Lost in the Woods
By: Jim O'Brien
Have you ever been lost in the woods? Dan Fogelberg made popular the hit song "Run for the Roses" that tells the story of a horse that was born and raised among the rolling hills and green valleys of Western Kentucky. It's personally nostalgic because I grew up in that region. Our's was the last house at the end of a half mile long road. Beyond us lay a thousand acres of hills covered with trees, lined with paths made by hunters searching for quail, an old abandoned graveyard surrounded by a rusted iron fence and the remains of trenches that survived from the Civil War.
There was no end of pleasure derived from walking through the woods exploring remnants of formerly attended apple orchards and black berry patches. Once, as a ten-year-old, I spent a summer afternoon hiking through the woods. I had ventured farther than previous excursions when I decided to return home and was unable to find a familiar landmark. Every decision I made was the wrong one. Eventually the realization came to me that I was lost. It was a frightening experience. I simply did not know which way to go and there was no one to ask.
I kept walking until I came upon a creek. I knew that a creek bed ran through the woods so I hoped-and prayed with childish fervency-that this was part of the same one that wound through the woods near my home. A feeling of relief swept over me when I saw the first familiar landmark. I wasn't home yet, but now I knew I could make it.
The lesson learned has stayed with me-the landmark was the essential factor for finding my way out of the woods.
It should be clear to any thinking person that America is lost. Not only America but all of what we once called Western Civilization. In fact, it is such a lost cause that college classes named Western Civ cannot be taught at many universities. It wasn't that long ago that Jesse Jackson stood on the campus of Stanford University chanting, "Hey, Hey, Ho Ho, Western Civ has got to go." And otherwise intelligent people bowed to his childish rhymes. This was followed by Yale University's rejection of a $20 million grant for their Western Civilization program. It's not just Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes and Locke that are thrown out of our academic environs-it is the Judeo/Christian teachings that provided the basis for Western Civilization.
The problem we face is that the landmarks have been removed!
It was the Apostle Paul who wrote about evil people who "suppress the truth." Paul, who doesn't suffer a fool, continued, "since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse." (Romans 1:18-20).
The consequence of this willing ignorance is that "their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened." (verse 21).
God has provided enough evidence that there is little excuse for us to be lost in the woods. If we are ever going to come out of this wilderness of insanity that has taken over our culture we need to find a landmark. Something that will get us back to familiar surroundings so we can get back home.
We could start with the Holy Bible!
Until next time,
Pastor, Church of God Cincinnati
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