I love history! I have had a desire to learn from the past ever since I was an itty-bitty boy. I believe that comes from my grandmother, who had an equally strong interest in the events, lives and culture of humanity.
As I listened to my grandfather and other family members, who served our nation during World War II, tell of their experiences and challenges serving on the front lines of the battlefield, I was moved by their service, their commitment and their honesty about the great conflict.
Through the years, I have always found it to be a humbling and learning experience to walk battlegrounds, such as Gettysburg or Vicksburg, or to go through battleships such as the U.S.S. Texas or U.S.S. Missouri.
Recently, I had the privilege to go through the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Lexington. As I went through that ship, my mind kept coming back to the immense energy, focus and sacrifice of those men who gave all for freedom and liberty. There was only one focus. That focus was on rescue and redemption. Frankly, the only reason that I am able to write, work and speak in this country today, is because of their singleness of purpose many years ago.
Their experience always has a way of transporting my mind to history even further back. It takes me back to God who took on humanity and lived a perfect, sinless life to demonstrate what real living is like in a sinful world. It takes me back to Jesus who set His face toward Calvary at His first coming and the awful, gruesome death to pay for my sin and the sin of the whole world. It takes me back to His resurrection three days later as victorious over sin. It takes me back to His ascension and the promise of His soon return as King of kings and Lord of lords.
As we have entered the holiday season, I want to encourage each of you to take some time to reflect on your history and your family, and, more importantly, on the great and awesome history of Jesus. We live and breathe because of Jesus. We love and work because of Jesus. We have purpose and meaning because of Jesus. That great gift of sacrifice at the first coming is the only reason we really live today and have great hope for the future as we await His near return. May God always help you to keep remembering.
By Richard C. Dye, Sr.