On a recent trip to Disneyland, Darrin and I had the rare opportunity to sit through “Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln”. A diamond in the rough, this hidden gem sits to the side of the entrance gate to the Happiest Place On Earth. Often overlooked in lieu of faster-paced thrill rides such as Space Mountain or Big Thunder Mountain, or in my case a Dole Whip and Bengal Barbecue, Mr. Abe doesn’t always get the attention I think that he should. I myself am guilty of this great faux pas. Usually Disney days are so packed that there’s barely enough time to do the things we really “want” to do, and Mr. Lincoln rarely makes the cut. Thanks to a next-to-nothing morning crowd, we breezed through all our trip must-dos to fully feel satisfied with our Disney adventure. By the third churro and second chimichanga, we were ready to try something different. Many years ago I sat through Great Moments with my parents, but Darrin never has. There’s something so cool about getting to experience a part of Disneyland with someone that they never have before. It’s like even if you thought for a brief nanosecond that that magic had run out (which, let’s be honest, it never does), a brand new something jump starts it again.
“Great Moment’s With Mr. Lincoln” runs through a video highlighting the incredible things that Abraham Lincoln did in his life and his presidency. He accomplished a lot in his lifetime, arguably being responsible for retaining the United States as ONE great nation. In the video, President Lincoln reads from one of his speeches:
“At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide…I hope I am over wary; but if I am not, there is, even now, something of ill-omen, amongst us. I mean the increasing disregard for law which pervades the country; the growing disposition to substitute the wild and furious passions, in lieu of the sober judgment of Courts; and the worse than savage mobs, for the executive ministers of justice. This disposition is awfully fearful in any community; and that it now exists in ours, though grating to our feelings to admit, it would be a violation of truth, and an insult to our intelligence, to deny. Accounts of outrages committed by mobs, form the every-day news of the times. They have pervaded the country…Such are the effects of mob law; and such as the scenes, becoming more and more frequent in this land so lately famed for love of law and order; and the stories of which, have even now grown too familiar, to attract any thing more, than an idle remark.”
Nothing that I’ve heard on current media outlets and in our current situations rings more true than this speech I sat through the other day. An address that was delivered over 150 years ago is still something that is so prevalent and so profound. I usually sit tight lipped on political issues because political opinions are like…. well, I won’t get into that. However, this is something that has been sitting with me because of the complete lack of appreciation for human life. Any and all human life. We are designed by God, for God. Our country was built on the foundation of the Bible. We are destroying our great nation from the inside out, but not because of a race issue, but rather a hate issue. We have come so far from the ideals that our founding fathers built this nation on. “Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him who has never yet forsaken this favored land, are still competent to adjust in the best way all our present difficulties…And whereas it is the duty of nations as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God … and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord”.
We have to stop ignoring this. And I am not talking about religious bigotry and becoming the “bible bangers” we all love to hate. I am simply referring to the fact that Jesus is Lord (Matt. 28:18). Our author and creator is still in control, but unless we submit to that control and start living by His will that is so clearly outlined in the Bible, we are doomed for failure. He gives us two simple commands: to love Him and to love others AS WE LOVE OURSELVES (Matt. 22:36-40). We “love” ourselves, that is clear. Our human race is dripping with pride, lust, gluttony, envy, and wrath. This is not the love God calls us to. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails” (1 Cor 13: 4-8). We need to be a society that is living in love and kindness and self-control. We need to spend each day living out these commands from God to our fullest abilities and electing leaders that are inclined to do the same. Without these, we are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past, thrusting ourselves into a self-destructive future. Starting today we will love God. We will love people. #WeAreTheChange