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.
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.