Reverence

Cool word.

Denotes respect…contains a sense of awe.

Years ago I was in NJ, strolling through my friend’s hometown the day before we attended the College Football Kickoff Classic.  It wasn’t Sunday, he invited us into the Catholic Church he had grown up in – you know, catechism, confirmation, altar boy memories galore.

I was struck with awe at the sight of the sanctuary.  My football-fan schlepin’ demeanor was nothing to brag about, but like I said – it was Friday and I was a sports tourist.

My head was cocked up as I observed the splendor of the sanctuary.

I was frozen, center aisle.

This church was far from empty, it was clearly popular with the Monday thru Saturday gawkers.

Before I knew what hit me, a curmudgeon barked take your hat off from his pew-parked vantage point.

He was the unofficial Sergeant at Arms of the Reverence Battalion.

His rebuke stunned me; I was being reverent…if he could have only seen my heart, instead of the frumpy ball cap I had pulled over my graying scalp.

I looked down (toward him) and could see he was disgusted with me.

Let it go, I counseled myself…and obediently removed my cap.

He was from that generation that was convinced that young people (I was in my 40′s at the time) lacked respect and reverence for things sacred and solemn.

He could not have interpreted my appearance more incorrectly.

Reverence.

Imagine a world devoid of it.

Imagine a small gathering of surviving European pioneers (colonizers) with no regard for a Creator…a divine Almighty who provides, protects and sovereignty ordains the affairs of men.  (…womens too)

Imagine a people convinced that the most reliable source of their subsistence is the government.

Imagine a collective mindset that exempts its members from personal responsibility…rejecting archaic notions like having children within the context of a marriage covenant, feeding, raising and shaping them as mom and dad…saving enough money to send them to college…feeding them breakfast and sending them to school with a lunch…(I’ll stop)

Imagine a populous that bore, with conviction – the mindset that their needs, their hopes and their blessings remained unrealized because of the greed and hatred of their fellow man…sulkers who blamed their deprivation on the success of others and believed all things corrupt, except of course – themselves.

John Lennon helped everyone – derived I’m sure from some drug-induced stupor, to imagine all things possible, all things harmonious, all things true.

Whirled peas and all that crap.

Hey, it’s Thanksgiving week – imagine what it must have been like for those survivors of that against-the-odds challenge of settling upon the virgin terrain of the American continent.

Imagine their juvenile humility…their pause…their gratitude.

Imagine, that colonial mindset becoming perpetual.

Imagine teaching successive generations that our descendants actually struggled, suffered and in some cases perished pursuing their dream of freedom.

Imagine a scant number of humans, weakened and wounded by the forces of nature who internalized a perspective that they were lesser beings , entitled to nothing and subject to the mercies of an Almighty God.

Imagine and that they believed that the right and proper thing to do was to give thanks for shelter, corn and streams of fresh water.

Thinking about such things helps me appreciate the many blessings we enjoy…and the God whose hand provides them.

Makes me take my hat off

puts  me in kind of a reverent mood deep within my inmost being.

peace.

Blade

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Categories: Politics

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2 replies

  1. Imagine the first year for the Pilgrims settling the new world. Having learned to plant corn as well as other vegetables, they chose to do so in a common stock sort of way where all shared in the harvest. It wasn’t long before a list of slackers took root and failed to do their part with the planting and harvesting resulting in a shortage of food that cost the lives of many because all were guaranteed to fed.

    Then, imagine the following year a Governor of Massachusetts who decreed that each person would have his/her own patch of land upon which to grow food and that each would be entitled to use what they grew for themselves. Imagine how many fewer died of starvation during the vicious New England winter that year.

    Some men are naturally greedy, but far more are naturally lazy. Given guarantees of survival without working or contributing to their own needs, they will choose to take without giving back. It’s called the tragedy of the commons.

    The tragedy of the common was also a problem with pasturing where many allowed their livestock to graze wherever they wanted without regard to leaving suitable pasturing available for the following year, but when given their own plots of land to manage, more pasturing reserves were set aside and land management became much more efficient, effective with far greater productivity results.

    Imagine a world where laissez faire capitalism was allowed to flourish and how such a form of government would have no choice but to encourage a high level of freedom of choice, of action and en equally high degree of responsibility to do what is best for each of its citizens by leaving the chances of success or failure in the hands of each person without reliance on government or God. Of course worship of God could equally be practiced openly and with guarantees of protection under the natural rights granted to man, but doing so was not essential or did not mandate participation or observance by anyone with contrary views.

    With the exception of the freedom not to practice religion, what we would gain from a more freedom and individual responsibility oriented society compared to what we have now. In all likelihood we would return to the future and govern under the terms of the original constitution, but with a fuller all inclusive tolerance by understanding that “all men” means all men and women and that the unalienable rights granted us by nature’s laws or the god of nature are to be respected by each member of the human race. Imagine what we once came so close to.

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