Many of us are familiar with those final words of the Declaration of Independence, so eloquently penned in 1776, resonant with sobering and powerful decision. Those words also resonated release. They signalled an irrevocable intent, begun in a full & complete commitment to stay the course. As George III himself had declared, after the colonists’ dumping of tea into Boston Harbor, “The die is now cast; the colonies must either submit or triumph.”
No going back.
In today’s world, for probably most of us, that kind of do-or-die mindset is usually not necessary. Unless you serve as a member of our extraordinary military, especially if you are stationed on a forward-operating base in the Middle East, or serve your country as a covert operative, such absolute life-and-death commitment is usually not your daily fare. With the added exception of first responders & law enforcement, life choices don’t usually involve the kind of totality of sacrifice & risks that had to be taken when America chose to be – and to fight to be – free.
…and so because I think this is true, I have to assume that many of us cannot relate to the kind of commitment made by our founding patriots, whether Founding Father or one who physically took up arms against Great Britain. We take enormous pride in them, as we do in those who fight for freedom & justice today. And we might think we can relate….but I suspect, for some of us, we only skim the surface.
I have also wondered, how did it feel to be on the inside? To be an active participant in creating a nation? To be one of those who could’ve said, “In the beginning…”? Talk about an endeavour of substance! A weight of glory!! (And if you think you’re getting shades & overtones of Genesis and the New Covenant, YOU ARE…) Those men & women who were given to, entrusted with, and (I believe) created for the birthing of the new nation of the United States of America stand yet today as pillars immovable, in the halls of Eternity. In a sense, I am reminded of the words of the apostle John, in his first epistle: “…which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life…” Though I most certainly know these words speak of the Lord Jesus Christ, still, there is a strong ring of familiarity here, for me. They got to be the ones who handled, in conjunction with God, the vision, the bringing forth & the shaping of phenomena unprecedented. As Jesus the Messiah comes as the Only One, past, present & future, I dare to say that America the Beautiful has also been manifested as the only nation that will ever be like her.
The promise made, by those who stepped up in time to this volatile moment in history, to pledge their all, has been called a war-time proclamation by Dr. Larry Arnn, president of Hillsdale College. And that it was. The stakes commanded nothing less. Because these soldiers & patriots (and all who have fought for and with America & her cause of liberty in any war since) loved not their lives unto the death, many of us get to partake of a pearl of great price all the time. Every day.
They entered in, they contended valiantly & to the death, if necessary; they endured to the end. Their vision – our vision – manifested in this nation of extraordinary promise, structure and yield, is more than still worth the fight. Let this truth be implanted in you today. Let its roots start to grow. To the brethren & to our patriots I say, stand, and having done all, stand…uphold this vision in your heart and in your spirit.
Pray for the heart & soul of America. With God, your spirit quickens hers.