I watched the Lincoln movie produced by Stephen Spielberg recently and I had to wonder; what will the next few generations say about us in our present times and the decisions which we are making now. Will they look at pictures of us and wonder…”How could they?” “Why did they?” “If only they had…” If only they hadn’t…” American men and women have died in numbers too great to measure (how does one measure life’s blood…drop by drop or body by body?) to form this nation, they have died defending this nation, and they still die defending this nation…yet we seem to be allowing this country to bleed to death in so many ways it is hardly credible to a thinking mind.
One, our families are disintegrating before our very eyes. Children apparently don’t need parents…hey, they have technology to tuck them into bed at night and teach them their faith…who needs a gentle embracing mother or a strong involved father? Fathers and mothers are out of vogue lately. Any person will do – man, woman, or other…undecided…who cares? Kids don’t need role models, they don’t need strong knowledgeable parents…they just need someone who wants a kid around. After all, it isn’t about our children…its all about us. What pleases us. What fulfils us. What makes us happy for the moment. This will be a generation that grows up knowing full well that they weren’t really that important anyway…if they manage to survive.
Two, we are not living in reality any more. Reality must touch on cause and effect – the old consequences to our actions idea - and since we don’t believe in consequences anymore…we don’t really believe in reality anymore..do we? So, we spend money we don’t have and that’s OK because we can declare bankruptcy and someone else will pay. We don’t teach our kids and that’s OK because someone else will do the job. We don’t eat right but that’s OK because there is a pill out there or a therapy out there that will change all that and make unhealthy…well perhaps not healthy… but it won’t kill us so fast. And we don’t even need God anymore…we have iPhones, computers, e-mail, and lots and lots of stuff and distractions. God is invisible and boring. Not like the super heroes on the big screen. If I haven’t noticed God coming out of a cloud like a clap of thunder recently, well then…He must not be real…at least not real enough to demand my attention.
Three, death isn’t real. Everyone comes back from the dead now a days. Death can’t hold us. Or if there is death then everyone gets to go to Heaven. We decide.
So, when I look at all this in light of President Lincoln’s passionate speech at Gettysburg, it seems that we have lost something. The only comfort for those left behind after the death and destruction of the Civil War was that those men did NOT die in vain. They lived and died for a purpose which would make the world a better place and bring their own souls closer to the God who created them. They died for those who would come after. They died for us. They died for our children. They died.
And yet, what have we done…in a few short years? We have taken the very identity of family and marriage and thrown it to the wind where it means everything and nothing at all - all at the same time. We have built up so much debt so that we have become a nation of debtors, personal as well as national. We have told God to go away and leave us alone. We have laughed at death and forgotten that death will have the last word…on this our earthy journey. Who cares s men die if we don’t recognize that death is real? And when a life is cut short from what could have been…it is terrible, indeed.
We are a nation still, and men and women still die defending it…please God, please God not one drop spilt…will have been in vain.