Monday, February 20, 2017

Presidents' Day Ponderings




Today's not really "Presidents' Day" but, for some reason, which I suspect has to do with advertising, that's what we call this day. 

The third Monday of February is the day designated as a federal holiday to celebrate George Washington's birthday. Because he was born on February 22nd (Gregorian calendar) and Abraham Lincoln's birthday is February 12th, we have, colloquially, begun to call the federal holiday "Presidents' Day" to honor them both.

I don't know how we originally celebrated the day, but the holiday has devolved into a national sales and shopping day. 

I'm not sure that's an adequate way to honor the man who is known as the Father of Our Dear Country. He was Commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, one of our Founding Fathers, first President, presided over the Constitutional Convention. 

Washington's wisdom guided our country into existence and helped to preserve it during our first fragile years of existence.

Among all his great deeds, he also established the Purple Heart medal for meritorious military service. Eventually, the Legion of Merit replaced it as a meritorious award and it became an award for those who have been wounded or died in battle.

My daddy was shot in WWII. A fellow soldier, probably suffering from PTSD, shot him early one morning as he was preparing coffee at the campfire. He was awarded, but declined, the Purple Heart. It wasn't meritorious to be shot while you're making coffee, he said.

"Meritorious," according to several on-line dictionaries, means "deserving of honor or praise." My daddy was right. Making coffee doesn't fit that definition, even if he was shot while doing it.

That brings me to an important question. What is meritorious behavior?

"And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." Philippians 4:8 NLT

If we want to adequately honor our first President, we should do it with acts of meritorious behavior. 

We honor our true King, Jesus, the same way. Fix our thoughts on things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable. Allow our thoughts on those lovely things to drive us to action.

Today, let's celebrate by offering a helping hand to those in need, blessing our enemies, being kind to those who aren't, speaking the truth with love, focusing on the lovely things of life and faith and freedom.

Honor Christ. Honor the legacy of leaders to whom He has entrusted this country.
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ps - that's my daddy in the photograph, recovering from the campfire shooting.
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post:  When You're Stuck in Writer's Block and Find the Road Sign Out
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