Like most of you, I’ve been doing a great deal of soul searching since the election. I’ve been questioning if my efforts to promote conservatism were worth the time and energy put into it. Like most of you I have great concerns about the course America has chosen. Two nights ago liberty took it on the chin. Americans decided that they wanted to continue down the road to serfdom. At one point I actually looked at my wife and told her I was done. I would waste no more time trying to convince people that liberty is the answer. I felt so drained and empty. It was in this moment of self-reflection that I decided to go downstairs and pull some books about the founding fathers and the Revolutionary War off the bookshelf. They were older books from the 1950s and 60s. The kind of books you would find in the schools back then.
I sat in a quite dimly lit room and began reading them. An hour quickly turned into three hours as I was drawn into the stories about the battles and the early writings of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. As I read story after story, I began to fill up inside with hope again. I reread one of my favorite stories about George Washington at Valley Forge. It has always moved me.
As many of you know, Valley Forge was the winter encampment for the Continental Army in 1777-1778. These were trying times for the young army. They were ill equipped, most missing the basics needed to survive a winter. There was a shortage of blankets, overcoats, and shoes amongst the ranks and to top things off they weren’t getting much support from the congress. George Washington could have easily decided enough was enough and packed it in. Instead he went off by himself in the woods surrounding the encampment and turned to God. He got down on his knees, looked up to the heavens and prayed. How do we know this? A Tory by the name of Isaac Potts was walking with his horse in the same woods that day when he heard what sounded like a person praying. What he didn’t know at the time was the person he heard praying was George Washington. He quietly positioned himself just out of Washington’s sight to hear his prayer. The prayer so moved Mr. Potts the when he went back to his family, he told his family that they were on the wrong side and from that day forward supported the American cause and no longer referred to themselves as Tories. How’s that for the power of prayer.
We need to remember that George Washington’s back was against the wall countless times during the Revolutionary War. His army was in the verge of defeat almost the entire war. He employed evasive tactics numerous times to ensure the survival of the army. He had a number of opportunities to quit and I’m not sure anyone would have really held it against him if he had. But he didn’t quit. He believed that the cause for liberty was worth fighting for. He decided he would not go gentile into that goodnight. We owe the liberty we enjoy today to George Washington because he didn’t quit and walk away from the fight. He left it all on the field. I owe it to him and our founding fathers not to let liberty slip away without a fight. I will resist. I will fight for liberty. I will not go gentile into that goodnight.
Liberty forever, freedom for all!