Readers Respond

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Wake up



/ Storm Lake

This poem is dedicated to my brother Ralph and all the brave men and women who died preserving our freedoms and the right to vote in the United States of America:

Wake Up America

America O America

What has your history wrought

America O America for

What have your children sought

Across the raging seas

And desert sands

Your valient sons have fought

For what America O for what

America O America was it for the

Freedoms the Pilgrims sought

Or was it for the suffering

That those freedoms brought

Wake up America O America

And do the things you ought

Go back O go back to the Bible

That your founding fathers taught

While your fallen sons are sleeping

From the battles they have fought

Wake up O wake up America

Lest they have slept for naught

An election and

a life jacket


I tried, but it turns out I can't keep my mouth shut before an election...

Growing up in the 70's, I don't remember having a lot of rules. Maybe it's because I was so young, or maybe my parents were still living in the free love 60's. Regardless, there were only a few I can vividly recall; clean your plate, don't eat the cat food, and always wear a life jacket on the dock.

Being a lot like my kids, I was determined to make parenting a challenge. One by one, I stretched the rules, flexing my preschool independence. I started leaving an extra bean on my plate here or a stray carrot there, testing my parents' resolve on the clean your plate thing until I got caught hiding a hamburger under my napkin. I thought it looked good, but learned to stick to lower profile food under the napkin when breaking that rule.

I'll never forget the day I tackled the cat food rule. Three glasses of milk, a mouth full of Play-Do, and a heart felt apology to Tabby later, and I decided to leave that rule alone.

The life jacket rule took some time and patience. Finally, I was able to rid myself of the cumbersome jacket if I held hand Mom or Dad's hand. But that wasn't good enough; I pushed further. The day I walked jacketless on the dock with my babysitter was a thrill. It was also the day I learned that my parents didn't invent the rule to torture me. They made it to protect me because they loved me.

It was nothing short of a miracle that my babysitter was able to find me in the murky, cold water I fell into that day.

Our country has been testing the rules one by one. I'm not talking about the Constitution; I'm talking about God's rules. We've stretched them, redefined them, and completely disregarded them time after time. As we conquer and ignore rule after rule, we feel vindicated when God doesn't give us a time out or send a lightening bolt to snuff us out (both of which He could easily do).

But the further we stray from His Word; in our daily lives, in our schools, in our courts, in our government - the more we complain about our state of affairs. We blame the bad taste in our mouth on anyone and everyone except ourselves, and are now eager to vote for someone who promises he can change everything.

God didn't put rules in place to torture us. His Law is to protect us; He loves us so much He sacrificed His Son!

Think about God's Law when you vote. Pray for His direction before deciding. Maybe His Word doesn't call out specifically the best choice for our health care system, tax cuts, or the housing crisis...but there are some issues He addresses with no room for redefining, testing, or ignoring.

Our country is already teetering on the edge of the dock without a life jacket. If we continue to turn our backs on God, how can we expect to escape the fall? It will take nothing short of a miracle to save us from the cold, murky depths...but a miracle is exactly what I'm praying for!