If you are a regular reader of this blog you know that I am not exactly a political "firebrand". I think of myself more in the way of a simple guy trying daily to hear the voice of my Father and align my heart with His words. Politics just isn't my passion. But, I understand the motivation of those who get caught up in the constant debate of one political ideology over another, all under the general assumption we are only trying to do the will of God in some fashion.
I started thinking about this recently after watching Francis Chan's presentation at the Passion Conference in Atlanta earlier last month. He was talking about the trustworthiness of God and how we may sometimes overlook or simply ignore just how faithful our Father is to those who trust Him. I would encourage you to check it out for yourself on YouTube.com and give some serious consideration to his premise.
That train of thought led me to our nation's official motto, "IN GOD WE TRUST". According to the U.S. Treasury website, the official adoption of that motto and its inscription on all of our currency was a rather long and winding road. Our nation's Civil War seemingly generated an outpouring of faith, just like we saw after 9/11. The treasury secretary received "many appeals from devout persons throughout the country" to adopt some form of official recognition of our faith in God on our currency. The first such letter was written by a Pennsylvania clergyman, M..R. Watkinson, dated November 13, 1861. These appeals were heeded by Congress and on March 3, 1865 that bill was passed. But the adoption of our current official motto was not adopted until July 30, 1956 when Congress finally passed the bill adopting "IN GOD WE TRUST" as the official motto of the United States.
I really didn't set out to turn this into a history lesson but I think every American patriot, and I seriously consider myself to be one, should consider this question - can God really be trusted? Is that motto MY OWN? Am I seeing it played daily in the life of my family, my elected officials, my children's teachers, my fellow citizens, my employer, my church?
For me, its kind of like saying, "I don't mean to offend you, but....." Our brains tend to focus on what comes after "but" and that is what we actually hear. Is that what we as a country, are doing with our "Official Motto"? There have been some serious attempts over the years since 1956 to remove God from our collective presence, but so far with little success. I firmly believe that there have always been and always will be a majority of Americans who live simple lives and try every day to listen to more than the latest political argument taking place in Washington. Democracy is a messy proposition. It was when our founding fathers were debating the formation of our Constitution and governmental organization and so it continues today. Politics is probably a necessary risk for democracy.
"IN GOD WE TRUST" is a really a breathtaking ideal, but trust is more than that. Its a commitment. When I truly put my trust in someone or something, I am making a commitment to allow that person or ideal to influence my thinking and my actions. But, simply adopting it as an official statement of faith for someone else will not make it actual. We must make it a personal statement or it isn't a motto at all. Just empty words.
My prayer is that somehow all Americans will come to realize that if we, or I, fail to personally adopt that official motto, where else do we/I put our trust?Answering that question can give you a massive headache.
"In you O Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness."
"I trust in you O Lord; I say, "You are my God." My times are in your hands; deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me. Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love."
"Love the Lord all his saints! The Lord preserves the faithful, but the proud he pays back in full. Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord." Psalm 31:1,14-16,23-24
"Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lords unfailing love surrounds the man who trust in him. Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous; sing all you who are upright in heart." Psalm 32:10-11
So come America - SING your faith to the Father and your neighbors. We all need assurance from one another that our forefathers made a decision that still resonates throughout our land. HALLELUJAH!
debating the formation of our government and adopting our Constitution. That will