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.