I have been away awhile, at least in my writing, compelled by a sense of need to give the time to editing my last year of entries, for purposes of a journal like publication reflecting on those writings.
However, this morning in my devotional time, I went to You Tube to review a couple unrelated videos recommended by friends. The title of this entry came out of a comment made by Bob Bakke during a lecture at Westmont College in March of 2011. Bakke is a well-respected leader in the Global Prayer movement.
Interesting, that it came behind a video which I had just finished, with General Douglas McArthur, along with Fleet Admiral Nimitz, personally facilitating the signing of the surrender documents on board the USS Missouri. There before my eyes was the crux of what is good about America. I watched intently as leaders from around the world, Canada, China, Australia, Russia, and others, one by one stepped up to sign the sacred parchment of peace, concluding WWII.
Maybe this back-to-back moment was no coincidence, and it certainly bears noting. Given the “Flight of Honor” initiative locally, as well as other efforts nationally to recognize these last few surviving veterans, we might reflect on the state of the nation they once fought for; itself now debating whether to be viewed as “One Nation under God.”
Our present culture may be suffering the rebound brought on by Boomers like myself, raised by these aforementioned Builders. It’s been said that we have shifted “from the Greatest to the Greediest” generation? Walking their way off the cusp of their parents (many of whom were inmigrants) Agrarian Age, these veterans returned home to an newly immerging Industrial era with new dreams for their families. They were courageously determined to take back any losses suffered from both the war and before that the previous Great Depression. Is it possible that we somehow overcorrected and thus the challenges of today? My generation now faces a woeful legacy of economic and social pain. Yet in the midst of all that, is an immerging generation that is tired of materialistic success alone. Even religion is of little interest to them. Could this be the set up for true transformation…note my HOPE!
I am not attempting to place blame for my generation’s actions on those who fought so valiantly for our freedoms, for they were only determined to give their children what they could not have. Neither am I underplaying the benefits of my generation’s entrepreneurs and the prosperity that has now circled the globe; America in the past has been one of the most benevolent countries in the world, aiding many others as they recovered from the devastation of wars, famines and natural disasters.
But, could we have over adjusted of late, losing our moorings, if not our spiritual way?
That same America which McArthur so proudly led to victory, today struggles as much as any time in its history with who she is to be; rather than offering invitation to those “yearning to be free,” our borders are locked down; even economic justice among our own poor is viewed by many as socialism. Meanwhile the middle class that carried the brunt of McArthur’s war has eroded, with the gap between haves and have-nots widening every day.
Yet, Bakke brought hope to me, as he spoke to this next generation, challenging them to become the “generation of transformation.” His tool of promise was prayer, not success alone. Bakke’s definition of prayer: “Our partnership with God in the transformation of history.” Both individually and collectively, prayer is powerful and if we will begin to pray, ask, seek…even the legacy of my generation can be different.
We have prayed before in harder times than these, and thus the reason why America is still the country of choice among all on this globe, unless hardened by the hatred of foreign despots.