Building Babel?

Three separate thoughts converged to bring me to my thank list this Monday. First, the friendship I have with a fellow bicyclist, Ann Morrison, and her commitment to 30 minutes of quiet time before she begins each day. Second, my cyber friendship with a Coptic Christian in Egypt and his incredible faith in the face of a rising Muslin Brotherhood. Lastly, the coming elections here in my country where unemployment continues to rise, the Chinese buy up our bonds and we simply print more paper money, and the faith of our forefathers becomes increasingly diluted in the name of tolerance of diversity.

In the midst of all this I read the words of Benjamin Franklin in  The Coming Revolution by Dr. Richard G. Lee (pp. 119-120). The context is the First Continental Congress. The delegates were having a hard time coming to terms on how their new government should respond to the Coercive Acts that, among other things, Great Britain had imposed on the colonies. The Massachusetts delegates couldn’t agree with the Virginia delegates, and both Delaware and New Jersey were on the verge of leaving in a huff. When the bickering and name-calling escalated, and the hope of a resolution appeared to be vanishing, eighty-one-year-old Franklin rose to his feet…stepped forward to a place where he could be seen by all the delegates, and said

I’ve lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing Proofs I see of this Truth–That God governs in the Affairs of Men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his Notice, is it probable that an Empire can rise without his Aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that except the Lord build the House they labor in vain who build it. I firmly believe this,–and I also believe that without his concurring Aid, we shall succeed in this political Building no better than the Builders of Babel; We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our Projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a Reproach and Bye word down to future Ages.

This Multitudes on Monday with tears streaming down my cheeks, I give thanks for

#747 the freedom to pray, think, blog and dissent. No matter how far I think my country has fallen, I can still do these things and I am praying to see clearly what must be done to keep things this way and do my part in the keeping.

#748 friends who challenge me and keep me focused on the Way.

#749 opportunities to help others and to begin to diagnose the real malignancy in the spiral of disadvantage.

#750 people who devote their lives to serving others even though they could just sit back and live a life of ease off their fortunes.

#751 those who have the gift of discernment and the wisdom to know when to institute change rather than accept the status quo.

#752 prayer warriors and those who spend endless hours in intercession linking the affairs of humankind to the heavenly.

#753 thinking children.

#754 angels that watch over all of us.

#755 the written word and the incarnate Word.

#756 air conditioning on humid days.

#757 all who read here, comment here and stretch me immeasurably in this community.

With you this Monday,



8 comments on “Building Babel?

  1. That speech by Franklin is amazing! Hard to fathom how the more recent generations can try to eradicate the very foundations of a country and still expect it to stand strong. God indeed, governs in the affairs of men . . . joining with you in prayers for our nations that share so much in common, the good and the grievous.

    • Dear Andrea Dawn,

      This is quite an amazing speech, and miraculous considering it came from Benjamin Franklin. He was such a skeptic. He played a lot and was not known for his spirituality. History has it, however, that he sat under the preaching of Rev. George Whitefield and was mesmerized. Franklin certainly had it “all together” when he spoke this day. Powerful!

      From that day on the congress did not begin a day’s deliberations without prayer.

  2. Thanks for sharing my post. I really think Franklin’s words need disseminated. There are so many that do not know the richness of that generation of people. Congress still opens in prayer. It is considered an honor to be asked to pray for the opening. Of course it is, it is always an honor to pray, isn’t it, Dear Susan!

  3. Loved your “thankful” list Dawn. And loved reading that the Congress still opens in prayer. I wasn’t sure either.. .

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