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Founders show importance of solid foundation

July 07, 2010 - This past week, we celebrated the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Many people think that this is the day our country became independent from the colonial powers. It was not the day of Independence, but the day that the people in colonial America declared their intent for Independence and for what they believed their rights should be as a people. In order to make change possible, there must be a declared intent. Many people will complain about their circumstances without ever making an attempt to change them.

We are living in a time of great conflict, and once again we must declare our intent to do something about our circumstances. Of course, this requires a resolution of where we want to go as a nation. We are living in a time where many people have proposals of how we need to proceed for the future, but we still do not have a declared intent of where we are going. In the last presidential election, our president won office on the promise of change. He won a resounding victory, receiving not only election, but also big majorities in Congress to help him facilitate his programs. The problem is that when he began to move forward, people have been uncomfortable with the changes he has proposed. Election slogans are very important in elections, but often times lead people to vote for something without a full understanding of what it means. We all know we need to change some things; the important question is: "What do we need to change?"

The Bible says that without a vision, the people perish. In other words, you cannot get where you want to go until you make a choice of where you want to go. This is what vision is—a defined purpose and direction that gives you the ability to chart a course of action. In our media culture, we are easily given to clever slogans and grand programs, but we are not too easily given to real ideals and goals. The modern call for multiculturalism has brought us to a place where people are afraid or unwilling to have a declared intent with the purpose of uniting people for a single purpose. There is certainly a need to offer the opportunity for personal goals and desires, but we have often placed such emphasis on the individual that we have forgotten about the need for a corporate vision. We have become a nation of separate groups vying for power and privilege. Everyone is at the table seeking their share, but we fail to understand that the share becomes smaller when no one is building for the whole.

In all my observances, I have seen the answer to our situation is not for a grand scheme; we must return to some simple and practical moral qualities that will bring strength to our foundation. The Bible says, "If the foundations be destroyed, what will the righteous do?" We need to repair our bottom line, and then from this moral foundation, seek leaders who will seek to get us where we need to go as a people. We need what the Bible calls repentance. It is the recognition of what has brought us to this place of crisis, then asking forgiveness as we acknowledge our shortcomings. Next, we need a declared intent that we will strive to follow through with our commitment until we see the desired results. This is what our founding fathers did—and the rest is history!

The Rev. Loren Covarubbias is pastor of Mt. Zion Temple.

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