BY T.F. STERN
We’re in the process of going through items left after my parents died. They had an old Steeple Clock on their mantle over a fireplace that at one time had been in my grandparent’s apartment. It didn’t work; but was too beautiful to toss in the trash and so it remained on their mantle over a fireplace that also wasn’t used.
It sat in our U-haul storage unit until this past November when we cleaned everything out to avoid having to pay anymore rent. The clock didn’t work; but just looking at it took me on a time traveler’s trip back to when I was a young boy visiting my grandparents.
I’d spend the night on a small sofa listening and observing from my vantage point. They’d leave the window of their small apartment open as they had no air conditioning and a gentle breeze keep the apartment moderately comfortable.
On the half hour their clock would let go a single chimed note while on the hour that same note would repeat until the indicated hour was matched. It wasn’t a fancy chime; yet eloquent in its somber trembling. My memory was doing its best to recall the tone that had been silenced when the inner workings had become worn.
I took the clock in for repairs and asked what it would cost to have it brought back to life. The repairman carefully examined the old clock, admiring the craftsmanship while at the same time pointing out parts which needed replacement.
“Leave it with me any you can have it back in a few weeks.” He went on to explain how this particular clock might be worth something to a collector. I agreed to have it repaired in spite of realizing how much the bill would be.
Yesterday we picked the clock up and drove back to our house in the country where it was placed on the hutch, the very same hutch that had once been in my grandparent’s apartment. Some things are worth repairing; this clock was one of them.
But that’s not why I’m writing today, at least not the main reason.
I look around and see what has happened to my country. The thought occurred to me that it’s much like that old Steeple Clock that seemed to have outlived its usefulness. At one time it was a beautiful instrument admired and adored; but over time and through neglect had stopped providing what it was designed to do.
This past week someone left a comment on a public forum, a comment which bothered me then; and still does. It indicated a cancer has metastasized within our society to the point of destroying the very foundations. Quoted as written:
“There is no such thing as “god-given” rights. Rights are those aspects of mutual respect and cooperation that the collective agrees to confer on each other, as codified in the Constitution. As for “socialist sh**holes”, socialism is the natural end result of the ongoing evolutionary imperative for humans to thrive collectively rather than attempting to do so individually. It’s just how people work.”
The magnificent workings of our nation no longer shine as brightly as they once did: worn to the point of becoming inoperable, at least that’s what some would say. Our constitutional republic isn’t ticking strongly, if at all. There are far too many who would be satisfied to toss it away in favor of one more to their liking, one that didn’t require as much upkeep.
The upkeep I refer to can be identified as self discipline, obedience to eternal laws and principle which shaped our nation from its infancy and at the top of that list, faith in God. Our founders were aware of the need to be ever mindful of our Creator, the Hand of the Lord or, as often was recorded, Divine Providence as they expressed gratitude for what was given.
You aren’t foolish enough to think this nation just happened out of the blue are you? Well, apparently many of my fellow citizens haven’t got a clue.
Let’s remember, let us all remember… this land we call America was held in reserve for those who would serve Him and individual rights come from God. The alternative is that rights are no different than entitlements dispensed from government. If the latter is true then rights can be taken away as easily as they were given depending on who is in power.
Our constitutional republic is the prize sought after by the entire world. For some it’s a goal worthy of anything to become part of or to emulate; for others it’s an obstacle to be destroyed, dealt with in order to bring about a totalitarian socialist Utopian collective which would remove individual liberty.
It would be difficult, even foolhardy to ignore the similarities between what the scriptures have to say…
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”—Jesus, from the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:14-16.
… and a quote by Ronald Reagan.
“America is a shining city upon a hill whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere.”
America, the nation our founders helped bring about, that America will take quite a bit of effort to restore. We’ve let it become run down, nearly silenced over the past several years. But something that beautiful is worth restoring.
Self-Educated American, Senior Editor, T.F. Stern is both a retired City of Houston police officer and, most recently, a retired self-employed locksmith (after serving that industry for 40 plus years). He is also a gifted political and social commentator. His popular and insightful blog, T.F. Sterns Rantings, has been up and at it since January of 2005.