Have you seen 1917? I do advise caution before watching it since there is strong language and graphic images. However, it does offer a reminder that history has happened; what we have was purchased at a steep price- a price I’m not so sure we would be willing to pay today.
I’m attempting to keep a finger on the pulse of our nation and it is irregular at best. It would seem that there are those who laud the ideals of the past and there are those who prefer contemporary ones. We are engaged in a tug-of-war of values: tolerance versus morality; cancel culture versus freedom of speech; equality versus liberty. It is as if there are two different Americas within our borders; two different languages; two different ways of thinking. And to uphold what we hold most close to heart requires standing up, not to a foreign empire, not to a terrorist, but to our fellow citizens. And this presents a quandary: do we stand up and risk further division or do we remain quiet and risk losing our liberties or silencing our conscience?
Reflecting on history also makes me wonder if we have made comfort an idol. I think our society is willing to sacrifice ethics on the altar of entertainment while choosing to worship convenience at the price of principles. We don’t want to believe that wrong is happening- unless it interferes with our state of ease. We don’t want to investigate unless our routines are interrupted. Learning about the London Plague of 1665 I realized that the annals of the past have more heartache, devastation and injustice written in them than they have victory and success and justice.
I think that we are in the process of writing a grim chapter in America’s history book. Will tomorrow’s students wonder about how a virus with a 99% recovery rate brought us to our knees in fear, how we grumbled about our sports’ seasons being delayed and our favorite shows being cancelled, how we were frustrated that we couldn’t get same-day deliveries from Amazon and take-out and drive-thru became the only restaurant options? And all the while our range of motion became gradually smaller: what we could say, what we could do, where we could go, who we could see, what we could research, what we could think, what we could believe…all became determined by those in government?
I’m not about to tell you what to do, but here’s what I plan to do as things change all around me:
I plan to pray. I will plead with God for the hearts of my countrymen to be surrendered to Him. I will ask Him to keep my heart sensitive to His prompting for He knows what my next steps need to be.
I plan to memorize Scripture so that Christ’s words will be the first on my lips.
I plan to read. I want my thinking to be shaped by the wisdom of old, the imagination of geniuses and the experiences of my books friends- not by popular opinion and mainstream media. Current events are just happening and are our contemporaries; history has already happened and makes the best teacher.
I plan to share. As I pray and read and learn I am going to share my thoughts.
I plan to reach out to my community. Nothing can replace the tangible connection between individuals. Social media is not an equivalent substitute for face-to-face conversations, heartfelt discussions about ideas, warm hugs, surprise meals left at a neighbor’s door, spontaneous visits for tea and talks, waves and smiles as we go about our day.
We are at a point where we have to choose if we are going to be forever distanced from one another or if we are going to salvage what matters most to us. I am not ready to slip into a coma of apathy; I plan to live freely and breathe deeply of the oxygen of liberty. So here’s to writing letters, reading books, making phone calls and front porch chats with neighbors. People have done it in the past why can’t we do it now?