Thanksgiving – Keeping The Dream Alive

By: Dr. Jake Baker –
There are a lot of stories I could bring you on this thanksgiving morning. Most of them would be about corrupt politicians, evil people undermining the Constitution, subverting our way of life, mocking God and generally bringing darkness to an already darkened world. I could tell you about racial animus, knockout games and mayhem. But not today. No shadowy figures, not lurid tales of inky intrigue. No, today is Thanksgiving and while I am often absorbed in the moral, cynical, flotsam of modern society I am not going there today.
Today I want to share with you why I truly am thankful. I’m thankful that I got to slip in that first paragraph just to remind you of the darkness all around us which makes this concept even more brilliant and shining.
I was born in America, the greatest nation that has ever existed. I was given a land that is shimmering beaches where the endless tides rises and fall. I was born in a land of majestic mountains that reach unceasingly toward heaven, and endless prairies filled with amber waves of grain and farms and ranches that are still the envy of the world.
I was born in 1954 when TV featured Ozzie and Harriet not Ozzy Osbourne. I learned about life in a simple time when boys still caught lightening bugs on endless summer evenings, played army with the other kids in the neighborhood. I knew my fourth grade teacher Mrs. Miller who lived around the corner from my house and I understood that right was right, wrong was wrong and both were pretty well defined.
I remember the simple joy of Saturday mornings with my grandfather, endless baseball games that went on all summer on an empty lot in the neighborhood, where the bush on the corner was first base, the rock was second base and the paper pinned to the ground with a stick was third base. I remember the creek and woods behind our house where we didn’t just play, we dreamed, we imagined, we fought wild Indians, and bested pirates, we were heroes and villains, and life moved at a pace that allowed even encouraged kids to dream big dreams, to live in innocence, and grow up opening school days with prayer and the pledge.
This was a time when shirtless, shoeless boys caught lightening bugs and played late into the darkness of warm summer evenings. I remember neighbors and the annual burning of the leaves. I remember church ice cream socials, and concerts at the Band Shell in the city park a few blocks from our home. It was a time of wonderment and life was limited only by the imagination of a America’s children who honestly believed they could be anything they wanted. If the dream could be dreamed, and if one worked diligently toward that dream, we all knew it could happen.
America, as I have often said was not like a Norman Rockwell painting, a Norman Rockwell painting was like America. This was an America where not everyone needed a college education. Many even most followed in their father’s footsteps. Men worked hard and loved and provided for their families, divorce was shocking, the black community was perhaps the most cohesive and best anchored to spiritual values.
No I am not just reminiscing, I truly an thankful that I grew up in that America. That was an America which our founders would have thought befitting the America they planted as they dreamed the biggest dream ever dreamed among men – the dream of freedom. America formed the first government in the history of the world that had no subjects, to the contrary government was subject to America. So for a moment perhaps all of us can just stop. Kids can put down the game controller, cell phone, tablet or electronic device. Parents take just a few minutes off for yourselves and your children and imagine America as it was. We had less stuff but we were free … free to dream, think, and free to live our lives.
Thank you for sharing part of your day with me. I am thankful for all of you who have the courage to dream of America again. Dream of a land heaven-blessed, where we still gather to sing hymns of praise and worship to a God who loved us so much that he sent his Son to die for us. Think about this, America was founded on the commandments of a God that died for us not a god that insists we die for him. America was not built on the concept covetousness where mankind believed themselves entitled to everything they needed or wanted. We held no concept that those needs and wants were somehow the obligation of government nor were they the specious debt of our fellow Americans. I am thankful for those of you who remember or understand self-reliance.
I am thankful for the dreamers of great dreams. I am thankful that some of you have shrugged off the pompous arrogance of liberalism and have recaptured the ability to dream of a life well lived where purpose is found not in the acquisition or covetous theft of “stuff” but in the simple beauty of teaching our children, loving and caring for our families, living our lives and being the children and subjects not of parental government but of a loving and wise God who gave His own Son for us.
This is the sum and total of my Thanks Giving on this Thanksgiving Day … that God has bound us together blessed us with the ability to still dream big dreams even the impossible dream of becoming America Again? My friends you encourage me, you fill me with hope in a hopeless world. You make me thankful for America even though the ship of state is listing heavily to the left and times are tough. But the dream in me and you has never died. We cling to the hope that someday there will be a place for all of us, where we live again in the freedom of liberty where we understand that we have eternal obligations and that we are the creature not the Creator. I am eternally thankful and indebted to all who has kept the flame of hope and the fire of righteousness alive.
Our lives are each entwined in an eternal destiny. Our lives are a part of the unfolding book of eternity, let us fill the pages with worthy content and noble deeds. By the Grace of God you who have dreamed the dream … you are my Thanks Giving – the hope of American Again.