“Can we say that we’re truly doing enough to give all the children of this country the chance they deserve to live out their lives in happiness and with purpose? I’ve been reflecting on this the last few days,” Obama said, somber and steady as some in the audience wept.
“If we’re honest without ourselves, the answer is no. And we will have to change.”
These words were written in an article from msn.com after President Obama spoke at the Newton, Connecticut vigil for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings. As a nation we are all grieving and looking for answers to this horrific event. I have read a number of different articles related to this tragedy, not out of mere curiosity or for the purpose of learning the facts, but more to get a grasp on the general feeling of the public.
The prevailing topic is that of gun-control. This tragedy has people on both sides of the debate using it as fuel to support their very different perspectives of the issue. Some will argue for more gun-control. And others will argue for teachers to carry concealed weapons. But, I believe there is a deeper root to the problem.
I read an article today addressing the Sandy Hook tragedy from a different perspective. It is worth the read if for no other reason than to gain a different view-point of a world that most people have no contact with (http://now.msn.com/i-am-adam-lanzas-mother-says-mom-of-mentally-ill-son#scptmfs). I feel the overall premise is one of trying to deal with the heart of the issue rather than simply putting band-aids on wounds that need surgery. Legislation will not fix this.
And that is why I am writing this. Just as President Obama says, if we are honest with ourselves, we must change. I don’t know exactly what he means by that, but I know what it means to me. Romans 12:2 says that people are transformed by the renewing of their minds. In other words, change is an inside job. I heard it said once, “Morality cannot be legislated.” I agree. One cannot be forced into having integrity and character. One must be educated. But in order for lasting change to occur, the education must be one of absolute truth.
The foundational truths that this country were founded upon have been eroded to the point that they are difficult to recognize. The Declaration of Independence eludes to these truths. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” In their time, the writers of the Declaration of Independence recognized that mankind was a created being and therefore had a Creator. And the Creator made mankind with unalienable rights. These rights were not given by the government. They were given by God. And yet today, as a nation, it seems there are more arguments over the existence of a God and what people’s rights are than anything else. In the days of the founding fathers, these truths were absolute. In today’s day, these truths are relative.
So, yes, we need to change. But the President also asked if we are doing everything we can to help the children of our nation live in happiness and with purpose. Because, as a nation, we have been changing. It just hasn’t been good change. Perhaps the change we need is not so much to be different, or try different things, but to return to who we used to be; one nation under God. Not all change is good. Only good change is good. And there is only One who is good and that is God, our Creator. Without a change that puts us face to face with the living God, the One who sent us His Son to live a perfect life as an example to us and willingly lay down His life for mankind so we could be reconciled to God, our efforts will fall short. And in making that kind of change, we discover happiness and our purpose.
Now I don’t want to get too deep into theology here, but why not take out a bible and find out just what those unalienable rights are that our founding fathers were talking about? Read the New Testament and find out what it means to find happiness and purpose. You may just find them more liberating and life-changing than you ever realized.
We were founded as One Nation Under God. I pray that the change our President suggests causes us all to return to the God that made us a great nation. THAT is the right kind of change.