of America’s beginning and the possibility of America’s frightful ending.
So, here in this fictional story entitled “America’s Open Book”, we have a bit of both worlds, the best and worst of two domains. I trust you will relish the former, and not the latter.
(Proverbs 18:21) - Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. (1 Peter 3:10) - For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: (Proverbs 15:1) - A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
Being tired from my Bible college teaching, I couldn’t wait for the weekend, and it was here at last. Choosing to put my book writing on hold, I opted to take advantage of the soft warm summer day and take a brief hike. I stopped to take a breath and rest on my favorite bench before resuming my hike, to enjoy my hiking snack. How long I sat there, I’m not really sure.
I don’t know exactly how I could convey to you what happened. You see, it all started with a dream, one of the most bizarre dreams of my life. It was a mixture of fictional truth and education, a look back into the past, into the now and maybe into the future. It was all about a book, this most unusual dream, but your everyday book. It was a book that came to life the minute I stepped on to its expanded size and on to its pages.
Standing in the middle of this a large book, its pages reaching out to the north, south east and west, wasting no time it quickly became so real to me. I became an inserted part of this book’s contents. Its title was ' America’s Open Book' which became ever so real, as I traveled through its pages, looking at its pictures.
The story was set in the eighteenth century. The characters wore the dress and customs of the day. Including the lace shirts, long tailed coats, knickers, buckle shoes and powdered wigs.
It was a convention of some loyal American patriotic colonists hard at work in their writing. When it was over, I got a chance to review what they had written. What a powerful document for this great new nation of ours! It was America’s Declaration of Independence dated July 4, 1776. Its beginning read in part:
“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
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.”
Walking on into the next chapter, I found myself in a large convention center in the heart of an historical, metropolitan city of old. The gathering consisted of many more American patriotic loyalists seemingly gathered for a meeting of the utmost importance.
These men were all seated around the large conference room, and they too were hard at work. They appeared to be delegates representing the various colonies of their newly-formed nation. Their mission was drafting a constitution deemed right for this nation’s patriotic citizenry.
One man, who seemed to be the leader, sat alone above the group and observed and controlled the polite disagreements between the various delegates. After much due diligence this new Constitution was read and approved. What a well thought out preamble, I thought.
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common Defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Now I know where I am, I’m in the very beginning of this great country of ours. But these are only the first two chapters of this unique book. What happens next? What about the present? I must keep walking. And so I did, right up till today. What a sad difference these later chapters were!
I couldn’t believe my eyes, or my shoes, walking into these final chapters of this imaginary book. It bespoke a country deeply and politically divided, with lawlessness and anarchy abounding, possessing both poverty and riches under the same roof. It was a country where anything goes, good being labeled as evil and evil as good. (Isaiah 5:20) Its decayed morals and degenerated lifestyle was that anything goes. And most importantly, the decayed religious principles were shown to be nonexistent.
"What has happened to our republic, America the home of the brave and the land of the free?" I mumbled as I hurriedly walked towards the end of the book.
However I failed to make the book's ending chapter because I woke up before its final epilogue. My dream world was over before the ending of the book, much like all my other dreams. The scene was just as I had left it at the beginning of my dream. I was still sitting in the midst of all the beautiful scenery, enjoying the handmade bench. My big bottle of sweet tea and corresponding homemade coconut cake still sat by my backpack on the big rock. "So, what should I do now?" I cried out in total dismay.
What a strange blog ending, you might think. Go ahead, I tend to agree with you. You see, the final chapter of America and the world's history has yet to be written.
Is history about to be finalized? I feel so. I feel that this old universe, including America, is quickly slipping into what is known as the last days, according to the Scriptures.
As the end comes about, the evil characteristics will intensify. (I Timothy 4:1-5) Have you read your local newspaper lately, tuned in the national television, surfed the internet, or talked to your next-door neighbor lately? Have you even listened to the progressive religionist lately? Yes, it’s so very close.
In the end times, there will be a mass corruption of, and break down of law and tradition. Some will be holding to a form of godliness and having the outer semblance of it without spiritual dynamics. In other words, the perils of apostasy will run rampant. Christian persecutions will increase, as well. (II Timothy 3:1-9, 13). People will no longer be content to hear the sound teachings of the Gospel. (II Timothy 4:3-4) In fact, in the last days, we will see mockers, denying the truth of the end time prophecy predictions. (II Peter 3:3-4)
So, what’s the solution? We are given one, you know, a godly lesson plan of action with a promise. (II Chronicles 7:14). Go ahead, pull it up and read. In fact, you really should. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Remember Paul Harvey’s famous story closing, “And now you know the rest of the story.” Well, now you do. Amen!