On a recent road trip, I had the opportunity to have a conversation with a great and wise friend of mine. While reminiscing the years from his past, he told me the story of a great speaker, writer, and philosopher who spoke at Wheaton College in nineteen sixty-eight. He laid out the setting of the speech, the speakerâ€™s demeanor, and the effectual, authoritative words that were spoken. Something specific that the speaker said awed him and the crowd â€“ something that has lasted a lifetime and left a long lasting impression on his life. He quoted these words to me as something the speaker repeated over and over while ending his speech:
â€œDo not stop, keep going. Do not stop, keep going.â€ – Francis Schaeffer â€“ Founder of Lâ€™Abri Switzerland
The quote itself implies an admirable and noble quality that is relevant to all of us â€“ perseverance. In fact, it is of essence and a necessity when striving for what we struggle for: state sovereignty, nullification efforts, and God given rights. Yet, unfortunately to our great misfortune, perseverance diminishes over time â€“ seemingly for all of us. It is a quality that frequently dries up in our lives. We cannot seem to hold it in our hands as if it blows away with the wind â€“ it is there one moment and gone the next.
We are inspired when we hear the news of success and hope briefly grazes over us, our spiritâ€™s are lifted and like a medicine it cures the disease. We hear or read something profound and it sends chills down our spines and we can taste the inspiration and our sense to persevere is renewed. And yet again, for most of us it is short lived and it subtly but surely wanes over time. Therefore, we often lose confidence in ourselves and in our struggle. And ultimately we wonder: Is this pain, this struggle, and this fight worth our trial and should we persevere through it?
To answer the above question, let it be known there is no quick fix for this problem and our American idea of instant gratification will not bend itself to success as what lies ahead of us is a long hard path or possibly better stated, â€œthe road less traveled.â€ However, while viewing it from the illuminating light of liberty, it is without question worth the patience, pain, and struggle. Why? In the words of Charlton Heston, â€œBecause it matters.â€
We often hear or speak of the patriot Samuel Adams and one of his most famous quotes.
â€œIt does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.â€ â€“ Samuel Adams
In my opinion, it is one of the most insightful and beautiful quotes in American history. However, it implies something greater than what we most often conceive. The ideas of prevailing, an irate minority, and setting brush fires in peopleâ€™s minds all sound wondrous to us; yet, my fear is that â€œtirelessâ€ does not. And today we struggle for something that unyieldingly requires a â€œtirelessâ€ mind and a constant restoration of perseverance. We struggle for something real, something innate to ever person by their God given right â€“ liberty, which is not easily acquired nor is it something that should be apathetically disregarded. I emphasize this point with the following quote:
â€œLiberty, once lost, is lost forever.â€ – John Adams
If thought about considerably, our founderâ€™s foresight and prudence shows us the magnitude and scope of our concern. I personally have hope that it is not â€œlost forever,â€ as I do not think this was Adamâ€™s intention in writing. It was a forewarning, which will unquestionably take time to reacquire â€“ perhaps years or even decades. As Michael Boldin stated, â€œThere is no silver bullet.â€
So, do not be deceived into thinking that those in the position of federal power will desist and wither away silently. This futile thinking will lead to dismay, loss of hope, and ultimately apathy. It will take a consistent group of like minded people in support of the original intent of the constitution and an unwavering opposition to unconstitutional mandates and laws. It will be a continual process, one that most likely will never end.
To regain what has been lost, one must dedicate themselves throughout their lives to the cause of liberty, true patriotism, constitutional knowledge, education, and American foundational history. Indeed, this must also be shared and taught to our fellow citizens, children, and grandchildren lest we tread down the same blemished path forever.
And to quote Boldin again, â€œWe the people are sovereign. We just need to start acting like it.â€ However, underneath this statement lies all that has been stated in this article â€“ â€œacting like itâ€ requires long term challenges which in turn requires long term firm resolve, which can most accurately be described fundamentally as perseverance.So, let this message serve as an encouragement. Stand with us, stand together, and persevere as most assuredly the firestorm and rebuttals of tyrants will emphatically come. Evidence of this can already clearly be seen (i.e. the federal governmentâ€™s response to State Health Care Freedom Acts and Arizonaâ€™s Immigration Act).
To that end, the question remains: Will the brush fires set in peopleâ€™s minds be greater for liberty or will they be outweighed by those predisposed to tyranny? And to the greatest extent, only prevailing with perseverance will decide the outcome. Therefore, I urge you to run your race well.
â€œDo not stop, keep going. Do not stop, keep going.â€ – Francis Schaeffer
Shane Musgrove [send him email] is a freelance writer living in Vail and Denver, Colorado.