In the end the ultimate threat to the American republic will be Americans. The problem is not wolves at the door but termites in the floor. Powerful free people die only by their own hand, and free people have no one to blame but themselves. (Os Guinness, “A Free People’s Suicide,” p. 37).
I remember it like it was yesterday. America was different back then. The year was 2008 and I had just resolutely cast my vote against Barack Hussein Obama. There was a chill in the air as I strolled from the poll to my car.
“Car” doesn’t quite capture it. My vehicle was a thing of legend. In fact, the good folks of Beardstown—and the other people there too—affectionately dubbed it: The Blue Bomb.
It was a bright blue, 1993 Chevy Cavalier and it absorbed fast foods, foul balls, and first-time “drivers” with nary a word. In short, it was a marvelous piece of machinery.
Anyway…as The Blue Bomb purred through the parking lot, a disheveled stranger flagged me down. I cracked the window (manually, of course) and he asked, “Can you give me a ride into town?” Naturally, I said I would.
About 30 feet into the voyage my passenger remarked that he didn’t know “half the people” on the ballot, but that didn’t stop him from fulfilling his civic duty. A reflexive thought sprang to mind: Hmmm…I wonder who he voted for? (You’re thinking it too. Don’t judge me.)
However, I quickly learned that what he lacked in political acumen he made up for in the skilled use of profanity. Again I mused: This man just cancelled out my vote.
As we pulled onto the street he inquired what I did for a living. I told him I was the pastor of Grace Bible Church. He then asked how “big” my church was. Realizing that this was a question of membership and not architecture; I said, “Oh, we’re a small congregation.”
He then requested that I drop him off at the tobacco store and in only a few moments we were there. I was expecting the obligatory “thank you” when he opened the door, but as he hoisted himself out of the seat he threw over his shoulder: “Well…if your church grows maybe you can get yourself a better car!”
I do have a newer car now: a 2008 Chevy Cobalt. Unfortunately, it’s not because my church experienced explosive growth but because The Blue Bomb experienced explosive engine failure. Republics and relics don’t last forever. Such is life.
But such is not life in the world to come.
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. ~Matthew 6:19-21