Not on My Watch!

          My husband recently broke his arm.  The doctor set the bone and put his arm in a cast.  Now, he is inconvenienced by the orthopedic restraint that hinders movement, places hardships upon daily routines, and limits the kinds of clothing he can wear.  I remind him that today’s temporary discomfort is much better than an untended break that would yield tomorrow’s permanent deformity. 

            Who of us has not been forced to live with a hard circumstance in the present in order to avoid an even more difficult condition in the future?  Just ask someone who has undergone surgery on the road to health or inquire of one whose job has forced relocation as the pathway to financial security.  Drastic measures must, at certain seasons, be taken to secure a future

            If we avoid the current hard process, we may not like the future repercussions.  If we live in denial of the immediate cost, we may find that we will forfeit the very health or happiness that our denial sought to secure.  Tomorrow’s blessing is often secured by today’s sacrifice.  But if we believe that the stakes are too high and the consequences too grave to sacrifice today, we will substitute today’s provisional reward instead of securing tomorrow’s enduring success.  Such a belief defies sanity.  To swindle our tomorrow for our comfort today is equivalent to a death wish. 

            Nations also seek to delay consequences, as leaders do not want the hard readjustments to come down on their tenure.  Those with a philosophy of “Not on my watch!” are willing to roll the tough times over upon the next generation.  Denial has consequences.  It catches up. 

            The Bible tells the story of a king named Hezekiah who had been miraculously healed by God from a life-threatening disease and given an additional fifteen years.  God granted him a future, but he failed to secure a future for his nation.  After entertaining foreign dignitaries who were national enemies, Hezekiah was informed by the prophet Isaiah that the next generation would be conquered and led into captivity by the nation with whom Hezekiah had leagued.  His response?  “At least there will be peace and security during the remainder of my own lifetime!”  Modern day translation:  “At least it won’t happen on my watch!”  He could have petitioned God, repented, changed things.  Why should Hezekiah not think God would be equally merciful to the nation as God had been to him?  Perhaps Hezekiah believed that delayed destruction was better than immediate discipline.

            What about America’s leaders who choose a 12 trillion dollar bailout, corporation rescues, and an 11 trillion dollar national debt?  Are they willing to buy today’s liberties with tomorrow’s servitude?  Who will throw away the national credit cards or do the surgery to cut away excessive growth of government?  Will the politicians continue to embrace “Not on my watch!” and allow our children to inherit a lifetime of bondage?

 

Principle:  A people’s group or a nation’s transcendent values define their character, culture, and things they are willing to sacrifice in order to achieve them. 

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