Ken Paige: Why I’m filled with hope
I’m thinking back to March 13, 2020, when we were given the news regarding Covid-19 and how far we have drifted in the past 10 months. So much hurt, disappointment, pain, anxiety and sorrow placed on our families, communities and businesses. Nothing seems to satisfy, and there is no peace.
Yet today I find myself filled with hope. I’ve been reflecting on our founding fathers and who we are as Americans. What an amazing miracle that God has bestowed upon us, “If we can keep it.”
The governor of the new Massachusetts Colony, John Winthrop, said in 1630: “The eyes of all people are upon us. So that if we deal falsely with our God in this work, and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made story and a by-word through the world.”
Winthrop reminds me that God will hold us responsible for His gift of freedom. It’s not a selfish idea, but to be used specifically in the service to others. We exist for others. This is heart of who we are.
Benjamin Franklin, in a speech at the original assembly gathering after struggling for 100 days, said:
“I have lived a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proof I see of this truth-that God governs the affairs of men. If a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? Except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it.
“I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builder of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall be become a reproach ban by-word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing governments by human wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.
“I therefore beg that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of heaven and its blessing on our deliberations be held in this Assembly.”
George Washington, in a letter to a friend, said: “It appears to me, then, little short of a miracle, that the delegates from so many different states that are different in manners, circumstances and prejudices would unite in forming a system of national government.”
James Madison said: “It is impossible for the man of pious reflection not to perceive in it a finger of the Almighty hand which has been so frequently and signally extended to our relief in the critical stage for the revolution.”
John Kennedy, in his inaugural address in 1961: “I have been guided by the standard of John Winthrop 330 years ago as they, too, faced the task of building a new government on a perilous frontier. We must always consider that we shall be a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us.”
Ronald Regan, in his farewell speech in 1989 at the Republican convention, said: “In my mind I see a tall proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind swept, God-blessed and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace.”
Abraham Lincoln, in 1861 on the day before his inauguration, said: “I’m exceeding anxious that this Union, the Constitution and the liberties of these people shall be perpetuated in accordance with the original for which this struggle was made, and I shall be most happy indeed if I shall be an humble instrument in the hands of the Almighty, and of this, his almost chosen people for perpetuating the object of that great struggle (life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness).”
This is why I have hope today! God is still alive and active and ready to heal and restore us. We are more than a voting block. We have something far deeper at work, something revealed by these our forefathers in what Lincoln called “Mystic chords of memory. Something beyond logic, a form of government and law.”
What makes us a people, a community living in Nevada County? It has to do with a feeling and yet it’s much more than a mere feeling. It a deeply human thing. A desire to abide and flourish in a community without ever really be forced.
I appeal to heaven for his guiding hand bring a each one us into a love for our community and country. Seeing beyond our differences, policy, public opinion, current crisis and come together over things that truly bind us together. Love for God, love for life, love for freedom, love for happiness and taking responsibility to secure this gift for others.
We shall be most happy indeed if we shall be humble instruments in the hands of the almighty, and of this, his almost chosen people of Nevada City for perpetuating of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all.
Ken Paige and son Chad own and operate Friar Tuck’s in Nevada City.
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