From: T.M. Schoewe
Soon we will leave another hot July behind. Lingering in our thoughts from the 4th is the Declaration of Independence and those words…endowed with certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And there are those final words of Lincoln’s Gettysburg address, calling us to take up the cause Americans died for during our civil war. The idea that “it’s up to us, the living.” And then there are the words from 2,000 years ago by our Lord “Render unto Caesar the things of Caesar and unto God the things of God!”
A common thread running though all those words involves “citizenship” in one fashion or another. Those words speak about SERVICE to our country. Of course the word “service” makes us think of military service, but we have to note that only about 1% of our countrymen and women serve in the Armed Forces. There are a few other service-oriented organizations but their numbers are even less. This country would benefit greatly if more people served her! And lest you think that paying taxes is a form of service, which it is, you need to note millions in this country pay no taxes.
Lincoln’s words ask us the living to see that the thousands of people that gave their lives did not die in vain. It is a big call to citizenship, which is to carry on our Nation’s work. What can we do? We can figure out how we can make a living for ourselves. This is the work of our nation. Making a living. It is a war in which we all should be participating.
America is many things and one special thing about it is that it is about BUSINESS. America is business. But being a citizen and making a living for oneself has become a difficult proposition for many able-bodied Americans. Working is at the heart, and what is behind the freedom of every man and woman. Technology has taken thousands of jobs from all sectors of our society. From agriculture and the farms, to manufacturing and the factories, sophisticated high-tech machines and computer programs have eliminated the need for people to perform certain tasks. This has been going on for quite some time and now almost half the nation is dependent upon the government for a living. Yes, technology has increased productivity from the business end of things but has left a lot of people out of work as a result.
America has passed through many problems and continues to survive, and still shines brightest among the nations on this globe. And innovation is wonderful, but how can our government use technology and innovation to create jobs for its citizens? As citizens, it behooves us to convince our government to get business to insist technology not destroy, but create jobs. Unless our Nation gets on this path, it will be true what one of our St. Olaf professors had to say to us in the 1930s, that “Technology is in the saddle and is riding mankind to death.”
As citizens of this particularly blessed country we may survive the battle with technology, though finally as citizens, or as creatures of Almighty God, we will not be able to survive our great enemy, death. But in the meantime we can make a living and live life as God would have us. And pray for our nation!
So our writing takes us back to that old story from the Garden of long ago. And if you read the book of Proverbs you will find many good thoughts and advice on how to get along or survive in this world in which thorns and thistles grow. But in the end you always need to turn to the book of Hebrews and read about those who have gone before and hear them say, “We have no continuing city here but seek one to come. It is the city whose maker and builder is God.”
In a few years we hope to see you there! Sine cera.
P.S. If you don’t know the way!: read John 14: 1-4