"Intoxicated with unbroken success,
we have become too self-sufficient
to feel the necessity
of redeeming and preserving grace,
too proud to pray to the God that made us!"
Excerpt from National Day of Fasting Proclamation, 1863
This says it all, doesn't it. I realize I'm repeating myself; but I can't seem to get over this whole prayer brouhaha -- just can't seem to let it go. While if Lincoln thought we, the people, were acting too high on the hog back then, I shudder to think about what he's thinking about us now.
The other thing that never ceases to amaze me -- is the command and nature of the chosen words back then, "Intoxicated with unbroken success!" One cannot help but get an instant visual, an immediate sensation, touching the intrinsic value of his sentiment; we know exactly what he is talking about, sensing the burden of responsibility to act accordingly -- to repent, make right, to atone our humanity with the Spirit back of all living things.
We were a spiritual nation of people.
"Those rights, then, which God and nature have established, and are therefore call natural rights, such as are life and liberty, need not he aid of human laws to be more effectually invested in every man than they are; neither do they receive any additional strength when declared by the municipal laws to be inviolable. On the contrary, no human legislature has power to abridge or destroy them, unless the owner shall himself commit some act that amounts to forfeiture." William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, elevated to new heights in the new land by our founders...God's justice, unalienable rights through the natural laws given to us by our Creator, was the pact we made when forming this more perfect union; "what – therefore – God has joined together – let no man put asunder" as they say, according to traditional vows of marriage.
We are united by faith, with God, as a nation.
The irony really, as the way things were laid out from the very start, there was separation of church and state only in the context of walls; otherwise, God opened our doors in the morning, led every meeting, guided every direction, every cause, every effort, and tucked us each into bed at night. Never did we live a day without giving thanks and praise, first and last.
Our founders recognized how the Spirit of a Nation could be elevated in times of trial, and grounded in times of good, when the very foundation was made from the principles handed down to us from the last 5000 years. Some might even say, now that secular laws and beliefs rule the day, that the founders could see this day coming -- for they gave us all the tools and the plan and the direction to continue through the ages for eternity -- or for as long as we continued to recognize the simple Truths laid out and entrusted to us, as long as we continued to be a people of faith.
There is something to be said for allowing God's plan to unfold -- letting go of the attachment to outcome, entrusting ourselves, even in times that make us crazy, to continue the path of right action, making way for right outcome, and trusting in Divine Providence (or maybe Divine Intervention is more like it), allowing the Living Spirit, who moves through us and with us along the way, to do it's thing.
Sunday's message from Joel Osteen, who I try to catch when I can, encompassed this very idea -- reassuring us disciples that God's plan is always at play -- always "three steps ahead of us" (I believe he said three, he could just as easily said infinite for all that really matters) -- but his point was, God runs along before us, closing windows, opening doors, turning on the lights, and otherwise, making way for us to make our way, assuring us at the very least, that there is a reason for everything.
Osteen spoke of a couple of stories to illustrate this --
1) The plane going down in the Hudson. Captain "Sully" had years of experience flying in the Armed Forces, followed by flying for years in the private industry along with something else you may not have known before -- but 37 years as a recreational glider pilot under his belt. He mastered the art of flying without power! Low and behold, who is at the helm when one of the rarest occurrences in aviation should happen -- the loss of all engines through annihilation by a flock of geese -- Sully.
Even unbelievers said God must have had a thing to do with that miracle on the Hudson -- there was no other conceivable reason that could have justified such a feat of brilliance and masterful direction. Sully may very well have been the only one who could have done it...could it have been his purpose all along?
2) After the Haiti earthquake, Osteen's brother, a doctor, went down to offer his services. As they were working, some kind of monitor stopped operating properly, with no replacement in sight. They were unable to do anything without it. Low and behold, a Haitian man, in the vicinity of all this scrambling around in hopes of finding the resources to get hold of another monitor, remembered a box he had stored away... He returned with this box and gives it to Osteen's brother, and says maybe this can help -- this unopened box which sat in storage for two years. What do they find, but the exact same model as the broken monitor. There it was "unbroken", and ready, to just plug right in.
Later, when asked about it -- turns out this Haitian man had attended a trade show -- again, two years back -- and he won the darn thing in the raffle. Skeptical of it's value to him, and having no idea what to do with it, he saved it anyway...just in case it would come in handy down the road...
Three steps to infinity and beyond, the path before us is made by faith.
My girl and I attended the Parkinson's 5K Walk and Fun Run this past weekend, an annual event held on old Navy property down in Point Loma. It was a beautiful southern California morning, with just a touch of morning low clouds still to burn off before the race would be finished, making it stellar conditions from the start off.
But the weather report isn't the point I want to make here -- the thing is, the air was more having to do with the environment itself; the cause, the people gathering for such a cause, created an atmosphere of good will and open hearts and love.
Have you noticed how attending events like these make you feel inside?
Anyone who has shared an experience of doing something for something greater than ourselves knows exactly what I'm talking about -- everybody is happy, pleasant and simply easy to be around. We unite under the cause with a higher purpose than our usual day to day calling -- we almost become intoxicated with the goodwill in which we are surrounded in. It feeds us; it lifts us up; it stirs something in our soul. We discover just how good it feels to do something for someone else, and just maybe make the Gods happy with us, too. We unite with God, and the Spirit within everyone in attendance with a connectedness unmatched and unexplained -- no matter race, age or even human or canine (there were sooooooo many bow wows walking the 5K too...and they all got t-shirts too! -- really cute -- but let's get back on track).
Returning from the walk we had to make a pit stop at a local Staples to pick up a poster board for a school project. We hopped out of the car still high on life when all of a sudden this little old lady nearly ran me over, on foot no less, basically walking swiftly through me, cutting directly through my path from out of nowhere, with her husband at least three steps back in tow. No pardon me, or excuse me. Nothing. No nicety whatsoever.
I looked at my girl and rolled my eyes and without skipping a beat she says to me, "we're back in the real world mama."
Indigenous people of all nations connected to the Spirit world, a higher Benevolence, the all-knowing Omniscience which surrounds us, supports us, feeds our soul -- making our crooked paths straight.
Perhaps it is a "self-sufficiency" which has taken hold of us -- in combination with a sordid "self-deficiency" which plagues us -- but without question, the most forbidden defiance is the loss in our ability to self govern with principle, honor, compassion, truth, and a higher love. This basic premise, this agreement we made before God and our country, this vow gladly embodied within each and every one of us as it's citizens, is the one that no man should put asunder.
Not until we return to the day of advocating the intrepid return to self-government, and self-government alone, along with our individual duty and responsibility to uphold three steps from now and for evermore, will America be blessed with Divine Providence once more; until we do, walking aimlessly in the desert will be more like it.
This is where things break down for us; we are so advanced, so technological evolved, no longer is there a need to make rocket ships to fly to the moon -- there is no need to look to that part of the night sky in search of God knows what -- for we've been there, done that already.
Advances through Divine Providence are easily dismissed and discounted in times of self-sufficiency; and no longer is it necessary to connect to this Spirit for invention and innovation and in prayer, for guidance and intervention for man knows what man needs to do and has all the power and might to get there on his own. Matter of fact, we don't even have to make excuses for it or be nice to each other in the process -- for being nice is so Victorian you know (just another piece of liberal logic past down from a relative).
Governments new found logic rests in the trust of man and man alone -- you know the drill, " trust me, I'm with the government and I'm here to help" mentality, for you know not what you do. Let me throw asunder the old ways and bring you up to speed with what's in store for you under man, under the new laws, under the new principles separating church and state in every which way to Sunday.
Little does the little world of politics recognize the Light shining bright within the thousands standing side by side in every community, in every way, in 5K's and everyday, marching forward, as if Divine Providence is leading the way -- because It is. Religious persecution is soooooooooooooo yesterday.
True self-sufficiency is found in honoring self-government, something a simple man does not understand without the grace of God and his self-reliance in tact -- in order to boldly connect to the greatest Source in the Universe, to leap tall buildings in a single bounce, or simply walk a 5K along side a seventy year old women running past you at warp speed, screeching "on your right" as she makes her way all the way to the finished line, all for a good cause. priceless.
Make it a Good Day, G
Okay, this may be a stretch, but how about the latest Orbitz ad:
The Orbitz rep beams down out of the blue and hands a guy a check...all for not doing anything but using Orbitz services -- where they guarantee the lowest price, or if someone else books for a lower price, the difference gets paid to you...jump ahead to the guy in the pool, "what about me, don't I get a check? I'm not doing anything." The rep look at the guy and politely remarks (as if his lazy butt deserved a serious response at all), "no, first you have to book on Orbitz, then not do anything."
Just a funny way of looking at cause and effect -- and more importantly, tapping into the One True Source first, then all else shall be added unto you; all about the action before outcome, or "the action before the inaction" if you will -- while the Magnificence that walks before us never stops.