Saturday, December 09, 2006

A Legacy Received

So, what of our quest? What treasure did we bring home with us from the 2006 Plymouth Faith & Freedom Tour? And, really, how valuable is it?

Those of you who were there will likely not be the ones asking that last question, but, in fact, you were part of the wealth we gained. Year after year, a significant highlight of these tours (and this was our 10th) is the opportunity to spend a week with delightful people from across the continent. We are truly enriched by the friendships that God has placed in our lives, and having a whole week set aside to spend with some of you all is an uncommon pleasure for which we are grateful. Not only is it just plain fun to be with them, but I never return home without having been greatly encouraged and challenged by the conversations had during the trip. On this trip, many of the attendees were "alumni" and already good friends, but there were a handful of "newbies" along, and thus not only did our current wealth become more precious, but new treasure was added as well.

In truth, if that were the only value we took home with us from the week, it would have certainly been well worth the trip. But during the course of the week we gained much more as well. Though many of the stories, many of the places, had been seen and heard by us before, one can lose nothing by hearing and seeing them again.

To learn of the men who have gone before us, who laid the foundation for the country we love today, to visit their homes, to walk down their streets, to stand on their battlefields, to hear their stories, to study their principles, to consider their ideals, to marvel at their accomplishments, to realize the obstacles they overcame, is inspiring. To see how so many of them, and so much that they did, has been forgotten today or misconstrued, is astonishing and grieving. So much wisdom can be gained from their experiences and their writings that it is truly far more than an academic exercise or "human interest" to study these men! Yes, it is indeed true wealth that can be found.

For me, however, to stand beside the graves of our national and spiritual forefathers is one of the most impacting parts of the tour. There the reality of their lives is once again pressed upon me. Standing beside a grave, honoring the man whose physical remains now lie there, I am reminded that someday I will lay likewise. Someday, my work will be over. Someday, I will join them in the rest to which they have gone. What impact will my life have? What legacy will I leave? When I pass on the mantle that they have left to me will it be improved or impoverished? Those who have gone before us have made such incredible sacrifices, weathered such awful storms, lost friends and position, born mountains of stress, made such difficult decisions - to give to us what they would never enjoy themselves. Who are we to complain? Who are we to be discouraged? And more - In light of what they did, what will we do? In light of their stance, how and where will we stand? Their devotion must inspire ours; their excellence, motivate us; their faith, encourage us; their principles, instruct us; their lives, their accomplishments, and their industry, must spur us on to dream and to do great things.

So often in the course of life, it is easy to get lost among the consequence of the everyday. The noise, the needs, the urgencies, the battles of the day crowd in around us and our vision becomes shortened, our enthusiasm sapped, our purpose forgotten. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the size of our calling and alone in the midst of it - or just plain ol' tired.

But, for one week in New England, the clouds were rolled back and we were given a glimpse of the great "cloud of witnesses" that surrounds us and has preceded us. They have fought their fight and have handed their sword to us. Now we carry on in the battle; the battle for the glory and honor of Christ and His kingdom. We must build upon what they built and invest what they bequeathed to us. Regardless of how big or small a part we are called to, regardless of whether our gravestone is engraved with a long and touching epitaph and frequented by tourists years from now, or forgotten in some small corner of the world, we are members of a glorious company of saints - some triumphant already, some yet to come. We must be faithful in walking the road that lies before us. We must remember. We must carry on.

We have been given much. May we be found faithful.

~~~~

Our family would also like to offer our sincere thanks to Doug Phillips, his family, and the Vision Forum staff for all the work that they put into this, and every, Faith & Freedom Tour, and for making them the very special events that they always are. Your work and friendship mean so much to us. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

4 comments:

Ortega Recorder said...

Thank you for the thoughts. Perhaps you could find a place for them amongst the other precious nuggets to be shared this year at Liberty Day. I am sure those gathered would be blessed and encouraged.

~ Renée ~ said...

Thank you for sharing this. Truly the message everywhere we went, was that our forefathers lived so that their lives would make a difference in their own generation, for their posterity, and for God's glory.

The Weathers said...

Erbers,

We have enjoyed all of your pictures and commentary of the Faith and Freedom tour. Thanks again for the lunches – they were wonderful!!! We enjoyed getting to be with your family again and look forward to seeing you at future events.

The Weathers

Anonymous said...

Way too long and boring.