ONCE UPON A MAP
by CHARLES ROBEY
It seems, with all that is happening in America today, we hear so much about the "Red States vs Blue States" mindset. The red states have the conservative ideology, and the blue states standing for a more liberal agenda.
The concept of turning this great country of ours into a juvenile demographic coloring book, seems a bit adolescent for our 21st Century environment. This perception may play out well in our modern day television, but I can't seem to summon up enough adjectives to do this concept justice.
This terminology came into use in the United States presidential election of 2000 on an episode of the Today show on October 30, 2000. According to The Washington Post, the terms were coined by journalist Tim Russert, during his televised coverage of the 2000 presidential election. That was not the first election during which the news media used colored maps to depict voter preferences in the various states, but it was the first time a standard color scheme took hold; the colors were often reversed or different colors used before the 2000 election. (excerpt from wikipedia.org)
It seems now, however, this color scheme of red and blue states has divided our county even more so than in the past.
So, sit back and envision yourself in our main character's shoes. It would probably be very easy to do, given the news generated in today’s media world. Here to enjoy is “Once Upon A Map.”
“God speaks again and again, though people do not recognize it. He speaks in dreams, in visions of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they lie in their beds. He whispers in their ears…” (Job 33:14-16 NLT)
Been a hard day at our little Bible college. The more I put into my classroom assignments, the more I seem to wear out. These contemporary Bible students seem to waste more energy than this old professor happens to have just to watch what's going on. I really need a vacation, some rest and quiet time to myself.
Why do these modern-day Bible students seem to segregate themselves so, according to their upbringing? Why all the talk about such subjects as the Mason-Dixon line? Why all the modern-day lingo, such as red states versus blue states? They just need a renewed touch of that Old time Religion. After all Jesus didn’t have such problems, I don’t think. And aren’t we all made in His likeness? (Genesis 1:26-27)
Anyway, I’m about ready to give it up, and turn it over to those young professors who throw away more energy than I can conjure up.
Now that I’m home for the weekend, I’ll pull off my shoes, grab a glass of warm milk, maybe a few homemade cookies, put the dog to bed and hit the sack. Then it suddenly happened.
It was a vision, a sudden vision. A vision like none other. I was there in person, standing in a large recreational complex. Affixed to the wall was an enormous painting of the American flag, covering the entire side wall. Its colors of red, white and blue unblemished in this enormous complex lighting. Adding to the backdrop of our dear old flag was a variety of American patriotic music echoing rather loudly.
This nationalistic patriotism suddenly changed, sad to say, as my mindset was suddenly and mysteriously directed to the complex floor. There, covering the entire floor, was a map of The United States, the states all properly situated in perfect order.
Not an ordinary national display, but one of color. The states seemed to be divided by the coloring of red and blue. Some states were colored red, while others were painted blue. This was confusing to me, to say the least, especially after enjoying the feeling and effect of our red, white and blue colored American flag. What’s with the red and blue states? I was totally stunned out of my mind. You see, it’s impossible to be defensive toward a danger which you have never imagined existed.
The entire floor was suddenly covered over with a deep, dark cloud. What came after was the shock of my life. A good many of the blue states were covered by blazing fires, and city after city consumed by fire. There was chaotic disorder, muddled with confusion within those states. Echoing this scenery were horrible cries and screams. There was disastrous catastrophe everywhere, and no police were to be found.
My American patriotism suddenly exploded. “Why all this chaos? What can this be? How come this is happening? Is this not America, “The land of the free, the home of the brave?” Are we not “One nation Under God?"
Then there came another related phenomenon. A man seemed to come out of nowhere, a blond-haired gentlemen all decked out in a blue business suit, wearing a white shirt and red tie. Who is this man and does he think he can put a stop to all this madness?
Not saying a word, pulling a big black Bible from briefcase, he began waving it over the map of America, particularly gesturing in the direction of the blazing, blue states. Instantly, the entire situation changed back, order was restored. Our entire nation was promptly put back to normal, amidst a multitude of cheers coming from all parts of the map.
I would have liked to approach this gentleman, with a big handshake, but that was virtually impossible. He was surrounded by a group of well-dressed gentleman, each carrying hand-held radios, diligently observing the entire map.
Turning towards the big flag, the entire group of men, guided by the apparent leader, placed their hands over their hearts and repeated the Pledge of Allegiance while a loudspeaker played our National Anthem. Wow, what a sight to behold!
As a result of this one gentleman’s maneuvering, the spirit of the entire scene suddenly changed. The entire map of America was instantly transformed into a patriotic pep rally for freedom and the American way. People popped up all over the map, wearing American flag fedoras and carrying patriotic themed signs that said 'Make America Great Again.' The entire map instantly knew how these people felt about the good old U. S. of A.
There my vision ended on a positive note, and all went with it. I found myself back home, sitting in front of the roaring fire place, wrapped up in a warm blanket throw. Bear, my trusty four-legged family member lying curled up on his braided throw rug by my side, snoring away as usual.
What a life, I thought. Isn’t this great country of ours wonderful? Our founding fathers, along with our eternal Creator, knew just what we would need. And oh yes, with God's help we will keep it. These old bones felt like once again jumping for joy. Amen!
I trust you enjoyed this bit of musing, in the format of a fiction vision. I understand how the nice senior citizen must have felt, wanting to jump for joy. Help was there when needed. The sad part of it all, we always have to come back down to earth. But didn’t Jesus say we should jump for joy in spite of our tribulation? (Luke 6:23)
Dreams, we all have them, figments of our subconscious. Some linger on, while others we never remember. According to the experts, whatever is on our minds or is bugging us at the time is likely what we dream about, be it good, bad, or indifferent.
If you’ve had a bad day at the office, had a major family crisis, or have been concerned with the affairs of the world around you, you may relive it in your dreams or visions. So was the case of the main character of our blog. He was concerned with the affairs of America’s current perceived chaos.
Studies also suggest that dreams influence the way you feel the next day, both emotionally and physically. I can attest to that, I have oftentimes had dreams, that wore me out, throughout the night and then on into the next day.
If you experience this in your sleep, you are probably in good company with our beloved character as you have seen from this bit of fiction, So don’t give up, never give up.