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Part 2 – Wisdom From Our Canadian Forefathers
As the celebration of Canada’s 150 approaches, we want to take a closer look at six clues our forefathers left us to keep our country glorious and free:
1) Have a strong vision for the country.
In the Peace Tower exterior west window, and in the rotunda of the center block of Parliament, this verse is found in two places—Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Another translation would read, “Where there’s no divine guidance, people cast of restraint.” Anybody with a vision has restraint. When people don’t have restraint, they don’t have vision. If you’re an Olympic athlete, you have restraint because you have vision, right? You want a gold medal around your neck, so what do you do? You get up at 5:00 in the morning, you hit the pool, you swim laps, you watch your diet, you’re not eating French fries, you’re not eating certain foods, and you live with restraint because you have a vision.
You look at that person who’s an Olympic athlete, and you say, “My goodness, I appreciate their vision. Look at the restraint they live with.” You know it’s 10:00 at night and you’re saying, “Hey, we’re going out. Why don’t you come out with us?” They say, “No, I can’t go out with you. I’ve got to be in bed. I’m up early tomorrow morning. I’ve got swimming practice.” You say, “Boy, that person is living with discipline. They are living with restraint.” But they’ve got a vision. Someday they’re going to wear a gold medal, and our generation must live with restraint if we want to have a vision for our country.
In the song Dégénération by the Quebec group Mes Aieux, the lyrics speak of casting off restraint. “You go from partner to partner and you live in this drunken stupor.” We have cast of restraint. If we cast of restraint, it’s a symptom that we have lost our vision for the country. So, there’s a stirring going out for fresh vision for our nation, and our forefathers intentionally put that verse in two places in the Parliament buildings, that we would continue to have a vision for Canada.
“I just want to kind of ride on the coat tails of the previous generations.” God doesn’t want us riding on the coat tails. Every generation must rise up and do something great for Canada, and God is calling us to be that generation. Vision has foresight. Vision is looking ahead. Vision is saying there is something great to come. Vision is your ability to have foresight. It’s your ability to see ahead. It’s not just looking on the bright side of things. It’s looking on the God side of things.
John Maxwell, the author and teacher said, “Vision is attitude.” We’ve got to have an attitude for Canada. You can have an attitude of, “I want all I can get out of this country. I’m going to get all I can out of it.” I’ve heard people say, “Bless God, I have paid into my unemployment insurance all my life. I’m going to be unemployed just so I can collect my unemployment insurance.” That kind of attitude is shameful and will destroy Canada.
Someone else might say, “Well, I’ve landed in this country and I hear when you come to Canada, you can get this benefit and that benefit, and I’m going to squeeze all I can out of this country.” If you have come to squeeze everything you can get out of Canada, you’re in the wrong place. In this country, the vision or attitude of our forefathers was that of a giver not a taker. They laid down something for the next generation, and if you don’t want to lay down something for the next generation, perhaps you should find another country.
We find another verse in the Peace Tower Memorial Chamber on the marble panels on the south wall. It is important to remember that the whole Peace Tower is dedicated to those who fought for the freedom that you and I enjoy this very moment. The floor of that chamber is made from stones on the very battlefields that our soldiers fought for in WWI.It was for us to remember for generations to come, that our freedom, everything we enjoy, cost our forefathers something. I believe they were saying, “We’re going to leave something for you, a message to help you live in peace.” They could have left all kinds of writings. They could have left all kinds of sayings, but they gave us something to hang onto, hopefully that we would catch it, that we would read it when we were there. On that panel is a verse out of Psalm 139:8-10, where it says:
“If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. 9If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; 10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.”
What were they trying to tell us?
This leads us to the second clue:
2) Remember God will always be there.
No matter where you go, you could be in the Arctic Circle, you could be on the 49th parallel, you could be in the badlands of Drumheller, or you could be in Tuktoyaktuk in northern Yukon, or you could be on a fishing boat in Newfoundland. You could be in the heart of Ontario’s fruit belt. Anywhere you go, God is there, and He’s always willing to lead us and to guide us if we’ll just acknowledge Him. Remember there is a God who is there. You can’t take God out of this country. Oh, you think you can take Him out of the schools by saying, “The Bible can’t be read. Prayers can’t be prayed. We’re going to take God out of the schools.” But God’s always there. When a young man was shot in Taber, Alberta in 1999, do you know that whole school got together to pray? And back then it was okay to pray. In Montreal when there were shootings and tragedies, people still prayed. God is there. You can’t legislate God out of this country. No matter what they’ve done to our Charter, no matter what they’ve done to the Bill of Rights, remember God is always going to be there. When they build the great Tower of Babel, they made a mistake by saying, “Let us make a name for ourselves.” Anytime a country says, “Let’s make a name for ourselves, and let’s exalt ourselves,” God comes down and must straighten things out. They said, “We’ll make a name for ourselves and we’ll exclude God from the government.”
God does not allow man to build a lasting social order without Him. Look at Communism. You cannot build a lasting social order without God. God wants to be involved in the affairs of mankind, and He wants to be involved in the affairs of Canada. He will not allow Canada to go on without Him being involved in the affairs of the country. That’s all the more reason to pray for our Prime Minister, to pray for our Premier, to pray for the leaders of the land. Paul said to Timothy, “I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.”
Join me on Thursday as I share two other clues our forefathers left us to keep Canada glorious and free.