PA-PAW'S UNCLE SAM
(Trussville, AL USA)
Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone."
"But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless." (Titus 3:1-2, 9)
Do we as a country need to resurrect the age old American icon "Uncle Sam"? We know this great country of ours, The United States, has had many symbols down through the ages, including the bald eagle, the Statue of Liberty, and the Liberty Bell. However, one stands out in particular, that being our dear old Uncle Sam, who as an icon has stood out over time as a great symbol of patriotism.
As a small child, my little grammar school even had a contest to see who could draw the best picture of Uncle Sam. So does America need to revive our well known uncle? I think so, at least a revival of one of his principles, that being "America, home of the brave, land of the free."
Now on with this nice, patriotic blog.
Well, it's about that time of year ago. It's the time when the imaginary ghost and goblins come out of the closet. The time when the young ones will ring the doorbells, freely begging for sweet treats, the time of "trick or treat."
Think I'll just sit down and rest up for a spell, before the evening rush of our neighbor kids pays us a visit. As a Junior High teacher, I'm plain tuckered out. I'm only glad it's the weekend. Too bad the wife and kids are off visiting Pa-Paw and Ma-Maw, They will be missing all the "Trick or Treat" fun.
Suddenly, and without any warning, I found myself in "no man's land" so to speak. For sitting around in this big empty space were people. Not your everyday ordinary people, but people of all shapes and ages, dressed in the most unusual costumes.
They were dressed as if each individual's garb was intended to display a certain message. What was so positive, however, about these costumes was that they all seemed to be giving out a positive patriotic message. All seemed very optimistic about America, with none displaying any evil intentions.
Placed in the middle of this circle was a big waving American flag. How can this be, a flag waving indoors? How strange.
Then, I happened to notice this gentleman appeared from behind the big flag. He was walking around the circle, as if he knew them all, As he slowly walked, he suddenly stopped. Looking me straight in the eyes, he began to speak ever so politely. "Good day, my son, how have you been?"
"Who are you?" I asked. "You surely look familiar, all decked out in that flag costume and wearing that matching tall hat. However. your long white beard is somewhat out of date. I've seen your picture somewhere, I just can't seem to remember where."
"Oh, I remember, it's your picture, the picture hanging on my Pa-Paw's wall, along with all his WWII memorabilia. Are you still asking folks to buy war bonds?"
Responding, this nice gentleman then quickly gave his purpose of being present by stating his mission was not now selling war bonds, as that time had passed. He was here to encourage all Americans to pray, and to be sure that all American citizens were registered to vote, and ready to vote, as the need arises. "Are you ready to vote?" he asked.
"Well, to be truthful, I'm very discouraged with the current events of our great country, America," I answered. "I love our country, and I really need to vote, I guess. But the spirit just doesn't seem to be in me, this time around,"
This really seemed to upset this nice gentleman, and he went right into his patriotic sermon. Reaching in his pocket, he brought out a picture of my Pa-Paw, all decked out in his WWII army uniform.
"How in Heaven's name, get you get this picture of my Pa-Paw?" I exclaimed. "What has that got to do with me and my vote?"
"Did your Pa-Paw not fight for his country, giving you the freedom to freely vote your convictions?" he responded. "And did not His and your God not allow him safe passage back home?" he concluded again.
"Why, yes, I get the message, say no more," I answered.
However, as if by divine direction he continued his patriotic message, only this time he reached in his pocket, and taking out an old tattered Bible, he commenced to read.
"In (Romans 13:1-7) we see a Biblical outline for us Christians to follow. It tells us that all governments are established by God (Romans 13:1), instituted by Him (Romans 13:2), contain God's servants (Romans 13:4,6) and are agents of wrath (Romans 13:4). Therefore, we Christians are to submit to authorities (Romans 13:1, 5), pay our legal taxes, (Romans 13:6) and give them the appropriate respect." (Romans 13:7)
"You see, the State has certain responsibilities and so do we. And it's your privilege, as a good citizen to vote your Biblical convictions. According to the Scripture, you should seek the truth, make assessments based on Biblical principles and be sure to vote your convictions."
"Now, I realize my son, you are probably frustrated and have become very cynical because of the current trends in America's politics, politicians and government. However, no matter what occurs, our God is still in command. He places both the just and the unjust in power to affect His sovereign will." (Daniel 2:19-23)
"And your proper voting could just be a segment of His sovereign will. Conversely, your not voting could then go against His will. Apathy and ignorance of politics can be a subtle form of rebellion against God. Remember, if you don't vote, you have no say in the results, and a no vote is a vote for the other party."
"Wow, Mr. Uncle Sam! First, may I call you by this great history icon's name? And second, are you my pastor personified? Seems you have quoted his last Sunday's message word-for-word," I replied.
When the stranger failed to answer back, I looked around and he was nowhere to be found. He had disappeard suddenly plum out of sight, gone without a whimper.
And with his disappearance, all the costumed people suddenly stood up, with hands over hearts and commenced reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. And after that impulsive patriotic performance, while still standing with hands over heart, they sang the National Anthem.
This gargantuan patriotic performance prompted me to hurry over and thank them all for what they just did. However, as I was rushing over, the entire crowd of people just disappeared into thin air, in like manner as Uncle Sam had.
I guess it was at this point that I woke up, from this most unusual dream of them all. And as if by divine direction, my eyes happened to glance over on my bedroom table. Lying on the table was Pa-Paws old tattered Bible opened to a particular marked Scripture passage.
"Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone." (Titus 3:1-2)
Also stuck in Pa-Paws Bible was an old tattered and worn picture of America's Uncle Sam icon. His finger was pointed straight at me, with a written caption that said "I need your vote."
Did that ever hit home! I could just picture my Pa-Paw walking home from the War, all decked out in full dress uniform. OK, Pa-Paw, you and my country have my vote. I guarantee it. And I promise not to miss any more Sunday church services. Pa-Paw, oh Pa-Paw, do you hear me?
What is your take? Do you think my Pa-Paw heard me? I feel he did, for all of a sudden the most peaceful serene spirit of light filled my bedroom. Amen!
America's upcoming mid-term election may just be the most important of our lifetime. It's not in my purview to tell one how to vote, only to beg that all are registered and that all vote their Bible convictions. Apathy and ignorance have no place in God's kingdom. Possibly at stake in this election are our God-given rights.
"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." (Taken from the United States Declaration of Independence)
You see, political parties may have something commendable about them but they are still imperfect human groupings. Our God is a God of holy doctrinal principles and the only Author of such principles. It is imperative that we adhere to these principles as we get ready to vote our Biblical convictions. Our highest loyalty is to God and to His purposes.
I don't deliberate nor concentrate on any one political party. I've crossed the political aisle many times in my voting career to vote my Biblical convictions.
May God Bless All!