Today is President’s Day. Some years back someone decided to take Lincoln’s Birthday (Feb.12) & Washington’s (Feb.22) and combine them so that if you’re a government employee you would get another day off ! Don’t think I’m too far off on my speculation, ha !! Anyway, as you think of our Presidents we’ve had some not so good ones and we have had some great ones. Without a doubt, our first was one of the best.
George Washington was a principled man and a believer. He had a high regard for the Word of God and displayed a life that showed he had a relationship with the Lord. During that cold winter at Valley Forge, some of the men in their crude huts were beginning to complain about the conditions, the lack of food and clothing and one of the enlisted men, a Corporal Amos Barnett, finally in frustration said to others “Who bears responsibility for this?” Suddenly a voice from the doorway said, “I do !” It was General Washington and he then said, “I apologize to every man here for this hardship. I thank you all for the service you have rendered to the causes of liberty and independence.” However, it wasn’t truly all his fault as the Continental Congress had taken the matter of supplies from him placing their trust in men who were far less competent and much more unprincipled and were stealing supplies the men so desperately needed.
But our first President took the responsibility anyway and told his men he had taken steps nonetheless to secure provisions already and was even bringing back meat for them. Then he asked them, “Do you take me at my word, fellow patriots?” to which Corporal Barnett answered, “You have not lied to me yet, General, nor to any of us here. So yes, we take you at your word.” They then asked if he would join them for dinner. “Firecakes” were on the menu in that hut. They were a simple mixture of flour, water, and a little salt (if they were fortunate enough to even have that) which was ladled onto a flat rock (a makeshift griddle) in the hut’s crude fireplace.
The respected leader responded to his men’s invitation, “I would be honored to dine with you tonight – to dine among Americans !” Here was a man who had known some wealth and position in life yet was not ruled by either. He was willing to sacrifice, he was down to earth and truly cared for those under his command and was willing to share with them a meager meal and spend time in their company. He saw their needs and in compassion moved to meet them. Such men are worthy of our respect and we do well to honor them and lift them up as true heroes to our children. But something we must also realize is that they shouldn’t be relegated to our history books only, these type of people should be making history NOW. When Mark recorded his key verse of his gospel, “For even the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (10:45) he was quoting the Lord and Jesus was telling us we too should have a servant’s heart ! Today as you live life, serve well ! There are needs all around you if you will look through the eyes of Christ, there is opportunity to help if you go through His feet, you can fill the need if you reach into His provisions and are willing to give to others in dire need. So go and make it a great President’s day out of it !