Thursday, January 1, 2009

Am I a Summer Soldier?

"These are times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman" (Thomas Paine)

I have been recently reading David McCullough's John Adams. The above famous quote from "Common Sense" struck me as being very pertinent to our times. What made John Adams a man who would "stand now" and make a difference in his future that impacts to our day and into the future? He certainly recognized the significance of the "moment" he lived in. As he prepared and educated himself in law and government, did he realize the ultimate impact he would have?

What preparations am I making for some unkown future need. Or is the future now? Do or will I recognize the signfiicance of the "moment"? Will I shrink as a "summer soldier" or stand now?

I am convinced that life does and will bring "moments" where, if we do not shrink, we can be the one to make a difference. We likely will not see significant times like our founding fathers experienced, but certainly these days are significant times where, what our fathers founded may be crumbling under the pressures of greed, ignorance, and loss of vision of the past and the future. I am not necessarily referring to the downfall of our great republic, but perhaps the many downfalls occuring in in towns, communities, homes, families and the lives of the individual. Ultimately, these micro-crisis, have a cummulative or "perfect storm" effect that over time impacts society as a whole.

I truly believe that "these are the times that try men's souls" in different ways than over 230 years ago.

What is your role, what is my role?

I believe that God's hand is in our lives, just as much as he was concerned and involved in the founding our our great nation. Do we recognize his voice? Can we see our role? Do we have the courage to act even in the cold of a bitter winter or will we only volunteer when the sun shines?

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

May evil be defeated and may we be willing to do "something"!


Lindsay Lee said...

What an intriguing examination of that quote. It makes me really want to examine the question for myself to... What is my role?

Thanks for the reminder to do something now.

cathy said...

Yes, it's the little downfalls, the cracks in our families and communities that have a real impact on our society as a whole.