Life Adrift

 

Known as the “Weeping Prophet”, Jeremiah witnessed the destruction of Jerusalem and the magnificent Temple of Solomon. Despite his repeated warnings to the people of Judah to change their ways and return to their foundation, which had built and strengthened their Nation, the people continued in their downward spiral of moral decay. After the death of King Josiah, Jeremiah watched the quick plunge back into paganism of his fellow citizens and foresaw their doom and, despite his many emotional warnings, the nation of Judah stubbornly quickened toward the fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecies at the sword of a predatory empire.

Jeremiah’s writings in the Bible hold special significance to the Christian of today. He recounts in Jeremiah 1:4-5 an assurance of his call from God, “Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” This scripture encapsulates to a great degree the view of life that Christians embrace.

It is to the Christian that life is formed by the very hand of God. Our Founders used the word endowed. Life is written into the fabric of our foundational documents, of this there can be no denial.

But the protection of life is not necessarily exclusive to a Christian pursuit or endeavor. Most of the greatest civilizations established traditions to promote life among their civilization to ensure their safe and prosperous propagation. Traditions of birth and marriage were established usually in the context of that civilization’s religion. These formed the foundation on which that civilization was built.

This discussion is basic grade school social studies to many but it is important to reaffirm, in light of our nation’s perilous course, the basics of world history. What destroys a nation? What makes it live?

If we as a people do not protect and cherish life, how can we live? As each civilization grows in power, its fear for survival lessens giving way to a desire for personal gain, pleasure, and indulgence. Life holds inevitable repercussions for personal choices, which the selfish work to circumvent. Wants outweigh what is worthy as the people so stalwart to build now wallow in decadence.

Civilization to civilization, the same weakness persists. We strive to build an empire but have not the moral fortitude to maintain it. The path for national decay is well worn for all have followed it.

The decline that Jeremiah wept against for his nation was not new then and happening before our eyes now. A nation grows strong on its zeal for life and desire to survive against all odds. It succeeds and becomes a power to the world and the envy of all nations. Soon, secure in its power, the people began to flock to pleasure and decadence. The constraints of life, the responsibilities thereof, are tossed aside as obstructions in the path towards a new and better nation. We sacrifice our children like nations of old and destroy the structure which raised them and built our society.

We wonder now at our depravity like there was no herald to warn of us of this demise, forgetting those we mocked and shouted down. The sanctity of life and the tradition of marriage is more than just a Christian tradition. It is the very essence and necessity of a nation’s security and survival.

Still, we will ignore the fate in the ruins of time and mindlessly walk towards our doom. It stands to reason, if we could reason, that the value of life could build a civilization and the devaluing of life destroys a civilization. But some will wonder in the end how we got here?

It’s not that complicated. It’s as simple as common sense. When you cut free of the mooring, you simply keep drifting…

A Junk Man’s Treasure

They called him “The Junk Man” because his hobby was to pick up junk and restore it. For Robert Godwin Sr., the satisfaction of restoring all things junk was married into the life of leisure that retirement brings, which often found the former foundry worker sitting behind a fishing pole at his favorite spot. What comes to the fore as the stories continue to surface of this man is that above all he was a man of unparalleled devotion to God, his family, and his fellow man.

It is said the one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. In an instant this past Easter weekend, one man’s junk senselessly snuffed out the treasure of the Godwin family, their Father. As a Nation watched in horror as the ever burgeoning evil of our society retched itself once again upon the innocent, somehow in the midst of the rage a flicker of hope has emerged.

Robert Godwin Sr. has left behind the greatest treasure a man could hope for, the legacy of a God-fearing family. A family who inexplicably could love the junk that destroyed their Father and in his example seek to restore it. To love the unlovable and forgive the unthinkable is the message of Easter in that while we were yet sinners, junk, Christ died for us so that we could be a treasure to a King.

In all that is darkness around us, our foundations crumbling to dust a midst the disdain of future generations and as we arm ourselves against the ever encroaching night, let not despair overwhelm us for I have seen a beacon of hope on the streets of Cleveland in a junk man’s treasure. If there still remains a people who can love in the face of hate then perhaps the America of old still lives. I hold up Robert Godwin Sr as the standard for all that is good still in my beloved Nation. I hold him up perhaps, yes, in desperation as the shining example of the greatest treasure a man can have, a Godly legacy.