Monday, February 16, 2009

Just Like Him

I know that I get a bit carried away sometimes. Superlatives seem to pepper my thoughts more than accuracy might allot. I realize that this may diminish the veracity or viscosity of those thoughts but there are a few things I feel and love so deeply that there aren't superlatives enough.

A few being 1) how strongly I feel about The Gospel of Jesus Christ 2) how amazing I think my family is 3) how well my mother cooks (when she's not running after marbles) 4) the virtues of a good nights sleep and 5) How much I admire the Founding Fathers, namely The General and John Adams.

I'm currently in the middle of Netflixing the HBO John Adams series and have found myself hand-over-heart weeping or throat-clutching involved at this account of Independence (Like tonight. Like 20 min ago) namely the parts with The General. John Adams and The General had a fascinating relationship. Adams, who was made of some of the staunchest moral fiber, constantly found himself chagrined and amazed by The General. It was Adams who nominated The General to be The General as a matter of fact. File that little factoid away for the next cocktail party...

Every time I see any likeness of The General all I want to do is go give him a huge hug. That may be ridiculously irreverent but its the truth. The loving daughter to a trusted father cling around the rib cage hug. I feel a special connection to him. I know my mission ridiculously contributed to it. I spent half of it in Alexandria and the entire town is essentially a shrine to George Washington. I started my mission there in the Mt. Vernon Stake. My church building was on George Washington parkway right on the Potomac, a quarter mile down the road from the doorway of Mt. Vernon. The amazing picture of The General kneeling in prayer at Valley Forge was in the entrance and I saw it nearly every day and was moved by it, him, the story and the parallel to my own call every time. It was the first building I went in as a missionary and the last one I went out of. I swore I would have that exact same picture in my home and I would teach my children all about him. He was my unofficial mission president because he was just as much of a North Star and example as I had in my mission president of excellence, perseverance, duty, love, humility and godly strength.

The General was an extraordinary man because he was a simple man and I love him most for that. He maintained it despite the maelstrom of times that he lived in. He loved his wife. He loved Nature, he loved God and loved his Country and fellow man. He loved all of them so much he did everything he could to serve them. Now The General wasn't perfect. He was a solider and slave owner and a number of other things that led the way wide open for folly and foibles but I think his angles shouted his demons down more often that most men can boast.

He knowingly set down power not once, but twice and both times returned to his fields and pastures at Mt. Vernon. He was a quiet man, a still man, a soft spoken man, a great man. I love him very much and owe more than I can say.

I know I'm not alone with these feelings. In fact I probably run the risk of cliche saying so but its the truth and it's how I feel.

God bless The General and God bless America.

1 comment:

Quixotic Healer said...

I remember when David McCullough came to BYU....best forum EVER. It was amazing.

Have you seen The Crossing? Amazing. I can never get over how Jeff Daniel's either does insanely stupid comedies, or insanely awesome historical dramas. I loved him as Washington.